Maybe what's going for El Corazon de Tejas is that it's impossible to overhype perfect, traditional TexMex. And this is the traditional TexMex in it's truest form. The Cuellar family are known for inventing TexMex at their El Chico restaurants, and their large family continues to be as talented and hard working as the original generation of restaurateurs. When I visited El Corazon de Tejas I was just in the neighborhood and hungry for something I knew would be fine with gluten-free restrictions (which as cool as the Bishop Arts Districts restaurants are, the options for me at their eateries are typically pretty limited). I smiled so big when we were seated and I looked up and saw Frank Cuellar Sr. (far right) looking over our table. His family is great friends with ours and I enjoyed time at his house growing up. (With that said, no one from the restaurant or family knows about my visit or this post, and my stomach assures you nostalgia and friendship was a far ways down on all of the things I enjoyed about my meal!)
Speaking of the decor, it is the perfect mix of traditional and hip. I am really looking forward to bringing Markus' relatives from Germany here next time they are in for the ultimate TexMex experience! The space is great for parties or rehearsal dinners as well.
So I've been beating around the bush a little and not mentioning the food. It's like this, though. The food at El Corazon was SO incredibly good, I am getting upset just thinking about it and the layers of ice on the roads keeping me from driving down there right now for a second helping. This food was exactly what I loved from TexMex growing up before it put its fancy pants on. Every ingredient in my basic beef taco and sour cream enchilada combo plate was so fresh and flavorful that it didn't need a gimmick. Special kid diet note: Our waiter was awesome at answering any questions I had on dishes to ensure they were gluten-free!
It's been a full week since I've enjoyed this meal, and the flavor of the ground beef and sharp cheddar on the taco stand out, as well as the subtle seasoning in the sour cream sauce and the refried beans, which were both by far the best I've ever had.
We also got delicious guacamole for the table and a side of tortillas to enjoy with some butter and honey. The first round they sent was flour, which I couldn't personally try but had to take a picture of since it looks like they would melt in your mouth! The corn tortillas were equally beautiful. Too bad I ate them all before thinking to get a picture of them as well, right?
Speaking of special kid diets again, for every trendy restaurant in Bishop Arts where I search to find gluten-free offerings, Markus has even fewer options as a gluten-free vegetarian. He absolutely loved his very full plate of veggie enchiladas with cilantro rice and charro beans, both prepared without chicken or beef stock.
And just in case you're still wondering if this place is as legit as it sounds, the chips are the perfect blend of light and salty and the salsa comes in those badass little carafes for a party of one.
El Corazon de Tejas is my new favorite TexMex spot by a mile! I can't wait to continue to enjoy dinner and lunch here before shows at the Kessler, movies at The Texas Theatre and shopping in the Bishop Arts District. It's the perfect place to bring out of towners (your journey might include a drive over Margaret Hunt Hill bridge!) and everyone will go home with full and happy bellies.
It looks like they do some fun promotions and events like live music nights, so be sure to like them on Facebook!