When planning for Dallas, I was honestly most excited about the food. My favorite cuisine of all time is Mexican food. I’m pretty certain of that. My boyfriend even makes fun of me because I adore it so much. Of course, I realized quickly enough that good food in Texas tends to be of the meat persuasion. However, that’s not what I was looking forward. I was looking forward to that delicious Tex-Mex! While I’ve heard San Antonio is your best bet for Tex-Mex, I had plenty of people tell me that Dallas has its fair share of contestants!
Now, there is some dispute as to what is Tex-Mex and what is Mexican food. In the US this distinction is difficult because the history is pretty muddled. Victor and I were able to enjoy three Tex-Mex/Mexican restaurants in just five days!
Now, Meso Maya emphasizes its heritage, as a Mexican restaurant. This is not Tex-Mex, but authentic Mexican food. However, the history of this place goes back over 80 years, starting with Maria Luna. So, even though even though her family came from Mexico, I think it’s fair to say that Meso Maya is as much Mexican as it is Texan.
As for the food, it was delicious (unsurprisingly)! We started out with the Queso Fundido, which consisted of three white cheeses, roasted poblano rajas, grilled onions, dry oregano, housemade corn tortillas, and veggies. You can also get it with pork chorizo if you so desire. This thing was amazing.
For the main course, Victor had the Carne Asada and I had El Pastor (not to be confused with Al Pastor). My dish was achiote-rubbed white bass with salsa de piña, charred pineapple relish, squash blossom & oaxaca cheese enchilada with ancho chile and a black bean sauce. It was pretty good, though I wish the flavors were a bit more present. I’m allowed to be critical because I’ve eaten at so many Mexican restaurants.
All in all I was incredibly pleased and let me tell you, the place is hopping! There are plenty of gem items available, so have a go!
Though it’s called a Mexican Grill, this place is certifiably Tex-Mex. In addition to being a ‘Mexican’ Grill, Iron Cactus is also a Margarita Bar! They have happy hour from 3-6pm, and we took full advantage of it. We had blood orange margaritas and they were so good! Wow! Victor got the Chile Relleno Rústico, which consisted of chicken, sun-dried cranberries, pepitas, pepper jack, toasted pecans, verde sauce, Mexican rice, and beans. I had the Baja Fish Tacos–Tex-Mex at its finest!
Source: Iron Cactus
Iron Cactus also happens to be one of the best rooftop bars in downtown Dallas, so be sure not to miss it! Even if you just stop by for $3 off margaritas during happy hour, it’s a worth a visit.
And back to the blurred line of Mexican and Tex-Mex, this place claims to serve Mexico City-style cuisine.
First off, I was in love with the decor. Victor and I were greeted by tequila bottle lights, and then entered into a room with wooden walls, and plenty of skulls as decoration. They had the neatest chain curtain with roses painted on it, so that up close you could not tell there were roses, but from far away you saw the whole picture.
For food, we decided to order three things to share: the queso blanco, the tres quesos quesadilla, and the vegetable enchiladas verdes. We wanted to have a different queso dip than usual, and this was pretty good! Spicy and simple. The food was pretty good, though I think the quesadillas was the yummiest of them all.
And so this ended my adventure through cuisine in Dallas. I’m happy to say though that I am not deprived of good Mexican food back home, but I worry a little bit about my big move to London this autumn!