THE ORIGINAL TEX-MEX
El Fenix Mexican restaurants are as much a part of the Dallas tradition as the State Fair of Texas. Both have roots dating back to the 19th century. Tex-Mex food El Fenix style begins in the 1890's with the birth of Miguel Martinez. Unrelenting poverty forces Miguel to leave his birthplace for work north of the border - where the young twenty (20) year old settles in Dallas, Texas. Miguel, now Mike, learns the art of food preparation working in the kitchen of the posh Oriental Hotel downtown. Mike marries Faustina Porres, also from Mexico and shortly thereafter opens Martinez Café in 1916. That same year, the first of their eight children is born. In 1918, Mike renames his restaurant El Fenix Café. The first menu featured mostly American food, but Mike soon begins to offer his guests more exotic tastes with combination plates of Mexican-American dishes. Over time, the El Fenix menu evolves into a new innovative style called Tex-Mex and has been copied.... but never duplicated!
Today, there are El Fenix restaurants throughout the Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex and the internet has helped spread the El Fenix legacy worldwide. People everywhere order El Fenix products online. Others are just now discovering what the people of Dallas and visitors to Dallas have known for decades.
Tex-Mex food excites as much as it comforts. El Fenix - the idea so innovative with food so good, a city grew up around it.