Yesterday, I ate some of Molina's "Enchiladas de Tejas," old-fashioned cheese enchiladas in chili con carne topped with raw onions. When I was researching the "Temples of Tex-Mex" feature, I heard about this dish from Tex-Mex enthusiast and legendary sports writer Dan Jenkins.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"The first time I ate Mexican food was at the Mexican Inn in downtown Fort Worth when I was in Junior High," the 78-year old writer observed when I asked about Fort Worth Tex-Mex. "Cheese enchiladas (in chili con carne), rice and beans. I'll never forget it. It was like an orgasm." Jenkins lives in Fort Worth again now, but he missed Tex-Mex so much during his years in New York, he encouraged his wife June to open a Tex-Mex restaurant there called Juanita's.
According to Jenkins, cheese enchiladas served in chili con carne -- not thin, meatless chili gravy, or authentic enchilada sauce -- are the hallmark of real Tex-Mex. Ever since he told me about them, I have been looking for cheese enchiladas in chile con carne in Tex-Mex restaurants around the state.
I found them at several old Tex-Mex joints in Fort Worth, most notably the Original Mexican Café, which first opened in 1926. In Houston, they are served at Molina's, which opened in 1941. But I haven't had much luck finding them elsewhere.
Anybody know where in Houston (or the rest of the state, for that matter) I can still find this Tex-Mex classic?