El Real Tex-Mex doesn't take itself too seriously. (Really, you can't assign too much gravitas to a place that has a combo platter named after Chingo Bling.) It's a fun place for margaritas, enchiladas and big, sizzling comals of garlic butter-braised beef fajitas. None of it would be nearly as successful, though, were it not for the underlying reverence for standards set by the pioneering cooks of South Texas. There's even a museum upstairs to see old menus and artifacts from restaurants that made Tex-Mex history. By the way, El Real is also an excellent spot for weekend brunch. Don't miss the bacon enchiladas.
READERS' CHOICE: The Original Ninfa's On Navigation