Dan Jenkins's Favorite Cheese Enchiladas

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

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.

"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?

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.