2000s Archive

Restaurants Worth the Money: Southwest

Originally Published October 2009
Seven great places to spend your hard-earned cash in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.

La Duni
At the Highland Park edition of this charming pan-Latin café, regulars down strong coffee and frothy steamed “cloud eggs” in the morning. At lunch, business types roll up for tacos of seared beef with feisty tomato salsa. And in the evenings, young marrieds do “date night,” feasting on roast chicken with black beans and plantains. 4264 Oak Lawn Ave., Highland Park, TX (214-520-6888); 4620 McKinney Ave., Dallas (214-520-7300; La Duni)


With the gaudy room, general revelry, and managers in headsets rushing about, you may wonder if the food suffers. Never. Each taco could have been made by somebody’s abuela (insiders request the grilled shrimp with lime-doused cabbage slaw and chipotle mayo). 910 S. Alamo, San Antonio, TX (210-223-1806; Rosario’s)

City Market
If Marcel Proust had lived in Luling, his madeleines would have been smoke-infused barbecued brisket, pork ribs, and sausages, eaten off butcher paper. 633 Davis St., Luling, TX (830-875-9019)

Da Marco
Recommend chef Marco Wiles’s incomparable Italian food to friends and wait to be showered with thanks. They will cheer over lamb meatballs with black-truffle-infused honey. They will sigh over perfect panna cotta with saba. Mille grazie. 1520 Westheimer Rd., Houston (713-807-8857; Da Marco)

Café Pasqual
Even those who refuse to stand in line for anything queue up for heavenly chorizo burritos at this colorful spot. 121 Don Gaspar Ave., Santa Fe (505-983-9340; Café Pasqual)

Mi Nidito
Why go to the festive Mi Nidito? Bill Clinton can tell you. In one sitting, he put away a birria taco, a chicken enchilada, a bean tostada, a chile relleno, and a beef tamale. And for $12.50, you, too, can eat the “President’s Plate.” 1813 S. 4th Ave., Tucson (520-622-5081; Mi Nidito)

Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe
Kolaches in the morning; chicken potpies for lunch; and dive-right-in desserts—mini key lime tarts, Mexican chocolate cake—anytime at all. 249 E. Main St., Fredericksburg, TX (830-990-0498; Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe)

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