State Fair Winner Opens New Tex-Mex Grill in Dallas

An award-winning Texas retailer and restaurant has opened a new concept featuring Tex-Mex and smoked meats.

Call AG TexicanIt’s a new restaurant from Abel Gonzales that debuted at 7101 Harry Hines Blvd. It is open for breakfast and lunch from Monday to Saturday.

Gonzalez, world-famous for scoring repeat wins at the Texas State Fair’s annual Big Tex Awards, previously opened an Italian restaurant on the same site, but COVID-19 affected the business and closed in March 2021.

“We’ve been through hard times during COVID-19,” he says. “We closed our doors for a while to wait for that and then decided to take the opportunity to re-do it all and see what we want to do. Italian food hasn’t really worked in this neighborhood, so we said, ‘Let’s make something different.'”

In addition to learning a lesson many restaurants have learned before him – that Italian can be a real challenge in Dallas – he also knew he wanted to be open only for breakfast and lunch.

“That’s when most of the work in this field comes in,” he says.

Gonzalez, a longtime state fair vendor best known in 2010 for his award-winning fried butter, is also a hospitality connoisseur with a catering company who grew up in the restaurant industry, working in the kitchen of his father’s restaurant, AJ Gonzales’ Mexican Oven, in the West End. Abel also previously owned a restaurant on Ross Street called Republic Farm; The space is now home to XOXO, a pink favorite for girls’ night out.

But his signature cuisine has always been barbecue and Texas food.

He enjoys making creative combinations of breakfast tacos—chorizo ​​and eggs, potatoes and eggs, beans and bacon—as well as gourmet buns with toppings like fresh strawberries.

Lunch includes Tex-Mex classics such as quesadillas with a choice of brisket, pork, steak, chicken, grilled veggies, or cheese; Gorditas and Flotas. torta with a choice of smoked ham or smoked breast; And sides like cilantro rice, bacon beans, and jalapeno potato salad.

There’s also a daily special for $10 to $12, with options like half smoked chicken and smoked pepper rellenos.

During the holidays, they made a dry run tamales, with fillings that included smoked brisket, smoked ham, green chile chicken, turkey and tamales. They sold like crazy.

Smoked meats are a big part of that concept, Gonzalez says.

“It’s just a place for breakfast and lunch, but we do smoked brisket, ham and sausage, so you can have a morning taco with regular sausage or smoked sausage, or a smoked breast taco with a fried egg,” he says. “It’s that irresistible combination of Texas and Mexican food.”

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