Restaurants / Openings

Fort Worth’s Saucy Chef Expands Her Budding Enchiladas Restaurant Empire

Huge Grocery Store Deal is Also on Tap for the Queen of Enchiladas Olé

BY // 08.07.20

Mary Perez opened her newest Enchilada’s Olé location at 2418 Forest Park Boulevard at the end of February ― just weeks before coronavirus shuttered everything. She had closed her original restaurant at 901 N. Sylvania Avenue a few months prior to that big reveal.

You’d think an experience like that would make one a little skittish, but Perez and her new business partners, Derrek and Laura Drury, are blazing full-steam ahead. Now, they’re opening a new Enchiladas Olé location soon — in the space where Slim Chickens briefly roosted at 9005 N. Tarrant Parkway.

The new Fort Worth restaurant will be open by mid-September, and will mirror the brightly colored interior at the Forest Park Enchiladas Olé. That spot is this ownership trio’s prototype for future openings ― with splashes of turquoise and turmeric yellow, plus decor studded by colorful Mexican pottery and ceramics.

“We’re going from a mostly residential neighborhood setting to super commercial, and we’ll just have to make it work,” Perez tells PaperCity Fort Worth. The Tarrant Parkway Enchilada’s Olé will seat about the same 150 people inside, but its patio with be “huge” seating about 70 more.

And yet a third Enchiladas Olé is already in the works. It will be located in Southwest Fort Worth, just off the exploding Chisolm Trail Parkway, and could debut as early as January.

enchiladas-ole-interior
The colorful interior at the prototype Enchilada’s Olé, will set the tone for all others.

At Enchiladas Olé, it’s not all about the sauce. There’s also the beautiful platings, and farm-fresh ingredients . . . but c’mon. . . it’s a lot about the sauce. Take for instance the impeccable glossy mole draped over tender chicken enchiladas or Perez’s decadent hatch chile cream sauce that is spoon worthy. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

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Perez’ enchilada sauces are really the match that lit the fire for this budding restaurant chain, and they are about to become even easier to enjoy.

Central Market once sold a couple of her famous enchilada sauces (retail enchilada sauces in general are a rarity outside of can). Perez tells PaperCity, that plans are already in the works to bring those enchilada sauces, as well as her new ranchero salsa (one that diners are already raving about), back into stores at another major player. Contracts are in progress — and the big name may or may not begin with a “W.”

Soon, you’ll be able to pick up your choice of Perez’s verde, savory red, hatch cream, or queso enchilada sauces on a grocery shopping trip. The sauces and ranchero salsa will be manufactured by Fort Worth’s Renfro’s Foods, and should launched statewide this winter ― followed by global visions.

Perez and her staff quickly pivoted to packaging takeout family meals and other curbside pickup options during the dining room shutdowns. Those will continue and are part of the plan for Enchiladas Olé’s two new restaurants, too.

“Takeout and curbside are not going away any time soon,” Perez says. “I think those are part of everyone’s new restaurant model.”

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