Restaurants / Openings

A Tex-Mex Spot From a James Beard-Honored Chef Hits the Spot in Preston Hollow

Chef Omar Flores' Muchacho and His Mango Margaritas Are an Instant Classic

BY // 08.05.21

Opened at the end of 2019, Muchacho Comida Tex-Mex was one of the many new restaurant openings that got quickly overshadowed by the onset of the pandemic. But this week, I finally booked a table at James Beard honored chef Omar Flores’ first Tex-Mex concept at Preston Center. And for those closer to the Southlake area, you’re in luck because there’s about to be a second Muchacho opening at Southlake Town Square.

Owner of Whistle Britches, which also just opened a new spot at Southlake Town Square, Flores always knew he wanted to open a Mexican restaurant. His Spanish concept, Casa Rubia, had shuttered in 2017 at Trinity Groves, but had also earned him several James Beard nods. Muchacho was a second shot at a new cuisine he wanted to try.

On a Wednesday evening, Muchacho was packed with diners enjoying frozen margaritas and glasses of wine on the patio, the main dining room, and seated at the wraparound bar. The space has an Old West feel with a giant longhorn head on the wall behind the bar. Originally from El Paso, Flores wanted the space to have a saloon-style feel. The space is filled with woods and leathers, a brick wall, and large chandeliers, but it’s all done with a modern touch, so don’t expect any sort of swinging saloon doors upon arrival.

Muchacho Dallas
Muchacho’s patio at the Plaza at Preston Center offers al fresco dining with heaters when the weather is cool. (Courtesy)

To start, the cocktail menu boasts eight kinds of margaritas.  The Ay Mami is a favorite with tequila blanco, mango puree, dry curacao, agave, lime, and a chile-lime salt. If you’re feeling really fancy, the Don Patron marg comes with Casa Dragones, ginger, tangerine, Grand Marnier Cuvee Luis Alexandre for $29. You’ll also find a few classic drinks like a paloma, ranch water, Old Fashioned, and the Oaxacan Daiquiri.

Make sure to order the smoked brisket sopes for an appetizer. It’s three crispy masa boats topped with black beans, chopped brisket, corn relish, queso fresco, and habanero salsa. If you came with a date, you might want to place two orders as you’ll be troubled by who gets the third — I unfortunately, but kindly surrendered it. Another popular (and lighter) choice is the ahi tuna taquitos with crushed avocado and serrano chile.

Muchacho’s menu includes Tex-Mex favorites, from enchiladas to tacos and fajitas. I went for the cornmeal dusted redfish tacos and was surprised at how filling they were. Topped with chile mayo, pickled cabbage slaw, and jalapeño salsa, you get quite a lot for the $20 price point.

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The mesquite grilled chicken fajitas (there are seven options including octopus and pork belly) are fresh and flavorful. Each plate includes rice and beans, guac, pico, sour cream, cheese, and flour tortillas, all of which can be ordered for one or four people.

Next time, I’ll definitely book a seat on the outdoor patio. Even when it gets cold, Muchacho has heaters (and plenty of margaritas available) to warm you up.

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