Former Tejano

El Corazon de Tejas in Oak Cliff opens softly, with seductive mole on menu


Corazon de Tejas, Cuellar
Photo by Teresa Gubbins
Corazon de Tejas, Cuellar
Photo by Teresa Gubbins
Corazon de Tejas, Cuellar
Photo by Teresa Gubbins
Corazon de Tejas, Cuellar
Courtesy photo
Corazon de Tejas, Cuellar
Photo by Teresa Gubbins
Corazon de Tejas, Cuellar
Photo by Teresa Gubbins
Chocoflan at El Corazon de Tejas in Dallas
Photo by Teresa Gubbins
Corazon de Tejas, Cuellar
Photo by Teresa Gubbins
Corazon de Tejas, Cuellar
Photo by Teresa Gubbins

El Corazon de Tejas has been a dining institution in Oak Cliff since 1955. Previously a branch of El Chico's, it became Tejano in 1978. In February, owners Susan and John Cuellar rebranded the restaurant by updating the menu and renovating the space.

The menu still has a selection of Tejano favorites but also features new dishes, including beef tongue, fajitas and these chicken enchiladas topped with mole sauce. "I have three friends who say the mole is the best mole they've ever eaten," Susan says.

The enchiladas come with rice, beans and a small salad, with salsa on the side.

A large mural of a beautiful girl in a sombrero covers an entire wall; it's designed to look like a 1930s travel poster. Her shirt represents one that belonged to John's mother.

Also new on the menu: a range of fajitas that includes not just beef and chicken but also a vegetarian version, with onion, bell pepper and extra-thick slices of grilled portobello mushroom. A whole jalapeño, grilled until soft, serves as a garnish.

Fajitas come with guacamole and pico de gallo.

Designers Ann Spicer and Peggy Jones changed the restaurant's color palette by painting the walls a warm coral color. The chandelier was a legacy from the restaurant's Tejano days.

Complimentary chips and salsa are served in a DIY format: The salsa comes in a small pitcher, which you pour into the bowl yourself.

New desserts at El Corazon de Tejas include this choco-flan, made from a recipe by manager Mariana Cuellar, whose father was an original partner in Tejano until his death.

Exterior sign with the new El Corazon de Tejas logo.

El Corazon de Tejas makes its own flour tortillas.