A Tex-Mex restaurant in Garland that was on the market has new owners dedicated to keeping it alive. Dos Banderas has been serving enchiladas, fajitas, and other classics in Garland's downtown district at 614 Main St. for 17 years, and is now under the guidance of Matt Archer and Amber Kubacak, who plan to retain its original spirit but with some refreshing updates.
The restaurant has been a Garland staple with dependable Tex-Mex, good prices, daily specials, and attentive service.
The menu includes an array of quesadillas including mushroom and spinach, plus flautas, stuffed jalapenos, and five kinds of nachos.
"We've got regulars who've been coming to the restaurant for 17 years," Amber says. "We have people who tell us 'Don't change the food,' but we've had just as many say that change is overdue and they're ready for something new. We're trying to be careful to please all of our customers."
An easy way to rotate in some changes is on their menu of specials, with dishes such as a chorizo burger, a 1/3-pound patty with chorizo and beef, cooked with onion and jalapeno and topped with both cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and mayo on a toasted bun, plus a side of seasoned fries.
"We're really enhancing the food and making it a little more heavy on the 'Tex' part," she says.
That includes the addition of smoked meats, which figure in dishes such as their brisket chile relleno, filled with brisket and jack cheese, served with rice, refried beans, and sliced avocado; and brisket chilaquiles, with brisket and eggs, in choice of ranchero or tomatillo sauce.
"We're doing a Tex-Mex lasagna — different dishes that you typically don't see at a Tex-Mex restaurant," she says.
They have some fresh-looking salads such as the Bandera salad, almost like a deconstructed Cobb, with lettuce, diced tomato, bacon, chicken, and avocado.
They also serve breakfast, opening at 8 am Monday-Saturday.
Beyond the new dishes, they've upgraded the quality of their existing items such as their margaritas, which are now made with fresh lime juice instead of mixers. And they've done some big improvements to the space, including paint, new floor, and new lighting — right in line with the long-awaited revitalization of Downtown Garland, designed to bring new energy to the Downtown Square, which began in December 2021.
"We want to stay one step ahead and be a part of the newly renovated square," Amber says.