A new restaurant in North Dallas serving Honduran food is already winning over diners, even during these dining-challenged times. Called HonduMaya Cuisine, it's in a modest shopping center at 13531 Montfort Dr., not far from the Galleria Dallas mall, where it's serving dishes such as whole fried fish with plantains and other authentic Honduran favorites.
HonduMaya is family-owned and run, says Nelly Montes, whose parents, Ethell Fajardo and Wilfredo Montes, opened the restaurant just as COVID-19 arrived.
"It's not what we expected, but we've pulled through," she says.
They've prevailed through the shutdown and the current 50 percent capacity limitation as prescribed by the state of Texas thanks to a brisk takeout, especially at breakfast and lunch, when their generous plates and affordable prices go a long way.
Their success lies not only in their unique cuisine, but also in the fact that the food is fresh and carefully prepared, with a tidy, modern dining room and a staff that goes above and beyond.
Their signature item is a popular street food called baleadas, which consist of a thick tortilla stuffed with refried red beans, Honduran cream, and crumbled cheese.
"That's the basic version but you can also customize it by adding other things," Montes says. "For breakfast, you can add scrambled eggs with avocado, pork chop, fajitas, even chorizo. It's our comfort food, we eat that for breakast, lunch, and dinner."
They also make their own tortillas, which really ups the game.
Another Honduran specialty is pollo con tajadas. "It's fried chicken with fried plantain chips, but you kind of mix it all together — it's a popular dish," she says.
They do a form of empanada they call pastelitos or meat pie. "They're filled with ground beef, rice, and potato, and come with a signature cabbage salad with pickled onion, tomato sauce, and our house dressing," Montes says.
They also do a Honduran seafood soup called sopa de marisco, like a tropical bouilliabaise with crab, shrimp, fish, and vegetables including squash, green and red bell pepper, and yucca. "Our seafood soup sets us apart from other Central Americans because we add coconut milk in it and honestly it taste better that way as well," she says.
Montes notes that Honduran food, while loaded with spices and herbs, is neither hot nor spicy. "Unlike Mexican food, we don't use a lot of spicy ingredients," she says. "We do use spices and condiments so that the food has a lot of flavor."
And while Honduran food is the theme, they offer non-Honduran dishes for those not ready to step out, including carne asada and their own version of nachos with black beans. There's even a very American-sounding entree called Will's Plate, featuring 12-ounce ribeye with choice of mashed or baked potato, mixed vegetables or asparagus, and house salad.
"Will is my dad, and that's his favorite American dish," Montes says. "My parents' idea was to have enough variety that anyone could find something they like."