If there are two cuisines Dallas-Fort Worth can never get enough of, it would be BBQ and Tex-Mex, and now there's a restaurant combining both. Called El Patio Mex-Tex Grill & Bar, it's a new concept opening in Lewisville that combines the flavors of the Mexican highlands with traditional Texas barbecue. Slam-dunk.
Located at The Realm at Castle Hills, at SH 121 and Windhaven Parkway, El Patio is from chef Salvador Hernandez, a native of Guadalajara whose major influences include the street cafés and food carts of Mexican highland cities, plus the Texas barbecue of his adopted state.
According to a release, El Patio opens September 15. In a statement, Hernandez says he's a champion both of authentic Mexican recipes and barbecue.
"The similarities of the bold flavors in both Texas and Mexican cuisine led me to create a menu with a blend of both strong styles — that is how the Mex-Tex idea was born," he says.
Meats will be prepared on open-fire grills or rotisseries, and use only pecan and hickory woods in the restaurant's custom smoker. He's also dedicated to cooking with fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
The menu is divided into three categories: Mex, Tex, and Mex-Tex.
The Mex portion features dishes such as trompo al pastor, prepared street-style: live-fired and presented tabletop as an adorable mini-rotisserie with housemade tortillas, grilled pineapple, and a duo of salsas.
Hernandez' take on Mexican street nachos are called volcanes and feature corn tortillas topped with Mexican cheese, guacamole, crema, and choice of carne asada, al pastor pork, roasted chicken, or brisket smoked in-house.
The Tex portion features a brisket sandwich with barbecue rub, ancho chile caciotta cheese, and a rustic bread, with barbecue sauce. Texas wedge salad is topped with pecans, mozzarella, oranges, Shiner Bock onion rings, and a ruby red vinaigrette.
The Mex-Tex options include guacamole with rib-eye chicharrons, and pork belly carnitas with tortillas, habanero-pickled red onion slaw, Mexican rice, and salsas.
Cocktails include: mango-chamoy margarita, grilled pineapple mojito, chocolate abuelita martini, and "paleta shots," which the release describs as a grown-up version of the traditional Mexican popsicle.
Hernandez is also executive chef at The Lakes at Castle Hills, a private golf course and country club, and he'll continue to lead that team. Both The Lakes at Castle Hills and The Realm at Castle Hills are Bright Realty developments.
El Patio will open with social distancing and extra cleaning precautions including an air filtration system that recycles the air 12 times per hour and has a complete air change every five minutes when the bar windows are closed.
Hours will be Monday-Friday, 11 am-9 pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 10 am–9 pm.
The Realm at Castle Hills, a 324-acre mixed-use development consisting of office, retail, and multi-family, and restaurants.