A new neighborhood restaurant has opened on the border of Dallas and Mesquite: Called Mezquite Dining, it's an unpretentious family-owned spot that combines the region's most essential cuisines: Southern home cooking, Tex-Mex, and burgers.
The restaurant is located in a modest strip center at 4331 Gus Thomasson Rd., north of I-30 and just east of Casa View Heights. Owner Oudulia Herrera, who is the nicest lady in the world, says that opening Mezquite required overcoming a few challenges.
"I was working with a cook, we got together and created the menu," she says. "But he had to leave for another opportunity, and I wasn't sure whether I could move forward. Fortunately, he came back and we were able to open."
They're making almost everything from scratch and have received raves for the freshness of their food, good ingredients, and all-day breakfast. The food has the wholesome quality of homemade, but with the polish you get from restaurant food. They tend to little details like making their own chips for the chips and salsa.
The menu is a combination of American and Mexican classics, and Herrera is also a proficient baker.
"We do an American-style breakfast but with some Mexican breakfast items, too," she says. "We make our own biscuits, which people have loved. I'm also planning to start baking my own rolls. I need to install another line in the kitchen."
She does eggs benedict, waffles, pancakes, and French toast, with sides such as fried potatoes and fresh fruit, alongside Mexican breakfast dishes such as chilaquiles and "eggs quesadilla," with steak, scrambled eggs, onions, and brunch potatoes on a 12-inch flour tortilla.
Appetizers include queso flameado, made with jack cheese, rajas, bell peppers, and choice of fajita beef or chicken; and spinach queso with white cheese, served with pita bread. You can also get nachos with choice of fajita beef or chicken, plus refried beans, queso, and jalapenos.
Sandwiches range from tacos to diner classics like a BLT and a Philly steak sandwich. There are three well-rated burgers, including one with BBQ sauce, bacon, and cheddar cheese; and the signature Herrera burger with 6 and 1/2 ounces of beef, chorizo, ricotta cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and onion.
"That's the burger that I used to cook for my children on their birthday parties, you can get it with a fried egg," she says.
Salads are pretty upscale, including a Caesar; a Southwestern with corn and black beans;, and a salad with arugula, kale, and fruits including mango and apples.
She also does a dozen entrees including fajitas, an extreme burrito, salmon with rice, rib eye steak with caramelized onions and asparagus, and chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes.
For Herrera, Mezquite represents the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of opening her own restaurant. "I've worked in a number of fields over the years, but I've always liked to cook for people and wanted to work in a place where I can serve people," she says.