Enchilada Report: Avila’s in Dallas

The Anita at Avila's.

After the World Series, I asked you guys to tell me where to ease my depression by going face down in a plate of enchiladas. I took all of your suggestions to heart, but headed to one of my usual down-and-dirty favs, Escondido. As I drove down Maple, I passed Avila’s. I haven’t eaten there since the high-drama family feud that sent Ricky Avila to open Mextopia on Greenville erupted.

I’ve always liked Avila’s. One of my favorite things about the place is the smell that greets you when you open the door—fresh chopped jalapenos, onions, and cilantro. The “new” Avila’s, now run by one branch of the family, has an updated interior. The walls are a cheery blue and the enlarged Mexican Loteria cards hanging on said walls pop out like friendly greeters.

But grrrrrrrrr on the enchiladas! I ordered the “Anita’s”: one cheese enchilada, one soft cheese taco, and one meat taco. The ground beef in the hard shell taco was inedible, almost sour. The soft cheese taco was covered with a runny yellow queso that, save for the pickled jalapenos I threw on top, was void of flavor. Even an enchilada covered with a meaty chili sauce was bland. There were no crunchy onions in the center. No think gooey melted cheese oozing out. No comfort. Oh, and the guacamole was just a scoop of mashed avocado we had to dress with spoonfuls of salsa, salt, and lemon. The underlying lettuce was brown. I know they can do better than this, but next time I want to use up valuable calories, I will head to El Jordan or Escondido. Or, at this point, Mexico. So depressed.


  • JB

    Should’ve gone to Mexatopia if you wanted REAL Avila’s.

  • Beda

    I went to El Jordan yesterday for lunch to check out their enchildas after someone suggested it on your original post. Still prefer El Fenix.

  • PAG

    Hi Nancy, just wanted to clarify that the “branch” that you’re referring are the same people who opened and have worked at Avila’s since it’s inception in 1986. My sister was in charge of the kitchen for 18 years and returned after Ricardo allowed Peter to fire his brother Octavio and force his mother out earlier this year. There was never a “take over” rather a letter delivered to Ricardo notifying him that his managers were being fired. At the top of the list of reasons is the fact that employees were not being paid (one had not been paid for 6 weeks), customers were calling to say that their credit cards were being erroneously charged and there were accounts of the staff drinking and getting drunk throughout their shifts. Because Ricardo wasn’t not communicating with his family, the letter was delivered the day he went out of town.

    Upon reopening and since, customers have had nothing but positive things to say about the food. In fact, they’re glad that the temporary takeover by vulture outsider mgrs, who were given free reign by Ricardo, was put to an end.

    You’re experience at Avila’s is contrary to all of the feedback and compliments from customers telling us how the food tastes better than ever. Avila’s will be featured in Texas Monthly in December in an article about the best Mexican Food in Texas, was featured in September on the website popculturecuisine.com, was recently chosen Critic’s choice as best Mexican Food by the Dallas Observer, and will be mentioned inthe December issue of Garden and Gun.

    Interestingly the cheese does not look runny in the picture and onions have never been in the center of our enchiladas, only by request.

    There is no “new” Avila’s, it’s the same people who’ve been there throughout the years working their tails off.