Thursday, May 30, 2024 May 30, 2024
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Restaurant Review: Mi Dia From Scratch in Grapevine

Santa Fe-style stacked enchiladas and chef Gabriel DeLeon. Photography by Kevin Marple.

Over the last year, it seems all I’ve written about is regional Mexican food. In that time, Dallas has welcomed Alma, Komali, Mesa, Wild Salsa, BEE, and MesoMaya. The guajillo pepper has replaced the jalapeño, and mole is the new chili con carne. Long live huitlacoche!

Chef Gabriel DeLeon must be a little miffed by the trend. DeLeon comes from a family of chefs. His father worked at his uncle’s restaurant, Esparza’s Restaurante Mexicano in Grapevine, before going on to open La Margarita in Irving. When his father died in 1995, DeLeon took over La Margarita, where he has succeeded for 22 years. In 2009, though, DeLeon decided to open his own concept, a regional Mexican restaurant in Addison. Masaryk Modern Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Lounge was too early to the Mexican revolution. It closed after nine months. “Not having enough Tex-Mex at Masaryk was a real problem,” DeLeon says. He retreated to La Margarita and vowed he would never open another restaurant.

Stay with me for the best comeback story of the year.