Chiladas Fresh Mex Grill Opens in Dallas Today

Chicken with sour cream sauce, carnitas with verde sauce, and brisket with queso (photos by Kyle Pennington)
Chicken with sour cream sauce, carnitas with verde sauce, and brisket with queso (photos by Kyle Pennington)

Chiladas, a family owned company, officially opens its second location today on Lovers Ln. The first is located in Plano at 6145 Windhaven Pkwy.

Owners Night Keyes (with Williamson Family Investments) and Katie Day greeted customers and media members at a preview yesterday, and encouraged them to try everything on the menu as they stepped up to the counter to order. I was invited as a guest.

Keyes and Day said they chose this location in order to appeal to the surrounding neighborhood. Located right off the Dallas North Tollway, the colorful and inviting patio is sure to draw in customers from the high traffic area.

(L to R) Travis Strate (operations), Night Keyes (CEO), and Katie Day (marketing)
(L to R) Travis Strate (operations), Night Keyes (CEO), and Katie Day (marketing)

“All of our concepts so far have patios, and we offer happy hours and we have a great kids’ menu,” Day said. “We’re a lot about the community and bringing people together. We want to be a place that people can come together.”

Williamson Family Investments, which also owns the regional chain TaMolly’s, has been in the Mexican food business since the 80s and has stayed true to the method of always cooking from scratch. The fast-casual concept of Chiladas was developed in order to continue serving the freshest ingredients, but in a smaller and more accessible environment.

Chiladas prides itself on knowing the source of the produce and has developed a menu, with the help of Chef Chris King, to offer guests thought-out dishes with complementary pairings.

“We chop all our own vegetables and we take our own flank steak, trim it, and marinate it in house,” Keyes said. “We are very proud of our menu.”

Compared to places like Chipotle, Chiladas provides each guest with chef-prepared dishes instead of the experience of walking down the line to pick and choose the meal. It might not sound as fast-casual as Chipotle, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quick and friendly service. I’m a big fan of Chipotle’s chips and guacamole, but Chiladas’ loaded guacamole with bacon was definitely the highlight of my experience.

Although the restaurant is modern and taqueria-style compared to the traditional chain TaMolly’s, Chiladas’ menu doesn’t fail to include authentic, hand-rolled enchiladas. Choose three of the four options: brisket, carnitas, chicken, or cheese for $7.75.

Sauces and salad dressings are homemade from scratch including an avocado buttermilk ranch and toasted cumin and cilantro vinaigrette. Chiladas also offers delivery services to surrounding areas and a catering menu.

Loaded guac
Loaded guac with bacon and tomatoes
Chiladas interior
Chiladas interior

Marley Dablo is the culinary intern at D Magazine. She will be an online journalism senior at the University of Oklahoma this coming fall. She plans to attend culinary school upon graduation in hopes of combining her writing and kitchen skills to ultimately have her own cooking show one day.



  • dutch

    the burning question though is what did they do about the rat infestation that has plagued that building for years?

  • Karen Pierre

    What about the HUGE lack of parking??? Or the gridlock on Lovers Lane on the weekends?

    • Steve

      What are they supposed to do, build a parking garage?

  • TLS

    Katie Day needs to do a better job of marketing. I could walk to the Plano location, I live so close, but I haven’t heard one word about the place. I’ve driven by the empty patio countless times but there hasn’t been any buzz around here to know if the place is good or not.

  • Steve

    Well-written, Marley! To-the-point, didn’t open with a self-aggrandizing “first the earth cooled” history of YOUR tastes, succinct.

  • wbg

    Let’s hope the food is better than the name = ridiculous

  • dkv

    damn, hard crowd today. Food looks good and it’s nice to have an option other than Chips. Will have to check it out this weekend.

  • todd

    For anyone wondering, the address is 4448 Lovers Lane, Dallas, TX. Lovers is a pretty long street and I’d hate for anyone to be aimlessly cruising it while looking for this place.

    • twinwillow

      That would make it the old Mango Thai location.