To see what’s cooking in Allen, head north on 75 and take a left on McDermott Drive, where a slew of restaurants has sprouted to meet the needs of this little boomtown nook. There’s pizza and Pei Wei and, for safe Tex-Mex, Ricardos, a mom-and-pop joint that serves fajitas and margaritas with clean-scrubbed good cheer.
If the name sounds familiar, that’s because there have been other Ricardos in past years, owned by Richard Galvan. This one comes from his son Kevin, who owns the restaurant with his wife Jenny. Kevin worked for his father, then Houston’s and Pei Wei, experiences that gave him a proclivity for tasteful décor (including showpiece vases and stucco walls), and an awareness of basic customer service.
With nachos and combo plates, the menu doesn’t stray far from the path blazed by his ancestors. He brags that his recipes go back four generations. The best seller is tacos al carbon, with chicken or beef, rolled inside massive tortillas that spill off the edge of the plate in an irresistible display of plenty.
Ricardos’ attempts at fancier stuff weren’t worth the splurge. The “jumbo” shrimp on the camerones de Ricardos looked more like medium, and their mushy texture might have firmed up if they’d lingered under the broiler another minute or two. Pollo en crema had the same rice and sour cream sauce as the shrimp, but instead of the whole breast you might expect from a $10 entrée, this used the same grilled strips used in the tacos, fajitas, and nachos.
Consolation can be found in the gratifyingly big margaritas, served in water glasses with lots of ice, and in the crumbled cookie sundae, like an ice cream cake with a cookie crust—a recipe of Jenny’s. (You show ’em, girl!) 1328 W. McDermott Dr., Allen. 972-359-9897. $$.
F & margaritas. —T. G.