In 1971, I spent most of my Sunday mornings in a line around the original Herrera’s on Maple Avenue. My friends and I would sit under a dripping window AC unit for hours, waiting for our turn at one of the nine tables inside the tiny, lard-based Tex-Mex restaurant. Once seated, you popped open the six-pack of Coors you brought with you and watched founder Amelia Herrera hand-pat flour tortillas by the front door. The food was such a religious experience for me that, 17 years later, I got married at Herrera’s, which by then had moved into a bigger building across the street and expanded into more locations all over Dallas. Recently, they moved into a newer building down Maple. The interior is now a lot cleaner and fresher (although they need to go easy on the Pine Sol in the morning). The food hasn’t changed much. The list of combination plates is longer, but a No. 10 (guacamole tostada, cheese enchilada, cheese taco) and a No. 2B (two enchiladas smothered with bubbling chili con queso, rice, and beans) taste just as they did in 1971. Herrera’s still serves a great bowl of menudo on the weekends. But now it has a liquor license and also serves beer and margaritas. And though I don’t care much for the margaritas, each time I eat an enchilada at Herrera’s, I think of my wedding and the fact that the flavors have been faithful for 40 years. Which is more than I can say about my ex-husband.
For more information about Herrera’s Cafe, visit our restaurant guide.