One of the pleasures of living in South Florida and the West are the small neighborhood restaurants featuring regional cuisines. So in Dallas, searching for something more inventive near Love Field, we discovered Gloria's Latin Cuisine, whose menu blends Salvadorean specialties and Tex-Mex fare and their cross-over, called "Salvatex." That means meats carefully marinaded in aromatic spices before grilling, additions of yuca, Spanish rice, grilled vegetables and sweet fried plaintains along with the traditional Southwestern fare that includes tacos, enchiladas, beans and pico de gallo. Salvadorean food is distinctive for its Mayan, Spanish and Native American influences.
And, owing to the universally favorite beverage, last year Gloria's won a "best Margaritas" award, which our team, after a full day of client work on several return visits, happily is able to vouch for.
Representing one of the "American Dream" stories, Gloria and her soon to be husband Jose Fuentes both fled the civil war in El Salvador as teenagers in the late '70s and met in Houston. Soon they moved to Dallas to work in a Salvadorean restaurant that her sister owned - and today they have 17 locations across Texas - spacious, busy, with large portions super reasonably priced, reflecting the family-owned and personal familiarity that greets you each time.
Whenever the Lemon Garlic Red Fish was available as a special, that was my first choice. The moist, sweet, flaky fish from the Gulf of Mexico is similar to grouper (which I always order on the East Coast when it's available). And note the addition of the grilled shrimp and vegetables. Nothing like indigenous fish varieties artfully prepared.
If you're in Texas, check to see if a Gloria's is near you - always tasty, lively yet comfortable and definitely something to write home about (which I've just done).