In DFW’s sea of Tex-Mex restaurants, it can be hard for one to stand out amongst the seemingly endless crowd. While others attempt to find the latest gimmick to drive patrons through the doors, or cover their walls in neon advertising in an attempt to snag a potential customer’s attention, Fernando’s Mexican Cuisine takes an unusual approach in the fast paced culinary circuit; they perfect what they’ve got.
Before emigrating from Mexico City to Dallas in 1976, Fernando Padilla had never heard of a nacho, a chimichanga or a burrito.
Fast forward to 2019 and Padilla, along with his business partner, Anne Cowden, are the management team behind one of Dallas’ Tex-Mex institutions, Fernando’s Mexican Cuisine.
Fernando’s Mexican Cuisine located at the new upscale City Line development in Richardson is my new go-to when I’m craving tex-mex cuisine. The dining experience at Fernando’s knocked my socks off. Get the scoop on their fantastic menu below.
Fernando’s isn’t a hideaway, but it might be hard to find. Although the address is on Northwest Highway, the restaurant fronts the cross street, Midway Road. Owner Fernando Padilla brings a touch of Mexico City to traditional Tex-Mex, and his chic interior is a good fit for the upscale North Dallas neighborhood. After being out of the restaurant business for a decade, Mr. Padilla opened his own place. He had been a maitre d’ and general manager at Mario Messina’s Il Sorrento.
Ask Fernando Padilla why he would open two namesake restaurants and he’ll credit Il Sorrento — the legendary, now-torn-down Italian establishment from Mario Messina, where Padilla spent 12 years as maître d’ then general manager. “It’s a simple formula that I learned from Messina,” he says. “Offer great food in a great atmosphere.” And does he ever.
As printed by the Dallas Voice — Let’s face it: Members of the gay community have opinions on a lot of topics, but when it comes to brunch, we are experts. Heck, we practically invented the dishing-over-dishes paradigm that has become the default Sunday Funday activity in Dallas, if not every gaybohood in America. So when Dallas Voice readers vote for a best brunch, you know they know what they are talking about.
Drawing on his fine-dining background, Fernando Padilla created a casual Tex-Mex restaurant with a dash of upscale cuisine. “It’s the best of both worlds,” he says. The combination has made Fernando’s a neighborhood standby. This time of year, many patrons opt for a seat on the breezy patio, with abundant shade and a water feature, to enjoy traditional Tex-Mex fare such as enchiladas and fajitas. Continue reading “Delicious: Patio dining at Fernando’s — Advocate”
Please note that this location has closed.
This second location, on the top floor of the former Il Sole, offers a great view of the vibrant Travis Walk scene; it’s like dining in an elegant tree house. Slate floors, dark woods, and modern art further contribute to an utterly different feel from the Midway Road location, but the food remains the same. Looking for something new, we felt compelled to order the grilled tilapia napped with a white-wine- lemon-butter sauce with capers. However, our companion stayed true to Mexican cuisine, ordering the tortilla soup and the guacamole Acapulco (which has to be among the best in town). Also rumored to be top-notch are the Anita margaritas.