Divey or pricey, chef-prepared or mom-and-pop-cooked, Mexican food has always reigned supreme as Fort Worth’s favorite.
So it’s cause for celebration when a new Mexican restaurant opens. The arrival of Trevino’s Comida Mexicana is doubly celebratory, since it took so long — nearly a year — for Bertha and Louie Trevino to open this tiny spot, their second self-named North Texas restaurant (the first, L. Trevino’s, opened in Rockwall in 1988). Parking and code woes finally ironed out, Trevino’s opened last month, in a converted office building on Montgomery Street.
With its bare-bones facade, Trevino’s may not look like much from the outside, or from the inside, for that matter. A flat-screen TV and a few pieces of artwork are the extent of the design in this one-room restaurant. The family is clearly focusing its energy on the food, with strong results. During two visits, we found traditional dishes dotted with enough flair to make Trevino’s stand out among Fort Worth’s throng of Mexican restaurants.
A good example: the layered fajita dip ($7.50), a small bowl of melted sharp American cheese, still steaming when it hit our table. When we scraped the bottom of the bowl with crisp tortilla chips, we turned up tangles of tender beef that were so good, we wished we’d ordered the fajitas as an entree.
But we were happy with chalupas compuestas ($9.95), where we found other nice surprises. Instead of the usual corn tortilla shells, the bases were made of flour tortillas, deep-fried until they were crisp and crunchy, with lightly singed edges. Since the dish consisted only of two chalupas, we were afraid it wouldn’t be enough food. But stacked with layers of sliced, grilled chicken breast, creamy refried beans, queso and sour cream, they were plenty filling.
The chalupas came topped with scoops of guacamole brandishing a smooth, pudding-like texture and bright flavor. We were surprised to see that the restaurant also serves a chunkier guacamole, tricked out with pico, which turned up as a side on the excellent Acapulco ($9.95), a beef-tip stew consisting of sliced meat tips, silk-soft and devoid of fat, plus sliced zucchini, corn, carrots, tomatoes and cubed, fried potatoes; served with refried beans and slightly tangy rice, this was a good, hearty dish.
Tortilla soup ($3.95) was less impressive. We loved the diced carrots and generous slices of avocados. Too bad the tortilla strips had turned to mush, floating in the broth like wet blankets; the broth itself suffered from too much salt.
Camarones Cozumel ($15.95) allowed us to sample enchiladas and shrimp, two of the restaurant’s signature items. The focal point of the dish was the half-dozen small shrimp, soaked in a tomato-based white wine sauce that was as rich as it was enjoyable. Also terrific was the single chicken enchilada, packed with shredded chicken that had a clean, simple taste. Tightly wound around the chicken was a sturdy corn tortilla, and draped on top was a blanket of warm, rich sour cream sauce.
For dessert, we tried the sopapillas ($3.95), served four to an order. Instead of the usual puffy, hollow, sugar-coated pastries, these were small with doughy layers, like baklava, and streaked with honey and cinnamon. It wasn’t what you’d expect. This tiny place is full of big surprises.