Archive for the ‘History’ Category

How Certain Tex Mex Dishes Got Their Names

Even if you don’t speak Spanish, chances are, you can pronounce and understand a few Spanish words and phrases. And this can be handy when you’re ordering a meal in a Tex-Mex restaurant. After all, you don’t have to know exactly what “pico de gallo” means to know that it’s delicious and you’d like to order a bowl of it! But have you ever wondered how some of these foods got their names? Read the rest of this entry »

Why the Difference Between Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex Food Matters

Of course it does! If you live in California, you know the best Mexican food is in the Golden State. And if you live in Texas, you are just as convinced that the best Tex-Mex food comes from the Lone Star State.

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A Short History of the Taco in America

Each year, Americans consume over four billion tacos. That is enough tacos to extend to the moon and back again. The word taco in Spanish has a meaning roughly equivalent to the English word sandwich.

Dallas taco restaurant

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4 Fun Facts You Never Knew About Tex-Mex Food

Like many great cuisines, Tex-Mex has an interesting history. There are many facts about Tex-Mex food that may surprise you because, like most things, Tex -Mex and the way it has been prepared has changed over many years. Here are a few interesting, fun facts about Tex-Mex that you may not know.

Tex Mex restaurant Dallas

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What Your Tex Mex Restaurant Waiter Wishes You Knew

Let’s say you rarely visit a Tex Mex restaurant (we hope you’ll soon change your mind and visit Mattito’s more often!). So you may not know a lot about Tex Mex cuisine, how it differs (or doesn’t) from Mexican food.

So to help you enjoy your next visit to a Tex Mex restaurant even more – and to impress your waiter – we’ve put together a short primer on Tex Mex cuisine. Take a look below.

Dallas Tex Mex restaurant

Impress your server with your knowledge of Tex Mex cuisine.

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Trends in Tex Mex Cuisine

It’s generally hard to predict the future, but when it comes to Tex Mex cuisine, you can count on this today: it’s going to become ever more popular. (Orders for steak fajitas, in fact, increased by 30 percent on “March Madness” basketball game days in 2015.)

But what’s going on within Tex Mex cuisine itself? Take a look below for some trends we’ve discovered.

  1. People want to know where a Tex Mex dish “came from.”

While Tex Mex itself is a cuisine that came to the U.S. from Tejanos who emigrated from northern Mexico to Texas in the last couple of centuries, many Mexican/Tex Mex restaurants are now highlighting the province or state where a dish originally came from. This is supposed to make the dish more exotic (or at least interesting) to the diners.

Dallas Tex Mex restaurant

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A Short History of the Taco in America

Tacos have become so popular in the U.S. that it almost seems appropriate to change the well-known saying to “American as Mom, baseball and tacos.”

So how did this small meal of beef, beans, chicken, or fish, topped with shredded cheese, lettuce and tomato, spooned between the opening of a curved, crunchy, corn taco come to take over the American landscape?

Read below for a very short history of the taco in the U.S.

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Common Misconceptions and Myths About Tex Mex Food

When you think of Tex Mex food – or even Mexican food – do you think only of beans, tacos and fajitas?

Then your knowledge of Tex Mex/Mexican cuisine has some holes in it.

Read below for some common misconceptions or even myths about Mexican/Tex Mex foods.

Tex Mex Food Myths

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Menudo Done Right

Have you heard that menudo is, well, disgusting? Not tasty? Just plain ugh!?

If so, then you haven’t had menudo done right, because when menudo is cooked and made correctly – OMG! It’s heaven on earth.

We kid you not.

For the uninitiated, menudo is a traditional Mexican soup made primarily of – are you ready? – a cow stomach (tripe) broth that has red chili peppers as its base. The soup also includes chopped onions, lime and chopped cilantro. Crushed oregano and red chili peppers also often make their way into menudo. Read the rest of this entry »

Spanish Cuisine’s Influence on Tex Mex Food

That Tex Mex dish you enjoy so much at Mattito’s? You can thank Spain – partly – for it!

Tex Mex food actually comes to us from Mexico, but it wouldn’t be the food we love today without some influence from Spain.

How? Spain colonized Mexico through the early 1500s to 1821. Naturally, Spaniards brought their culture’s foods with them, influencing the cuisine of Mexico (while also being influenced by Mexico’s food).


Tex Mex cuisine comes to us, in part, from the days of Spanish control over Mexico.

The foods that would become known as Tex Mex, actually come from the Tejanos, who are Texans of Mexican descent. Tex Mex cuisine is a melding of native Spanish and Mexican foods.

Tex Mex food in the South Texas region of the state hasn’t changed much, having always been influenced by the foods found in Mexico’s northern states.

The cuisine started taking on a more Americanized flavor in the 1900s as it added more ingredients such as cheese and used meat as a main ingredient rather than as a side dish. reports that the first known usage of the term “Tex Mex” in reference to the cuisine was found in a 1963 article in New York Times Magazine. The terminology really took off, Wikipedia reports, when the well-known – and influential – food author Diana Kennedy discussed the difference between true Mexican food and Americanized Mexican food in her book (1972), The Cuisines of Mexico.

When the need strikes for great Tex Mex food – and believe us, we know how strong that need for a great taco, fajita, enchilada, burrito, or margarita can be when it strikes – get yourself over to the Mattito’s location nearest you for some delicious Tex Mex cuisine. Contact us today!

Photo courtesy Salvatore Vuono/

3102 Oaklawn Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 526-8181
6129 main street Frisco, TX 75034
(214) 872-3411 Hours: Mon-Thu 11:00am - 10:00pm Fri-Sat 11:00am - 11:00pm Categories: Mexican