Eats Beat

New ‘Texican’ restaurant in Southlake updates familiar Tex-Mex flavors

In pro football, they talk about a ‘coaching tree” of head coaches who started under some great head coach.

In Texas, it helps to know your Tex-Mex trees.

Meso Maya evolved from El Fenix.

Cantina Laredo and dozens of small independent restaurants evolved from El Chico.

Mesero evolved indirectly from Mi Cocina and Mia’s in Dallas.

Now, there’s a new family tree.

Herencia Texican, open in the Shops of Southlake, evolved from Mi Chula’s, which was founded by former owners from Uncle Julio’s, some of whom came from Pappasito’s.

You can see the similarity: the roasted-tomato-chipotle table salsa and lighter chips, for example. or the popular prickly-pear margaritas from Mi Chula’s.

But Herencia is more “Texican” that the others, with a slightly Hill Country-lodge look and mesquite-grilled dishes like ribeye and sirloin steaks, grilled quall, pork ribs and even a grilled meatloaf with a tamal.

The red chile-chicken stacked enchiladas are one of the “Texican” dishes at Herencia Texican. Bud Kennedy

There’s also more of a West Texas flavor to the menu, with a New Mexico red-chile-chicken stacked enchilada plate or poblano chicken enchiladas.

Brisket has become a mandatory meat in Tex-Mex restaurants, and Herencia puts it in the queso blanco or on flour tacos with roasted poblano.

Appetizers include baked oysters in tequila-arbol with cotija, barbacoa-stuffed jalapenos or ceviche.

The lunch menu also offers tortas and some less expensive versions of dinner items.

One weekend soon, Herencia will launch brunch with breakfast tacos, huevos rancheros or stacked red chile cheese enchiladas.

Herencia is open for lunch and dinner daily at 1431 E. Southlake Blvd. in the corner next to Howard Wang’s facing Central Market; 817-873-8800,

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Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.