Eats Beat

There’s no sign yet, but don’t pass up the Tex-Mex at the new Nelda’s

Nelda’s Cantina replaced a steakhouse and burger grill in Pantego.
Nelda’s Cantina replaced a steakhouse and burger grill in Pantego.

A decade ago, south Arlington and Mansfield fell in love with Nelda’s.

Now, years after the restaurant moved and closed, Nelda’s is back.

Nelda’s Cantina is open in Pantego, bringing first-rate Tex-Mex combos, street tacos and specialties to 2230 W. Park Row Drive in the Village Park shopping center next to David’s Barbecue.

Moving into a former steakhouse and burger grill, Nelda’s didn’t even have its sign up yet last week. If you were looking, you had to find a small sign like you’d put up for a garage sale.

Nothing was small about the flavor inside. Nelda’s shined with an enchilada combo and a crispy taco, and the big menu gives hope for a contemporary Tex-Mex restaurant in Pantego.

Nelda’s serves basic Tex-Mex with all kinds of surprises. What other restaurant makes fish tacos with Yuengling-fried cod? Or serves elote as an optional side dish?

The old Nelda’s was particularly known for steaks and fish dishes, and the new location is already getting kudos for the ceviche, the snapper Veracruz and the chipotle shrimp enchiladas.

There’s also a stacked red cheese enchiladas platter and a chicken breast stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, chorizo and onion.

Nelda’s is open for lunch and dinner daily except Mondays; 817-617-2424.

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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.