Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 2: Cuquita's

Cuquitas-chicken-burrito.jpg
Chicken burritos at the Spring Valley Road location.

Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

The greatest disservice to Dallas' culinary scene in recent memory was the closure of the original location of Cuqita's in 2008. The Henderson Avenue Mexican restaurant was open late, served great food and earned the affection of everyone with a penchant for refried beans.

While loosing the original location of a restaurant can really take the fire out of your salsa, the satellite locations remain open. Your disappointment need only last as long as it takes to drive to the outer edges of Dallas, or Garland, or Farmers Branch. As soon as you open the door and take one breath of masa-tinged air you'll feel just fine, and the food will be more than enough to keep your spirits lifted until you are safe at home again.

Who knew casual Mexican food could have such brightness, that burritos didn't have to be the size of your forearm and stuffed with so many ingredients each is lost in the noise? They're garnished with iceberg lettuce, which will remind you that we shouldn't shun the lowly salad green as much as we do -- it adds crunch and coolness to every bite it joins.

Who knew that a bowl of pozole could be this dark and mysterious and taste this good? Or that tortillas in restaurants such as these could be handmade? They're light and fluffy and arrive in a basket, gratis, along with the requisite salsa and chips. Grab a pat of butter and slather it over the tortilla while it's still fresh from the griddle. Now roll the glistening tortilla into a long cigar, and dip it into the viscous salsa that's warm in both spice and temperature. Take a bite. Things have changed now haven't they?

You're just a little more pissed off the original Cuquita's is no longer with us.

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Pasole at the Josey Lane location.
No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's
No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co.
No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint
No. 47: Taj Chaat House
No. 46: Mot Hai Ba
No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot
No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen
No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 42: Mughlai
No. 41: Russian Banya
No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen
No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria
No. 38: Carbone's
No. 37: Babe's
No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo
No. 35: Zaguan
No. 34: Royal Sichuan
No. 33: Spoon
No. 32: Bambu
No. 31: Pecan Lodge
No. 30: FT33
No. 29: Keller's Drive-In
No. 28: La Pasadita
No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern
No. 26: El Ranchito
No. 25: Cafe Urbano
No. 24: Nova
No. 23: Jeng Chi
No. 22: Omi
No. 21: Tei-An
No. 20: Jonathon's Oak Cliff
No. 19: Yutaka and Sharaku
No. 18: Local
No. 17: Ibex
No. 16: Pakpao
No. 15: Chennai Cafe
No. 14: Smoke
No. 13: Nonna
No. 12: Kuby's
No. 11: Sushi Sake
No. 10: La Banqueta
No. 9: Kalachandji's
No. 8: Mesa
No. 7: Teppo
No. 6: Stampede 66
No. 5: Crossroads Diner
No. 4: Bolsa
No. 3: Lalibela

Location Info

Cuquita's

8076 Spring Valley Road, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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18 comments
gabe
gabe

Has anyone tried the new Gas Monkey Grill?  Good burgers and brisket........great cars on display!

DigDog
DigDog

Been to the one in Farmers Branch 3 times....twice with peeps from work and once with my wife....all three times at lunch time.....they don't treat gringos well....my wife grew up in San Antonio and will never go back....she loves her feeling of comraderie she has from growing up in SA but said that the blatant racism that the staff at Cuqita's showed, outside of the manager who apologized, left such a feeling of disdain that she could never return in good conscience...my friends from work found the atmosphere not friendly nor the food to their liking....I like the food and would have to go there alone to enjoy it....maybe one day....

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Great caldo de res and menudo. Cuquitos and El Taquito are my favorite Tex Mex. Nice list. Interesting, varied and deep.

runDMC
runDMC

I know there is a reason that #7 and #3 are missing.

Isn't there? Prime numbers? Lucky numbers? Scott's birth age? I.Q.?

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

Scott, you need to re-check your spellcheck on the last line. Cuquta's?

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

School marm types on the internet are f_ _ _  annoying.

G_David
G_David

Miss the Henderson location.  A lot.  Also, I've never understood why "lose" and "loose" are so difficult for most of the population.

CitizenKane
CitizenKane

Nice write up; thanks for putting Cuquita's back on my radar....................

scott.reitz
scott.reitz moderator

@runDMC 37, you got it.  Just cut and paste errors, but thanks for the catch.  Can't believe there's only one more to go. This list has been a lot of fun to put together.

runDMC
runDMC

@scott.reitz @runDMC You know lists generally suck, but I like your idea of "interesting". If I know the resto, then I have agreed with you on its inclusion. And the ones I don't know seem, well, interesting.

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