100 Favorite Dishes, No. 46: Beef Fajitas From Mariano's

Still sizzlin' fajitas at Mariano's
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

I'm blown away when Tex-Mex restaurants serve fajitas on a regular dinner plate. It doesn't happen that often, but it does, and they arrive still and lifeless. There is no sizzle. There is no joy.

It's almost worse when fajitas arrive on an iron plate with the same lack of gusto. Perhaps one onion in the corner bubbles from beneath a piece of steak. It does nothing to elevate the plate.

Metal plates need to arrive searing hot, their contents belching smoke and steam to announce fajita time. It's not just theatrics, either. All that heat caramelizes onions and peppers, adding sweet and burnt flavors that are essential to good fajitas.

And that's just how they arrive at Mariano's. Screaming in your face, "I dare you to eat me." Your waiter might warn you the plate is hot, which adds a touch of comedy to your evening. Steak, wilted onions, guacamole and a tortilla that was pulled off the griddle moments ago? These are very good fajitas, hermano.

No. 100: Pastrami Egg Rolls at Blind Butcher
No. 99: Chicken-fried Steak at Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 98: Pasta with Uni Butter at Nonna
No. 97: Camarón en Agua Chile at La Palapas
No. 96: The Wings at Lakewood Landing
No. 94: Chicken Kebab at Afrah
No. 93: Trompo Tacos at Bachman Lake
No. 92: Fish and Chips at 20 Feet
No. 91: Canelés at Village Baking Co.
No. 90: Banh Mi from La Me
No. 88: The Burgers at Off-Site Kitchen
No. 87: The White Album at Spoon
No. 86: Ramen at Tei An
No. 85: Tacos at Revolver Taco
No. 84: Stuffed Chicken Wings at Sakhuu
No. 83: Korean Fried Chicken at Bonchon
No. 82: Grilled Branzino at Tei Tei Robata
No. 81: The Toddfather at Cattleack Barbecue
No. 80: The Biryanis at Chennai
No. 79: Shish Tawook at Qariah
No. 78: Arepes at Zaguan
No. 77: Goat Momo at Everest Restaurant
No. 76: Steak Tartar at Gemma
No. 75: Escabeche at Joyce and Gigi's
No. 74: Spicy Fish in Oil at Royal Sichuan
No. 73: Pupusas at La Pasadita
No. 72: The Kathi Roll at Simply Dosa
No. 71: The Chicken Wings at Teppo
No. 70: Cheesesteak at Truck Yard
No. 69: Chicken and Waffles at Jonathon's
No. 68: Birria Tacos at Los Torres Taqueria
No. 67: Bulgogi Cheesesteak at Say Kimchi
No. 66: Suadero Tacos at La Banqueta
No. 65: Brian Luscher's Post Oak Red Hot
No. 64: Banana Flower Salad at Mot Hai Ba
No. 63: Cinco Leches Cake At Mesero Miguel
No. 62: Cabrito a la Parilla at El Ranchito
No. 61: Reuben at Kuby's
No. 60: Plain Cheese Pizza Cooked Extra Crispy at Zoli's
No. 59: Enmoladas at Mesa
No. 58: Pig's Head at CBD Provisions
No. 57: Rib "Sandwich" at Baby Back Shak
No. 56: Beef Noodle Soup at Monkey King
No. 55: The Nachos at Spiral Diner
No. 54: Elotes, Everywhere
No. 53: The Popeye At Green Grocer
No. 52: The Cuban at International Bakery
No. 51: Rush Patisserie's Croissant
No. 50: Kitfo From Sheba's Ethiopian Kitchen
No. 49: Beer at Craft and Growler
No. 48: Pastor Tacos at El Rincon
No. 47: Banh Mi From Nammi

Location Info

Mariano's Hacienda

6300 Skillman St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Mariano's has the best veggie fajitas I've ever had.  I love to get the beef with the veggie to give it extra flavor.  


Without a doubt the best beef fajitas I've ever eaten in a restaurant.  Melt-in-your-mouth tender and marinated to perfection.  The rest of the food is top-notch as well, but I rarely can bring myself to order anything else.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Love Marianos, fajitas are great and so are the puffy tacos.  This trend of lunch fajitas coming out on a typical dinner plate with no steam or sizzle is bullshit

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