Cafe Reviewed: Wednesday, May 09, 2002
Tor-tell-a Friend

Good word of mouth has helped Posados Café grow into a Texican landmark.


Posados Café

6770 Fossil Bluff Dr, FW. 817-232-2966.Mon-Thu 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-11pm.

Trying to elbow your way into Tarrant County’s Tex-Mex market is like trying to hawk sand and cacti roadside in the Rio Grande Valley. Fort Worth’s landscape is overrun with advertisements for tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, margaritas — everything, anything Texican.

You’ve almost got to have a gimmick to get folks in the door — and dollar margarita night just isn’t the whole enchilada of marketing tricks these days.

Posados rejected goofy advertising campaigns and decided to draw business the old-fashioned way: by serving plenty of good food in a pleasant atmosphere and waiting for satisfied customers to tell friends.

The newest Posados opened in January in North Fort Worth, on Highway 287 near the Western Center Boulevard exit. The first Tarrant County location, in Bedford, has been open for almost two years.

Word of the good eats at the North Fort Worth location has spread so fast that a one- to two-hour wait for a table on Friday and Saturday nights is the norm. It’s easy to see why.

As soon as you’re comfy, a server brings you a basket of tortilla chips with individual bowls of salsa for each person at the table. No arguments about double-dipped chips here. Another server is quick to stop by, take drink and appetizer orders, and offer menu suggestions and explanations. She also drops off hot tortillas at the table.

The lengthy menu offers plenty of standby Tex-Mex favorites and a few surprises. The server raved about the Mexican mushrooms on the appetizer menu, and she was eventually proved correct. These plump, fresh mushrooms were sautéed in a spicy garlic butter and were served not just coated but drenched in the butter from the pan they were cooked in.

Floor manager Mark Bowers declines comment on the spice blend; he says he doesn’t even know what it is. It was developed by the restaurant’s founder, Andy Gugar, 14 years ago and comes in unmarked white packages so even the cooks can’t learn the secret. This spice blend is also used to cook the beef fajitas, which we also had ordered. The beef was tender and flavorful. Large rings of red and green bell peppers made the plate a treat to look at, too.

A Jalisco combination plate had the fixings for one fajita, along with a crispy taco and a chili-drenched beef enchilada. The enchilada spices were just right, and the chili was just greasy enough to be pronounced perfect. The taco was a two-hander. The giant shell was filled to the halfway point with spicy meat, and it overflowed with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. The refried beans had a tasty smoky flavor, and the rice was topped off with a whole roasted jalapeno pepper.

Pollo Ixtapa starts with a tender char-grilled chicken breast topped with sautéed onions, red and green bell peppers, mild poblano peppers, mushrooms, and Monterrey jack cheese. It is then smothered with your choice of sauce: verde, sour cream, queso, or ranchero. The verde sauce is made from a roux with crushed tomatillos, poblano peppers, and more of those secret spices blended in. The dish comes with a side of sautéed veggies that taste like they were cooked alongside the chicken, and a choice of beans or tortilla soup. The little cup of soup was a nice blend of tender chicken, tomatoes, and tortilla strips in a slightly seasoned chicken broth.

If you’re feeling a little wild, Posados also offers quail fajitas, vegetarian dishes, a build-your-own-lunch special available seven days a week, and some American food. A full slab of baby-back ribs, Bowers says, is one of the most popular items on the menu.

Some folks can’t imagine eating enchiladas and fajitas without a little cerveza or tequila to wash them down. At Posados, you’re covered. The restaurant has a full bar, including various brands of tequila ranging from that ol’ standby, Jose Cuervo ($4.50 a shot and up), to Herradura Selection Suprema ($51.50 a shot). Take your pick.

The service continues to impress, even when the table is laden with food. One server does nothing but bring fresh baskets of chips. These folks don’t ask if you want a refill on your tea, they just bring you more. And as soon as the plates are cleared away, the server is back with a fresh, flaky sopapilla for each diner. The tortillas at the beginning of the meal and the sopapillas at the end are included in the meal price.

The décor at Posados recalls that of a border café of the 1950s. The chrome barstools are covered in eye-popping blue, green, and red vinyl. The tall backs of the booths are painted with stripes in shades of red and orange. The walls are covered with memorabilia and knickknacks of every sort imaginable. Large murals mimic advertising designs of the era.

The Tyler-based franchise has also just opened a restaurant in Frisco. A Plano location on Central Expressway is slated to debut later this year. Betcha they won’t need dollar margarita night to draw a crowd either.

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