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Getting to Know You: The Story and Flavors Behind Jorge’s in One Arts Plaza

Guests are greeted by a collage of young Jorge (left); La Otra Rita jalapeno cocktail provides a kick (right) (photos by Kelsy McCraw)

Jorge’s Tex Mex Café opened its One Arts Plaza doors in 2008 to give Dallas a Western take on some traditional tastes. But, this modern, upscale restaurant highlighted by energetic greens, lively lilacs, and warm browns got a humble start as a family side-job in Midland.

No one in the family remembers exactly where family patriarchs Manuel and Feliz Veloz moved to Midland from, only that it was a small farm town outside of Monterrey. The matriarch and patriarch of what would become the Jorge’s brand started with a small burrito stand between the barrio and country club. Years after their small shop proved successful, their son Jorge Veloz Sr., then 19 years old, followed in their footsteps to continue offering his ancestors’ recipes to west Texas. He opened the first Jorge’s in 1981, and since, his family has spread the brand all over Texas. Cousin Jesse Lopez owns and operates a second location in Midland, son Jorge Jr. runs Jorge’s Tacos Garcia out of Amarillo, daughters Diana and Sylvia branched a Tacos Garcia down in Austin, and stepdaughter Michelle Mireles helped dad open the newest location in Dallas.

All locations serve up a western-style Tex Mex that flavors its recipes with salsas and peppers rather than cumin. And the menus, like the members of the Jorge clan, are all very different.

jump for Kelsy’s tasty picks…

Jorge's popular queso and salsas. (photos by Kelsy McCraw)

Best Bets:

Jorge’s Famous Salsa and Queso. The only recipes that remain consistent across all of the diverse Jorge’s restaurants are those for their salsa and queso. The salsa is a smooth blend of uncooked ingredients including tomatoes, cilantro, jalapenos, and garlic. The queso ingredients remain a family secret, but have deservingly earned the title “famous.” Both are made fresh daily, and the restaurant keeps a short shelf life on any leftovers.

La Otra Rita. Bar master Ignacio whips up a modern take on the classic margarita, boasting jalapenos as the star ingredient. Passion fruit balances the spice in a serrano reduction, with golden tequila adding the third punch of flavor. If you’re in the mood for some heat, mix in the jalapeno garnish. At only 150 calories, you can’t afford not to try this daredevil drink.

Chicken lechuga wrap. (photos by Kelsy McCraw)

Lechuga Wraps. Michelle wanted to create a Tex Mex take on P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and what serves is a light, Mexican dish with full Mexican flavor. The dish comes with a mix of avocado chunks, corn, beans, poblano peppers, cilantro, queso fresco, and either chicken or beef, all doused with the house spicy tomatillo salsa. The iceberg lettuce wrap lets each distinct flavor come through and adds a crisp crunch to the medley of textures.