Find a back issue

Into Shelley’s Belly: Avila’s on Maple Avenue

Brisket tacos (photos by Matthew Shelley)

I don’t imagine anyone ever accusing Avila’s Restaurant of being too complicated. That being said, its simplicity embodies the heart that makes this restaurant sing. All of my chakras tingle every time I come here. Tucked away on the bustling Maple Avenue, Avila’s has been serving delicious, authentic Mexican fare for the last 25 years. It’s precious, comforting, and a relaxing experience away from the hustle of this brain crazy city life we stomp through during the work hours.

Guacamole

I was also overjoyed by the accompaniment of my dear friends Will, a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner, and his lady of love, Whitney, a philosophically inclined artist with a tiny dog. We were each charmed at the start by the individual mortar bowls for our adequately spicy salsa. Adding a little fresh guacamole to the dip balanced the cool with the hot and we continued discussing the latest fad of kundalini awareness. Will jumped off the high dive and ordered the chicken fajitas. Uncharacteristically silent, he seemed to enjoy them quite well with all of its smoky grilled chicken, fresh flour tortillas and all the typical additions. Like I said, Avila’s doesn’t approach its cuisines with difficulty and flare, just freshly simple classics. Whitney also enjoyed her brisket tacos. The brisket was tender and tasty, and with Mexican rice, refried beans, pico de gallo and a little guacamole – the taco constructed into a perfectly delicious mouthful. I ventured into one of Avila’s renowned dishes, the chili relleno. It was a richly sauced combination of brisket, Monterrey cheese, and pico de gallo stuffed excitingly into a handsomely grilled poblano pepper. We felt at ease in the dining room and talked for several minutes after eating as if in the comforts of our own homes.

Avila’s is a wonderfully simple Mexican dining experience, cooked fresh and ever percolating with the sense of private dining. I love this little home and would gladly offer my hugs to all the staff. Dear Avila, thank for your velvety cashmere sweater of a restaurant, your hospitality, and your lovingly authentic food.

Will & Whitney, my San Francisco compatriots
This is how you find Avila’s
Chicken fajitas

10 comments on “Into Shelley’s Belly: Avila’s on Maple Avenue

  1. Be one with the salsa. My chakra in its cashmere sweater shuddered philosophically when it encountered the phrase “kundalini awareness” in a review of an old tex-mex joint on Maple.

  2. In my estimation, Avila’s is without a doubt the best kept Tex-Mex secret in the entire Southwest. If you haven’t tried the “non-battered and baked” chile rellano, order it the next time you’re in the restaurant. I’ll admit it’s a little difficult to find all tucked away quietly on Maple Avenue, but anything worth having is worth looking for believe me.

  3. In my estimation, Avila’s is without a doubt the best kept Tex-Mex secret in the entire Southwest. If you haven’t tried the “non-battered and baked” chile rellano, order it the next time you’re in the restaurant. I’ll admit it’s a little difficult to find all tucked away quietly on Maple Avenue, but anything worth having is worth looking for believe me.

  4. My boyfriend and I love Avilas and have been going for a long time now. I, too contest that it is the best tex mex in Dallas. But on a recent visit we were left wondering if it had been sold as the Avila family members were nowhere to be found. Our waiter was a tall scrawny college frat-boy, complete with likes and umms before every word. I hope this was an off day, because our food was not the same as it had always been!

  5. I have a friend that dines there on a regular basis, and he too, felt the place had been sold to someone else. His last visit there was awful. He was so disappointed.

  6. @Kayla, we always strive to maintain consistency, sorry that you weren’t happy during your recent . We hope that you will come back soon and find everything as it should be. As for the “frat boy” he’s actually a high school Senior and founder Anita Avila’s great-grandson. The Avila family still owns and operates the restaurant.

  7. My husband and I have also been eating here for years. He believes Avila’s posole possesses curative powers!