Editor's note: This article was written by my friend Jerry Flinn, with minor editing from the webmaster of this web site.
Last Saturday, October 22, 2005, my wife Edna and I had the pleasure to dine at El Fenix Cafe, in Mercedes, Texas, which is located at 126 N. Texas Street. As soon as we entered the restaurant, we could immediate feel the friendly atmosphere, that just seemed to radiated from everywhere. Wearing a big smile was Jimmy, our host, and he immediately seated us at a table.
Photo: El Fenix Cafe, is located in downtown Mercedes, Texas. The restaurant offers a great mix of Texas, American and Mexican "comfort food," and is open daily.
Photo: This is Dalia at work, in the kitchen, preparing delicious food. Note the big pot of menudo cooking on the stove in the lower left-hand corner. After all, it's a Saturday morning in the lower Rio Grande Valley, and that means it's time for menudo.
Photo: Our hostess, Julie is taking a breakfast order, for another table, seated close to us. We had the pleasure to enjoy her service today, and she took great care of us, and always kept our coffee cups full.
Since it was around ten in the morning, we decided to order breakfast. El Fenix's menu features some pretty tempting dishes; oh where to start? One especially delicious dish is the "Hash Brown Special," which gives you a choice of bacon, sausage or ham, along with two eggs and toast. The other dish that grabbed our attention is their "Pancake Special", that naturally comes with two pancakes, two eggs, cooked to your liking, and your choice of breakfast meat. The price for either of these meals is only three dollars, which is very reasonable.
Photo: Gilbert and Jimmy are two locals who love to dine at El Fenix. They told us they love the food, the atmosphere, the friendly staff, and the local charm.
Photo: Nathan the busboy, busy at work. Nathan is a friendly guy, who doesn't mind having his photo taken while he's at work.
The owner of El Fenix is Dalia, and she's proud that the food served at El Fenix is made from "scratch," and not mixes and other "prefabricated food sources." She told us that she has been running the restaurant, since her childhood, as her mom bought the business fifty-one years ago. This woman works hard and has a really good attitude that shows in her work, and the quality of food that El Fenix serves.
The breakfast menu is quite extensive, and it features almost any egg dish you can think of.
Photo: The breakfast menu features many Mexican and "Tex-Mex" dishes. Note the very reasonable prices. As I mentioned before, everything is made from "scratch" and no cans, or frozen food is used.
Photo: The lunch menu posted above the counter. Note that the menu includes menudo and barbacoa; I could eat at this place every day, for every meal! Barbacoa is only served on Sunday... woo hoo!
The lunch menu has many items also. An example is the Mexican dinner, which includes two tacos, enchiladas rice and beans. The lunch menu also includes carnes, soup and more that I could ever write about. Since the restaurant closes at four in the after noon, no dinner entrees are offered.
You never know who will pop in to eat at El Fenix. The mayor of Mercedes, Joel Quintanilla, stopped in to eat breakfast, the morning of our last visit.
Photo: The "Hash Brown Special," which is two eggs, cooked to order, two sausage patties, and two pices of toast. We noted the pieces of toast were served whole, which differs from most restaurants which slice them in half. No worries, our breakfast was excellent!
Photo: Here's the mayor of Mercedes, Mr. Joel Quintanilla, standing at the center of the photo, who enjoys good food and a friendly atnosphere at El Phenix Cafe. The mayor is a regular patron. Mr. Mayor... you're not wearing a suit? Oh yes, it's Saturday morning...
El Fenix Cafe's hours are Monday through Saturday six in the morning until four in the afternoon, and Sundays mornings from six until two in the afternoon.
So stop on in and enjoy this friendly local eatery, in Mercedes. You'll be glad you did!
El Fenix Cafe
126 North Texas Avenue
Copyright(c) 2007 eRench Productions. All rights reserved. We've been on the web since December 22, 2002.