Buena comida (good food), musica en vivo (live music), muchos amigos (lots of friends) and cerveza fria (cold beer) can only mean one thing—una fiesta! And El Potrillo Mexican Restaurant & Cantina is where it’s at.
“We have a party atmosphere; live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, the new cantina – it’s a lot of fun,” said Leo Bravo, owner of the newest Mexican restaurant in town at 326 East Industrial Drive.
According to Bravo, he purchased the building located on the Interstate 30 service road with the intention of opening a night club. For the past eight years he has been involved in public relations for various bands popular among the Spanish community such as Los Tigres Del Norte, a Grammy- and Latin Grammy-winning norteño band ensemble from Rosa Morada, Sinaloa, Mexico.
“I have a love of music,” said Bravo, explaining how he does everything from selling tickets to setting up radio and TV for the band, as well as stage set-up. “Most the time is was fun, but sometimes it’s a lot of headache — you worry about turnout, don’t have the people you expect, and you start shaking.”
The only thing that Bravo said matches his love for music would be his love of horses, which translates to potrillo, hence the name for his new establishment.
Bravo said his plans fell through for the night club, so he decided to move forward with a restaurant where he would be able to incorporate food and fun in a festive atmosphere.
Walking through the door is almost like stepping across the border with all the excitement of its sights, sounds and smells.
Murals decorate the walls with scenes of Old Mexico, and the sounds of Latin American music fills the air along with the spicy aroma of authentic Mexican cuisine such as sizzling fajitas and flour tortillas making their way along a conveyor, fresh and hot for customers.
Even the benches and tables are handmade from America’s neighboring country.
“We have specials every day. Friday night is fajitas for two for $16.95,” Bravo emphasized.
Lunch specials are served daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, with all dinners served with rice and bean soup rather than the traditional frijoles (refried beans).
According to Bravo, when he decided to open the restaurant, he checked out all the other local establishments, hoping to provide the community with a unique dining experience.
“We wanted to see what we could do different, what kind of food they got,” he said. “We don’t want to compete with anybody, just provide something a little different — different recipes, different tastes, things like that.”
Specialties such as stuffed avocados, fish tacos and chicken diablos (chicken wrapped in bacon covered with cheese and jalapenos) are among his list of exclusive dishes. Others include quail prepared with special seasoning and filete a la plancha (grilled catfish).
“We have our El Potrillo Parrilladas,” said Bravo, explaining that “parrilladas” means “platter.”
“Check around and you’re not going to find a parrilladas anywhere unless you drive for two hours to Dallas,” he said.
Bravo described the dish as a party platter for four that includes various combinations of fajitas, jumbo shrimp, baby back ribs, short ribs and quail all served on a platter decorated with flowers, with prices ranging from $52.95 to $63.95.
“If you have a special occasion and want to surprise someone, it is really nice,” Bravo stated.
Speaking of nice surprises, if it is your birthday, just show proof and El Potrillo will treat you to a free dinner complete with your choice of a dessert selection that includes sopapillas, churros or ice cream.
And if that weren’t enough special treatment, the wait staff will sing their own rendition of “Happy Birthday To You.”
As for Friday and Saturday night entertainment, live music from groups such as Exit 110 and Outta Hand take the stage playing Texas country music. And for those Elvis fans, Josh Davis is occasionally on the schedule with his tribute to the King of Rock n Roll. All three will be on hand for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebration this weekend, on Saturday, May 2, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. at El Potrillo
“I heard nothing goes on here for Cinco de Mayo, but if you go to Dallas, Fort Worth or Houston, it is a BIG event,” said Bravo. “We’re going to have stuff for the kids— clowns, a bounce house.”
Star Country radio will also be there broadcasting live throughout the day, according to Bravo.
“The community has been great. I never thought it was gonna be so good like that,’ he said. “Everyone has been so nice to us and supportive.”
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