by Steven Doyle
For many years Primo’s Tex Mex was the quintessential hot spot for hanging out late night to enjoy a good amount of enchiladas and even more tequila. The McKinney Avenue haunt stocked plenty of tequila brands for those searching for a way to wash down baskets of chips and guacamole. This was the heyday for the brand until owner Eddie Cervantes eventually sold, and it soon closed after 28 years of solid service. Cervantes went on to open E Bar on Haskell and that hot spot on McKinney became So&So’s which is enjoying plenty of hot action of their own.
Dallas had lost a legend until more recently when twin brothers Mark and Dirk Kelcher revived the restaurant in the Dallas Design District. The brothers are talented operators who come with plenty of experience including Metro Grill, and even more recently part of the new ownership at Cedars Social. Their roots rival that of the original Primo’s and as caretakers of the name they have honored the tradition backed by slurpy good drinks and the same enchiladas once served to the many patrons on the McKinney Avenue location.
That said, we recently had an occasion to check into Primo’s and were pleasantly surprised at the sweet digs, the powerful cocktails and the superb brew selection. Oh, the enchiladas, guac and fajitas were a fun throwback as well.
Even more interesting was one of the servers who recently was moved from Cedars Social. She is actually the special events coordinator. Caitlin Foley is a talented young lass with strong Irish ties and a love for beer. It didn’t seem even possible when she mentioned that she was a level one cicerone (think beer somm) who is currently working on level two. It is always interesting to me when you find these voracious beer drinkers who are so tiny.
“I like the lighter style of beers, low IBU’s that aren’t so bitter. Community Public Ale is one of my local favorites. It is an English-style Extra Special Bitter but seriously not that bitter,” shared Foley. She also enjoys the Peticolas Irish Goodbye which is an Irish Red Ale. We notice a pattern in her love for the Irish. But she isn’t solely in love with Irish beers, she is also fond of Groundskeeper Willy’s Scottish Ale served only at the taproom of its maker, Deep Ellum Brewing Company.
We asked Foley to pair up a few dishes from Primo’s with beer she had on tap at the restaurant currently. She made a case for lighter beers with heavier dishes, so the beef enchiladas (so good with those tiny minced onions) with a Fireman’s Four. She paired the chicken fajitas with Temptress, the seductive Imperial Milk Stout from Lakewood Brewing Company.
You will want to ask for Foley to discuss brews when checking out the Design District Primo’s and grab her pick of the day. And do not forget the queso. The queso is very good.