All About That Sizzle

On a typical Friday night in Frisco, my husband and I joined the crowds of couples and families searching for a great, unique dining experience. El Rincon Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar recently opened a Frisco location in December 2019, and being Texas-bred, where withdrawal symptoms can occur if chips and salsa are not consumed on a weekly basis, we were very excited to try it!

As dusk settled on Frisco, the first thing we noticed walking in the door was the warm glow of liquor bottles against the backdrop of honey-colored wood shelves. Their selection of tequila seemed on par with a display of fine jewels. Yet, the vibe of the restaurant was fun, colorful and casual – with families and couples on dates in the booths and tables. There were many people pulled up to the bar laughing and enjoying a drink. 

Once we were ushered to our table, nestled between the open kitchen and a vibrant mural of Mexico, we zoned in on the drink menu. Book-ended by a list of wines and beers on tap, the cocktails and elevated versions of the classic margarita took center stage, and the decision was a difficult one. 

My husband opted for the El Rincon Top Shelf Margarita with Milagro Reposado, Cointreau, fresh lime juice and agave nectar, and his positive rating was visible through his rate of consumption. I chose the Margarita of the Month, which was a sweet pomegranate margarita served in a martini glass, rimmed with salt and garnished with a slice of lime. The clear winner of the drinks for the night was the Mangonada, an El Jimador Blanco frozen margarita with fresh mango puree, tajin and a straw wrapped with sweet and spicy chamoy. Not only was the drink fun to look at, it was an adventure for the taste buds, too!

While perusing the rest of the menu, we munched on the never-ending supply of chips and salsa and commented on the unusual but addictive smoky flavor of their just-right spicy salsa. The Queso Flameado was listed as a house favorite, so we thought we should try that, as well. The concoction of melted Oaxaca cheese, onions, poblano rajas and chorizo arrived table-side in a cast iron skillet. It was drizzled with tequila and then set on fire! Our server carefully stirred the still flaming queso before placing it before us on the table. As if that was not enough to get our attention, the queso was served with super soft, freshly-made tortillas (because this queso was too heavy to be supported by a measly chip) and the taste was simply phenomenal. It was no wonder this earned “house favorite” status!

We had to remind ourselves to hold back (as hard as that was) so there would still be room for our entrees. After the overwhelming success of the queso, my husband and I both selected more house favorites. I ordered the Bandera, a medley of three enchiladas representing the Mexican flag – one ranchera ground beef, one cream sauce shredded chicken and one poblano cheese served with rice and black beans. It was a fun combination of flavors and hard to pick a favorite. My husband ordered the Baja Shrimp Tacos, a deceptively simple mixture of battered shrimp, Mexican slaw, chipotle aioli and a slice of avocado on three fresh flour tortillas. He is still raving about the sweet and tangy crunch that melded into a perfect blend of flavor, and I highly suspect a repeat order will be in his near future.

With all that goodness now thoroughly consumed, it was hard to consider “la gran final,” as they dubbed desserts on the menu. But, as the mention of dessert tends to have an odd biological effect on stomach volume, we somehow managed to find room. So strange how that happens!

Tres Leches was my husband’s predictable choice, and I fell right in line with my normal propensity for chocolate. No surprises there, but I must say my husband’s dessert was the tallest Tres Leches cake I have ever seen. It stood solid at three layers high with caramel sauce drizzled over the edges. There was so much cake, it earned an encore in a to-go box on another day. My Ganache de Chocolate, if it must be confessed, had nothing left for an encore. Served on a hot cast iron skillet, drizzled with caramel and topped with vanilla ice cream, the poor thing never had a chance. 

As we fully realized the effects of succumbing to such temptations, we leaned a little further back in our chairs and took another look around the restaurant. Apparently, we had been temporarily blinded by all our culinary impulses. 

The bar in the front exuded svelte exclusivity even while the remainder of the restaurant walls were lively with an eclectic mix of colors, patterns, painted murals and a series of mounted long horns. An oversized calavera (painted skull) seemed to laugh at us from the back corner of the dining area, and we later learned that the Day of the Dead celebration at El Rincon Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar is not to be missed. And, of course, National Tequila Day is a popular event, as well.

In fact, every day at El Rincon Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar seems to be a reason to celebrate. They have a Happy Hour every day of the week consisting of $5 margaritas, cocktails, wine by the glass and Sangria Ritas, as well as $3 draft beers and $2 off appetizers. Happy Hour is all day on Sunday and Monday, from 3-7 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday and from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday. 

Everyone can find something to enjoy at El Rincon Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar, but this is by design. Their website touts their vision as creating a neighborhood restaurant where families, neighbors and foodies can sit side by side. It is quite clear this is not their first rodeo. Their first location, el rincon (“on the corner”) of Elm and 4th Streets in downtown Carrollton has been highly-lauded by patrons for its authentic Mexican food and fun, family-friendly atmosphere. Frisco is just lucky enough to now house their second location and happily reap the benefits. 

Upcoming events are posted on their Facebook page, but if you would prefer to keep the party at home, El Rincon has high marks on their catering, priding themselves on using only the freshest ingredients and crafting “dishes that turn gatherings into fiestas.”

Speaking of authentic fresh ingredients, El Rincon is very serious about its tequila, traveling to the only natural process distillery to hand-select barrels for their own tequila and ensure top-quality ingredients from start to finish.

All in all, El Rincon Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar, located at 2809 Preston Road #1200, hopes to craft a culinary experience that “tastes like a mini vacation to Mexico,” and they have successfully achieved this. Now, an escape to enjoy Mexican cuisine is only minutes away. Call 469.314.9707 or got to elrincontx.com to make a reservation or learn more.

Frisco STYLE Magazine dining reviews are not scheduled with or paid for by the featured restaurant. All reviews are completed for the purpose of helping readers know and enjoy local dining options.

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Amy Richmond is a writer who relishes faith, family, intriguing conversations and inspiring words. She wishes time could be saved in a bottle because one lifetime is not enough.