Double Your Pleasure
By Michael Hiller
Above photo by Mark Graham
Dallas chef Omar Flores brings a pair of concepts to Southlake. We’re there for enchiladas rojas, homemade flour tortillas, fried chicken, scratch biscuits and so much more.
The team behind some of Dallas’ best Tex-Mex cuisine and fried chicken biscuits is doubling up in Southlake, and that’s a good thing.
In December 2019, restaurateurs Omar Flores, Alec Marshi and Alec’s father, Sammi, tapped Southlake Town Square for a third location of the Southern-inspired Whistle Britches. In July, they announced that they also were opening the second location of their Southwestern hit, Muchacho Comida Tex Mex, in the same mixed-use center.
Flores has established himself on the Dallas dining scene with a pair of James Beard nominations to prove it. His team settled on Town Square for their first Tarrant County sites after considering several Fort Worth locations, including Mule Alley. “The opportunity to open both Muchacho and Whistle Britches in the same development was too attractive to pass up,” says Flores.
Like its original far North Dallas location, which opened four years ago, and a second unit at Plano’s Shops at Willow Bend, which debuted in 2018, the Southlake Whistle Britches menu will be anchored by customer favorites such as fried chicken, biscuits, sweet corn hoecakes with sorghum and homemade jellies.
“It’s the kind of food you’d find at grandma’s house on Sunday afternoons,” Flores says. “As the concept evolves, we’re moving to expand to a more Southern menu with more variety. But I’m not sure anything will be more popular than our Whistle Britches sandwich.” Here’s why: You get a two-handed buttermilk biscuit stuffed with fried chicken, pepper jelly and honey butter.
Muchacho, on the other hand, is heavily influenced by the border cuisine of far West Texas.
The menu includes classics such as queso, enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, guacamole and flour tortillas made from scratch, plus a number of hefty wood-fired meats. The stars of the menu? Grilled beef fajitas with handmade flour tortillas or Flores’ tampiquena — tender, mesquite-grilled steak mopped with a dark chile glaze then plated with roasted poblanos and onions.
“Muchacho’s menu is influenced by the kind of Tex-Mex I grew up with in El Paso but more elevated than traditional Tex-Mex because everything will be made with quality in mind. We want it to feel like a place you’d find in a desert border town but is very family-friendly.” Flores says the Southlake location will look familiar to fans of the original, which debuted earlier this year at Preston Road and Northwest Highway with plush, hand-tooled leathers, big windows, pretty brick, iron-and-rope fixtures and lots of caballero details. The dining room spills out to a broad, shaded patio. “Muchacho is meant to feel masculine, like a modern saloon,” he says.
While the pandemic might have come into play on the expansion, the chef has been working toward opening at the end of the year.
“We’d planned to open Whistle Britches in May in the old Snuffer’s space, but when Hopdoddy’s closed their restaurant, the owners of the shopping center asked us to take over that space, too,” Flores says. “It worked out that the kitchen there is better suited for Whistle Britches, and the patio at the old Snuffer’s is better for Muchacho, so we swapped.”