Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Adios mi amiga.

Well, the news is grim. Cuquita's, a legendary Dallas eatery has given up it's original location. I having been eating at Cuquita's for nearly 20 years and I can remember when it was just a small house with 10 tables. My mother introduced me to their authentic Mexican cuisine and I have always associated Cuquita's with comfort and home. Like no other, Cuquita's created a menu rich with tradition and they stayed true to the old ways of Mexican cooking. Kent and I had our very first dates there and it had stayed a favorite for us both. At least once a month we went for lunch and almost always had our favorite dish Chilaquiles. I have yet to find a restaurant that served Chilaquiles like Cuquita's does. We are both convinced that they also have the very best salsa we've ever eaten.

Yes, there are other locations that have opened up over the years, but all my memories come from the Henderson restaurant. We knew something might be brewing when new development began in the area. First, the houses began disappearing and then small stores and soon the over-priced apartments popped up in their place. Jerry's supermarket was demolished to make way for trendy restaurants with valet parking. I thought Cuquita's would survive it. They were packed for breakfast, lunch and dinner but as the economy failed they became less busy. We were saddened to hear the news that they were calling it quits, but we have hope that a new location with open up somewhere near East Dallas very soon.

Many people wonder why I don't have much affection for Dallas. It seems that in Dallas appearances are what is most important, not history and not tradition. There is no respect for historical architecture or the memories of those that have come before us. Tear down the old to make way for the new. That's how it goes here. Time and time again we've seen the beautiful houses of the 20's, 30's and 40's demolished to be replaced by cookie-cutter McMansions. Lakewood is literally disappearing before our eyes. The problem is that new isn't always better. Whatever comes in place of Cuquita's will not be better, it couldn't be. I see Henderson being torn to bits and the community that once lived there has been scattered and driven away. When will it end?

Yesterday we treated ourselves. We drove up north to the Spring Valley Cuquita's and had a wonderful lunch. It was delicious and comforting and reminded us that all is not lost. I encourage you to try it for yourself someday.

Favorite items: Chilaquiles con Chorizo, Chicken Enchiladas con Mole, Gorditas, Carne Tampiquena, Caldo


Amber said...

I'm with you, girlfriend! Cuquita's has been one of our regular eateries for at least 11 years. Too bad.

You know it started when Cuquita herself sold beer out the back door (ahem, illegally) back in the day? That makes me crack up. Hell, she made enough money to open her restaurant that way- I would've never eaten lengua en salsa without Cuquita!

Adios, Cuquitas. Te voy a extranar mucho.

amanda said...

I just moved here from New England and it's been culture shock to say the least. I moved to Oak Cliff/Bishop Arts because it's the most "historic" neighborhood we could find in Dallas with absolutely no....oh wait, there is just one cookie cutter mansion, but that's it, and it's practically not even in Oak Cliff. I'm used to historic meaning a few centuries old, not 5 to 10 decades. But I love Oak Cliff as a neighborhood, all the houses are adorable little bungalows with lots of character and it's mostly removed from the materialistic non-culture of most of Dallas.
I honestly don't know how long I can last in Dallas, being that I'm such a Yankee, and have a personality that is the complete opposite of most in Dallas. I feel the majority of people here are all about bigger is better, very materialistic and there seems to be too much money paired with too little taste.
After 4 months here I've grown desperate for real people and real culture which is how I found your blog, via googling craft culture in dallas.

Judy said...


I'm actually going to blog my answer to your comment....