“This way, amigos,” the waiter says, steering you to a seat in an obscure storefront off of Central Expressway. The tables at Gabriela & Sofia’s Tex Mex are packed, and insiders know to order brisket tacos, guacamole made table-side and the jalapeño margarita.
Writer Michael Hiller featured this restaurant as one of the best Tex-Mex restaurants in Dallas for a story in USA Today.
Gabriela & Sofia’s is owned by Gabrielle Pampa and Blanca Rodriguez. They once owned a location Downtown. Now they have restaurants in Preston Hollow and Flower Mound.
DID YOU KNOW?
The restaurant is named after co-owner Gabrielle Pampa’s daughter Gabriela, 10, and co-owner Blanca Rodriguez’s daughter Sofia, 11.
Pampa, who has been in the restaurant industry for almost 20 years, is from Mexico. Many of the restaurant’s recipes are inspired by his dad. You can taste his father’s influence in the marinade for the meat, sauces for the chili con carne, the tomatillo sauce and the condiments for the brisket.
His father lives in Mexico and has never visited the restaurant, but he has inspiring advice: “Just keep going, you can do it.”
Pampa, who lives in Preston Hollow, is focused on his customers, the quality of his food and consistency. He meets with his staff every day before lunch and dinner to pump them up. “Smile, attitude and service,” he preaches.
Pampa notes that the chefs cook the brisket overnight and that the carne asada is one of the most tender in town. His favorite is “Gabriela’s” — two chicken enchiladas with vegetables on top and rice and beans. The jalapeño margarita features a pepper that’s roasted and doused with honey.
The restaurant’s busiest times are at lunch and 5 to 9:30 p.m., and Pampa is thinking about expanding to the property next door or opening another store next year.
Passionate about the quality of the food, Pampa says, “I tell my staff, ‘Before you take a plate to the table, think about whether you’d give this to your mom. If so, you can serve it to my customers’.”
Gabriela & Sofia’s Tex Mex
10455 N. Central Expressway, Suite 117
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
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