For decades in Dallas, there was one restaurateur who topped the list as a favorite of the LGBT community: Monica Greene. Wednesday nights at Monica’s Aca y Alla in Deep Ellum were legendary and the place to see and be seen. Ciudad became a Sunday morning brunch staple. And Pegaso Taqueria all too briefly brought a much-needed jolt of creative inspiration to the downtown dining scene before it was hip.
This month, Pegaso returns as Pegaso Mexican Diner, but now calls Fort Worth home. And Monica is on board as a menu developer and consultant. So we took a moment to catch up with the award-winning visionary to find out her favorite places to eat, what to order, and where you might find her in Dallas and Fort Worth.
He Said Magazine: Clearly you know Mexican food in every shape and form. Other than your own restaurants, of course, what is your favorite place in Dallas to eat Mexican food?
Monica Greene: For Mexican food I like to go to Komali at Cole Avenue in Dallas. Besides having perhaps the Best Bartender (Leanne Berry) in Dallas, I enjoy their Cochinita Pibil (beer-braised pork shank in plantain leaves, achiote reduction, green beans, peas, purslane and pickled red onions) and their Ceviche Mixto (white prawn, red fish, scallops, tomato, red onions, cilantro, avocado and tostada).
For Tex-Mex I enjoy Mico [Rodriguez]’s Mr. Mesero for great Nachos Conocidos (topped with cheese, black beans, brisket, avocado, red jalapeños and crema) and Quekas “La Guera” (a trio of corn cakes topped with brisket, cheese and roasted chicken) with a beer and sit on the patio with my dog by my side.
HSM: What is your favorite guilty pleasure when it comes to dining out in Dallas?
MG: You have to try the Napa Cabbage Steamed Dumpling from Jeng Chi, all their menu is great including their homemade pastries. But my new fave is Knife at the Palomar (ed. note: Palomar just relaunched as The Highland Hotel Dallas). John Tesar has an exciting menu. My guilty pleasure there is Crispy Beef Tongue and Spicy Blood Sausage and Hen Egg.
HSM: Now that you’ve ventured into Fort Worth, what is your favorite restaurant there?
MG: Recently I went with some friends to Bird Cafe in Downtown Fort Worth and it became my favorite. Good food, high energy, and surrounded by a very well planned urban environment.
HSM: We used to crave your quatro leches cake at the Pegaso in downtown Dallas. When someone comes to Pegaso in Ft. Worth, what’s the one dish we should order?
MG: Many reasons to come to Pegaso, but my favorite dish is the signature Pegaso Enchilada. A 12″ inch enchilada with slow-cooked brisket, habañero escabeche, fresh steamed corn, and queso fresco, topped with chipotle crema or spicy ranchera. An ode to Tex-Mex never tasted better. Or anything with the homemade mole.
HSM: When you’re not working or eating out, what places do you like to go?
MG: When I am off, I ride my bike to the Katy Trail and from there I ride to Diesel Gym from the house. Concerts at the Klyde Warren Park on a blanket with a nice bottle of wine is always good. During the season, an occasional trip to Frisco to root for FCDallas is a must. I am a big soccer fan. Both Dallas and Fort Worth give me a chance to enjoy the many exhibits in their world class museums. Oh, and I can’t forget Bryan’s Wine Bar to enjoy a glass of White Burgundy or Pinot that Anton the Manager from So. Africa is ready to suggest.
Look for Monica Greene hanging around Pegaso Diner.
Pegaso Mexican Diner
3516 Bluebonnet Circle, Fort Worth