Eating Out Greenville, TX: El Fenix

El Fenix is a branch of a long-running chain serving Tex-Mex staples in a hacienda-style setting around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Originally named Martinez Café and located in Downtown Dallas, the restaurant rebranded in 1918 to El Fenix, literally “the phoenix”, to symbolize the rebirth. By the 1960s, it closed and reopened across the street in 1965. The Martinez family sold the chain in 2008, when annual sales hit $33mil across 15 restaurants.

There are 22 locations, all in North Texas. I moved every one to two years, living between North Texas and the San Antonio area, so I didn’t have much opportunity to eat at one.

I didn’t want to cook tonight, and I wanted anything but pizza and the regular fast food. El Fenix kind of just…fell into my eyesight on the DoorDash app. The decision to order in often boils down to whether I’ve the spoons to prepare and cook food and still do the rest of the things I need to do. Tonight, I didn’t.

This column relies on the times when I don’t have the spoons to make food, on the times when the convenience of restaurants weighs more on the decision balance than that of me making my own food.

DoorDash & I are in a love/hate relationship

I understand delivering to multiple people at once, but at the same time…I live less than 10 minutes away from El Fenix, and my Dasher delivered to about four other people — turning a 6-minute distance into a 20-minute one.

I ordered from another restaurant for a pickup on my birthday, and I never got updated that my food was ready so when I went to the restaurant 30 minutes after the predicted ready time, my food was cold and I had to reheat in the oven.

Probably won’t do pickup again, because that made a crappy birthday even crappier.

This is the first time a Dasher has delivered to other stops before delivering to me, so I won’t hold it against the app. Generally, it’s easier to order in and be able to do stuff at home while I’m waiting on it to arrive.

So DoorDash is convenient overall, but it’s a matter of personal preference and energy levels.

El Fenix, Greenville

3102 I-30 Frontage Rd #24
Greenville, TX 75402

Chili con carne beef tamales, rice, beans, sopapilla

I always find myself wanting more beans in my entrees. I’m not totally into the rice, because I usually find it too greasy or too dry, but it wasn’t too bad. The beef tamales with chili con carne sauce have a lot of sauce, but I’m glad it wasn’t too spicy! 😌

Sugary sopapilla triangle

What I loved the most was the sopapilla! If I’d known it would be so lovely, I’d have ordered the five for $3 instead of the one for $1.99.

I bit into the middle 😝 of a side and drizzled some wildflower honey in there. 🤤

Not pictured is chili con queso and the bag of chips I didn’t expect to come at all — I warmed them in the oven, because I’ve spoiled myself with warm tortilla chips. I can never go back to eating tortilla chips room temp.


I will definitely be ordering El Fenix again — it was super tasty and the sopapilla…ugh, I need more. 🤤🤤🤤🤤

Not sure where I’ll eat next.~

This post was originally posted to Eating Out Greenville, TX, which I decided to make a column here because I don’t have timeeee to run an anonymous blog 😅 aaand I want local traffic. 😏

Buy me a coffee or subscribe to receive updates & letters from Jane Lively.

Leave a comment