It would be easy to assume the new Pegaso Mexican Diner, on Bluebonnet Circle, is just a reconfiguration of restaurateur Monica Greene’s original Pegaso Diner in Dallas, which opened and closed a decade ago. Greene, who has chartered and shuttered several restaurants, is described as a menu consultant to Jay Coates, CEO of the company that owns the diner. It’s a generous consultant who is onsite making homemade margaritas when the need arises.
Pegaso is a Tex-Mex order-at-the-counter place, but that process is hampered by the building design. The line runs perilously close to the kitchen, where waiting customers are definitely in the way of food runners. It took about 15 minutes for a guest and me to order on a busy night. However, the delay gave us a chance to study the staggering array of choices on the giant menu boards. The two-enchilada plate is a mathematically stunning combo of proteins and sauces. Choose corn or blue corn tortillas or a cabbage leaf wrap, fill them with your choice of six fillings, and top with one of eight sauces. And then pick two of the four sides. You could eat for a month and not work through all of the possible combinations.
The brisket enchilada with molé sauce on a corn tortilla was dang near perfect. The success or failure of a molé poblano depends on how long the stuff cooks. It takes time for the sauce to develop its signature color and flavor, which is probably why it’s not on the menu at a lot of restaurants. The brisket was tender, and holy molé, the thick, rich, cumin-kissed sauce was delicious.
The chicken tinga with poblano crema wrapped in a cabbage leaf was also a stellar, if less traditional, combination. The mild chicken and faintly spicy, creamy sauce brought to mind a classic sour cream-and-chicken enchilada, with an interesting texture courtesy of the crisp cabbage leaf.
The refried beans were homemade and delicious. The vegan cilantro rice was a pretty green but tasted pretty bland.
Pegaso also serves sandwiches. The De Lomo torta was a grilled round bolillo overstuffed with sliced pork, avocado, a zesty crema sauce, and black bean paste. Part Tex-Mex and part barbecue, the torta had just enough kick, and the flavors and textures on the chewy bread were superb.
The only disappointing part of the meal was the single taco. The beef fajita taco was a palm-sized circle of corn tortilla filled with a decent amount of beef, cilantro, and chopped tomatoes and onions, accompanied by a lime wedge and some really tasty salsa in a tiny cup. There wasn’t anything fundamentally bad about the taco. It was just a little underwhelming.
The queso blanco was tasty as well but not rave-worthy.
Pegaso’s location in the former Tiff & Andi’s Place makes for an unusual mix of clientele. On our Saturday evening visit, the restaurant was fairly full of frat boys and families. There are plans to open the restaurant for breakfast, but as of this writing, that hasn’t happened. You can do worse than a neighborhood restaurant where the chef loves you enough to use heart-healthy oils instead of lard and where any customization request (from vegan to meat-lovers) is met with an affirmative.
Pegaso Mexican Diner
3516 Bluebonnet Cir, FW. 682-708-3127. 10am-10pm Sun-Thu, 10am-2:30am Fri-Sat.
All major credit cards accepted.