News Column

Tejas Grill Brings on Tex-Mex, Cajun Flavors

June 14, 2012

Linda Murchison

Tejas Grill & Cantina is just west of Turkey Creek in Niceville.

The food

With a name like Tejas you expect Tex-Mex food, so I was surprised to find a nice selection of Cajun food also.

Our meal began with a basket of hand-cut tortilla chips and a bowl of salsa.

The salsa was very good, a nice balance of flavor. It was served warm, which I thought brought out the flavor even more.

Tejas offers a nice variety of appetizers, including fried gator tail, in season, with homemade remoulade sauce, seafood fondue and ceviche.

They also offer traditional Tex-Mex appetizers such as nachos, quesadillas and queso con chorizo.

If you would like a salad, Tejas offers a classic Caesar as well as a taco salad. Chicken or shrimp may be added to the Caesar, and the taco salad comes with your choice of chicken, taco meat or steak.

The sandwiches and po- boys continue to reflect the Tex-Mex and Cajun influences.

They offer several burgers, a classic French dip, a cowboy Philly, a tequila lime chicken sandwich and gator, crab, flounder and shrimp po- boys.

Sandwiches and po-boys are served with French fries.

We chose to order Tex-Mex entrees, though the seafood was tempting.

My guest chose the chile relleno. A large poblano chile was roasted and stuffed with a ground beef mixture, battered and fried. It was topped with chili and cheese and came with sides of rice and refried beans.

The smoky flavor of the pepper was delicious and the batter was thicker than usual but still good.

My choice was the smothered burrito. Burritos are a favorite of mine and this version was very good.

Flavorful ground beef was wrapped in a tortilla, covered in chili and cheese and topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion and black olives. It was also served with rice and refried beans.

It is also offered with chicken.

Other Tejas specials include a combination plate of tacos, tamales and enchiladas; fish tacos, chimichanga, smothered chicken, carnitas, fajitas and a southwest rib-eye.

Seafood dishes include crab cakes, soft shell crab, red fish, grouper and fried as well as coconut fried shrimp.

Seafood items are served with your choice of baked potato or cilantro lime rice and a vegetable.

Portions at Tejas are more than generous. In fact, half of my entree was enjoyed the next day for lunch.

However, I did save room for dessert.

Tejas offers sopapillas with homemade caramel rum sauce, fried ice cream, Key lime parfait, cheesecake and dessert nachos.

The more-than-generous portion size also extends to the desserts.

The classic fried ice cream was good.

Tejas offers a lunch buffet as well as a brunch buffet on the weekend.

The atmosphere

As you enter the building, the bar is directly in front of you. To the left is the cantina and to the right are the dining areas.

The service

Service was fast, friendly and efficient.

Penny, one of the owners, stopped by our table to make sure we enjoyed our food and to thank us for stopping by.

A final taste

If you would like good, freshly made Tex-Mex (or Cajun) food at a good price, check out Tejas Grill & Cantina.

Source: (c)2012 the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.)

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