There are fancier places to eat than El Pueblito. Plano is crawling with hot spots that showcase sophisticated chefs, trendy menus, and over the top decor. El Pueblito offers none of these things. What is does have is authentic neighborhood soul that is often missing from the faceless suburban sprawl.
Make no mistake- El Pueblito has darn good food. The place has been in business for over a decade, and has earned a loyal following. However, it still remains relatively unknown to most of the masses. Located at the northwest corner of Alma and Spring Creek, Pueblito's modest sign does little to attract attention. Its small glass façade is sandwiched between a car inspection garage and a slick burger chain.
The place is inviting in an '80s strip mall sort of way, which is to say, totally forgettable. However, a walk inside reveals a bustling, family-run joint that is hard to resist. Indeed, family seems to be the key theme here. A typical weeknight crowd is filled with locals enjoying margaritas and micheladas after a hard day’s work. This is what a neighborhood restaurant is supposed to look like.
For many regulars, El Pueblito is as close to home cooking as it gets. Previous generations may have considered meatloaf or mashed potatoes staples of comfort food. Today's citified Texans are just as likely to have grown up on tamales, cheese enchiladas, and guacamole. Call it cultural fusion or a sign of the times. Whatever it is, El Pueblito serves it up in platefuls of indulgent goodness.
The menu consists of your basic Tex-Mex fare. The chips and salsa never end. Fajitas are presented on a sizzling platter. There are all manner of enchiladas and burritos, as well as flautas and tamales. Nearly everything is served with the ubiquitous rice and beans.
It's not flashy, but it's exactly what most patrons are craving. For those in search of something a little more daring (or at least different), El Pueblito offers pork carnitas, steak picado, and even catfish. Haughty cuisine it is not. Delicious and satisfying, now that’s a different story.
The name “El Pueblito” means “the village” in Spanish. In this village, you will find personable waiters and waitresses who genuinely like their jobs. The staff is attentive enough to keep you happy, but sensible enough to stay out of the way. There are televisions in the corners, but few seems to care. Most diners are more consumed with the merits of ordering that extra side of queso. (Yes- you should do it)
The restaurant business can be brutal. New ventures come and go nearly every day. El Pueblito deserves to be in the conversation of best Plano eateries. Regulars just hope that conversation never gets too loud.