A new Tex-Mex joint named Two Mules Cantina just debuted in Irving, and it’s a new destination for chilaquiles and cultural appropriation.
The restaurant at 501 West Las Colinas Boulevard is located inside the new, questionably named Texican Court hotel, which appropriates Mexican influences with vividly colored, serape-patterned textiles and historic photos of what appear to be Mexican vaqueros adorning the walls of its guest rooms, along with “Time for a Siesta” signs featuring a brown-skinned cartoon man wearing a sombrero. The design elements arguably veer from cutesy “try-hard” territory into an offensive rip-off of Mexican culture by turning cultural artifacts into a caricature of Mexican heritage.
As far as the food at Two Mules is concerned, chef Patrick Hildebrandt of the Houston-based Valencia Group, which owns the hotel, has created a pretty straightforward Tex-Mex menu, including dishes like chilaquiles, smoked barbacoa tostadas, cochinita pibil, and tortas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “Our menu, influenced by Spanish, Mexican, Native American and cowboy cultures, is a flavor powerhouse of cilantro, chilies, lime and avocado,” Hildebrandt said in a statement.
Specialty margaritas and a nearby tequila bar are on offer, along with the ability to dine inside or outside to the backdrop of live music on weekends. “The hotel’s design features Spanish mission-style architecture with a subtle layer of Texas, making it a unique blend of Mexican and the Lone Star State cultures,” reads the press release.
Two Mules Cantina is now open for breakfast, happy hour, and dinner daily, with brunch served on weekends.