Manny’s Tex Mex Cafe: Happiness in a Cup

stanleys bbq tyler tx eguide magazine

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By Gini Rainey

Don’t let the name fool you.  Even though Manny calls his restaurant “Manny’s,” he is serving up Mexican food at the corner of Beckham and Fifth Street using the recipes that those of us old Tylerites remember loving at Gilbert’s El Charro.

And while I know this column is supposed to feature our favorite dish and not really the restaurant serving it, it’s difficult to separate the two.  It’s also difficult for me to name just one favorite dish, but if push comes to shove, I really must admit that the Combination Plate is my “go-to” when I’m there.  Mostly because it has a little bit of everything Tex-Mex that I like on it. Oh, but wait…I also like to order a cup of their queso on the side.

The Combination Plate is exactly that: a crispy beef taco loaded with meat, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes; a soft cheese taco generously covered with their yummy queso; and a cheese and onion enchilada covered with chili con carne.

Let me tell you about their queso!  It’s not that really thick, orange cheese queso you get in a lot of Mexican restaurants or football games.  Nope, theirs is just thick enough to cling to their crisp tortilla chips and has a boatload of onions that have been par-boiled, making them nice and tender and the perfect added ingredient in this queso.  So, although the plate comes with some of this queso on the soft cheese taco, I can just never get enough of it and a cup of it really ramps up the dining experience and it comes really, really close to the same queso that Gilbert Ramirez served for years at the original El Charro.

When I sit down to a Combination Plate, I really get my happy on.  This is true, traditional Tex-Mex food from the crispy, crunchy beef taco to the chili coated cheese and onion enchilada served piping hot.

Manny’s Tex-Mex Cafe is located at 1433 S. Beckham St., Tyler. For more info, menu, hours go to

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