Restaurateur and seafood expert Jon Alexis, chef Stan Rodrigues score with new Tex-Mex spot, with two other big-deal concepts slated for 2023

Seafood guy Jon Alexis (TJ’s Seafood Market. Malibu Poke) has his eye on Tex-Mex at the moment, but two additional restaurants are in his sights. Judging from an early visit to his new Escondidio Tex-Mex Patio in the Preston Royal shopping center, he’s headed for success.

Escondido Tex-Mex Patio opened quietly last week to a full house. The restaurant was widely reported to open Nov. 14, but most Hatch readers know by now that restaurants typically advertise fake opening dates to give them some early breathing room to work out the kinks. We’re amazed that many food writers and newspaper journalists willingly report the ruse. Not us.

We sure liked Escondido and its broad patio outfitted with a “resort-style indoor/outdoor bar.”  The fun menu of big-flavored Tex-Mex dishes comes from talented chef Stan Rodrigues (Neighborhood Services, 60 Vines, Harwood Hospitality) and includes tacos, made-to-order enchiladas, combo plates, fajitas, queso and really good chips and salsa.

“We’re not re-writing the Tex-Mex playbook,” Alexis says. “This is the food I crave the most. It’s all about the details — sizzling fajitas, warm chips that are thin but don’t crack, fresh lime juice in the drinks.”

More restaurants from Alexis and Rodrigues are in the works, too.

Insiders tell us those plans include Rambler Room, a casual grill concept slated for Snider Plaza across from SMU, and Biergarten, a (wait for it) beer garden pegged for the old Luby’s space on Mockingbird Lane.

“Our new concepts focus on bringing back … hospitality to neighborhood dining,” Alexis said.