[g-slider gid="36060" width="100%" height="55%"]Dec. 30 was the last day of business at Flores Mexican Restaurant's Hwy. 290 location, and it was bittersweet for co-owner Maria Flores.
She said she and her brother, Jose Gonzalo Flores, helped their parents, Maggie and Jose Flores Sr., open the Tex-Mex restaurant in Oak Hill in 1993, and the place holds many memories for her.
"We are super excited about the new store [on William Cannon Drive], but it's kind of sad—the end of an era," she said. "We've had over 21 years at [the Hwy. 290 location]. It was the beginning of it all. It gave us the start for all of the other stores."
On Jan. 17 the Flores family opened its new restaurant near the Shops at Arbor Trails. Maria called it bigger and better—it features homemade flour and corn tortillas and a sprawling mural.
The bar can seat 120 patrons and is separate from the dining area.
The new location is the next step in Jose Flores Sr.'s dream of owning a restaurant. Jose Flores Sr. started in the industry as a dishwasher and worked his way up to be a chef, Maria said. He has worked at Trudy's, Serranos and Matt's Famous El Rancho.
She said the family was well-received in Oak Hill and opened a location in Lakeway in 1994.
"Lakeway chose us," Maria said. "We had regulars living in Lakeway, and they really encouraged us to open [a] location there."
Today there are four Flores locations, including restaurants in Dripping Springs and Four Points.
Flores serves some interior Mexican food, but it is best known for its Tex-Mex dishes, Maria said. The fajitas and combination plates are among the restaurant's best sellers.
"Some of our newer dishes, such as the red pork, have been growing in popularity," she said. "Even the pozole [a traditional Mexican stew], which is very Mexican, people are loving it."
"Everyone always comments that the salsa here is the best and the spiciest," Jose Gonzalo said. "It's spicier [in Oak Hill] than at the other stores. This was the original recipe. We modified them a little bit for the other stores, but this is the original."
The Flores family takes pride in making everything fresh and having high standards for their food, Maria said.
"For the quality and the amount of food you get, you aren't going to find a better deal," she said, adding, "I know a lot of my customers personally. That's my joke: I used to serve them milk. Now I serve them a beer."
Flores Mexican Restaurant,4625 W. William Cannon Drive, Bldg. 4, 512-892-4845,www.floresmexican.com
Hours: Mon.–Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sat. 9 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-10 p.m.