Los Compadres brings upscale, Mexico City-style Tex-Mex cuisine to Roanoke

Birria Tacos are served on Tuesdays at Los Compadres. Traditional slow-cooked tender beef in dipped corn tortillas is topped with cilantro and onions. The tacos are served with Mexican beef stew, rice and beans. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Birria Tacos are served on Tuesdays at Los Compadres. Traditional slow-cooked tender beef in dipped corn tortillas is topped with cilantro and onions. The tacos are served with Mexican beef stew, rice and beans. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)

Birria Tacos are served on Tuesdays at Los Compadres. Traditional slow-cooked tender beef in dipped corn tortillas is topped with cilantro and onions. The tacos are served with Mexican beef stew, rice and beans. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Jose Mendez, left, and Jack Layman met in 1999 and have since opened three restaurants together, including Los Compadres. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Pozole is a spicy, traditional Mexican soup that is made from hominy, pork, chili peppers, jalapenos and oregano. It is served with serranos, cabbage, onions, radishes and cilantro. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
When it comes to making authentic, upscale Tex-Mex food, preparation and time are of the essence. That is why Jose Mendez, chef at Los Compadres, gets to the restaurant at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays to prepare the meat for his famous, always sold-out birria tacos.

“I guess you can say [cooking] comes out of the heart,” Mendez said.

Los Compadres in Roanoke is the third concept restaurant opened June 2020 by Mendez and Jack Layman, who also own Jack & Grill Sports Bar and Bayou Jack’s Cajun Grill in town. The partners met in 1999 when Layman—a proprietor at Rockfish Seafood Grill in Southlake—hired Mendez.

“We came up with the name [Los Compadres] because it’s a partnership and we’re like amigos—we’re buddies,” Layman said.

The restaurant’s Mexico City-style recipes are all derived from Mendez’s family—his mother, aunt and wife all contributed their knowledge to the menu. Using only fresh, high-quality ingredients, everything on the menu is homemade.


“Most people love Tex-Mex and we realized that most Tex-Mex is kind of mediocre, and we also saw the value in how mediocre Tex-Mex restaurants charge too much,” Layman said. “So for our quality and for what we do, our prices are about the same as [competitors].”

Popular menu items include pozole, a spicy traditional Mexican soup made from hominy—coarsely ground corn—pork, chile peppers, jalapenos and oregano. The soup is served with cabbage, onions, radishes and cilantro.

“We really do work hard on trying to make sure the quality is where it needs to be,” Layman said. “I think you would be pleasantly surprised [about the food quality]. You’ll be able to tell the difference ... we don’t skimp.”

Los Compadres — 320 S. Oak St., Ste. 100, Roanoke. 682-237-7867 www.loscompadrescantina.com Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.


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