Tony Waldrop started out busing tables in his family’s popular neighborhood restaurant on Northwest Highway at Abrams. Today, he runs the show at all three Enchilada’s restaurant locations, and he points with pride to their veteran staff and multi-generational customer base.

In a business where half of the new eateries don’t make it through their second year, he doesn’t take success for granted.

By way of explanation, Waldrop says that Enchilada’s, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, “has reinvented Tex-Mex” with items like “messy burritos,” and that yummy and oh-so-secret sour cream sauce recipe. Also known for their grilled shrimp and chicken, and of course their enchiladas, the restaurant regularly comes up with ways to surprise the taste buds of their faithful following.

But don’t panic if a new item at Enchilada’s bumps your all-time favorite dish off the menu. Just ask your waiter for what you’ve always had. The folks at this home-style restaurant know that Tex-Mex cravings are to be taken seriously – your order is on the way.

TONY’S CHICKEN

(serves four)

Tony Waldrop of Enchilada’s places a great deal of emphasis on properly marinating meats that are to be grilled. His kitchen does it faithfully, with this recipe and with fajitas. So don’t cut that corner! Another interesting note for home chefs: Enchilada’s is in the process of publishing a book of recipes that will include stories and customer anecdotes from past years.

4 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 c. marinade (recipe below)

¼ lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

¼ lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Marinate whole chicken breasts for at least 24 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, and grill over medium-high heat until done, approximately 15 minutes. Cover with bacon crumbles and top with grated cheese. Place under broiler until cheese melts.

Marinade

16 oz. bottled Italian dressing

1 c. fresh lemon juice

½ c. garlic powder

½ cup fajita spice (found on the spice aisle of most grocery stores)