A division of private-equity firm TPG has acquired Texas-based Tex-Mex chain Taco Bueno for an undisclosed amount, the companies said. The 48-year-old chain operates 177 restaurants in seven states, and it will expand to new markets, said TPG Growth partner Sanjay Banker.
Food author Pati Jinich writes that when she moved to Dallas from Mexico City, she was excited to experience her first Tex-Mex meal, but was disappointed at its lack of Mexican flair. Since then, the cuisine has started to incorporate more Mexican ingredients, "making the Mex in the Tex-Mex that much more vibrant," she writes.
FOCUS Brands plans to expand Moe's Southwest Grill through new stores and international growth, opening its first store in Turkey this year. The Tex-Mex chain, whose sister companies include Carvel and Cinnabon, is finding opportunities as the global recession abates.
Rita Restaurant Corp. has launched the first franchise program for its 22-year-old Don Pablo's Tex-Mex concept. The 40-unit casual-dining chain, operating in 15 states, is looking to franchise existing company-owned locations and new outlets.
Fajitas and burritos are among the easiest and tastiest of Tex-Mex offerings, featuring fillings that can be prepared in advance then reheated and served in warm tortillas. This recipe for beef fajitas uses sirloin, onions and mushrooms, while the turkey chili burrito recipe features breast meat, canned diced tomatoes, garlic and Monterey Jack cheese.