Gloria’s and my first Sangria Margarita

If it weren’t for the Texas-born friend at the table, I never would have ordered this giant crazy cocktail. Gloria’s calls it a “Meltdown,” and said Texan friend assures me that it’s available other places, too. It’s a frozen margarita swirled with sangria, and topped off with a shot of Grand Marnier. Much sweeter (and more intoxicating) than my usual glass of wine. The mysteries of Texas continue to unfold. Gloria’s is a Texas-only chain, with nearly a dozen locations, and most of them here in North Texas. It’s billed as a Latin American restaurant, and while you’ll find plenty of Mexican food on the menu, there are also some Salvadoran specialties. I had a combination plate with a chile relleno (made with a fresh green pepper—not roasted until tender); a cheese and spinach enchilada topped with green tomatillo sauce; guacamole; and sautéed vegetables, which meant mostly yellow squash. The last item was a substitution for the usual rice and beans; the waiter told me that the refried beans are prepared with chicken stock, and he paused long enough on the rice that I didn’t trust that, either.

Gloria’s Fort Worth location is in the now-booming Montgomery Plaza; if you haven’t been up that way in awhile, you’ll be amazed at how much it’s changed in the last couple of years. Other restaurants in the complex include Pei Wei (lots of tofu), Sushi Axiom (some vegetarian options available), and Mac’s (only sides and salads are vegetarian).