*UPDATE* Is El Charro reopening? I hate to create rumors, but I have seen an El Charro truck outside of a restaurant space in the Fresh parking lot. We may be getting El Charro back. I can't see an advantage to opening in the Fresh parking lot, but I'll take what I can get!
*EDIT* Sadly, both Gilbert's El Charro Restaurants closed their doors after 70 or so years of business in Tyler. My family and I will miss the food. Another loss of a local favorite, hopefully, another local place can fill the void.
Gilbert's El Charro Restaurant
Gilbert's is an old school Tex-Mex restaurant that has two locations in Tyler. The decor and atmosphere take me back to my youth when my grandma and great aunt used to take me out to eat. For me, there is a warm feeling of nostalgia when I walk through the doors.
The spread: They have your typical, what I call Old school Tex-mex. That is to say, enchiladas smothered in chili con carne, nachos, fajitas, tamales, rice N beans, chips N salsa, tacos, burritos, etc. I usually go with one of the combination plates or with the fajitas. Interestingly, they have teamed up with Mother Frances and offer a few healthy options. They also offer free soft serve ice cream, which the kids love.
The verdict: I love this place, mostly because they stay committed to being old school Tex-mex. They aren't trying to be a fancy authentic Mexican restuarant, they are just doing food right. I particularly like the nachos, as they put beans/meat/cheese on top of a six inch tostada fried corn tortilla. The service is usually average to good, with food coming out quickly and glasses full of drinks. I think they also offer a "best" chicken fried steak, which my wife fell for the hype and turns out it was average. This is a good place to take the kids.
Edible Tyler Roses: 4 out of 5, good ole fashioned Tex-mex. YUM!