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Business

With new chef, Tex-Mex and Beyond gives itself a restart

5/16/13 | By Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

BERLIN — Tex-Mex & Beyond hit the “restart” button, with a May 11 re-grand opening of the renovated boarding house at 119 Main St.

Tara Wancowicz has been managing the restaurant since it opened on Labor Day 2012. She said the reason for the re-grand opening was to introduce Chef Jason Purkey to the community. Purkey does everything from prep to presentation, according to Wancowicz. “He even makes the homemade desserts,” she said.

Dessert offerings include banana bread pudding, coconut crème pie, flan, strawberry shortcake and tres leches, she said.

The menu includes a wide selection of favorites for Mexican cuisine lovers. It includes staples such chili relleno, burritos, empanadas, nachos rancheros, quesadillas, handcrafted tamales, and tortilla soup. Just the right prescription for a set of taste buds needing a spicy and affordable indulgence.

But Wancowicz said one misconception the owner sought to avoid, with the name of the eatery, was that it only serves Mexican cuisine. She noted that one of Purkey’s specialties is chicken or pork tortas, but added that lunch specials include pork barbeque and hamburgers.

Wancowicz peeled off a list of entrees to prove her point. “It’s not just Mexican,” according the Baltimore native, who has lived on the Eastern Shore for the past 15 years. The menu includes Texas-style brisket, chicken, braised beef short ribs, seafood and rib eye steak. That would represent the “Texas” part of the Tex-Mex name, she said.

There is a children’s menu as well with a fresh fruit cup alternative to sugary desserts, although the sugary offerings are there too.

The location was fully remodeled by owner Ernest Gerardi, and is a mix between warm and earthy, and crisp and modern. Diners seeking to dine al fresco have a choice between an upstairs balcony and street-level patio. Wancowicz took the opportunity put out the word that she is seeking entertainers who can unobtrusively serenade patrons outside. Specifically, she said she is looking for a low-key mariachi band.

Happy hour is from 3-6 p.m. and lunch special are available from Monday through Friday. After Memorial Day, closing time will be extended by one hour to 10 p.m., according to Wancowicz. The hours until then are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

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