El Fenix waiter Ulises Garcia serves a table at El Fenix in downtown Dallas in 2013.

El Fenix waiter Ulises Garcia serves a table at El Fenix in downtown Dallas in 2013.

Brad Loper

The original El Fenix in downtown Dallas has some serious celebrating to do. In honor of its 97th birthday, it will sell cheese enchilada plates for just 97 cents on Tuesday, Sept. 15. 

If you were to make a short list of Dallas' most famous dishes, El Fenix's cheese enchilada dinner would need to be on it.

If you were to make a short list of Dallas' most famous dishes, El Fenix's cheese enchilada dinner would need to be on it.

Courtesy of El Fenix

Expect a line.

The plate comes with two cheese enchiladas topped with chile con carne, rice and beans on the side.

Rules: One per guest, no substitutions. The deal lasts all day, but only at the downtown Dallas El Fenix.

The late Mike Martinez Sr., who founded El Fenix in 1918, is believed to have created the Tex-Mex genre. His El Fenix brand, now owned by Firebird Restaurant Group, has expanded to more than 20 restaurants.

El Fenix Mexican Restaurant

A spokesperson says 100 percent of proceeds from each 97-cents-per-plate deal goes to a charity that raises money to give clean drinking water to people in developing countries. Employees are donating out of their own pockets, too, and the company hopes to raise $97,000, which would provide clean water for more than 3,200 people, a press release says.

Dine-in guests at every El Fenix restaurant will get a free sopapilla as part of the birthday celebration. That deal lasts through Sept. 20.

The original El Fenix: 1601 McKinney Ave., Dallas. ElFenix.com.

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