Diners can expect a traditional Caribbean meal at Tex-Rican Bar-B-Que in Harker Heights.
Owner Edwin Camuy first opened his business more than two years ago.
“I had a restaurant before for three years in Puerto Rico,” he said. “We came from Puerto Rico about 12 years ago and we lived in Harker Heights.”
Camuy has 30 years of cooking experience under his belt. Before starting his own restaurant, Camuy worked for the federal government in the Fort Hood mess hall.
“I had the opportunity to work on post and support the soldiers for eight years,” he said. “I also had the experience to cook for President George Bush and a lot of people from the government. We had a good experience.”
Camuy cooked Caribbean rice for Bush in 2005, which Bush said was his favorite presidential meal.
Since 2010, he’s shared that same recipe and other local favorites at his restaurant in the Valley View Shopping Center on Cox Drive.
“We (have) barbecued ribs, barbecued brisket and a lot of seafood,” he said. “The first plate we made is the plantain.”
The fried green plantain dishes are served with items like roast pork and red snapper filet.
Camuy inherited his passion for cooking from his mother, he said. He wants his restaurant to be a place where people can enjoy a meal and feel like family.
Wilson Cruzcrespo is Camuy’s cook. The two men grew up together in Puerto Rico and developed the same interest in cooking.
“It’s an honor to make the food,” he said. “We make it with love and the condiments that we prepare in the restaurant. There are not many Puerto Rican restaurants in Texas, and we like the people to come here and eat the food because most places around don’t have what we got.”
Camuy and Cruzcrespo say they serve not only customers in their restaurant, but also God.
“It’s a place that most of our customers come after church,” Cruzcrespo said. “Our passion is the people who come ... .We give good food for their stomach and their spirit.”
Camuy, who also offers catering, plans to expand his business in coming months.
“It’s a small place, but the customers found the flavor and customer service to be huge,” he said. “We also have good prices and we enjoy seeing the people who love the plates and want different combinations.”
Tex-Rican Bar-B-Que is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. For more information, call (254) 432-4055.