Recent Comments

Recent Posts




Tez's Mexican Cantina / Monterrey Mexican Restaurant, 7949 Broad River Road: Fall 2010   22 comments

Posted at 12:36 am in closing

Commenter Heath notes this closing as follows:

Another Friarsgate Plaza closing from the summer or early fall of 2010 – Monterrey Mexican Restaurant. They were located there since at least the early 2000’s – after buying out Tez’s Mexican Cantina that was located there from sometime prior to 1990 or 1991 when I first knew of it. This Monterrey’s was owned by the same group that owns the location on Knox Abbott Drive in W. Columbia, and had slightly different recipes than the other group that owns the Vista, Columbiana (Afton Ct.), and Killian Road locations. The El Monterrey location you see on Broad River near I-20 (and possibly still open on Parklane?) is yet another splinter off of the other Columbia locations.

I think I vaguely recall seeing another Tez's somewhere in the area, and of course there are a number of Monterrey locations as Heath mentions, but I had no idea this one existed. I have to admit that I only just got it through my head fairly recently that Broad River Road goes all the way to I-26 and beyond as growing up I always associated it purely with the Dutch Square/Intersection Center/Boozer Shopping Center area.

(Hat tip, obviously, to commenter Heath)

UPDATE 30 September 2021 -- Now Tavern On Broad:


Also adding map icon and updating tags.

Written by ted on May 19th, 2011

Tagged with , , , , ,

22 Responses to 'Tez's Mexican Cantina / Monterrey Mexican Restaurant, 7949 Broad River Road: Fall 2010'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Tez's Mexican Cantina / Monterrey Mexican Restaurant, 7949 Broad River Road: Fall 2010'.

  1. Tez's originated in what looked like a large mobile home unit located just off Bush River Road next to the (at the time) Motel 6 in the corner of BRR and I-26 and the current Wal-Mart outparcels in the mid '70s. It then moved across the interstate to the building now occupied by Heart Breakers at 800 BRR. It was there until some time in the '80s I believe.


    19 May 11 at 6:30 am

  2. Tez's on Bush River was in the old location of the Hungry Bull, which I guess is currently Heartbreakers. I guess the original location across the interstate was the same building that housed "Miranda's" Mexican restaurant in the late 1980s, and would later house a "club" called "Bottoms Up," for a short while. (Hmmm . . . is there a pattern here???)

    Unrelated, I actually ate at MudBones this past weekend. I liked it, and I hope they can make it. Friarsgate Plaza has definitely seen better days.


    19 May 11 at 8:18 am

  3. I think the owner’s name was Frank Cortez, and he would occasionally call in his radio spots (like JJ at the Lite House). I remember once when he was explaining about Mexican food, and that mostly it’s not really as hot as its reputation (back in the mid 1980s when Mexican restaurants were still somewhat uncommon). Once, when he was doing a radio spot, the in-studio guest was comedian Kip Adotta, who was appearing at one of the local comedy clubs. He asked Tez if he knew how to make Chicken Suiza, because he (Adotta) had encountered very few people who really knew how to make it. Tez replied, “Chicken Suiza? Oh, sure.” Some years later, I did try Chicken Suiza somewhere, and I thought it was pretty good, but nothing special. And looking at what comprised it, I didn’t see what would be so difficult in the preparation for any decent cook. But, again, Adotta had made those comments in the mid 1980s when we didn’t have a Monterey in every strip mall.

    Also, in regard to Mexican food’s alleged “heat,” Tez would say, “When it’s not, it’s not, but, brother, when it’s hot, it’s HOT!” BTW, a frequent customer at this Tez’s was James Best, Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, himself, who at the time owned a home on Lake Murray. I ate at this Tez’s once. It was OK, but I never went back. The only thing I remember about the meal was the home-made chips. Sometimes when places make their own, they come out leathery and stuck together, as was the case when I went.


    19 May 11 at 9:19 am

  4. Thanks for sharing all of that, Badger. I need to go to Mudbone's. That menu is right up my alley! And in regard to your first posting about the original location of Hungry Bull, it was also JAWS!


    19 May 11 at 10:22 am

  5. I thought the Monterrey's on Broad River by 20 was listed here, but I don't see it in alphabetical. On the way in this morning, I saw that someone was doing some work on the place. The doors were open and it looked as though there were contractors there.


    17 Jul 13 at 12:04 pm

  6. I used to eat lunch often at the original location back in the mid 1970's. It was great, and reasonably priced.


    21 Jul 13 at 3:17 pm

  7. I remember eating at Tez's in the mid 90's. I loved the denver burrito and was hoping to find the recipe. I love mexican food and my favorite place to eat is El pablanos. The best people though are found at San Jose in Ballentine. They have opened a new restaurant, but the original has the nicest people you will ever meet.

    Krysta Browning

    30 Dec 13 at 8:00 pm

  8. Krysta,

    Give Chapala a try. It is located in Murraywood Plaza, where 1-2-3/Stinger's, etc. was located. Very nice people as well, and the food is very good. They have nightly specials. I highly recommend the Pollo Fundido and the three fajitas special. Forgot what the actual dish is called.


    2 Jan 14 at 11:29 am

  9. All these fine people that are taking the time to critique various food places, should be commended! Our industry needs all this input, and remember, a lot of us listen! My only regret, is having reached a time in my life when I had to say, "No mas"! Old father time! Just had to retire from an industry I so enjoyed for almost 60 yrs. ! So thank you all that have taken the time to remember my dear ole Tez's, you have no idea how it soothes my soul !

    Frank Cortez

    10 Nov 14 at 10:57 am

  10. Mexican Restaurants of interest: Chapala's--El Poblano--Real Mexico--Jalisco's! Ownership and management are doing a great job with food and service..............You may want to let them know Tez says so!

    Frank Cortez

    10 Nov 14 at 1:41 pm

  11. Holy this the real Frank Cortez?

    Speaking as a guy whose relationship and marriage to a wonderful woman was built around weekly dates at the various Mexican restaurants around town, i both thank you and tip my hat for your years of preparing delicious food and helping expand the market for that style of food here in Columbia. Tez's and Little Mexico were two of our favorite stops. Both are sorely missed.

    Maybe even more importantly, when i got married and found that i actually enjoyed doing some of the cooking duties, Tex-Mex was the first genre of food i delved into. Now 20 years later, im told by various people i whip up a pretty mean batch of fajitas.

    So thanks for getting me married, feeding me all those years and inspiring me to expand my horizons.


    12 Nov 14 at 8:58 pm

  12. @Frank Cortez - thank you for one of the people that introduced me to Mexican food. Back in the day, there were only two places I would go where I could find delicious food at great prices. Tez's and El Menchaca were to ONLY two places I would go. Thank you for your years of dedication. I only wish there were more restaurants like yours instead of the 'cookie-cutter' Mexican places that seem to be on everywhere today!!!!


    13 Nov 14 at 1:45 am

  13. How can I get a short list of Frank's reciepes

    Skip Case

    12 Nov 17 at 8:59 am

  14. Mr Frank!!! I think of your family and girls often!!!
    I am in Charleston and I'm a lawyer...I just
    Got married and am opening a restaurant!!!

    My husband would love to meet you as you
    Are one of my greatest mentors and heros!!!

    I would love the opportunity to speak with you again!

    I miss your food not than anything in the world!!!

    I guess my parents James and Carla had some good taste
    ...ha ha...well my husband and I just got married and
    His family is in columbia! I would love to opportunity
    To see you and get together!!

    Much Love,
    And looking forward to hearing from you!!!

    Jamie Cade from Charleston 843-697-6555

    Jamie Cade

    4 Apr 18 at 9:40 pm

  15. Frank Cortex was married to my mama...Bonnie! He was a good cook but a terrible husband and child molester! I know l was raised by him....had to call him daddy and illegally used his last name....Kristi Cortez ...I hated people thinking he was my father and that l looked just like him! I am not a Mexican and l love my real father whom he kept from me until at 14 he sent me away! I knew too much about him....and he is evil!!! I will not be complete until he is dead!!! And he never paid taxes....he does now to stay out of prison! He has fooled alto of people but there are many who know what he is truly like and God will judge!!!

    Kristi Bond

    12 Aug 18 at 2:04 pm

  16. Dude sounds evil!!!


    21 Aug 18 at 1:13 pm

  17. My first date with my future wife was at tez's in 1986.she and I were married and would go fri and sat night till it closed.had New York strips medium rare with baked potatos and salad with blue cheese.NEVER,EVER, had a bac meal.frank was always a great host, and very much appreciated his customers.


    2 Dec 18 at 2:01 am

  18. Ronnie,that's a great story


    2 Dec 18 at 6:40 pm

  19. Oh Ronnie...l was probably your server? 1986 l was there almost every weekend!!


    14 Dec 18 at 5:41 pm

  20. I am sure there was a Tez Mexican Restaurant in the Plaza where Big Lots & Dollar General is on Two Notch Road many years ago & in the 2000’s the unit became a Pet Store in the 2000’s.


    24 Apr 23 at 3:06 pm

  21. @Chris -- there definitely was a Mexican restaurant in the Big Lots plaza around 1989, though I don't recall the name. At that time, it was the only Mexican place I had ever eaten where they didn't bring you out free chips & salsa.


    26 Apr 23 at 10:48 pm

  22. Anyone remember about how many Mexican restaurants there we were in Columbia back in the early 1970s?

    Jim Little

    25 Jan 24 at 9:17 pm

Leave a Reply


Recently Updated Posts