Steak Fajitas River Walk

The Sizzling History of Fajitas

Iron Cactus FajitasFajitas have grown from obscure, South Texas roots to become a beloved mainstay of Mexican cooking. The history of fajitas, while somewhat blurred, belongs to the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas and northern Mexico, where skirt steak was often used as payment to vaqueros (Spanish for “cowboys”). The vaqueros soon became adept at marinating the steak and devouring its various, tasty forms.

The mainstream popularity of fajitas truly began in the 70s as restaurants and concession stands in South Texas awakened the cowboy tradition by grilling skirt steak on sizzling platters and serving them with flour tortillas. Soon, thanks to some very satisfied and loyal customers, their popularity exploded. Ingredients quickly grew to include guacamole, grated cheese and pico de gallo, a combination of fresh onions, tomatoes, peppers and cilantro.

The tradition of delivering them to the table on a sizzling platter certainly did nothing to inhibit their popularity. Many customers can readily attest that it is hard to resist the delectable smell of sizzling, flavorful steak as it passes by your table.

Soon enough, they became a staple at Mexican restaurants across the state, with many variations on this simple dish.

At Iron Cactus, we appreciate the authentic roots of fajitas and have added our signature unique blends of flavors to create our own interpretation, including such evocative dishes as Tequila Marinated Chicken Breast, Tequila Adobo Marinated Shrimp, an unforgettable steak and chicken combination, and the Achiote Marinated Pork Carnitas. Be sure to come and try one of these delightful dishes for yourself. You will be keeping an authentic tradition alive while delighting your taste buds.


I’ve worked in the restaurant industry for many years and have always enjoyed learning every aspect of the restaurant business. One thing that I’ve never done in my years of experience is showcase a dish on live TV, but that all changed last Monday.

Iron Cactus Riverwalk was invited to be part of the local NBC morning show, San Antonio Living, for its July 9th show. Being the general manager of the Riverwalk location, I was asked to be the guest on the show to demo a Tex-Mex dish. Our team decided on the Yucatan Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa. It was an excellent choice since it is a refreshing dish that is perfect for the summer season and can be made by the home viewer.

Since this is my TV debut, I arrived at the studio early to make sure I had enough time to set-up and prep for my segment. I was glad that everyone who worked on the show was welcoming from the camera guys to the director to the show’s host, Shelly Miles. She walked me through how the segment was going to go down.

I was also glad that the San Antonio Living set had its own kitchen. It made it easier to get the food and ingredients prepped before I went on the air. I also quickly learned that nothing ever happens as planned on live TV. Due to lack of experience, I had a couple of minor mishaps during prep time. Thankfully, the live cooking segment went without a hitch.

More important, I was able to share with the audience what the Iron Cactus Riverwalk has to offer including our unique Mexican dishes, award-winning margaritas, happy hour and our recent fundraising for our troops.

If you’d like to view the segment and learn how to make Yucatan Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa, play the video below:

See you at the Iron Cactus Riverwalk soon!
Steve Clemens
General Manager
Iron Cactus Riverwalk