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Good Tex-Mex at Jorge's

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I have been looking for good West Texas style Tex-Mex since I arrived in Austin, only to be continually disappointed by ranchero sauces, thin chips from a bag, flavorless refried beans, and fake cheese (ew!) I love the real Mexican food I can get in Austin at places like Arandas and Tacolote, but I've been longing for the simple pleasures of food from my childhood.

Last week I discovered I've finally discovered the place, and it's in my own backyard.

I tried Jorge's a couple of years ago and wasn't really impressed (reading an old thread, it sounds like that was the consensus). But, something has changed there, and it's now absolutely delicious.

First off, the chips are thick and house fried, which is always a good start to a meal.

The star of my meal was my cheese enchiladas. Jorge's enchiladas are served with 1.) good, thick chile con carne sauce (not tomato based), with a bit of a kick and 2.) real cheddar cheese, both crucial for good Tex-Mex.

The refried beans that came with the meal? They were loaded with bacon grease and were absolutely delicious. Although I love my many vegetarian friends dearly, one element of Austin-style-Tex-Mex that I'd come to live with was the typical vegetable-oil based beans -- which are hardly worth the trouble, really. These are the best I've tasted in years.

We went to Jorge's on a Friday night and it was packed -- inside and out, a testament to the fact that people have discovered it's newfound yumminess.

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  1. Midland-style Tex-Mex in Austin. Hard to believe, but true. I really like the place.

    Some discussion of Jorge's can be found here:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/39163...

    I'm glad to hear that it was packed. My last ten visits there had the place half-empty. I hope for nothing but success for this amazing family.

    1. I had dinner at Jorge's last night and I wish I had found out about this place sooner (I should've noticed considering it's next to my favorite bar).

      Definitely the best cheese enchiladas I've had so far in town. Real melty cheese, not oozing with grease, and the chili con carne was just right. I had the Guadalupe plate: two cheese enchiladas covered respectively in chili con carne & ranchero sauce and both were topped additionally with lettuce & tomato...a throw-back to Tex-Mex of old. The refried beans were very tasty, but I was a bit let down by the rice, which was bland and unremarkable.

      My friends had beef tacos and chicken enchiladas w/ green sauce. They enjoyed their dishes as well.

      We ordered queso as an appetizer. I suspect the queso has a velveeta base to it. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's a lot thinner and smoother than I usually prefer. I guess I've become used to Austin queso, which usually has all manner of ingredients thrown in, from chopped jalapenos to green onions to salsa, etc... The thick chips held up well to the cheese.

      The margaritas were very strong, as in one was more than enough. Strangely, they were served in Collins glasses instead of standard margarita glasses. I wonder if this is standard practice or if the bartender was putting us on...

      Service was okay. Different waiters would constantly stop by and make sure we had plenty of water, chips, and salsas. Our food and drinks came out quickly. The waitress that took our orders though had the demeanor of a diner waitress. She was curt and disinterested in paying any more attention to us than taking our orders. My friend had inquired about the size of the portions, so he could gauge whether a small or large serving would be enough, and she snapped that she didn't know how much he could eat. Gee, thanks ever so for your advice. Despite her, the evening was enjoyable and we would definitely come back.