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Aug 4, 2007 06:29 AM

Options for a tasty lunch in the 51st/Manor/Springfield area

Next week we are going to be in the area bounded by 51st/Manor/Springfield. Anybody have any good places for a lunch in about an hour in this area?

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  1. I'm not sure exactly what kind of lunch experience you’re looking for, or which places you've already tried, but when I'm in the area on Monday and Tuesday, I plan to hit the taco trucks Taquería El Rinconsito and El Centenario. Here's are two links with more info:

    I also like the burgers at Burger Tex on Airport Boulevard near 51st. I recently had good fried catfish and decent hushpuppies at Springhill Catfish on Airport and Oak Springs, though everything else was mediocre at best ( ). And for months I've been meaning to try the Stallion Grill, also on Airport, but I keep arriving when they're closed (breakfast until 10 A.M., then lunch from 11 to 3). Someone is sure to recommend Quality Seafood, but I have no first-hand experience with their prepared foods.

    Whatever you do, avoid Terry's Seafood and Chicken on Airport. I got conned into trying their chow recently, and it was just awful. I'll post more on that subject soon.

    I hope this helps.

    1. I'd second MPH's nod to Burger Tex. Their traditional burgers are quite good and their Bulgogi Burger is something that my friends and I crave.

      There's also the usual suspects along Manor closer to I35 (El Chile, Eastside Cafe, or Hoovers would be my picks).

      1. You'll be just down the road from Amaya's Taco Village (51st and I-35, in the Target shopping center). If you make it past the strip mall exterior, you’ll find a solid Tex-Mex menu inside with one major standout.
        Their take on crispy tacos may be unusual, even controversial, but it's hard to find better in this city. The homemade corn tortillas are soft fried, a small change in preparation that makes a huge difference in the final taco.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Alan Sudo

          Feeling hungry one recent afternoon, I set out to find Taqueria el Riconsito, but it was closed. I headed farther up Airport to Burger Tex, and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food. I had a small (4 oz.) burger with jalapeno jack cheese and a side of onion rings. 6 oz. and 8 oz. sizes are also available, and the cheese choices are the pepper jack, cheddar, or American. The bun tasted homemade, and there is a condiment bar so you can top your burger with what you want. This bar included the usual suspects plus jarred jalapeno slices, pico de gallo, and barbecue sauce. The burger was the thin, griddled variety, though the bigger sizes are probably thicker. The onion rings were sliced on the thick side and remained crispy during the drive home (about 10 minutes), and they were nicely battered, though my ideal onion ring has a thinner, more tempura-like batter. I've yet to find onion rings out in Austin that equal those we can make at home, but the ones at Burger Tex are pretty good. I plan on returning, though I hope to make it to Taqueria el Riconsito soon, and I'd like to hit La Fruta Feliz on the same trip for some fruit or an agua fresca.

          1. re: diva360

            I think the Burger Tex on Airport is underrated. They make their own buns daily on site, do a good job with their patties and their fries have a bit of batter and are nicely crunchy.
            My favorite combination is the burger with swiss and grilled mushrooms.

            Note that the Burger Tex on Airport is *not* related to the Burger Tex on Guadalupe.

            1. re: ilbranzino

              Does anyone know if the Burger Tex on Airport is related to the Burger Tex at William Cannon and 290?

              1. re: Honey Bee

                I believe the Burger Tex restaurants on Airport Boulevard (which is the original), along with the ones in Oak Hill and Pflugerville make up a small franchise of three. The "Burger Tex" places on Guadalupe and Research Boulevard are both independently owned, though there are menu similarities.

        2. Not quite at 51 but on Manor there is Eastside Cafe. They take reservations so you can get in and out quickly. There is also Vivo, which can get crowded unless you go early. Both are casual but very nice.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lobolady

            I like Eastside, but Vivo's is gross. The menu is tiny and the puffy tacos everyone raves about are tasteless and bland. I think people like the gimmicky-ness of Vivos and the colored margaritas (ick!). I've been meaning to try El Chile and Red House.

            1. re: shanntastic

              Nope, never had the margaritas. I agree that the menu is a bit limited but I found the puffy tacos to be very good. Actually, the salsa is a bit spicy. I find most of the food to be more "healthy" Tex-Mex but I only eat the vegetarian entrees so can't comment on anything except the puffy tacos and the enchiladas. Different strokes....

          2. Not to get off topic, but with all that Mueller redevelopment going on, I sincerely hope we can get some interesting new restaurants in there. I didn't have much hope for the Domain, but Mueller could definitely support some good non-chain restaurants. Anyone heard anything? At the moment there's a Chipotle open in the shopping center, and a "gourmet salad" chain called Doc Green's under construction.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mkwng

              The lastest news fom the general commercial development boasts such exciting vendors as Old Navy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Starbucks, and about 3-4 other chains. I'm not holding my breath for any interesting restaurants at Mueller.

              Whoever is flagging me, feel free to flag this too. If I were paranoid, I'd think that someone has it out for me.