Austin - looking for great texmex
Any recommendations for TexMex or Mexican food in Austin?
re: bloody hammer
Surprising that someone would recommend both Amaya's Taco Village and Enchiladas y Mas. Those are on opposite sides of the spectrum for me.
Amaya's has the most wonderful, flavorful Tex-Mex in Austin. From the enchilada gravy that is the closest I've found to traditional San Antonio gravy, the flavorful beef ribs, and the best traditional ground beef tacos, everything I've eaten there has been really really good.
EyM on the other hand is on the list of worst I've eaten with flavorless beans, chile con carne with mostly gristle, and cheese enchiladas with almost no cheese. It's one of the restaurants on my Tex-Mex "never go" list along with Maudie's, El Mercado, and El Chile.
Amaya's is really the only place I receive consistently good traditional Tex-Mex in Austin. Otherwise I take a drive to SA for the really good stuff.
Perhaps Amaya's is traditional San Antonio, but Enchiladas y Mas (and El Patio similarly) is traditional Austin. Personally they are my favorite enchiladas in Austin anywhere, but be prepared to nap all afternoon! However, I can see where it would be a very personal thing. I personally don't like the traditional San Antonio TexMex. That is why there are so many choices!
Maudie's, Chuy's, Manuel's, Serrano's, and Matt's el Rancho. There are so many places, like Amy Kragan said, look around in the Austin board, everyone here are big texmex fans. Chuy's and Maudie's are excellent for texmex, and Manuel's is more of an interior Mexican place, but is one of my favorite restaurants.
I keep going back to El Chile cafe on Manor Road for a few standard tex mex dishes, great chips and salsa, and Pescado Entortilado.
First, two on the east side:
Los Comales on East 7th. Very authentic, a lot like being in Mexico with lots of Spanish spoken, inexpensive; excellent enchiladas (great green sauce, as well as chipotle), caldo de pollo is excellent; fajitas, tortas, flautas and more. As many Mexican-Americans as gringos eat here. I eat lunch here often and see everything from blue collar guys in uniforms, construction workers and a well-known judge who knows his Mexican food.
Takoba also east 7th is the opposite: stylish, sleek and spare interior decor, nice tables outside too and artsy tacos. Very good too; get the soup of the day (always excellent) and the salad that comes as a side with several dishes is really nice, with mandarin orange slices. Good date place; young hipster crowd and full bar.
Now two locals favorites:
Curra's on Oltorf between Congress and I-35 is great food with some interior Mexican specialties like mole and cane guisada. Awesome caldo (remove the chipotle or it will set you on fire), excellent enchiladas (the one with poblano cream sauce is good), steak tacos with cheese and rajas... outdoor patio, locals, a lot of musicians eat there especially lunch. Parking challenge at peak hours. Full bar, known for margaritas (including an avocado one).
I agree that Maudie's is great Tex-Mex. No attempt at authentic interior Mexican cuisine here, but very very good... Local place so successful it now has several Austin locations from the funky original on Lake Austin Blvd next to Goodwill to the hacienda-looking one at Davenport Village on Loop 360 at Westlake Drive. (my favorite -- great outdoor seating). You really can't go wrong. I like the Hernandez enchiladas (add beef or chicken for more meat), the Rockin' Ruthann's, the chicken fajita tacos, and the caldo de pollo. Full bar and reasonable
Los Comales Restaurant
2136 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
There's a definitional question about what is Tex-Mex. I think of it as gloopy enchiladas, maybe with chile, queso, etc.
I wouldn't call Takoba or Curra's or El Chile or Manuel's Tex Mex. The others, like Maudie's or Amaya's or Matt's El Rancho seem Tex-Mex to me.
But I think great Tex-Mex is an oxymoron. It can be filling comfort food, but I can't see great.
Matt's El Rancho
2613 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
I agree that Amaya's is probably the quintessential Tex-Mex experience. You might also consider La Reyna on S. 1st St.
I haven't been in a coon's age, but El Azteca on E. 7th would probably also meet your needs.
For straight up Mexican, I always suggest El Borrego de Oro on S. Congress at Ben White. Never had a bad meal there.
Please report back after you find a place to eat. I notice from your previous postings that you don't generally share your feelings with the group once you've gotten your rec. We'd love to hear what your thoughts are.