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Jun 15, 2011 08:31 AM

What happened to Amaya's?!?

Went out of town for 2 weeks. Returned yesterday and went to get my Tex-mex fix and Amaya's Taco Village isn't there anymore? There was another Mexican restaurant there...can't remember the name because I was in shock at the time. What gives?

Amaya's Taco Village
5405 N Interstate 35, Austin, TX 78723

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    1. Yeah, it's on the southbound frontage of I-35 between 290 and Reinli (next to the La Quinta). I drove by the other day and it looked close to finished. There were also a couple of guys out front holding a protest banner that said something like "Shame on Amaya's." Couldn't read further from the freeway. Wonder what that's all about...

      3 Replies
      1. re: brentwood

        Upset that they aren't technically on the 'east side' anymore?

        1. re: bbq1995

          The space they are going in to has been the kiss of death for restaurants, I'm curious to see if it is the space or the occupants!

        2. re: brentwood

          They're passing out a little note at the front desk about this. There are two accusations - first, that Amaya's payroll is somehow shady, and second, that their labor practices on the new restaurant buildout were shady. Amaya's denies them both, of course.

          As for that spot being the kiss of death, they were very busy at 7 on a Monday night, so maybe they'll be the ones to make it work!

        3. We swung by for lunch today, and I don't think they'll have any trouble thriving at this location if the crowd was any indication. The protestors have moved on, but the parking lot and restaurant are still jammed. Our server said the new place is close to double the size of the old, and they've been crowded from open to close since they moved. There's a bar area in the middle of the new place, and a small patio on the frontage road side.

          The good news is that the menu and food remain unchanged. Same amazing crispy tacos, same combo plates, and while it's just too hot for me to consider caldo, one hopes it's as good as before as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: brentwood

            Went there last night (Friday) around 6. Big happy crowd of very diverse diners. Huge staff zipping around providing fast service and keeping everyone happily refilled and everything clean. Didn't look at the restrooms though. Place is bright not at all like the old Bombay Bicycle Club we used to idle away many drinking hours in years ago. A takeout area in the back made that look efficient. I see some family pack takeout options on their website that could feed a group at home in a pinch.

            Had the tacos. They are very good. Fresh fried softish shells like Angie's (I heard the two places had a common heritage but my server didn't know anything about that) No carnitas though. The chips weren't the same thick fresh fried great ones like Angie's either. They seemed a little better than the bagged ones that have become so common though. I'm guessing they fry them there. Nice cold and pretty spicy red table sauce.

            Good rice and beans and those tacos are good. A very good “yellow cheese and iceberg” alternative for the horde of dingy Mex semi-chains in Austin. And a quick in/out for that part of town. I don’t know about the margaritas.

            Amaya's Taco Village
            5405 N Interstate 35, Austin, TX 78723

          2. This was my first time going to this location / IH35 southbound ,and believe me when I tell you the service was a mess . First we ,my husband and female cousin and I around 5:25PM went there today to betold by the female person, " I'll be right back". So we went and sit down at a very much seeable waiting space and waited at least 10 minites . Then in walks an older white couple and stands where we stood at first . No sooner than this male person sees them he immedeately comes w/menus to seat them . I followed him and them to the table and told the fool we were first and had been there for a while and no one waited on us . He apologized ,but so what . They still got seated first . I do not no if this was a racial issue or not but I was and still is very much pissed off. This woman came back that told us to wait ,but did not apologize or have any thing to say . The guy who waited on them first was Mexican and so was the girl . We are Black, The servers were Mexican and the couple was White . I will never go there ever again and do not or will not recommend them to anyone . MS. J.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dorothymae

              I'm black never had a problem there, but I get take out. Honestly the place is usually a zoo so I can see a lot slipping through the cracks.

              1. re: Rptrane

                amayas can be a madhouse during peak times. I've had spotty service on occasion but definitely not the norm.

                i'd be pretty surprised if there was any correlation to prejudice. It is about as diverse a clientele as you can find in Austin at any given time. any regular discrimination would be tough to pull off there. You never know if the table next to you is gonna be a street walker, cop, state senator or priest. (i'll keep to myself which one I find most offensive.)

                Pretty much the only sort of folks you don't see in there are skinny people.

                sucks that you had a lousy experience. but at that price point it is hard to get too upset about anything there.

                now i want some machacado!