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Jul 11, 2011 04:52 PM

La Condesa

I finally managed to try La Condesa last night using the Groupon I bought a while ago. I though my expectations were moderate based on the review in Fearless Critic (8.9 out of 10 for food).

They seated us at a table for four in the center of the restaurant. The table was very close to a large party seated at the table behind. When one of the other diners leaned back in his chair we were literally an inch apart. After that party left I slide the chair off to the side. A short time later they seated another party of 5 there. In hindsight I wish I'd asked to be moved.

It was very disappointing. Let's start with the cocktail. I had the Spicy Poloma - nothing was spicy about it. It was weak and overpriced ($12 for about 5 ounces). My husbands cocktail was tasty, though a tad sweet and still small/weak. My friend had the watermelon martini - nothing notable about it. I don't mind paying $12 for a cocktail but I'd like to at least taste (and feel) like it has a little booze in it. I felt ripped off.

The three of us shared the Chorizo Nachos. They were good - nice slices of fresh avocado sprinkled with a touch of sea salt. The beans were nicely seasoned. I would order these again if I returned.

I ordered the Spicy Guava glazed pork ribs. They were not very good at all.. covered with a sickly sweet overly clove-y thick sauce. The meat was tender enough to fall off the bone, about the only redeeming quality.

The two men shared the Carne Asada (Rib Eye with compound butter, chimichurrie and roasted garlic). It was a nicely cooked steak but nothing special. Walk across the street to Lambert's and order their Mustard and Brown Sugar Crusted Niman Ranch Ribeye. For the same (or very similar price) it is leaps and bounds better.

For sides we ordered potato poblano gratin. Very little flavor and almost no cheese. Arrived 5 minutes after our meal after we inquired if it was coming.

For me the shining star of the meal was the Mexican style street corn. For $3 this was excellent.

I was bummed. I was really hoping I'd like this place.

Have any Hounds had a good meal here? If yes, what do you recommend?

La Condesa
400-A W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

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  1. I really wasn't too wowed by this place either. Nor Fonda. Nor the couple of Rick Bayless restaurants I've been to... I just think that really fancified Mexican food is usually fine and all, but I'd rather eat tacos in the back of La Moreliana.

    That said, my cocktail, the Alma Blanca, was really good, and there was a great appetizer special of fried shisito peppers.

    3 Replies
    1. re: popvulture

      aren't shishito peppers japanese?

      anyhoo. some people really like this place.
      i have yet to try it because i rather spend my dining dollars on known-good meals.
      i'm just not willing to take the leap, especially when i see review posts like this!

      1. re: dinaofdoom

        Yep, they're Japanese, but often used (or similar, local equivalents) in Spanish and French food... I think they're sometimes called chiles japon├ęs, but I could be mistaking that for a similar pepper.

        They had them at Central Market pretty regularly about a month ago... not sure if it's still the case. Grab some if you ever see em... super easy to cook, and DELICIOUS.

        Central Market
        4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745

        1. re: popvulture

          our work cafe had them as a special side.
          they put them on the open-flame grill and liberally seasoned them with S&P.
          they were great-- one color was hotter than the other but i can't remember (red vs. green).
          i've also had them at izakayas with cold beers but um *sadness* austin has none.

          i always associated them w/ asian food and was surprised to hear of them in mexican.