Austin Updates: Coyote Grill & Manuel's
I returned to Coyote Grill this evening, with friends. we were all pleased. One a vegetarian and the other Atkin's Diet (steak and veg, no carbs). What we loved: the iceberg lettuce salad with gorganzola dressing ($3.75, fantastic), the serano chile crab cakes ($4.50 as a 1/2 price happy hour appetizer-the best crab cake I can recall having, and I do know my crab cakes). The Aztec Soup was as far from any Aztec Soup I have known as it could be, but in a good direction; call it a great corn chowder. My friend liked his rib eye steak, tender and perfectly cooked. My vegetarian significant other had already tried the one veggie entre, a pasta primavera, so they made him a portabella mushroom enchilada on request. It was lovely to look at and he liked it, too.
This restaurant was empty. I really don't want to see it close. So everyone go try it and tell your friends. It is at 4th and Lavaca, south east corner.
I ate at Manuels last night. This restaurant never gets mentioned here, and recently a chowhound I respect and admire gave it a "not-recommended" rating. What gives? I defy you to find me about a better flauta in Austin, or a better soft taco, or a better plate of fried shrimp. Teriffic fajitas. A campachena to make one weep with joy, and 1/2 price at happy hour, as are all the appetizers. Nice tostsadas, interesting chile relleno (tho West Lynn still makes the best), solid rice and beans (black). What's not to recommend? This is a review of the downtown location, I don't love the north one as much.
So where have y'all tried lately?
Manuel's has always been one of our favs. It was started I believe by former employees of Fonda San Miguel.
I've always found it to be very good - the grilled fish always fresh and tasty, the enchiladas banderas (3 sauces) is good and my husband loves the relleno stuffed with pork and smothered in walnut sauce. Enchiladas filled with shredded meat mmm... suspect the interior puts some people off as it sure doesn't look like a Mexican restaurant inside.
I'm going to put Coyote Grill on my todo list then. I've never heard of it except from you.
As for Manuel's, I've only been to the north one once or twice and was neutral on the whole thing. I'll have to remember that the downtown one may be better.
I've been up to very little with restaurants lately--too busy and haven't been wanting to spend too much money lately. I did try Manny Hatten's for lunch a couple of weeks ago (right after it opened). The Pastrami sandwhich was so-so, but the cheescake was pretty good though. The problem with the place is that it's a sit down sandwhich shop, and I think the prices are about $2 to high. Seems like my sandwhich was around 8 bucks. Plus tax and tip. Ouch.
Anybody tried Thai Spice at Parmer and Mopac? I live up that way now, and haven't heard a thing about it. I found out about by following a link from last week's ChowNews (a Link on how to buy Thai ingredients). Anyway that website recommended www.thaiherbs.com as a good place to buy thai ingredients. It turns out this place is in Austin and they have a sister restaurant called Thai Spice. Reading the reviews on austin360.com it sounds like perhaps the restaurant is under new managaemnt. Anyway, I hope to try it out sometime in the next week and I post back about it.