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La Mancha

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I drove past La Mancha today (formerly known as Jorge's) and the sign said open. There didn't appear to be very many people there. I had heard it was going to be 'upscale' but it looked fairly casual from the outside.

Any updates with more info?

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  1. fb page says they opened on the 20th. menu is up on their website. looks like an expensive chuys. 4.50 for a can of modelo...

    1. Went last night with the family. It was pretty busy - maybe 3/4's full with lots of kids running around. The interior is spacious with many interesting design elements. I particularly liked the collection of weathered doors that mark the main wall.

      We went knowing that they had just opened and were probably still working out the kinks. We were certainly right about that. Didn't dig too far into the menu - tuna tostaditas and a La Mancha salad. The tostaditas were quite bland. The salad was a little sad - although the grilled chicken on top was good. My son ordered a simple black bean burrito which was a bit of a disaster. A dry tortilla awkwardly wrapped around what I suspect were canned beans. Fortunately he was able to eat the never ending basket of warm chips.

      The bigger problem was the bar as we were really there to enjoy a drink. I could see that orders were piling up and thirsty people were getting antsy. Unfortunately, my wife had to send back her "skinny" margarita twice because it was sickeningly sweet. She ended up going to the bar and talking the bartender through it. Our server said that they had been having a lot of people sending back the margaritas. I mentioned that the problem was more apparent with Fonda San Miguel, which can mix up a righteous 'rita, being right down the street. He was very apologetic and said they were still finding their stride and comped us a round and a free dessert for my son.

      We really want this place to be good as there is a definite need in the neighborhood. Probably will give them some time before we go back.

      1. Office went for lunch the Friday (next day) after opening.

        Other than the service being on the slow side, and my husband not receiving a soup spoon with his soup, things went well for us.

        Let me start by saying we only had teas (which were served in super sized glasses), so I can't comment to the ritas.

        Chips were served warm with a salsa that tastes like a garlicy version of Chuy's with a hint of dried pepper flavor. Tomatillo sauce is more chunky, thicker and MUCH more tart than Chuys (I found it addictive, while others were turned off).

        My husband's tortilla soup was not traditional, and was quite thick and dark, but was smokey and flavorful.

        I ordered the chicken relleno (as everyone who knows me here, knows it's my benchmark). It was on the expensive side of my limits. However, it was very large and I couldn't finish it. It was filled with grilled chicken strips (instead of shredded) that had a charcoal grilled feel to it. The chile was done traditionally with an egg batter/deep fried. What I really enjoyed was the mole sauce that topped it - smokey, nutty and a perfect balance of sweet and bitter with the chocolate. It rivals any I've had in Austin.

        Other dishes were hit and miss. The pastor tacos looked nice, while the burrito looked a mess. Enchiladas with tomatillo sauce were fine, but the sauce was creamy, which should have been noted on the menu. The person who ordered them was disappointed.

        I like the new look, both inside and out, but with no dampening (ceiling tiles are removed, which makes it feel much bigger and roomy), we were shouting to be heard and the other end of the table gave up and started their own conversation. Also, VERY turned off (and distracted) by the two tv's in our room.

        All in all, I believe it will be on regular rotation for the Friday office lunch group.

        1. Nice review in this weeks Austin Chronicle:

          http://tinyurl.com/ldssyqj