Austin Mexican - Don't Let Me Down
Heading to Austin for a weekend trip we do every summer. A Mexican beakfast and dinner is always on the itinerary, and has previously included gueros, las manitas, juan in a millon, jovita's, polvo's, el sol y luna and taco express. Continuing with a similar vibe as these joints, where should we go this year?
As usual, I will recommend Los Comales on E. 7th St. Pillowy homemade corn tortillas are my favorite. The puerco en salsa de tomatillo is a tender stewed pork filling which is an option in a number of dishes. I love it in the sopes. Nothing very fancy here, lots of grilled meats if you are into that. No cheesy or creamy stuff.
If you do want cheesy creamy stuff, you might want to try Maudies. The Hernandez enchiladas are my favorite hangover cure - swimming in cheese and red chili sauce and onions. Good chips and queso.
For something a bit more upscale I suggest Manuel's on Congress between 3rd and 4th streets. It used to have a jazz brunch, and may still. The food is very good, and the ambience pleasant.
Even more upscale is Fonda San Miguel which has a pricey but truly delightful Sunday buffet brunch in a very pretty setting. It is on Hancock Rd. just off Burnet.
Curra's has great breakfast and dinner. There's one on Oltorf, and one north on Burnett Road. For breakfast, I love the hungry ranchero, which is their awesome carne guisada with your choice of eggs, beans, tortillas, and tamales. Last time I was there, I changed things up a bit and ordered the huevos sonoraenses, which was eggs with chilorio. This was my first experience with chilorio, but it was so good that I had to go home and dig out my Dianna Kennedy cookbook and figure out how to make it myself!
Curra's also has great bloody marys, although they are not always consistent...sometimes they are very spicy (which I love) and other times....well, not so much.
i've always liked Amaya's Taco Village off I-35. Nuevo Leon on east 6th is good for standard mexican fare.
Took in two places we had not been before, Curra's and La Renya; and two of our past favorites, Polvo's and Taco Express. I'd give LaReyna a slight edge over Curra's for the new experiences. Had some excellent migas at LaReyna. Tacos al pastor at Curra's was ok. Polvo's and Taco Express are still primo choices for this type of Austin dig (their salsas are incredible) My advice: Take your kids as often as possible to these type of restaurants so they understand there is life (and better food) beyond the endless suburban chains of Brinker et al. I love watching my boys (11 and 9)react in a positive way to more authentic food experiences, not to mention loving the the down home atmosphere of these places in Austin.