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Austin - Polvo's North

rudeboy Feb 13, 2006 12:54 PM

Wouldn't that be great? Too bad there isn't one. There should be. I mentioned that to my fiance last night because she wanted to go down and get her favorite Relleno at Polvo's. I remembered the mentioning of Caribe, so we tried that. Some investigation resulted in me finding an old Chronicle article that had some good things to say. So we went, hoping that we'd discover a "Polvo's north."

There was a beer list, but no drink menu, and when I asked if they had margs, the waitress said that they had just made a "batch." I saw bottles of liquor (like you could order a drink), but I wasn't sure what you could order, so we just ordered the house. We had 2 margaritas ($3.75 each) that were okay liquorwise, but green and sweet from the sweet-n-sour (Polvo's has an excellent and rather white house frozen marg at $4.50, but a pitcher is $16 - I drink too much to afford top-shelf tequila all the time). So I backed that up with a $2.50 Negra Modeleo.

My snapper "Caribe" was absolutely horrible. The filet had a very dark bloodline through it and didn't taste totally fresh - more of a fishy flavor. The Caribe sauce was tomato-ey and topped with cheese, not having much flavor. The whole thing turned to a gloppy mess. It would have been passable except for the fish. I should have ordered the Caldo camarones. I would have, but I didn't see it on the back of the menu, so I didn't know that they had it until I saw someone else eating it. My side dishes were lime chile rice (tasted good, but no heat) and chile con queso (which were just tortilla chips with yellow cheese poured on top.

She ordered a chicken/cheese chile relleno and like it quite a bit. Not quite as good as Polvo's, but a good substitute. The waitress said that it would be another $1.50 for cheese, since they offered "shrimp" "chicken" "beef" and "cheese" rellenos only. However, we weren't charged for it.

So, I'll go back again for posole or the caldo and $2.50 Negro Modelos and she can have the relleno again. I haven't given up; I've heard too many good things about it and I may have just gotten a poor piece of fish. My dog disagrees, as she happily lapped it up this morning!

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    Nacho RE: rudeboy Feb 13, 2006 02:31 PM

    Dirty trick!! I was all excited about a Polvo's in my neighborhood. :|

    Thanks for the info on Carribe's seafood. I was hoping for something close to the snapper and shrimp that I had at the Mexican fish market/restaurant in Houston on Airline a couple of years ago (I'm blanking on the name right now). But I figured Austin was too far away from the gulf to get fish that fresh (and this restaurant isn't a fish market either), so your experience seems to confirm that.

    The one time I went in to Carribe's was a few weeks ago for breakfast (they serve breakfast until 2pm on weekends). I'll definitely go back for their barbacoa, and to try the other breakfast stuff.

    Was it crowded when you went in? When I was there, it wasn't very busy inside, but the parking lot was pretty much full. Odd.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Nacho
      rudeboy RE: Nacho Feb 13, 2006 02:47 PM

      Sorry about the trick - I knew that you'd get excited, though.

      I'm from the gulf coast (Golden Triangle) and grew up salt water fishing, so I'm pretty particular about fish. Caribe's menu said something about their seafood being fresh and that it takes longer to cook than other items. That gave me hope that they were particular too. Maybe a slow Sunday isn't the best time. Perhaps Friday? I'll try it again. Or just stick with the "Farm Buoy" menu.

      And they share the lot with the Korean grocer next door, but spaces are designated for each. There aren't many.

      Maybe we can franchise Polvo's #2?

      1. re: rudeboy
        Seamus Mitwurst RE: rudeboy Feb 13, 2006 04:02 PM

        Living near Polvo's and working up north, I was excited too. I thought for a second that might be able to have a good lunch. Damn you, Rudeboy!

        It's taken me 2 hours to remember where Caribe is. Now I might just have to eat there.

        1. re: rudeboy
          Nacho RE: rudeboy Feb 13, 2006 04:05 PM

          Don't worry about it...no permanent harm done. ;-)

          As for the Korean grocer, I went in there afterwards b/c a coworker told me you can get marinated bulgogi meat in there, for a quick cook at home dinner. I've made my own bulgogi marinade at home, but it's been too many years since I've been to Seoul to remember how close I was to replicating it (and, the co-worker's sister-in-law is from Korea, and this is her favorite version in town). When I went in though, I didn't see any pre-marinated meat. I'll have to ask him about it...maybe it was in the frozen section and I overlooked it.

          So back to Carribe...what's the protocol with the salsa bar? I noticed when I went in, some people had chips brought to the table, but I didn't. And I was confused if I was supposed to help myself to the salsa, or if the waitress brings it (she acted like she was going to get it when the food came out). I figured next time I would grab some salsa on the way to my table and see if that gets them to bring chips.

        2. re: Nacho
          Zorra RE: Nacho Feb 13, 2006 06:05 PM

          I think the place you're thinking of in Houston is called Tampico.

          1. re: Zorra
            Nacho RE: Zorra Feb 14, 2006 01:47 PM

            Thanks, Zorra. It was Tampico (I scrolled down to an earlier post where I mentioned it to confirm).

            Does anybody know a place in Austin to get grilled snapper/seafood anywhere close to as good as this stuff (from Tampico)?

        3. TheBadWolf RE: rudeboy Dec 22, 2011 12:34 PM

          There actually is a Polvo's north now. They bought La Brissa on Bratton Ln. and turned it into a Polvo's.


          2 Replies
          1. re: TheBadWolf
            TheBadWolf RE: TheBadWolf Dec 28, 2011 10:01 AM

            I'm going to respond to my own post, but I finally had a chance to go last week. I've only ever cared for the breakfast tacos there so that's what I ordered. Amazingly enough the tacos and the salsa tasted exactly the same as at the original. It was very good.

            The had the exact same menu, but with a few things crossed out (not having been to the original location in about three years I don't know if it's crossed out there also or just location specific).

            1. re: TheBadWolf
              dinaofdoom RE: TheBadWolf Dec 28, 2011 10:43 AM

              my friend and i go together and always order the same thing, which they hopefully have at this location, too (the chile relleno with the pecan sauce, and the really garlicky grilled fish).

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