If you close your eyes, spin around and throw a rock in Austin, there’s a good chance you’ll hit a Mexican restaurant. From down home Tex-Mex to authentic eateries, cuisine from south of the border is well-represented.
Now, thanks to Churro Co. on Riverside, dessert is covered, too. By taking a traditional pastry and applying an ATX twist, Churro Co. is bringing an authentic Mexican classic to the local foodie stage.
Steeped in Heritage
Co-owners David Martinez and Leo Mendoza first met in Juarez when they were teenagers. Since growing up in Mexico, one of Leo’s fondest memories is of the local pastry shop. Every day, his father would bring something home from the bakery, including churros.
After branching off into different careers, the pair reconnected in Austin a few years ago. Leo had graduated from culinary school and wanted to jump into the food truck arena. All they needed was a concept. Inspiration was born from necessity: one day, they got a craving for churros.
After sampling some of Austin’s more corporate churro options, Leo discovered there was a need for an authentic version of the street food he grew up with. After spending months working on the recipe, Leo knew his version was ready for the big time.
“When I tasted it, it immediately took me back to that bakery where my dad bought churros. And that was it.”
Not soon after, Churro Co. found a spot on East 7th Street to test their food truck concept. When it proved popular, they relocated to their current Riverside location. After three years, the truck has moved for a third time. They’re now on South 1st Street, next to Flashback Vintage.
Mexican Tradition With a Modern Twist
Modeled after the traditional churros of their childhood, the pastry itself strikes a delicious balance between crispy and chewy, with the classic cinnamon sugar coating. Rather than filling his churros with ingredients, Leo keeps the base pastry simple while adding a host of carefully selected toppings. The result is a balanced, flavorful desert that never feels overdone.
My first taste was the decadent Campfire: two churros tossed in a graham cracker crust, topped with Mexican chocolate sauce, whipped cream and a torched marshmallow. Mine came with a scoop of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, which added a creamy texture to the already delicious dish.
But the toasted marshmallow is what sends the Campfire into the stratosphere. The mallow’s gooey texture and roasted notes perfectly meld with the sweet and crispy base. An instant reminder of camping trips and cookouts.
My second dish was the Blue Ivy: two churros tossed in vanilla wafer sugar, topped with homemade lemon curd, blueberry compote, whipped cream and toasted almonds. Fresh and fruity, the Blue Ivy explodes on the palate with a sensational mix of tart and sweet. The compote is a lovely mix of savory and sweet, while the toasted almonds add just the right amount of earthy texture. A perfect summer treat.
Constantly Changing, Yet Always Consistent
But Churro Co. doesn’t just offer delectable deserts. To Dave and Leo, the overall experience is extremely important. As we sat at a picnic table outside their eye-catching trailer, Dave put it best:
“I want someone to come here with friends, have a good time, have a good experience and then be able to come back and re-create that experience.”
Part of that goal is delivering a consistently exceptional product. Leo prides himself on making sure each churro sold tastes like the last one, even though their menu changes regularly. This fall will see the return of the popular Texas Comfort, an apple pie in churro form. A mix of innovation and steadfast quality is what separates Churro Co. from the pack.
Before visiting Churro Co., my only encounter with Mexican pastries was at supermarkets and airport eateries. Tough, rubbery sticks of dough hung from racks under heating lamps. After my visit to this fun, friendly and delightfully different food truck, my opinion has irrevocably changed. An innovative take on a Mexican classic, Churro Co. is a must-visit spot when your sweet tooth needs to be satisfied. Dave and Leo’s hometown would be proud.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
Where do you go for your sweet tooth fix in Austin?
Disclosure: The owners of Churro Co. provided me with a complimentary tasting of their dishes. All opinions are my own.