In the heart of Austin, at the corner of Barton Springs Road and Dawson, sits a funky, white building with an eclectic ’60s vibe. For those who are unfamiliar, it’s not the house of some famous local artist or musician. It’s home to one of the best interior Mexican food restaurants in Austin, for 11 years and counting.
Thank you to El Alma for allowing me to sample food and drinks at no charge. All opinions are my own.
At the helm of El Alma is executive chef Alma Alcocer, who hails from Mexico City, and her business partner Carlos Rivero of Bolivia. Together with chef Jeff Martinez, they lead El Chile Group (El Chile, El Chilito, El Alma, Yuyo).
El Chile Group also included the now-closed Alcomar restaurant, which was one of my favorites in town. Alcomar had the same interior Mexico vibe as El Alma, but focused more heavily on seafood.
While Alcomar’s closing was heartbreaking to many, El Alma provides superior quality Mexican food and is ready to satisfy your taste buds seven days a week.
So, whether you’re in the mood for appetizers, a full entrée, or are just looking for a good happy hour, look no further than the white stucco building at the corner of Barton Springs and Dawson.
The Happiest of Hours
As I’m sure you’re aware, there are margaritas on every corner of this city. So, I won’t spend time trying to sell you on run-of-the-mill margaritas. However, I will try to captivate your attention with exotic tequila concoctions with even more exotic monikers such as The Flaca, a watermelon-serrano infused margarita, or the Mangorita, a delightful marriage of tequila marinated mango puree, lime, and chile powder.
El Alma has an outstanding happy hour everyday from 3 to 6 p.m. Four drinks are included on this $3 menu, including the Chilanga, Claśica, Jacked Sangria, and Sangria Black.
El Alma’s Appetizers
Like its margaritas, El Alma’s appetizers aren’t typical. They’re flavorful works of art! Choose from popular menu items like the ahi tuna ceviche tostadas that feature tender chunks of tuna, grilled pineapple, and fresh guacamole on homemade corn chips.
Or try my favorite, the queso fundido, a skillet full of molten hot cheesy goodness. It comes with a side of fresh flour tortillas to scoop with.
On to Entrées
If you need more than a snack, then El Alma has you covered with exquisite entrées such as enchiladas, rellenos, and tacos.
My advice? You just can’t go wrong with the veggie verde enchiladas with smoky tomatillo salsa, hemp seeds, spinach, and mushrooms. The exotic duck enmoladas made with pasillo mole, almonds, and queso fresco are also quite popular. So are the lamb chops, and shrimp and crab relleno.
Is your mouth watering yet? Good. Head over to El Alma to indulge in the authentic flavors of Mexico City, right in the heart of Austin.
1025 Barton Springs – Website
@dollarsaenz wants to know:
What’s your favorite menu item at El Alma?