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.[Read more…]
I tend to be drawn to people and places that radiate a positive energy. Add delicious food to that, and I’m a loyal and devoted regular.
When you first walk into the old bungalow that is Licha’s Cantina, you don’t feel like you’re in a restaurant at all. You feel as though you’re in someone’s home. The interior is cozy and dimly lit, and there’s music playing in the background. There is heart and soul, and the energy makes you feel good.
Somehow you know you’re about to sit down to a delicious and comforting meal, like you’re at a family dinner. [Read more…]
If we call Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue the king of Austin’s barbecue world, then can we all agree Reyna Vasquez of Veracruz All Natural is the queen of Austin’s taco world? Her name means queen, after all.
Veracruz All Natural has grown to four locations and an half-hour waiting line at the original trailer, and its migas taco is on Food Network’s list of the five best breakfast tacos in the country. The first trailer nearly a decade ago, which makes it easy to think the fame, devoted following, and lines have always been there.
In reality, Vasquez’ path to the top has been as challenging as it could possibly be for an undocumented immigrant with no money to spare, striving to bring the food of her native town of Veracruz, Mexico, to the saturated Austin market. [Read more…]
Having moved to Austin about a year ago, I have trouble pining for the “old Austin” in the same way a longtime resident might. “I remember the good old days,” I commiserate. “When there were only two condos going up on my street, not four.”
As a transplant from the northeast, I’m admittedly contributing to the immense development and change this city has undergone in recent years. That’s not to say, however, that I don’t know an authentic Austin restaurant when I see it. With this idea in mind, I make my way past the new apartment buildings, the construction zones and closed-off sidewalks of East Sixth Street. When I want the taste and feel of old Austin, I go to Tamale House East. [Read more…]
Tacos, tamales, moles, and tequila— that’s just the beginning of what’s on the menu at Alcomar’s three-part dinner series, Flavors of Mexico. Chefs Jeff Martinez andAlma Alcocer’s elaborate dinners feature five courses made with local ingredients. Each course is paired with handcrafted cocktails and spirits, to complement the fare and transport you deep into the regions of Mexico.
I spent an enchanting evening at Alcomar on Halloween for the second part of the series, Mezcales & Moles. Here are the highlights to whet your appetite for the final installment on Dec. 5, 2017. [Read more…]
Sunday meals in Austin are evolving. Whether its mid-day brunch to kick off Sunday Funday, or the “Sunday Supper” meals that seem to be popping up at our favorite restaurants around town, food on Sunday tends to take on a special significance.
At La Condesa, you get the best of both worlds with the Sunday Cena family-style seasonal menu from 5-10 PM, to complement their already stellar Sunday brunch. [Read more…]
Editor’s Note: To the community’s surprise and disappointment, Alcomar closed at the end of May 2018 due to a rental dispute.
Back to my old haunt: South 1st Street. When I wrote my neighborhood guide to this rich area, two painters had a ladder propped against what used to be El Chile. With a sinking feeling, I watched as they painted a giant white octopus on the newly-blue building.
Fortunately, however, El Chile has not disappeared—not exactly, anyway. The South 1st location now houses their newest concept: Alcomar. The menu is full of tapas, featuring primarily seafood, and each dish is delicately crafted with interesting and varied ingredients. [Read more…]
May 5, 1862. Mexican forces overtake a significantly better equipped French army at the Battle of Puebla in an unlikely victory. It was a symbolic victory more than anything else, but when Mexican miners working in California heard the news they were so overjoyed they spontaneously fired off rifles and fireworks.
And so began Cinco de Mayo celebrations. They became especially popular in the United States around the 1980’s, once marketing companies took hold of the holiday and gave us all another reason to drink.
Cinco de Mayo festivities in Austin range from community parties in local parks to block parties downtown. This year, the Mexic-Arte Museum throws its sombrero back in the ring with the return of one of its premier events, Taste of Mexico. [Read more…]
Many people come to Austin to partake in the food scene. A big part of what draws outsiders in and keeps them coming back for more is the influence of Mexican food, or more aptly stated, Tex Mex. Austin food has gained fame thanks to the likes of Torchy’s, Chuy’s and Trudy’s. Breakfast tacos seem to grow on trees.
But as we indulge in mountains of chips, queso and cheese-smothered enchiladas with frozen margaritas to wash it all down, we tend to forget about the real Mexican food that inspired Tex Mex to begin with.
So what makes authentic Mexican food authentic? Mexico is a large and gastronomically diverse country with flavors and modes of preparation varying greatly from the mountains of Monterrey to the Southern tip of Chiapas, so it can be difficult to pinpoint one or two ingredients that make up the real thing.
Nonetheless, the difference can be determined by the tastes that result from the combination of [Read more…]