Maudie’s quick-lunch

That’s Maudie’s Too, on South Lamar. If you’re facing in the right direction, you may enjoy one of the great unheralded views of the Austin downtown skyline, changing from day to day. Maudie’s stays busy, and for good reasons. People at the table ordered their never-changing favorites. The red salsa that came with the chips was fiery. The pico de gallo was just seconds old, and perfectly balanced. At each table was an order-form for the holidays, offering many of the standards to be picked up for in-home dining. I don’t know whether the tamales are newly available or have been offered in past years, but both pork and cheese versions are listed, by the dozen, either pre-warmed or left cold to be heated at home. My sources of homemade tamales dwindle and dwindle, so I’m thinking of trying these. Maudie’s windows are hand-painted for the season: holly and berries, “Feliz Navidad,” and more. It was as I was trying to capture some of this art in photographs that I discovered that my dearly beloved Concord Eye-Q Mini may have crossed over to camera heaven. There were some new entrees listed on a table card, but I didn’t take notes and now I don’t remember what they were. They were tempting, but old favorites took precedence. And, hewing to tradition, Maudie’s brings those extra tortillas without your asking. This custom is fading. Maudie’s, like Matt’s and Luby’s, is one of those Austin dining crossroads, where there’s quite a bit of meeting and greeting and where the budget won’t be busted.

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