Posts Tagged ‘Garrido’s’

National spotlight on trio of restaurants

The three are Garrido’s, Olivia, and Uchi (“Austin Raises the Bar on Good Food,” WSJ 10/17/09, byline Katy McLaughlin).

The comments in the article regarding the individual establishments have their interest, of course (for instance, there’s one to the effect that there are those who’ll never taste the chips and accompanying salsas at Garrido’s because we’re not accustomed to being charged for them. That’s why I haven’t tried them, even though I love the carnitas at Garrido’s.)

It’s some of the declarations about Austin dining in general, though, that I find especially interesting, and quite perceptive. Tyson Cole seems to have been very generous with his time and to have spoken with the reporter at some length. I hope that this reporter does explore Tex-Mex food ingreater depth, as she seems to have some appreciation for it. The Fearless Critic Austin is presented as a milestone in the Austin food world. She describes Austin as a town that has long offered food for the budget-minded and also unimaginative high-dollar menus for lobbyists and legislators. “With so much good, cheap food . . . it’s been a long path towards convincing the public that $28 entrees have a place on the scene.” I’m happy with the countless $15-and-under outstanding ones out there, but the occasional splurge does have its place.

Garrido’s leisure-lunch

Garrido's in AustinGarrido’s is open and serving food continuously from opening to closing. In July, brunch will be added on Saturdays and Sundays, but otherwise the same menu is available all day long, with a soup special and a taco special each day.

We were burning some vacation time but it was mid-afternoon before we could consider where to dine. Garrido’s was humming and buzzing with activity even after the conventional lunch-hour. Today’s soup was a delightful shrimp concoction in a lobster broth. The oyster-lover at the table was more than pleased.

This was our first visit. We did not try the chips and salsa (these are not free) because we were interested in the lamb “pops,” which are delicious chops, frenched to make a handle of the bone, seared on the outside and just pink enough on the inside. The lamb was of the best. The ancho sauce was delicious and so were the tiny leaves of green dressed with a tasty vinaigrette that took a portion of the same plate.

The carnitas were the very best that I have ever tasted, better even than my former favorite version, served by Tula of fond memory just off the drag. That’s all I’m going to say about them, other than to recommend them highly. The tortillas are tender and made in house; the black beans and the lime rice are delicious. The espresso equals the best in town. The little dessert offering of cookies, chocolate mousse, and chocolate-coffee truffles makes great sharing.

The musica was tropical. The acoustics are busy but do permit conversation. Garrido’s deserves to stay just as busy as we found it today.

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