12001 Burnet Rd
Austin TX 78758
Hip Austiny local chain with two locations.
I Don't Get It
Original Review Date: 09/23/2005
Rating: 0/+3(Ho hum)
Every time I go there (three times now), the place is packed. I have to admit, I don't get the attraction. I think its "hip factor" is drawing people in. It's a very hip Austiny-feeling place. The website and online menu are well-done, attractive, funky and inviting. But the food doesn't measure up. My first visit was pretty good, then downhill from there.
First visit I had the soup, Sopa las Mañanitas. It was very tasty--light broth with fresh tomatos, onions, peppers, avocado and chicken diced up. It did take an absurdly long time to prepare, though. I waited probably 10 minutes, as people who ordered well after I did got their tacos. I figured they would just scoop out some broth and toss in some veggies. But the flavor and freshness were good (although it did get a little salty towards the end), so it was worth the wait.
Next visit I got the poblano taco. I was expecting something other than what I got, which was an oily mass of cheese, poblano and breading in a flour tortilla. I knew there would be cheese (but not so much), and poblano. I just didn't realize that there would be a breaded and fried poblano. I opened the taco to discover something brown inside, as question marks formed over my head. It took me a while to realize it was the breading on a fried poblano (like a typical relleno, I guess). It was all soggy and the whole thing turned into a big messy ball of oily cheese and stuff, most of which I couldn't eat. I wouldn't recommend it.
Then I tried their "signature taco," the Frontera Fundido Taco, with chicken (sirloin is the other option). It's got grilled chicken, sauteed poblano & onion, and Monterey Jack cheese. Sounds like a great combination of ingredients. Not that great. The chicken did not look or taste like what I would expect of "grilled chicken"--no grill marks, no smoky flame-kissed flavor. The chicken chunks had a brownish glaze and were fairly dry. And I saw no sign of melted cheese on my taco. I also tried the Adobados taco--adobo-marinated chicken with onions and cilantro. Nothing special there. Not bad, but nothing I need to get again.
So overall, the food is not bad, but it ain't that great either. I have no desire to go back. And the music sealed the deal for me--classic rock type stuff (heard some Bad Company while there!). If you don't play Spanish music in your Mexican restaurant, something is wrong, amigos.
Breakfast Taco Update 3/2008. Finally tried the much vaunted breakfast tacos when a coworker brought them in one morning. Yawn. Absolutely run-of-the-mill breakfast tacos--dry eggs, standard tortillas. And I was less than impressed with the potatoes. Mashed potatoes in a breakfast taco?? Strange, did not work at all for me. I still don't get it.