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El Naranjo's An 'Oasis'; Kid Food's Pretty Boring

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Here's where Austin food critics and bloggers ate this week:

STATESMAN — Matthew Odam calls El Naranjo, the new Rainey Street Mexican restaurant from chef Iliana de la Vega, a "calming culinary port" serving "dishes that boast a depth and complexity that can come only with time and knowledge." He rates the brick-and-mortar outfit of de la Vega's beloved food truck a 7.5 out of 10, noting the "strong knowledge" of the servers and especially enjoying de la Vega's mole-of-the-week from Puebla, which had a "depth of flavor and complexity unlike any I've tasted in Austin."

AUSTIN CHRONICLE — Writers for the Austin Chronicle reviewed places where kids eat free, mostly finding that free kid food is not as exciting as they would like their free kid food to be. Highlights: Central Market Cafe ("arguably the best," on Tuesdays though it's packed), Lion and Rose and Opal Divine's. Lowlights: Z'Tejas ("incredibly slow, error-ridden service") and Estância Churrasca­ria, ("probably best left to date night").

BLOGS — Speaking of free food, bloggers really like it and they're happy to tell you how delicious it is. The Austin Food Junkies got a free five-course meal at far-north Zed's, declaring "we totally dig Zed's!" after finding nada to complain about on new chef Jacob Hilbert's menu. On the west side, Foodie Is The New Forty blogger Michelle Cheng "jumped at the opportunity" for a meal on the house at Eleven Plates And Wine, finding a "perfect" mojito, "scrumptious" truffle fries and "divine" diver scallops.

[Photo: El Naranjo/Yelp]

El Naranjo

85 Rainey Street Austin, TX 78701

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