The Statesman and The Chronicle filed one review apiece this week, with Matthew Odam weighing in on downtown's new American bistro The Bonneville and Virginia Wood reviewing Rosedale's La Mancha Tex Mex Tavern.
Odam is overall charmed by The Bonneville's food and atmosphere, praising the "friendly vibe" and the "well-executed dishes." Favorites included the "chicken under a brick" with "crackling skin bursting with salt and pepper flavor," and the "chipotle-lime chicken hash" with "a Southwestern campfire appeal" and a "thin fluff" of fried egg. The menu's forays into more international cuisine were less successful, with the Vietnamese fried shrimp cake suffering from "sogginess." According to the critic, the only true downside of the Bonneville is its hard-to-find location. The restaurant is located on West Cesar Chavez between Lavaca and Colorado and, "You're unlikely to wander past it unless you're a lost tourist or a determined jogger."
La Mancha Tex-Mex Tavern opened this June on Hancock Drive off of Burnet, and so far Virginia Wood gives the food good marks. She diagnoses the public's "polarized" reaction as a problem based on "a Tex-Mex/Interior Mexican/Spanish concept fusion confusion." Highlights of the menu include the chile relleno with "a creamy seafood filling," and the brunch offering of "fluffy Maseca pancakes," which were "an appealing Mexican twist on a Southern hoecake." The downside of the menu was the "assertive La Mancha Manteles sauce," which is a "a predominant theme throughout the menu," and not in keeping with a more traditional Tex-Mex experience. Overall, the critic's final verdict is that while, "sauces and the menu could still use some tweaking," the establishment is a big step up from the building's former occupant, Casita Jorge's. Wood writes, "Jorge has definitely left the building."
· The Bonneville Could Be a Bright Addition to Downtown, as Long as People Can Find It [Statesman]
· Review: Fusion Confusion at La Mancha Tex-Mex Tavern [Chronicle]
The Bonneville. [Photo: Spencer Selvidge/EATX]