In her first review for the Chronicle, Jessi Cape visited Eldorado Cafe and declared it a new neighborhood favorite. The is Tex-Mex restaurant helmed by Joel Fried, formerly of Tacodeli, is located in a fairly nondescript strip mall, but Cape found the place full of bustle and color inside.
Of the interior, Cape praised, “This looks, and feels, like the home of a cool friend.” Though met with a 35-minute wait for Tuesday dinner, Cape found the service calm and attentive.
When it came to the cuisine, Cape found it overall satisfying, with some stumbles. On the chicken suizas, she lamented “while flavorful, the creamy verde sauce was a tad thick, and the chicken was dry.” For a side dish of Calabasas hash (butternut squash, zucchini, roasted garlic, with toasted pepitas and basil), she noted “had it been served piping hot, the flavors would have bloomed more” However, the papas rellenas, queso, and breakfast tacos all got high marks.
However, Cape’s favorite bite came with the short rib salpicon:
Hailing from many global cuisines, the dish entails adobo-braised short ribs shredded with roasted chiles, tomato, and sherry. Served with pickled red onions, guacamole, and fresh tortillas, it was delicious. Juicy, with the individual spice notes of paprika and garlic coming through well-balanced, it's also delicious scrambled with fluffy eggs as it's served on the breakfast menu.
Austin Monthly’s Kimya Kavehkar stopped by Bao’d Up in the Mueller area, to similarly mixed results. While she clearly delighted in the bao itself (“Biting into a soft and sweet bao is like opening a present”), she mentioned issues with the service and boba.
Of the different bao, Kavekhar reported she “enjoyed the crunch of the fried chicken GuaBao and the BBQ pork Baozi, which is tangy and a little sweet.” While the flavor of the tea fell short (“[t]he boba isn’t the best in town”), she did appreciate the many customization options.
Overall, Kavehkar thought the restaurant is a great addition:
The service is a bit slower at lunch (our boba didn’t hit the table until we’d finished eating our bao) and can feel harried and chaotic during busier times. But the product is pretty darn delicious, and having more access to international street foods only ups the cool, cosmopolitan factor for our city.
- Restaurant Review: Eldorado Cafe [Chronicle]
- Restaurant Review: Bao’d Up [Austin Monthly]
- All coverage of Eldorado Cafe [EATX]
- All coverage of Bao’d Up [EATX]