Chronicle’s Brandon Watson found that newcomer Grizzelda’s upscale Mexican restaurant might not be innovative, but it sure is refreshing. Last November, the team behind Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile expanded with the breezy beachy stunner across the street. Grizzelda’s kitchen dishes up Central Mexican fare with Texas influences and a strong emphasis on seafood. The menu spans from ceviches inspired by Tulum, mole influenced by Mexico City, to enchiladas and queso with a nod to Texas. There are also a handful of heartier entrees too, including dry-aged steaks and roasted chicken.
Grizzelda’s gorgeous space started filling social media feeds immediately with its swirl of patterns and textures and shocks of hot pink. The critic tagged it as a fresh departure from the collage of painted geometry and reclaimed wood that pepper Austin’s restaurant scene today. Thankfully, unlike some local spots that have invested more into looks than menus, Grizzelda’s doesn’t fall into that trap.
Chips and salsa: check. Tacos: check. Good, strong margaritas: check. Although the menu from executive chef Albert Gonzalez and chef de cuisine Austin Ewald is full of familiar fare, Watson is quick to point out that the duo is comfortable “within the vernacular, blending coastal and Interior Mexican with Tex-Mex,” churning out thoughtful dishes. While Watson chimed into the common chorus of critics remarking on meticulously plated tacos, he added:
Luckily, that doesn't detract from the house-made tortillas (a rarity in these parts) or the strong flavors – especially in the exuberantly spiced picadillo ($15) and the smoldering birria de res ($19), made with dry-aged Jacoby beef.
He also calls out the tostadas de atone, the queso (tip: add picadillo) and claimed that, while the black bean tostaditas aren’t original, the addition of fire-roasted tomatoes make it a superior dish. Watson concluded his review with a poignant, extended footnote addressing price complaints that extends to Austin’s restaurant scene and beyond. In a nutshell:
But it does bother me that the accusations of Grizzelda's being overpriced seem louder than the same howls at, say, Eberly. It speaks to how we view the culinary traditions of people of color… Assigning more worth to food the closer it gets to whiteness is bullshit.
THE BLOGS — Austinot checked out Lima Criolla's Peruvian cuisine, Dine with Shayda tried the brunch at 6th Street’s Revelry Kitchen and Bar while Girl Eats World sampled all the brunch options at Juniper.
- Restaurant Review: Grizzelda’s [Chronicle]