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Chronicle Says DK Maria's Legendary Tex-Mex Is 'Culturally Insensitive'

The Statesman tries the “bleeding” Impossible Burger

Fajitas at DK Maria’s Legendary Tex-Mex
Fajitas at DK Maria’s Legendary Tex-Mex
DK Maria’s/Facebook

Chronicle’s Brandon Watson visited DK Maria’s Legendary Tex-Mex this week, and his sighs are practically audible in the review. With acknowledgement that there are ambitious Tex-Mex endeavors out there in the world, he pointed out this is clearly not one of those.

DK’s family-friendly atmosphere on its own is not problematic, but Watson has concerns about the restaurant’s namesake, DK Maria, “a strong woman with rich heritage and a spicy life to bring guests legendary family recipes,” as noted on its website. He took issue with multiple references to her “wildness” (“as if she were in need of taming,” he remarked) and what appears to be using Latinx heritage for profit. DK’s owners, one of whom has ties to “a famous Texas family with deep South Texas roots," aren’t from Mexico. Watson wrote:

At best, it's culturally insensitive. At worst it's brownface.

Watson was equally unimpressed with the food. While he enjoyed the Jorge Enchilada, the queso flameado with avocado topping, and the flour tortillas (“the fluffy rounds are an upgrade from the gummy corpses that so many Austin restaurants serve”), the experience went downhill from there:

The chile relleno is agreeable enough, neither caked with cornmeal nor overly eggy, but the ground beef inside was mush. Perplexingly, the dish came with a side dish filled with raisins and unsalted, unroasted pecans [...] I would prefer to forget about the xanga, an unpleasantly chewy dessert chimichanga.

Over at the Statesman, critic Matthew Odam was finally able to try the Impossible Burger at Hopdoddy Burger Bar, after a few failed attempts (the burger tends to sell out). He was interested to see if it tastes good and if it bleeds, to which his answers were “1) It’s ok. 2) Ours didn’t.”

Odam did note the burger had a “beefy crumble” with the umami flavor of fried shiitake mushrooms, but overall, he did not have many positive things to say:

The oddest part of the burger was the texture. The juicy $14 burger had something between a crunch and a plastic snap to it, with a faint chemical aftertaste. Asked by our server if we would order it again, my friend took the words out of my mouth: “Yes…if I was a vegetarian.”

Odam also explored the recent controversy over the “bleeding” ingredient, soy leghemoglobin, which did not receive FDA approval.

THE BLOGS: A nine-course chef’s tasting at The Carillon left Atxtreatsandeats “blown away,” and The Austinot called Bougie’s Donuts “dynamite.”

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

2438 Anderson Ln. A, Austin, TX 78757 (512) 467-2337 Visit Website

DK Maria’s Legendary Tex-Mex

1807 West Slaughter Lane, Austin, Texas 78748 Visit Website

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