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Statesman Critic Finds Nostalgic Old-School Tex-Mex in Eldorado Cafe

The Austin Monthly critic is excited by the city’s hotel dining options

Eldorado’s shiny ribs
Eldorado’s shiny ribs
Eldorado [Official]

This week Statesman critic Matthew Odam reviewed Allandale Tex-Mex restaurant Eldorado Cafe (Chronicle critic Jessi Cape named it her favorite restaurant of the year back in May.) Odam noted that the restaurant, which opened in August 2017, “represents the best of Old Austin.”

Off the bat, Odam admits he may have waited too long to review the Tex-Mex restaurant, placing it at the top on his “should-have-been-in-my-top-50 list.” He started by praising the short rib enchiladas where “the expressive meat is tender and moist.” While Odam said that usually lesser Tex-Mex restaurants descend into “cheese-laden homogeneity,” Eldorado is a cut above:

That’s not a problem with carne adovada ($15.75), the mildly sweet dusk of ancho chilies swathing hunks of stewed sirloin, or a chicken tinga dish ($14.95) shimmering with vibrant red chili adobo. You know you’re in good hands when a chicken breast dish can leave such an impression.

He also lauded the attention to detail in sides, like the “sumptuous garlic mashers,” and appetizers like “sweet-and-tangy pile of tender arbol chili-glazed shiny ribs.”

Austin Monthly critic Jolène M. Bouchon published a review roundup of Austin’s newest hotel restaurants: Arlo Grey at The Line Austin, Ciclo at the Four Seasons, and Garrison at the Fairmont. She noted that hotel restaurants are putting out more impressive offerings in a crowded space, and had hardly a critique to say.

Of Arlo Grey, Bouchon said the restaurant:

reflects Kish’s signature blend of high technique and disciplined craft with the personal and nostalgic.

She praised the crisped rice dish and that “bold” burger with pommes aligot.

Of Garrison, Bouchon noted that the “clownishly colorful and patterned textiles” are “inexplicable,” but that the restaurant offered “plenty of good food and drink.” She enjoyed the “giant” prime rib porterhouse and particularly the charred eggplants and ember-roasted carrots that come with it, as well as the “rich and delectable” crab bucatini.

Bouchon noted that Ciclo is “both upscale and down-home” with a beef-heavy menu. She was complimentary both the heavier dishes, like a “succulent” prime rib burger, and the lighter dishes like “wildly flavorful tuna tartare tacos.”

ON THE BLOGS: Chekmark Eats visited Carpenter’s Hall and loved the pasta dishes like spaghetti with garlic and clams and a play on cacio e pepe. ATX Eats and Treats stopped by Tio Pepe Chicken, excited to find peri peri sauce in Austin, and found her expectations met at a bargain price point.

Tio Pepe Chicken

6406 N Interstate 35 Frontage Road, , TX 78752 (512) 582-0629 Visit Website

Ciclo

98 San Jacinto Boulevard, , TX 78701 (512) 685-8300 Visit Website

Eldorado Cafe

3300 West Anderson Lane, , TX 78757 (512) 420-2222 Visit Website

Fairmont Austin

101 Red River Street, , TX 78701 (512) 600-2000 Visit Website

Arlo Grey

111 East Cesar Chavez Street, , TX 78701 (512) 478-2991 Visit Website

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