South First is getting a new Mexican barbecue restaurant with N’Esperado. The new restaurant is taking over what had been Mexican seafood restaurant Alcomar on 1816 South First Street, which is now open.
N’Esperado’s menu spans barbecue and Tex-Mex favorites. Of the former, there are briskets, pork ribs, and half chickens, served with sides. The latter features a lengthier selection, where most dishes incorporate smoked meats naturally. There are barbecue chicken enchiladas, tacos with brisket or smoked okra, barbecue rub-covered eggplants, and carne guisada with brisket. There’s also queso, chile rellenos, sopapillas, and flan. Alcoholic drinks are also in the works, as noted by the TABC permit.
N’Esperado is from the team behind Indian-Texas restaurant Nasha on East 7th Street and now-shuttered South Congress restaurant New India, which closed suddenly in June.
N’Esperado’s sibling restaurant Nasha features similar Tex-Mex fare, like queso and tacos, but with an Indian flair. Arguably, Austin’s best Tex-Mex barbecue restaurant is Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, out in Manchaca, Texas.
The previous tenant of the South First address was Alcomar, the coastal-focused restaurant from the El Chile Group, which closed suddenly in May. The restaurant group wrote that the shutter happened because “staying open was simply not a viable option” since there was a “proposed rent increase” from the landlords.