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A Pound A Day in Central Texas - Part 2

Here is a review of the restaurants where we ate during our recent visit to Central Texas. This is the final installment.

Tuesday Lunch - El Arroyo, Austin, TX

$$ (out of 5)

✓✓✓✓ (out of 5)

El Arroyo is a local Tex-Mex chain that prides itself on its funky décor and excellent Mexican food. It is all good: the salsa, chips, margaritas, etc. The main courses are excellent, especially the Chili Relleno … and the price is right.

Some of the Funky Decor at El Arroyo

Stuffed Avocado ....mmmm

Enchiladas Del Mar

This trip we visited the location on Far West Blvd in Austin. On this trip I had the stuffed avocado … avocado stuffed with chicken and cheese and deep fat fried. Previously I’ve had the Chili Relleno … a large deep fried stuffed poblano stuffed with cheese and seasoned hamburger meat (also comes with chicken and fajita). The black beans and rice were great and the chips were a great compliment. I washed down the whole thing with a pint of Dos Equis Lager … a perfect beer for Mexican food (but dump the lemon garnish). Carol had the Enchiladas del Mar, a crab enchilada with a white cheese sauce … her favorite. Our lunch check with a beer and margarita was less than $30.

El Arroyo is the home for Central Texas Comfort Food!

Another Happy Customer

Dinner Tuesday - Threadgill's, Austin, TX

$$ (out of 5)

✓✓✓✓ (out of 5)

This is also the home to a different kind of Central Texas comfort food, and is also a great music venue (stay tuned for my next blog). This is where the US culinary traditions of the southwest and the southeast meet … think fried with a spicy kick.

Great Food and Drink at Threadgill's

The menu is varied … fried pickles and fried green tomatoes to cheese stuffed Jalapenos for the appetizers … The main dishes vary from chicken fried steak (white and brown gravy) to fried oysters (very good, not overcooked) to meatloaf to grilled pork chops. One can also order the vegetable dishes but a vegetarian would need to be careful ordering from the “vegetable” dishes. With each of the dinner items you get to choose a few vegetable side dishes from the extensive selection. The sides vary from fried okra to mac & cheese to steamed asparagus. If you guessed that the butter beans or the collared greens were vegetarian …. You’d be wrong. They are great … and flavored with pork fat.

For my last meal at Threadgill’s I had the chicken fried steak with brown gravy, San Antonio squash (yellow squash in a spicy queso) and Texas Caviar (a marinated black eyed pea salad). The meal was washed down with a great local brew.

View from "down the street" at Threadgill's or Manuel's

There is a breakfast buffet on Sunday mornings. The Migas (a local egg dish with a tex-mex twist) and the breakfast sides (including sweet potato pancakes) are good and the custom omelet bar is excellent. During the morning hours on Sunday there is “Gospel Music” in the Saloon area of the restaurant.

Drinks Saturday - Cedar Door, Austin, TX

$$ (out of 5)

✓✓✓✓ (out of 5)

I’m sure the food here is great … but I’ve never gotten that far. This was my favorite Friday afternoon attitude adjustment … Mexican Martinis. Think Margarita but with a splash of Triple Sec and a splash of lime juice chilled with ice and strained. I didn’t know they made Tequila that smooth. Careful if you are drinking on the upper deck. The stairs are quite a challenge after two.

Sunday Brunch - Manuel's, Austin, TX

$$$ (out of 5)

✓✓✓✓ (out of 5)

This is a restaurant with a great rep in the Austin area, but I had not eaten here before. We visited for Sunday brunch where they had breakfast items and the full menu. My Chili Relleno was great. The Migas ordered at our table also looked great. There was a round of Mexican Mimosas … not sure how these vary from the usual Champagne and OJ, but they were great.

See You in the Pub!

Jet Lag Jack

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