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A Taste of Jalisco in North Austin

This entry is part of a series, Restaurants»

Tapatia Enchiladas

Deep in Mexico, about halfway between Acapulco and Mazatlan, lies a famous city: Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco. Populous, compact and relatively well laid-out, this city boasts proud-spirited citizens and great food. The state of Jalisco is known for famous seafood and great tacos, to name a couple of items.

People from Guadalajara often refer to themselves as el Tapatio or la Tapatia, depending on their gender; nods to a famous plaza, or square, in Guadalajara. Turns out, “Tapatia” is also one of the most popular names for Tex-Mex and Mexican eateries in the United States. Not surprising, given how illustrious Jalisco’s cuisine is.

A new Taqueria La Tapatia opened in north Austin, out Parmer a short way beyond the Dell campus. (Okay, it’s officially on Tech Ridge Boulevard, but you can see it from Parmer.) My special spousal specimen called me to pick her up from work and take her there for lunch. Me, I have a simple rule: To hear is to obey. (Where lunch is concerned, certainly.) A short jaunt down Parmer, then a quick left-and-right and we were in the parking lot. Time to eat!

We arrived shortly after the main lunch crowd was thinning out and you could tell by the looks on the three servers’ faces that it had been a grueling session. They were smiling, but you could see they’d been working hard. We grabbed a small table near the cash register and looked around like rubes at their first county carnival. The case with baked goods (this place is also a panaderia, or Mexican-style bakery as well) caught my eye and I moseyed over to take a peek. Plenty of good stuff in there for next visit! Maybe breakfast…

A large party was checking out as we looked over the menu. That collection of satisfied folk kept the staff busy for a bit, which gave us plenty of time to make our choices. PJ chose cheese quesadillas, one of her favorite light meals. She didn’t go for the regular edition, though; she wanted pico de gallo and guacamole, which comes on the Especial version. I was thinking maybe burrito when I got there, but quickly changed over to Enchiladas Supremas. That’s a plate with three enchiladas, one each cheese, chicken and beef. A nice sampler platter! Red sauce was my choice, at least this time. Maybe the green next time, for variety; wouldn’t want to get bored.

Tapatia Quesadillas

While we waited for our meals we sampled the table salsa. It’s a more liquid sauce, deeply red in color and apparently freshly made. At first you get a good tomato tang, and then the heat spreads over your tongue and soon your whole mouth is involved. Not terribly hot, though. I enjoyed it; Paula Jo, who has a more timid refined palate, liked the heat less than I did. I ate like the salsa would be illegal tomorrow nibbled and looked aorund the dining room. Simple, with about a dozen square tables for four and a few small round tables. One large round table too, for a group of 6-8. What’s nice about a place like this, you can rearrange to suit your party’s size; it was apparent there had been a couple of very large groups in for lunch, from the location of sets of tables.

Our lunch arrived piping hot. The pico de gallo was zesty, with fresh jalapeño and plenty of onions. The cheese in PJ’s quesadillas was a white, melting cheese; likely Asadero. Very tasty. (I sampled to be sure; you never can trust what those special spousal specimens say! Gotta see for yourself, I believe.) My enchiladas were nicely presented and full of flavor, each one distinct. The rice and beans were pretty normal, nothing special, not distracting. The guacamole, however, was a bit runny and not so flavorful; the weakest element of the lunch.

I wouldn’t categorize these dishes as interior Mexican; more Tex-Mex style, actually. Maybe with a hint of Jalisco. Satisfying nonetheless.

For a quick lunch outing, Taqueria La Tapatia was a good choice. Not an “ooh and ahh” meal, but quick Mexican/Tex-Mex at budget pricing. There’s not many places left in the area where you can get quesadillas for around $5, and an enchilada trio for $7. Drinks (iced tea), tax, tip and all, and we still had change from a Yuppie Food Stamp double-sawbuck. This place goes on our “try again” lunch list, and also on our breakfast list; with baked goods, breakfast tacos and more, it’s gotta be tried at least once. Convenience and price, those will draw us back occasionally…

Taqueria La Tapatia on Urbanspoon

Taqueria La Tapatia (With Panaderia), 12601 Tech Ridge Blvd., Unit 100, Austin, TX 78753. Phone 512.833.6262. Jalisco-style Mexican fare in a modern, hole-in-the-wall setting. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Great baked goods too!

Enjoy the (Jalisco Style) Heat!

Entries in this series:
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  2. Restaurant Review: Gumbo's Louisiana Style Café
  3. Restaurant Review: Chola Indian Restaurant
  4. Restaurant Review: Fujian Grand China Buffet, Austin
  5. Restaurant Review: Casa Garcia's Tex-Mex Restaurant
  6. Review: Mesa Rosa Mexican Restaurant
  7. Restaurant Review: Truluck's Seafood, Steak and Crab House
  8. Restaurant Review Update: Fujian Grand China Buffet Restaurant
  9. Restaurant Review: Pho Viet Restaurant
  10. Sunday Brunch Anniversary Celebration: Moonshine Restaurant Patio Bar and Grill
  11. Late-Lunch Steaks at the Blue Oak Grill
  12. Mama Roux: So Good There's A Song About It, Sort Of...
  13. Phil's Ice House, an Austin-Weird Place for Great Burgers
  14. Easter Sunday Dinner: A Poor Experience at a Usually Reliable Locale
  15. A Sedate Spring Lunch at Zed’s
  16. Looking for a Taste of Germany? Well, We Tried…
  17. Fresh and Tasty Tex-Mex, Prepared by a Grandma
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  19. Dinner for One: Sometimes the Good Stuff is Right Under Your Nose
  20. Smoky Heaven in Round Rock: Johnny T’s BBQ
  21. Tex-Mex, Better’n Sex (Says So on the Menu)
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  23. A Little Bit of the French Quarter, Here in Central Texas
  24. Quick Bites: El Caribe Tex-Mex
  25. It’s Good, It’s Italian, and You Don’t Have to Go to Europe to Get It
  26. Casa G’s for Lunch (Hint: It’s Awesome)
  27. Chola Indian Restaurant: A Good Indian Eatery Gets Better
  28. Tacos are Brain Food, and Brainiacs Eat at El Taquito…
  29. Get Your Indian Food Fix the Easy Way: Tärkă Indian Kitchen
  30. Late Lunch at Mandola’s Italian Market; Worth the Wait…
  31. I Didn’t Know Sichuan, China Included Round Rock
  32. Sunday Brunch at Pecan Street Station; Good Choice…
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  38. From New Pho to Old: Lunch at a (Nearly) Forgotten Friend, Tan My
  39. Z’Tejas, a Wonderful Place for Brunch and Clan Revelry
  40. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Round Rock: Great Meat; As For the Rest…
  41. LongHorn Steakhouse Round Rock: A New Family Favorite
  42. Salt Lick BBQ in Round Rock: More Than Finger-Licking Good
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  44. Going Back Pho More at a Local Favorite
  45. Swagat Indian: A Disappointment With a Few Bright Spots
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