Thursday, July 28, 2011

Taqueria Los Jaliscienses - Austin, TX

Do you like Mexican food?

Do you like real hole-in-the-walls?

Do you like ethnic restaurants where they speak the native language only and not English?

Do you take your car to Discount Tire?

Well then you're going to love Taqueria Los Jaliscienses, a combination of the first three items above, just down the street from Discount Tire, where I found myself last week after a noticeable shimmy developed in my car shortly after it was destroyed by baseball-sized hail and then fixed.

I'll be honest, this dive on the south side of Ben White is not a place I'd be likely to stop under normal circumstances, but destiny shook that car and put me at Discount Tire that morning, and destiny also closed the Jack and the Box and Taco Bell down the street for renovations, forcing me over to the next in line, Taqueria Los Jelly Senses, for a bite to eat while I waited.

Patroned only by a few small groups of people who I can only assume are regulars, Mexicans and Whiteys both, I was left wondering how things worked when I walked past the counter of Mexican candy and tried to figure out if I needed to seat myself or wait to be seated.  The nice woman who emanated from the kitchen answered that for me...kind of, with a question in Spanish and then some gestures.

She brought me a giant glass of water and a basket of thick cut chips along with some creamy green salsa and some fresh red salsa, the first with a noticable burn not for the faint of heart, and the second with a hybrid pico de gallo meets Pace Picante feel to it, both good.

The menu was adorned with Mexican and Tex-Mex items alike, ranging from chicharrones to crispy ground beef tacos, and was complemented with full color pictures of at least one item from each section. After a small feast of chips, my waitress reappeared and gestured to the menu.

"What's the best thing on the menu?" I asked?


No dice.

I settled for the picadillo (that's ground beef "plus" to we gringos) enchiladas topped with a combination of their famous (where?) red sauce and cheese sauce.

Very good.  Three enchiladas barely discernible from one another much like the contents of a well prepared White Castle slider, were topped with a flavorful sauce and a bunch of melted cheese and nestled in between some classic Mexican rice, slightly dry, and the thin sort of refried beans, which were very good.

Not a bad spot if you're having tire issues, or your getting really hungry while headed down 71.  I recommend the stop, and a chile lollipop to go.


Atmosphere:  hole-in-the-wall, stark, no bar, Telemundo

Food: greasy Mexican and Tex-Mex

Dog Friendly:  no

Crowd:  blue collar, regulars

What to Order for the First Timer:  pick 'em

Best Time to Go:  lunch

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