La Cocina de Consuelo

Despite having been recommended La Cocina de Consuelo by some very trustworthy sources over a year ago, I failed until now to take this sage advice. A few Sundays ago, I finally convinced a few wary friends to venture outside the box with a little arm twisting (nagging). Serious Tex-Mex cravings more often than not coincide with the tequila flu, and in those instances, there is something to be said about the safe and reliable, even when this means sacrificing fresh tortillas. At first, the no-frills atmosphere and lack of beer* did little to ease my friends’ trepidation, but any residual hesitations were soon erased after one taste of La Cocina de Consuelo’s fiery salsa and gooey queso.

Pollo de Monterey

Pollo de Monterey

La Cocina de Consuelo’s humble restaurant beginnings began after owner Connie Martinez began selling plates of enchiladas for her church fundraiser in the early 80s. After her enchiladas quickly garnered a cult following, Connie began a catering side business before finally realizing her dream of opening a brick and mortar in 2004. Truly a family owned and operated restaurant, the food originating in La Cocina de Consuelo’s kitchen seems to be made with a little extra TLC than the average Tex-Mex spot.

La Cocina de Consuelo’s daytime menu features those famous enchiladas, tacos, and other traditional breakfast and lunch plates served with a choice of two side priced under $10/plate. At night, the restaurant expands to include traditional Mexican specials and appetizers. I opted for the pollo a la Monterey featuring tender chicken tenders topped with salsa verde and Monterey Jack cheese served with savory Mexican rice and a bright mango and jicama salad. The simple, straightforward dish exactly what the doctor ordered. However, a word to the wise: as with the house salsa, the verde packs a serious punch, so be sure to request mild if you can’t handle the heat.

Enchilada Plates

Enchilada Plates

While my chicken was perfectly satisfying, I had serious food envy over the enchiladas sitting across the table from me. The potato enchiladas topped with a chili chipotle sauce were different – in the best way – but still could not hold a candle to the beef with traditional red sauce. The combination between the silky, slightly bitter enchilada sauce and the Mexican spices and hint of sweetness in the beef picadillo was outstanding.

Tortilla Soup and Taco Combo

Tortilla Soup and Taco Combo

For a lighter option, try the soup and taco combo featuring a simple, traditional version of tortilla soup and choice of taco. I highly recommend opting for a crispy taco with a thicker than average shell. Resembling something in between a regular and puffy taco, it sturdy enough to hold up to delightfully messy, flavorful fillings such as the aforementioned beef picadillo. As for those needing a breakfast fix, it’s hard to go wrong with any dish involving La Cocina de Consuelo’s chorizo.

Beef Crispy Taco

Beef Crispy Taco

Do yourself a favor and don’t wait to fall head over heels with the little Tex-Mex restaurant like me. The small parking lot, even smaller dining space, and slow moving line make the logistics of the Tex-Mex joint hectic during peak hours, but rest assured, La Cocina de Consuelo’s food is well worth it.

Huevos con Chorizo

Huevos con Chorizo

*For those in need of adult refreshments to cool down after a chip full of the hotter than hot salsa, La Cocina de Consuelo is BYOB.

La Cocina de Consuelo, 4516 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 512.524.4740. Monday – Friday 7am-3pm; Tuesday – Thursday 6pm-9pm; Friday 6-10pm; Sunday 8am-2pm; Closed Saturdays http://www.consueloskitchen.com

 

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