It should come as no surprise that Austin has some great Mexican food. Polvo’s came highly recommended by everyone we talked to, and we knew we couldn’t leave the city without taking at least one culinary adventure south of the Rio Grande…
You know it’s the real deal because of all the tacky shit everywhere, bright coloured lights and gaudy paint. That’s not racist, that’s just the way it is.
You ALSO know that you’re in for an authentic treat when you walk through the front door and are greeted by a salsa bar on ice. Spoiler alert: they were all good.
Note: There’s a certain reeeally overrated restaurant in my hometown of Regina that charges $11 for tortilla chips and salsa. I wonder if the owners ever get really embarrassed when they walk into Mexican joints and see how they’re giving it away for free?
I was on vacation, so the margaritas flowed. Like whiskey and barbecue, the tartness of the citrus and the sharpness of the tequila make the margarita the best pairing for heavy Mexican food by a long shot. This wasn’t in the same league as the avocado margarita I had in Tucson last year, but it did the trick. And so did the next two.
My two favourite things about Mexican cuisine are mole and enchiladas, which appeal to opposite spectrums of the palate - the former is rich and complex and “grown-up,” the latter is messy and simple and covered in cheese. I got one chicken enchilada slathered in mole, and the other drenched in chile con queso. It was absolute bliss. The queso was so decadent I almost felt guilty eating it, while the mole has all the nutty, balanced notes that a great sauce should have. I just kept going back and forth until the tortillas were gone and it looked like I parted the red sea of side dishes.
Note: If you have a night of drinking ahead of you, my best advice when eating Mexican for dinner is to skip the rice and beans altogether. It may be wasteful, but you won’t regret skipping hours of bloating, drowsiness, spicy burps and a near impossible time getting drunk. This advice is absolutely essential if you are in a band and are playing a show that night.
My brother’s dish was a chili-fried prawn dish that was equally amazing, swimming in a really rich red sauce that had a ton of depth for a Mexican standard. Polvo’s did not disappoint, and it may have be the cheapest meal on the whole trip to boot.