Los Pinos offers real authentic interior Mexican cuisine

Just down the Hudson Bend Road from our RV Park (La Hacienda) is the Los Pinos restaurant. Sher and I have been looking at the place as we have been driving by, but never yet stopped to check it out. As it worked out, our family was coming to see us, so we decided to meet at the Los Pinos.

Interesting decor and comfortable seating

What a treat our visit turned out to be! The place is decorated in typical Mexican style. I was pleased with the prompt service we received. The menu is quite varied, and each dish is hand crafted by chef. Our waiter told us the tortillas are made fresh daily, and all the ingredients are fresh as well.

Top: Tacos and fixings. Bottom: Burrito and fixings

Long story short, we all had a great meal and a good time at Los Pinos. The food was very very good, portion sizes were large, and the service and ambiance of the restaurant was most comfortable. I noticed that they serve breakfast. I think a return visit is in the cards. Here is the Los Pinos Website.

We discovered why the Hula Hut restaurant is a local favorite

On our way back from San Antonio to Austin we stopped to see the view of Lake Austin and to get a bite to eat. We decided that we’d try a place called the Hula Hut. Because it was so cold, none of the outside eating areas or two of the three bars were open. The five of us gladly took a table inside!

Part of the main dining area

The ambiance was unique with its island themed decorations, including palm trees scattered throughout. The Christmas lights were still up, adding to the festive feel.

The entrance

Large portions

The wide selection of the menu was intriguing, with American, Mexican and even “island” fare offered. The service was excellent and our food was served quickly. Flour tortillas are made on the spot. All of our orders were served hot and fresh.

In the vernacular of restaurant reviews, I’d call the Hula Hut $$ to $$$ on the price scale. I’ll give it a solid 4.5 on the one to five thing. Bottom line is that we recommend the Hula Hut on Lake Austin.

A real Mexican supper in a real Mexican restaurant

Tonight we went with our family to a real Mexican restaurant here in Austin. Keep in mind that we do not have many genuine Mexican restaurants in central Indiana. Of course there are the Taco Bells that don’t even count. There are sit down Mexican eateries, but they all seem to have the same limited menus and most all items taste alike from restaurant to restaurant.

When you first walk into the La Tapatia restaurant you know that you are in for a real Mexican meal. The interior is simple but clean, and our party of five was directed to sit at whichever table we wanted. Our wait staff immediately took our drink orders and brought warm nacho chips and salsa to our table. Of note was the size of our drinks: the glasses were huge, and must have held at least 32 ounces.

Within a very reasonable amount of time our meals were delivered to our table. The size of the portions were frankly amazing. The amount of food was the most I have ever seen. Even the kids size order for our 5 year old granddaughter was huge! Everyone in our party praised the quality of the food. My plate was filled with 2 enchiladas, one taco, beans, rice and salad. There must have been at least a pound of seasoned ground beef in the items and sprinkled on the plate. The whole plate was covered with shredded cheese.

This was a great restaurant. The food was excellent, the service was also excellent, and I can’t say enough about the portion size. The prices were reasonable, averaging about $10 a person. We all were full when we left!

 

Tucson’s El Charro Café lives up to its reputation

Sizzling beef and chicken fajitas at El Charro Café

Sizzling beef and chicken fajitas at El Charro Café

The folks at the RV park recommended that for some real authentic Mexican food during our stay in Tucson we should be sure to visit the El Charro Café. That recommendation turned out to be spot on.

The El Charro proudly proclaims that it is the nation’s oldest Mexican restaurant in continuous operation by the same family. The cafe opened in 1922 and is still in the same location near downtown. (There are two other locations in Tucson.)

Like most Mexican eateries a dish of salsa and tortilla chips was brought out as soon as we were seated. The chips were home made and a great way to enjoy the salsa. Our waiter, Andre, was most helpful in assisting us with our choices. Sher went with the Vegan Corn and Quinoa Tamales. I could not resist the “Sizzling Fajitas” combo with both beef and chicken.

The portions were approaching huge in size. Note the picture of my fajitas. The food was very very good. All of the offerings were served fresh and hot. The fajita’s skillet ‘sizzled’ for a good four minutes or so after it was brought to our table. Our food was served within a very short time after ordering. Both Sher and I really enjoyed our meal in this historic Tucson restaurant.

The El Charro Café should be on your short list for dining in Tucson. Our tab ended up a moderate $40 which included Margaritas. Here is their website. Ask for Andre when you go. He’ll take good care of you and your party.

A full plate!

IMG_0285_resizedToday Sher and I had a late lunch at the IXTAPA Mexican Restaurant in Stanwood Washington. My what a plate of food I ordered. I really enjoyed the meal. Sher liked hers too.

This restaurant offered great service. There was also a good free WiFi available. The setting was welcoming, and the atmosphere was comfortable. Pricing is moderate, about $15 a person.

This restaurant is one of several in the Seattle area. We would recommend dining at an IXTAPA to anyone.