Actually the Tex-Mex doesn't HAVE to be near Barton Springs. I am flying in on Tuesday after many years away from Texas (I used to live in Dallas), driving directly to Barton Springs for a swim, and then I'll be looking for a late lunch/early supper. I have meetings starting at eleven a.m. the next day, near Burnet Road and Braker Lane.
I had considered the Chuy's near Barton Springs but I'd like something with a little more zip to it, a little more houndish and less chainey. I don't mind seeking out a cart but I'd prefer to sit down indoors, unless the food carts are just phenomenally better. Tacos are great but I would especially like to have some nice tamales. I don't know if the Rancho Martinez down there has the "cowboy-style" chciken-fried steak, with chili and cheese and onions, like at Matt's Rancho Martinez in Dallas. That was a great idea that suffered in the implementation. A good margarita would be nice but it isn't critical.
I would love to get gnarly taqueria breakfast but taquerias never have good coffee. I can make two stops if need be, since I don't have much to do in the morning.
Finally, any suggestions for good ramen or Viet Namese or other ethnic? If I don't decide on a compelling Tex-Mex stop I might move in another direction and just satisfy my jones with a few tamales.
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