Do You Speak Austin?

Learn the local lingo.

Queso—Local Tex-Mex specialty consisting of a giant bowl of melted cheese and chiles meant for dipping tortilla chips in. Every restaurant has its own signature variation, be it with beef, chorizo (spicy Mexican sausage), avocado, or cream, and its own blend of cheeses, from Velveeta and store-bought Monterey Jack to artisan cheddar and house-made Mexican white cheese.

Migas—Spanish for “crumbs,” this is a Texas weekend-staple breakfast dish of eggs scrambled with tortilla strips, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and cheese. In Austin, you’ll often find tortilla chips instead of strips in the migas, and eat it served with pan-fried grated potatoes. Try migas paired with beans in a tortilla for a breakfast taco (see below).

Breakfast tacos—A Tex-Mex original that’s just what it sounds like: breakfast foods wrapped up in a tortilla. Favorite filling combinations include bacon, egg, and cheese; potato, chorizo, and cheese; and migas and beans. Two tacos make a meal.

Clod—if you go to a real Texas BBQ joint, you may be asked if you want brisket or clod. Clod is whole beef shoulder, a bigger, thicker hunk of meat than brisket. The interior doesn’t absorb as much smoke during cooking as the thinner brisket, and it’s generally a little more tender than brisket. Clod is generally served in chunks, while brisket is sliced.

Mexican martini— Essentially a giant top-shelf margarita, served in a cocktail shaker with a martini glass and olive garnish so that you can pour your own, “up.” The most famous in town is served at Trudy’s (409 W. 30th St., 512-477-2935). It’s so strong that Trudy’s will cut you off after two of them.

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