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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