Known for their authentic Tex-Mex food and relaxed atmosphere, they have been cooking for Austin in the Brodie Oaks Center for years. Go for the food but stay for the friendly wait staff..
Yellow washed paint with colorful Mexican blankets adorn the walls of this South Austin eatery. Every room offers booth seating, which reinforces the laidback atmosphere inside. Because there is so much natural light coming in from the large windows, there is no need for overhead lighting during lunch hours. This creates a comfortable setting reinforced by the soft rock Spanish music in the background. The three dining rooms offer authentic Tex-Mex classics at an extremely affordable price. Not only are local favorites like mole enchiladas and Baja fish tacos on the menu, items like grilled tilapia and smoked shrimp quesadillas make up two of the 15 items in their healthy, Mex Light, section.
Very nice new owners and staff!.
I grew up on the border and eat Mexican food at least 4 meals a week! I like good food and love great salsa, El Rey accomplishes both. Every time my family has eaten here we have consistently had the nicest service! The salsa is the kind of spicy you can't stop eating, they even have off the menu salsa (3 if my memory serves: a chipotle, tomatillo(incredible with the carnitas) and a super hot "fathers"). The carnitas, which are my personal test of choice, are outstanding, the rice reminds me of my grandmothers, the cheese enchiladas the way they should be, and the pizza albeit unusual happens to be really really good! The refried beans weren't super flavorful, but the charro beans sure were! The nachos are kind of slopped together, the stuffed poblano delicious and did I mention the yumtastic carnitas?!!!
Middle of the Road at best.
Restaurant was empty on a Wednesday around 6 pm. Seated promptly. Chips were good, salsa was not spicy AT ALL. Very tomato/ketchupy. I had the chicken tostada with fresh fruit. Tostada was very average. Not much flavor. Too much dark meat from the chicken used. Fruit was served in huge pieces (pineapple, melon, etc.). Pain to cut up. Friend got the chicken fajita tacos. Wow, there were like 2 small slivers of chicken in each taco. Rice tasted very bland, refried beans had no taste at all. Also, friend ordered a soup and the server brought it out WITH the meal instead of as an appetizer. Duh, lady! Sent it back, they did not charge us. Overall, this place is very, very, very average and very inoffensive. If you like your food to taste like air, then go here. This is what I imagine Mexican food to be like in really bland, white, midwestern places like Topeka, Kansas or Des Moines, Iowa. Some people like that, others don't. There are just FAR too many outstanding Mexican/Tex-Mex places in Austin to waste your time on this bland food.
Toughest Restaurant Category in Austin.
My new favorite restaurant! I have lived in S. Austin for almost 2 decades - consistently the best of flavors and service! Scores above more expensive Tex-Mex and Mex places for me and all that I show it off to! I think I'll go tonite.