Austin >Food & Dining > Latin Cafe
101 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX | Directions 7870130.263012 -97.741933
Mon-Thu 8am-9pm Fri-Sat 8am-11pm Sun 11am-9pm
Neighborhoods: South River City, Greater South River City
Had a good time during our Happy Hour – We had about 15 people in our group. Their events coordinator set us up in the upstairs lounge which had great (and interesting) drink and appetizer specials available. They had two plasma tvs but our group was "networking". The space is large, but not private. And even though we could hear other folks talking, it looked like everyone was having lots of fun.
Authentic South American fare in downtown Austin. – In Short
This lively spot across from the Four Seasons, boasts a tantalizing menu. Start with seviche or grilled tuna with tarragon aioli. More affordable lunch options include a hearty sobrebarriga a la criolla (stewed brisket) and grilled chicken breast in garlic sauce. Standouts on the New Latin menu include grilled pork loin served with a mojito chimichurri and the sizzling churrasco tenderloin. Don't miss the restaurant's outstanding selections of spirits and desserts.
Proud of their prices – I eat a lot of South American Latin cuisine and what is being served at Dona Emilia's are mostly common dishes that they are charging way too much for. Tamals should be about $6 and a Bandeja Paisa platter about $8-9. It is what farmers/ranchers eat for lunch in the Andes. Shame on this place.
Dissatisfaction – Online reservations, great, but when I called to confirm I spoke with a very unfriendly, young male host. That should have tipped me off to the level of service I should expect. Bar service took too long, waiter took even longer. Drinks during dinner took far too long and several were just plain forgotten! The menu is deceiving, it looks like a delicious assortment but it's all rather bland. The food is not fresh, it's thawed. From the ceviche to the mango salsa I was consistenly disappointed. I've been to several South American restaurants and this one is by far the least impressive. It's as if Chili's opened up a Latin chain, making it overpriced for what it is. Good for a group because of the large space, and with good company you forget so much about the mediocrity of the food itself.
One of the Best Restaurants! – I are for the first time at Dona Emilia's about a year ago and loved the food. The Mojitos are really good as well. I bring alot of people there from out of town for lunch because in my opinion its the best South American Restaurant Ive ever been to.
Front Desk Need Customer Service Classes – First, I must say the food is amazing. I have eaten there a dozen or more times. Waiter/Waitress service is very good. But the very very young and immature individuals that work at the front desk have a poor attitude. They lack people skills! Yesterday, I walked in at 6pm and asked for a table for 5 and the response I received was laughing. The hostess continued to laugh when I asked was that a yes or no. She laughed back a flat no. I was horrified. I then said there are empty tables of four - could we make one for five. She shot back absolutely not.
Bottomline - customers should never be treated that way. My friends were repulsed. Instead we decided to wait 1 hour for table at PF Changs where at least they are civil.
Terrible Valentine's Day! – 1) Terrible service
- Seated us next to a noisy table of 8 business men!! Why not seat them outside? This completely detracted from ambience for us and many couples around us.
- Did not receive a wine menu upon being seated...even after waiting for 10 minuteshad to get one from hostess stand myself.
- Our waiter didnt come by until 10-15 minutes later (not even to say I'll be right with you!)
- Waiter didnt know menu and inexperienced overall seemed very understaffed
- Runners were very hasty in delivering food! Not concerned w/ presentation at all - fried ice cream was delivered toppled over on its side.
2) Food was mediocre at best (salad was the best part)
- Crab cakes were brought out cold
- Shrimp was not fresh
- Fried ice cream was not Amy's Mexican Vanilla nor did it come w/ strawberries as advertised
The best South American Food in Town – Guys, if you are looking for a great casual place to eat typical South American food, from soups to seafood, this is the place to go. I took a bunch of execs. to this restaurant and they all loved it. Service is great and fast, so no matter if it is a quick business lunch or a long romantic dinner this is the place you want to go. Good luck!
South American...not so much – As a native of Brazil I know South American when I taste it. The food is not bad but it isn't great either. Valet service was rude and would not let me park unless I gave him 4 dollars right away which I didn't have in change. The prices are steep for the kind of food you get. I have got 4 gift certificates for Dona Emilia's, used one and will give the others away as I don't plan on being back.
Fantastic Meal, weird seating – Went with my wife and 4 year old before dinner on a Saturday. Food was out of this world. Appetizers were a bit pricy, but entrees were value priced and the sides are a great value. Had the steak & egg platter, lots of sides included. Really flavorful. Wife had the tamal and loved it. Empanadas were perfect. Servers a tad slow, sangria was bland, mojitos more than made up for it. The chairs are too low, but can't wait to go back.
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