Two recent visits to La Fruta Feliz reconfirmed what we’ve known for years. This is the brick and mortar apogee of authentic Mexican cooking in Austin, Texas.

A breakfast trip netted some very fine chivo (goat barbacoa) as well as carnitas tacos on splendid, hand-rolled corn tortillas, while a repeat afternoon visit found us on the business end of a glorious Pambazo, a Mexican hoagie, dipped in chile sauce then griddled to a luscious turn. A humble bean and cheese taco, topped with raw white onions and melted cheese made a very fine dessert.

The house-made totopos had unfortunately seen better days, and the red salsa put our mouths to sleep-no chile, no lime juice, no salt-no flavor. They’ve completely reconfigured this sauce as it used to be one of the best versions in town. We’ll take at least part of the blame as we’ve sent hundreds of people in there over the years and the owners probably thought their old-school, hot as Hell version was too authentic for the newcomers.

No matter; the green sauce has a mule kick of a finish and is among the best in Austin.

We angled for a Sandia agua fresca but watermelons aren’t quite in season yet; we were denied one of the singular gustatory pleasures in East Austin. La Fruta Feliz began its life as a juice shop and they still put out some of the best, freshest fruit drinks in town.

Ask for totopos especiale when seated and they’ll bring you a small plate of some of the best bean and cheese nachos in Austin.

pic of the owner

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