Rebooting our contest gimmick. Rasheel, winner of ” Name This Austin Landmark And We’ll Buy You A Margarita At El Gallo” with his guess of El Taco Rico never came forward to claim his prize.

You know you run with a rough bunch when a promise of free booze isn’t enough to accomplish the hang.

Round 2 is now upon us.

Name This Austin Landmark And We’ll Buy You A Margarita At El Azteca.

Title says it all. Tell us where this famous Austin landmark is located and we’ll meet up with you and buy you a margarita at one of the few places in Austin we’ve ever been thrown the fuck out of. Story’s on the internet btw.

Rasheel guessed correctly. Can you? No cheating

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

Dawn Orsak and Lori Najvar are traveling across Texas to accrue material for a multi-media exhibit on Texas Czech culture. This past weekend found the two ladies in Halletsville for the big South Texas Polka & Sausage Fest. We wrote a preview for the party here–Sausage-Fest-In-Hallettsville-Texas-March-22nd-23rd–24th-2013 but were unable to attend due to work. Blasted work.

Orsak and Najvar, in the interest of cultural preservation mind you, spent the day at the fest eating their way through tables filled with sausages, sauerkraut, “German” potatoes, chicken noodle soup, sweet tea and kolaches.

Tough gig.

We’ve long been fascinated by the culture of middle Europe (ok, the foods if we were to be pinned down) and got in touch with Ms. Orsak to see if she’d be willing to share a photo of the big party.

Pictured: Dawn Orsak with 77 year old Leroy Petersen whom Orsak reports is “a really smooth dancer.”

Love it.

The best dancers are always elderly. By the time you hit your golden years you’ve had a lifetime to polish your moves on the dance floor. Hit Ginny’s Little Longhorn on a Thursday night if you need affirmation.

Photo credit: Lori Najvar

Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center

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This is Austin Daily Photo number 794

Nothing but admiration for Jack Gilmore. Read about how a white man from Brownsville won an entry in our Best Tex Mex Mex restaurant in Austin Texas series

Sous vide Tex Mex? An idea whose time has come.

Mise en place for yet another batch in our Texas Hot Guts sausage project. At the 18 month mark we’ve achieved world beating status; as is evidenced by our link of the day invariably winning “best in show” at our ongoing Scrumptious Chef pop up restaurant series.

birthplace of the genre

It was only a matter of time. The red hot Rainey Street district has everything you could want or need-except barbecue. Sure Iron Works is right near but let’s face it; the glory days of that old shed are long gone.

Enter East Avenue Lounge.

The friendly, no frills bar has carved itself a nice little niche ( and that niche is about to get a lot more prosperous with the addition of smoked meats to go with the cold beer.

We were on non-barbecue business when we snapped this photo but will venture down that way soon and report back.

a staggering multitude of Texas BBQ articles

No website. One tweet. But here’s physical proof that SLAB: Slow, Low and Bangin BBQ food truck does exist.

We were on an ice cream mission at the time and did not have one moment to spare so we neglected their meat.

Any readers get a chance to sample SLAB? Please comment below.

full Texas BBQ coverage with full color photos!