The State of Barbacoa in Austin Texas Part 3: La Monita-Best Meathouse in Austin

Fresh off a hard nights work the hooker strolls in to La Monita looking right at famished. Wielding a dollar bill she approaches the counter girl “gimme a dollars worth of pork skins”. The worker chooses the largest one out of the trough and hands it over. “All that for a dollar?” the lady exclaims and strolls out the door.

Noting my bemused look the girl proffers one to me as well. I love a good pork skin hot out of the fryer so I gratefully accept the treat and lavish it with the remnants from a former diners salsa bowl on the nearby table.

It’s spectacular. The dried red chiles bond with the crispy pork fat creating a Mexican super flavor. I could eat this morning, noon and night.

Clearly lagniappe has long been the order of the day at La Monita.

While La Monita has long been the finest prepared Mexican meat source in Austin they’ve recently addressed two glaring deficiencies that prevented them from absolutely bulldozing their competition.

1] They’ve always relied on pre made corn tortillas for their tacos until a month or so ago. Now they’ve stepped into the clearlight and make their tortillas from scratch…per order.

2] Their old school refusal to offer totopos y salsa upon seating you is a thing of the past. Now they bring warm chips and salsa the moment you sit down. This is a God given right of Texans and one that we take quite seriously.

But it’s the barbacoa that will always keep me coming back. It’s not only the finest in Austin it’s one of the few in Austin that compares favorably with carnicerias in San Antonio.

In this instance the head meat seems like it could’ve been cooked sous-vide. It’s beyond tender. A mere glance from across the room and the barbacoa disintegrates across the corn tortilla. While both house salsas are fine the smoky, complex red is superb. A squeeze of lime, a douse of red sauce and you’re looking at the best lunch in Austin for $1.75.

2*

2200 E 7th St # B
Austin, TX 78702-3570
(512) 524-4294

About the Stars:

4 ****  Extraordinary, life changing

3 ***   Excellent

2 *     Very good

1 *     Good

0 *     Mediocre to Acceptable

Quality, price, service and ambiance are all taken into account when rating.

About RL Reeves Jr

I'm a writer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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