Austin still has a nook and cranny or two that I haven’t completely plumbed out though they are few and far between.
I’ve traversed the length and breadth of the city on my motorbike so many times that when I happen upon a hidden cove or leafy side street that looks unfamiliar my ears perk up and I get real interested.
There might be some undiscovered food afoot.
Such is the case on a recent morning when I’m leaving the site of the prospective new John Mueller barbecue joint [ taking spy photos ]. I turn down a narrow side street and soon spot a big fancy new building partially under construction.
It dawns on me that such a large building might have a cafe inside to feed the workers so I park my bike and begin exploring the campus of Southwest Key, an Austin based non profit that aids at risk Latino youth.
I soon spot a little restaurant tucked away on the bottom floor of one of the buildings.
The ladies in the kitchen of Cafe Del Sol are putting out some of Austin’s finest Mexican food and they’re doing it in a surreal neo-office park setting.
I’m always in research mode as I typically have 4-5 writing projects going at all times so it takes me a couple visits before I sample the desebrada at the little cafe.
Worth the wait.
The enormous, scratch flour tortilla holds upwards of a half pound of cracking good shredded beef that’s been simmered with a hand cut pico de gallo. The tortilla puffs up like a balloon on the searingly hot flat top while the beef stews in a small skillet on the range.
Top flight flour tortillas are hard to come by in Austin but these are among our cities’ finest.
They’re the San Antonio, baking powder style, hand rolled and gigantic, providing a lovely wrapper for the beefy desebrada.
Two housemade salsas sit near the cash register: a vivid green, rich with avocados and cut with fiery serrano as well as a tomato based one that provides an acid foil to the rich beef taco.
During my meal I pass the time with Maria and Alma, the two cocineras, we discuss where we like to go for our Buche, ojos and sesos tacos. They are amused at my excitement at the exotic end of the Mexican taco range.
Unfortunately none of these meats are served at Cafe Del Sol.
More’s the pity as I would love to see what these two skilled cooks could do with the esoteric end of the Mexican taco spectrum.
6002 Jain Ln
Hours of operation
8am – 3pm
About the stars
★★★★ Extraordinary, life changing
★★ Very good
Quality, price, service and ambiance are all taken into account when rating