Iron Cactus

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in Arboretum, Brunch, Downtown, Mexican, Reviews, Southwestern
606 Trinity St.
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 472-9240
10001 Stonelake Blvd.
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 794-8778
13420 Galleria Circle, Ste. #A128
Bee Cave, TX 78738
(512) 263-7636
Mon-Wed: 11am-12am
Thu-Sat: 11am-2am

REVIEW – Galleria Location


Iron Cactus

The dining scene on W. 6th has seen its share of ups and downs over the past ten years. But one constant in the seemingly endless round of restaurant roulette has been the Iron Cactus on 606 Trinity at the corner of 6th St. Their “tequila grill” concept is working well here, and while the vibe can sometimes be a bit chaotic, the food rarely disappoints.

The “tapas y botanas” section of the menu is always a good place to initiate the festivities. Botanas means “snack” in Spanish but these are more substantive than the literal translation implies. Take for example the Pecan Crusted Jalapeno Crab Cakes. The first bite of these reveals an exhilarating blend of lovely flavors and the pecan crust that binds them all together. Nice starter. The Chipotle Chicken Poppers are also one of my partialities. The jalapeno peppers are stuffed with a tasty blend of cheddar and Jack cheeses, chicken and chipotle. These usually disappear fairly rapidly when we dine there. And how could we not mention an item that always makes it onto our top ten list of comfort foods: the Lobster Tacos. This begins with mini tortillas, sauteed lobster, Monterrey Jack and a zippy red pepper coulis. It ends with a giant “ah ha” as the components blend together to work their magic.

The Tequila Grill section of the menu contains some highly original and usually well-executed choices. Let’s start with Tourndeos de Tejas which are loved grilled medallions of beef seasoned with southwest spices and served with grilled asparagus.The Camarones a la Parilla is the Iron Cactus version of Shrimp Diablo. The shrimp are stuffed with jalapeno pepper and Chihuahua cheese and nestled into sugar cured bacon. The shrimp are seared and come out smoking hot. Your palate will thank you after you try these. The Carne Guisada is another dish that could be fairly pedestrian yet is lifted up at the Iron Cactus. The keys are the tender chunks of seared beef with red and green bell peppers.This is another offering that I tend to frequently return to. And the Yucatan Fish Tacos are a real blast. This is tequila marinated white fish in grilled tortillas with fresh mango salsa. Very tasty with the critically important texture being right where it needs to be.

There are other headings on the menu that fall under the category of “tradicionales” and “favorites de la casa.” Some very cool choices can be found here. Like the Stacked Pork Enchiladas for starters. The dish is New Mexican and features pork carnitas stacked on red corn tortillas with green chiles, rajas, Monterrey Jack and a fresh egg. It’s delicious. . Likewise the Shrimp Enchiladas are another palate pleaser. The key to the great flavor of this dish is the intriguing lobster sauce. The shrimp are sauteed (you’ll notice that theme at the Iron Cactus) and Monterrey Jack is added along with some scallions. These go down exceptionally easily. Finally, you need to try the Pollo (Chicken) Relleno. The chicken breast is grilled and stuffed with cornbread and cheddar cheese and adorned with a lovely jalapeno cream sauce.

The only problem at iron Cactus is not with the food: at times the 6th St street scene can sometimes be a bit too intrusive if you get my drift. That being said, the food pretty much rocks.

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