11715 FM 2244
Austin, TX 78738
4919 Hudson Bend Rd.
Austin, TX 78734
People who have not had the privilege of dining at Los Pinos usually walk in expecting Tex Mex. They leave with smiles because while there is indeed Tex Mex, there is also so much more, enough to please any palate, and it is uniformly consistent and good. Chef Margarito Maldonado who has worked in the fine dining world with Dean Fearing and Michael Vilim brings a subtle and innovative approach to the many cuisines (border included) that make up the totality of Mexican Dining.
We’re here at the new Bee Caves Road store (just south of Highway 71) in the building that Zoot once occupied. I always begin with the Chile Con Queso Especial, a close cousin to the famous Bob Armstrong dip at Matt’s El Rancho. The queso, ground beef, guacamole, and pico de gallo blend together in a mixture that just demands some fresh corn tortillas. Likewise it’s hard to lay off the zippy Ceviche. The white fish marinated in lime juice has a very pleasant and piquant flavor and more importantly, the texture is spot-on.
You can always judge a good restaurant by its soups. And the Tortilla Soup at Los Pinos is always a heady broth of chicken, tortillas and veggies. This is savory goodness which you should try!
The Fajta is Mexico’s version of snap, crackle and pop. And there are several at Los Pinos I love. The Shrimp Fajitas arrive sizzling and literally singing a siren’s song of the impending feast. And what a feast it is. The flavor is mellow yet holds its own on the back of the palate. And the grilled veggies simply augment the wonder flavors. This is a must try.
Newer on the menu is the Steak Tampiquena. If you’re craving an aged and marbled ribeye with some wonderfully spicy Mexican nuances then this one is for you. The meat is tender and invariably tasty. Kudos to Margarito on this one.
Another enduring favorite is the Beef in Chipotle Cream Sauce. The meat here is fajita quality and just melts away on your palate. The accompanying chipotle cream sauce is irresistible and the mushrooms, corn and Jack cheese create one of those “a ha” dishes that you keep in your food memory bank. The Pork Carnitas fall into the same category. These little morsels of “puerco” are fried till crispy once they’ve been marinated in orange juice and an assortment of spices. THE RESULT? Crazy good flavors that just grab a hold of you and provide relentless pleasure from each bite.
On the Seafood side the Tilapia al Mojo de Ajo. If you like butter and garlic and who doesn’t this dish is the ultimate in Mexican comfort food. The tilapia is a good choice for this recipe as its tender flesh is the perfect vehicle for the and the mojo!
Los Pinos has two locations now with the original one on Hudson Bend Blvd.
This is great news for the Lakeway and Westlake Communities, and even those who live out in the territories like me!