|13436 W. Hwy 71
Austin, TX 78738
If it weren’t for the fact that my daughter Jenn was dodging wildfires in Colorado she’d want to be with me today at Rosie’s Tamale House on Highway 71 near Bee Cave. This has been a Balon family go-to joint for years, and her personal favorite.
There’s not much ambiance at Rosie’s unless Mexican felt art floats your boat. But the food? Let’s begin with the classic Rosie’s tex mex bean and cheese nachos. These are crunchy (a requisite) and smothered in the obligatory processed cheese. Add some onion and jalapeno, and they will disappear quickly. And they do a very serviceable Chile con Queso at Rosie’s. It’s got just the right texture, and is just waiting for a fresh and hot corn tortilla for a little dipping and noshing. The Jalapeno Poppers are another guilty pleasure. They’re coated with cream cheese and deep-fried but you know what? They work!
Rosie’s has long been known for their tamales. Let’s take a look. The key to this historic dish is the masa, a dough made from cornmeal that is the heart of the tamale. And Rosie’s Pork Tamales are moist and full of unrelenting flavors. I like to anoint mine with some hot queso. Another family fav is the Cheese Enchiladas. Topped with a chile con carne sauce (is there really any other when it comes to Tex Mex enchiladas), they are very tasty, smooth, and just ooze a reassuring comfort with each bite. Of course for me I’ve gotta add some extra white onion! I had my first Beef Burrito at Rosie’s 25 years ago ,and I’m still ordering them. The burrito begins with a massive grilled flour tortilla stuffed with tender bits of carne, beans, diced onions and well, use your imagination. The dish originated in Ciudad Juarez and first appeared on American menus in the 1930’s. Another recommendation is the Chalupa Compuesta, my wife’s favorite. This is a giant fried tortilla served open and adorned with frijoles, lettuce, cheese, ground chuck, tomato and guacamole. Muy bien. And there are dishes named after iconic local residents like the Willie Plate which the singer pretty much designed himself. You don’t have to be “Crazy” to try this.
Rosie’s is strictly BYOB which accounts for all the coolers one sees sitting beside tables. Nope, here it’s all about the food and the indomitable woman who has stood watch over her domain for all these years.