Vivo Cocina Texicana

Posted by on Jan 1, 2007 in East, Mexican, Reviews
2015 Manor Rd.
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 482-0300
Mon: 11am-3pm
Tue-Thu: 11am-10pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm

Our Gonzo Gourmet Club recently convened at Vivo Cocina Texicana, Roger Diaz’s new Mexican restaurant on Manor Road. The Gonzos were unanimous in their compliments to Vivo, and this is not a group that is easily impressed.

The first suggestion of excellence begins with the Tortilla Soup. It’s got a full, rich flavor because the broth is accented with chile sauce and white cheese. It is a perfect place to begin. The chile con queso is integrated with Vivo’s homemade salsa. I’m not usually that intrigued with quesos that add ingredients. But I’ll tell you, this works. It’s got a very nice and rewarding flavor. Another favorite is the Veggie Chalupa. You start with a crisp tostada. Add very healthy frijoles (no lard used) with cheese, guacamole, tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts (that’s right, you read it correctly, alfalfa sprouts) and you have an absolutely delicious chalupa. Try this, you will love it!

I adore their puffy tacos, a specialty of the house. They use a corn masa that is lightly fried until it puffs up. The Gonzos had cabrito tacos and they were a smash hit. Another highly recommended taco is the one with beans, shredded cabbage, avocado, and onion slices. They can be served with an amazing homemade green pepper sauce or you may pick a milder salsa. But it’s hard to eat just one. They’re that good. And you may have noticed a trend here. There are actually dishes that are compatible with those seeking more healthy choices. In a Mexican restaurant! Madre de dios!

And their enchiladas. They use a special recipe sauce that begins with whole wheat flour and whole cumin seeds. They build a roux and add jalapenos, tomatoes, garlic, and onions and sauté for four hours. And voila! The sauce is absolutely amazing. It is, of course, served with their vegetarian cheese enchiladas. That comes with brown rice and guacamole salad. I have run out of superlatives when it comes to those enchiladas and that sauce. Literally that good. And the Enchiladas Verdes are a treat as well. I love tomatillo sauce and Vivo does a great job with it. And the chicken and jack cheese with the sour cream. Wow.

And the meat courses are no less interesting. The Carne Tampequena is an ethereal flat iron steak done in a delightful sauce utilizing the house salsa with the onions and garlic strained out and cream added. They reduce it down and the result with the flat iron steak is magical.

And that pretty much sums up the varied appeals of Vivo. No lard, no Velveeta, just an abundance of flavor and originality and passion in every, single, dish. You simply must drop what you are doing, and GO NOW to Vivo. Don’t delay. Don’t go past go. And you will thank me. Tell ’em Rob Balon sent you.

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