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“Fabulous Austin Experience!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Alma Cafe

El Alma Cafe
1025 Barton Springs, Austin, TX 78704 (Downtown)
(512) 609-8923
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Ranked #302 of 3,123 restaurants in Austin
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican, Café
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: Dawson
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Fabulous Austin Experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We were fortunate to be able to dine on the deck with a view of downtown Austin- a great way to begin the evening! We started with the Ceviche Clasico (black drum), vegetarian tamales, and incredible guacamole. The chips were excellent as well. Mains included Cordoniz con Mole (huge quails!), Duck Relleno, fish tacos, and Duck Enmoladas. All the dishes were delicious- as good as any Mexican in Austin. The mole was outstanding. Service could not have been better. Margaritas were also terrific. We all were ready to return the next evening!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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28 reviews from our community

78% Recommend
    10
    12
    6
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Wonderful place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

They make mostly interior Mexican food here, from DF. After 3 meals in 3 days, I consider it high level indeed. Shrimp nachos, individually made, ceviche from heaven, spicy margarita to walk a mile for. All worked. All worked well. Winner!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“El Alma, it'll do”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

This is based on one visit for lunch therefore may not be as fair and balanced as it should be. I would write a review based on more than one visit , but one visit was all it took to convince me that there was really no need to return. I guess some of my disappointment with my eating there was because of preconceptions, given the cooking history of the chefs here in Austin. I will say that basically the food was basic and good. My friends fish did not look that interesting and he did not make any comments as to how it was so I took that as being an unremarkable. The place is located near downtown behind the Long Center so it might be a good location for some. In that case, given the availability of places in the immediate area, I would say, yes, eat there. It is not what I would term a "desitnation" restaurant.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great Food & MArgaritas”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

Food was great with an interesting twist. Salsas were great, but chips were a little stale & it looked like we go the "bottom of the bag" - lots of crumbs. "Corn Pudding" was really a corn bread muffin with jalepenos. yum! Chili relleno was good as was my husband's dish... Can't remember what it was called. Some chicken enchilada with mole sauce. Mmm. Margaritas are AWESOME! Loved the Mango Chipotle & another spicy one, but I can't remember the name Would definitely go back!

Visited September 2012
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Austin, TX
Top Contributor
213 reviews 213 reviews
132 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
279 helpful votes 279 helpful votes
“I want to like this place better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

I've waited until eating here four or five times before reviewing. There are things about El Alma that are wonderful, not least among them their neon sign. The interior is pleasant but terribly loud. I've yet to visit when I can enjoy the roof deck, but it looks very nice. I've never quite found my niche on their cocktail list, everything seems a bit flat or lacking depth of flavor. Ditto with the food mostly. Our most successful visit was for drinks and snacks at happy hour, and it may have been the savings that made it all taste better. My last visit, though, I had the shrimp stuffed relleno, which our neighboring table raved about. My shrimp were undercooked and not fresh, the relleno had nothing to bind its stuffing together--just a one-note tomato sauce, corn, mushroom and these undercooked shrimp. If I'd been with family, I'd have sent it back. The plain little side cheese/rice relleno is my favorite thing here; it's so plain and honest, hard to mess up. The fancier dishes seem to miss the mark. Well intentioned, but comes up short for me. The service perpetually seems slow and untrained, though very nice.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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