Despite my interesting and exciting series of events at Uncle Julio’s, the food, however, was the low point of the experience. In my confusion and panic at what I had just gotten myself into with the free drink I’d been offered, I really just ordered the first thing that came to mind–same with the drink.

My free margarita, courtesy of the ladies

So I ordered the Carnitas Azteca plate. It came with beans, rice, tortillas, and a side dish of cheese, guacamole, and sour cream. The bartender had also brought me chips and salsa (I miss those SoCal restaurants that do that! Never see it in the Bay Area.)


Chips: A+
Reminded me of Mexican restaurants back where I grew up.

Salsa: A-
It was flavorful, but not spicy. Also, the bowl it was served in was tiny compared to the amount of chips they gave.

Looks are deceiving: those beans and rice are not the sides you're looking for.

Tortillas: A
They tasted like real, homemade flour tortillas. The downside is there wasn’t much to fill them with that met their high standards.

Rice: C
It looked so promising with that deep orange color, but it tasted bland. I couldn’t taste salt or anything really despite the garlic or green onions it seemed to also have.

Beans: D
They were edible, but tasted like the beans you would eat in chili, not normal cooked pintos. They were not refried.

Prepare for disappointment

Carnitas Azteca: F
The Carnitas Azteca were carnitas covered in a honey glaze, and the combination of spices, lime, and cilantro had the effect that it tasted like American Chinese food. Even though it had the sour cream on it too, it overwhelmingly tasted like Chinese food. I felt as if I had ordered some variety of sweet and sour pork. It didn’t match anything else on my plate.

Also, what the hell was up with the semi-melted ball of cheese on that side plate?!

Despite the disappointment, I really liked the atmosphere of the place. There were lots of hand-painted tiles, terracotta floors, tall archways, large chandeliers and murals .

In summary, if you ever have a chance to visit Uncle Julio’s in Austin:
Go for the experience (and maybe a drink), but not the food.

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