Saturday, October 10, 2009


Before we ventured out to see Elizabeth Gilbert at the Paramount Theatre (see post below) we thought we would stop in at El Chile downtown for dinner and drinks.

The interior was filled with vibrant colors, intimate seating and paintings from local artists were displayed on the walls. We thought we would order a half size portion of their Nachos to start. When one thinks of Nachos one thinks of ... crisp tortilla chips smothered in cheese, beans, jalapenos and salsa...well the people at El Chile think of this.

What it ended up being was 6 chips with a spoonful of beans and cheese and if you were one of the lucky ones you actually saw a jalapeno on your individual chip. Let's do the math people, 6 chips at $5.00 ... we're talking almost a dollar a chip!

But maybe dinner would be better? We ordered the Puffy Chicken Tacos and Rajas Con Queso.

Here is what an authentic Puffy Taco SHOULD look like:

Here is what El Chile's Puffy Taco looks like:

The main component of a Puffy Taco is a puffy, fried and crispy tortilla. Our tortilla was soggy, broken and the taco itself was a cold mess. It is so obvious when there is no love or thought behind the preparation of food. The chicken was bland and under seasoned. The beans and rice could honestly have been from yesterday. They had the skin that food can only get from sitting underneath the dreaded food lamp for too long.

As for the Rajas con Queso. The menu promises "Roasted Poblano and Caramelized Onions with melted Chihuahua and Monterrey Jack cheeses." They should just call it what it is, a bowl of cheese with a four, thinly sliced peppers. Not to mention the cheese hardened and became a cement nightmare that the chips had no chance of making it through. No Bueno.

El Chile is way over priced. The food does not earn those prices or fit the descriptions in the menu. Did we mention that one beer cost $6? You can get a cheaper beer at Fenway Park. If you are about to enter El Chile, you may as well save yourself some cash and disappointment and run across the street to Chipotle.

El Chilito on the East Side actually has pretty good tacos and is way cheaper.
Appetizers range from $5-$12
Tacos range from $12-$14


El Chile
918 Congress Ave
Austin, TX


“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” - George Bernard Shaw