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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Austin
Food
Feel
Price
7.5
7.0
$25
Mexican
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Fri 9:30am–10:00pm
Sat 8:00am–10:00pm
Sun 9:00am–3:00pm

Features Live music, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

www.sazonaustin.com

South Lamar
1816 S. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX
(512) 326-4395
Sazón
Reliable and superior Mexican in otherwise neutral South Lamar digs

Sazón’s totally authentic food has lost a little of its depth lately, but it continues to perform right up there with the more expensive and glamorous Mexican restaurants. It’s most certainly a friendly place, and the outdoor patio is festive, but hardly big on atmosphere, given the view of South Lamar traffic. Still, it beats the depressing, dark inside.

The menu leans surprisingly toward real, regional Mexican, with starters like empanadas de huitlacoche, the delicious corn fungus that is often compared to truffle. (We find the comparison to be a bit weak, but we have yet to come up with anything better to describe the earthy, almost sweet-smoky taste.) Caldo de xochitl is grandmotherly goodness, a hearty broth with chicken, rice, cilantro, onion, and avocado. Chile en nogada is served with the sauce cold, as is traditional in Mexico, and its consistency is ideally thick—in fact, many of Sazón’s chile-based sauces are complex and intensely delicious. In a rare nod to Tex-Mex, cheese enchiladas with chipotle sauce will make you rethink that humble dish. Best of all is puerco en chile cascabel, pork tips simmered in a rich, red sauce full of dried chilies. Margaritas are well balanced and delicious; you know, that atmosphere’s not looking so bad after all.

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