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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Austin
Food
Feel
Price
7.7
7.5
$10
Mexican, Baked goods, Ice cream
Counter service

Hours
Daily 6:00am–10:00pm

Features Kid-friendly, outdoor dining
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC

Far North Austin
8716 Research Blvd.
(512) 374-9910
Panadería Chuy
Gelato, pan dulce, and al pastor right off the spit—all in a warm ranch-style kitchen

Some complain that there’s hardly any strictly Mexican food in Austin—only Tex-Mex—lamenting that you either have to commit to an expensive upmarket restaurant or else eat from a taco truck. Panadería Chuy (Chuy’s Bakery, sometimes) is exactly what those people are envisioning: a casual yet nice and clean, authentic Mexican experience. On one side is the bakery, whose pan dulces, cakes, fruit empanadas, and cookies are all steroid-huge and smelling like cinnamoned heaven. There are also hot kolaches, demi-baguettes, and cocoa mixes and other pantry sundries. Stop to admire the case of glossy fruit tarts and cakes, and save room for gelati in flavors like tamarind, watermelon, and pecan.

Take your time with the menu over the counter, or risk accidentally ordering a torta without all the good stuff on it, like avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and pickled jalapeño (hint: they’re the pricier ones—but all are filling, thanks to the floury and huge bolillos they come on). Best is the pierna torta’s moist pork and creamy beans, where as the milanesa’s flat-pounded pork cutlet goes mute under gobs of bland provolone. There are tlacoyos on blue corn tortillas with firm nopales, quesadillas with earthy mushrooms and hominy, and, of course, tacos; watch through the dining room’s kitchen window as your al pastor is shaved off the dripping spit. Enjoy it all in pizza-parlor-like wooden booths that appear to be sitting in the middle of a bustling ranch kitchen. Complainers, head north.

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