Uncle Julio’s

301 Brazos
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 815-2100

Last week, I was invited by Uncle Julio’s PR team to try their menu in exchange for honest thoughts about their restaurant. I understand that they hail from Dallas originally and the new location in Austin is their 17th in the country. The joke Texans love to make about Tex Mex is to not trust a Tex Mex place outside of Texas. It is a good thing they were founded in Dallas! Upon walking in, I was floored by their floor plan. Spacious and their sun room (pictured above) served as a welcoming respite after spending eight hours under florescent lights at my day job. I forget how uplifting Vitamin D can be for you!

Swirl (Maragrita and Sangria), $7.99; Housemade Sangria, $7.99

We tried their frozen drink, Swirl which is frozen margarita and frozen house sangria. And because it was strongly recommended, we tried their sangria on the rocks. Seemed a little sangria redundant but the sangria on the rocks may be the best sangria I’ve tasted in a while.

salsa; pineapple bacon guacamole, $10.29

Their house salsa has a great roasted tomato flavor to it. The pineapple bacon guacamole was exciting in theory but I think I’ve finally met something I didn’t love that had bacon incorporated. And trust me, I’ve had some crazy bacon concoctions. Though I don’t think it was bacon that was missing the mark for me. The pieces of pineapple didn’t harmoniously play with the other ingredients.

Uncle Julio’s team was so kind as to customize a sampler so that my dining partner and I could try as much as we could and not commit to big portions. Man did they prepare a feast! We tried their beef, chicken, and shrimp fajitas, their bacon wrapped shrimps (Camarones Diablos and Bacon Wrapped Camarones Brochette), their frog legs, quail, pork ribs, and lobster. If you were keeping count, that was eight different kinds of meats.

What did I love?

  • Both the Camarones Diablos and the Bacon Wrapped Brochette were well executed. The shrimps in brochettes were stuffed with Monterrey Jack cheese and jalapeno.
  • The beef fajitas and the shrimp fajitas were excellent. The beef was juicy and medium rare. The shrimp for the fajitas had great flavor. I would love to buy their fresh made tortillas to bring home with me.
  • The Red Brick Quail, rubbed in adobo and grilled under a brick, was my favorite from all the meats tried. Just tender from the bone and perfectly seasoned. I would order the quail over and over again.
  • Though this isn’t technically part of our meat festival, it is a protein. I could not stop eating their beans. I’m rarely if ever impressed by beans but I cleaned my bean bowl. I’m glad they gave us each our own.

Outside of that list, I found the chicken and pork ribs a little dry and their frog legs were tender and juicy but was a smidge bland. If you’re in the mood for fajitas, get their beef or shrimp but if I could just strong arm you into trying their quail, I would. Order their quail!

coconut flan, $5.79

I love coconut flavors in my desserts and I love custards so ordering the coconut flan was an automatic instinct. My instincts never fail me.

chocolate empanada, $6.29

This chocolate empanada was never supposed to make it to our table. We were so stuffed we only ordered the coconut flan but the kind server felt it imperative that we try the chocolate empanada. Thank goodness for his initiative! How did I think passing up warm liquid chocolate swaddled by a puffy pillow of dough was ever okay? This was simple enough. Warm chocolate in puff pastry. It’s hard to go wrong here and they didn’t.

In short, I was very impressed by Uncle Julio’s service, their beef and shrimp fajitas, their desserts, their beans, and did I mention the quail?