We enjoyed our meal and are planning to go back soon. I also noticed during our visit to El Mercado that they have a great looking quick lunch menu. I was working nearby El Mercado tonight so I decided to have my wife meet me at El Mercado for dinner. The décor was great; the restaurant was bright, colorful with neat decorations.
We were a little disappointed in the music which was an 80’s mix rather than Hispanic or South American. However, we were fortunate to visit El Mercado on Sunday evening because the margaritas were on special for $3.50 and the dinning room was slow and quiet.
The frozen margaritas were decent but are no comparison to Trudy’s or Guero’s. For dinner we enjoyed the Mixed Grill. It was like Fajitas but also came with some delicious sausage and three of their Shrimp Alambres (shrimp wrapped in jalapeno, bacon and stuffed with cheese). We split the entrée and added some beans and rice to our order which was plenty of food. The beef fajita meat was tender and juicy and probably one of the best I have had in Austin.
We didn’t stop there! For dessert we really enjoyed the Tres Leches Cake something neither of us had ever tried before. It was a creamy delicious soggy cake with strawberry and chocolate sauces drizzled on top. The coffee which our waiter brewed fresh for me was nothing special but better than most gas stations.
Dinner $15-$20 a head
To summarize the food and atmosphere was real nice but the margaritas and coffee could use improvement. We plan to go back and will recommend this restaurant to our friends.
El Mercado South
1302 S. First St.