Prior to opening Verde’s Mexican Parrilla and Tequileria in Round Rock, owners Joel and Aubrey Munguia said they were spending most of their free time in the area to get a feel for it and fell in love with the location. Now, after celebrating a successful first year, he said he is happy he chose Round Rock.

“We were thinking about getting into downtown [Austin] when a spot in Round Rock popped up,” Joel said. “We loved it and jumped on it.”

The Round Rock location is the second Verde’s in the Austin area, with the first in West Austin. Joel and  Aubrey opened the new restaurant in April 2015, and Joel said he has been spending most of his time at the new location since then.

Joel said he and Aubrey were thoughtful about the restaurant’s design throughout, from hanging lights made of tequila barrel rings to paintings by Mexican artist Jacobo Roa. The location features televisions of the tequila making process as well.

“It’s a great conversation starter,” he said

The restaurant features more than 150 tequilas in-house. Customers can order a tequila flight or visit one of the monthly events hosted by a tequila distillery owner featuring a four-course dinner.

Another defining aspect of the restaurant is the variety of grilled plates.

“There was a gap between Tex-Mex and formal Mexican dining,” Joel said. “We try to offer something unique, like the grilled quail wrapped in bacon, or duck confit street tacos.”

After 14 years of working in an Italian restaurant, Joel said he was ready to begin experimenting with new foods when he and Aubrey opened their first location in 2008 in West Austin.

“We were living in Houston, but we always loved the Austin area,” Joel said. “My mother-in-law suggested a location in West Austin. We bought it before we knew exactly what we wanted to do with the restaurant.”

Joel said he and his wife began experimenting with recipes and created the now-popular double-bone pork chop with a chipotle honey glaze—one of Joel’s favorite dishes. The rest of the menu was then based on the idea of a “nontraditional Mexican grill,” he said.

Now with an established menu, ever-growing list of tequilas and a successful second location, Joel said he is ready to try new culinary endeavors, such as a Sunday brunch.

“For now, I want to make sure we’re doing well here,” he said. “We’re just happy we came to Round Rock.”

2000 S. I-35, Ste. D1, Round Rock
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-
10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.