On Cinco de Mayo, brother-and-sister team Jorge and Julieta Garcia celebrated six years of business at their restaurant, Seor Buddy's.
The location combines a Mexican kitchen with a convenience store, gas station and live music venue.
The Garcias also operate Curra's Grill in South Austin, and Julieta said much of the Seor Buddy's menu is the same as Curra's.
"What we want is for ... people to leave here 100 percent satisfied with the food, and that's not an issue because we know we have very good food," she said.
Seor Buddy's offers interior Mexican cuisine as well as sandwiches, salads and burgers. About 70 percent of the menu is authentic Mexican dishes—"not like Tex-Mex," she said.
She said the restaurant's staff prides itself on listening to customers and serving food the way they want it.
Julieta said popular items include the Huevos Montulenos ($5.99) and the Buddy's Oaxacan Burger, which is dusted with coffee grounds and covered with queso ($8.99).
Growing up in the Mexican town of Nueva Rosita Coahuila, the Garcias learned to cook carne asada from their grandmother, Consuelo Castillo De Prado. Julieta and Jorge had both moved to the United States by the early 1990s.
Buddy's Convenience Store had been in business for about 30 years. The Garcias originally wanted to buy the restaurant, but in 2007 they decided also to buy the convenience store and attached restaurant and add more seating.
On Fridays and Saturdays, the restaurant hosts live music including country, blues, jazz, salsa, folk and mariachi.
Husband and wife Ernie and Kerry Schroeder are regular customers.
"We like the food, especially their charro beans. And the chilaquiles for breakfast are incredible," she said.
- Cochinita pibil—(At right) pork leg marinated and slow-cooked with a banana leaf and served with rice, black beans and tortillas ($12.99)
- Tacos vegetarianos—Nopalitos (cactus) sauted with mushrooms and veggie chorizo, topped with avocado and garnished with lettuce and tomato ($7.99)
- Pollo chipotle—Grilled chicken breast topped with onions, chipotle sauce and jack cheese and garnished with avocado slices; served with rice, and choice of beans and tortillas. ($12.99)
- Chilaquiles—Fried corn tortilla strips sauted with tomatillo and chipotle sauce, topped with two eggs any style, garnished with goat cheese, fresh onions and cilantro; served with choice of beans ($6.99)
- Julie's Salad—(At right) Spinach, seasonal fruit, and candied pecans tossed with a raspberry-honey vinaigrette and sprinkled with Cotija cheese ($5.99)
NOTE: There is also a children's menu.
- Chocolate chipotle brownie a la mode—Warm chocolate brownie with a hint of chipotle topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a cherry ($6.99)
- Tres leches cake—Cake soaked in three milks with a hint of Mexican vanilla ($6.29)
- Julieta's Flan—(At right) custard with caramel and strawberries. ($4.99)
Meet the chickens
Neighbors of Seor Buddy's co-owner Jorge Garcia complained about the rooster and chicken crowing at his home.
But sister and co-owner Julieta Garcia said bringing the birds to stay at Seor Buddy's was a hit with customers.
Staffers joke that the birds—named Jorge and Gaby—are like a husband and wife because they often bicker with each other, Julieta said.
Seor Buddy's, 8600 W. Hwy. 290, 512-288-0437, www.senorbuddys.com, Mon.–Sat. 7 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.–3 p.m., Happy hour Mon.–Fri. 3–7 p.m.