Eldorado Cafe, a new neighborhood spot serving hearty, Mexican-inspired comfort food, opened in the space formerly occupied by Alborz at 3300 W. Anderson Ln. After less than a week, Crestview, Brentwood, and Allandale neighbors are already flocking to this casual dining and drinking spot.
The design team completely transformed the space, with colorful decor that combines custom tile work, lounge seating, rustic tables and chairs, and art inspired by Cuba and coastal Mexican towns. Whimsical touches like framed, vintage, Latin LPs from the '50s and '60s reinforce the playful vibe and overall family-friendly atmosphere.
Owner and executive chef Joel Fried brings 28 years of experience at over 30 restaurants to the table, including old-school Austin faves Jean Pierre's Upstairs, Bitter End, and Vespaio, as well as Whole Foods Market, Angeluna in Fort Worth, Mezzaluna in Vail, and, for more than a decade, Tacodeli.
At Eldorado, Fried serves "hecho in Tejas" fare — classic Tex-Mex favorites of his and wife, Joanna's, with a personal spin from the kitchen team that includes chefs Esme Tejeda and Shaunna Mason. This Latin-inspired lineup is nothing fancy, but it's elevated by the use of fresh ingredients, judicious spicing, and details like house-made tortilla shells for the crispy tacos — no globs of canned cheese or cumin on everything here.
"Joanna and I have always had a connection and preoccupation with Latin American culture and the awesome people, many whom we consider family," Fried says. "That curiosity is something I got from my dad, who passed on his love of Latin American music especially. I came up admiring these incredible line cooks and kitchen managers who loved ingredients and traditional techniques. But for us, it's not about the food only. We love the color, the heart, and the soul of Latino culture."
Menu highlights include Fried's signature salsas, a sampler of a tangy avocado salsa, a salsa fresca inspired by the old Tamale House on Airport Boulevard, a roasted chile verde, a spicy salsa made with chile de árbol, and a fiery El Scorpio made with scorpion and habanero chiles. Be sure to try the Shiny Ribs, Fried's version of Chinese spare ribs, and the papas rellenas, golden potato cakes filled with goat cheese. The succulent guisos (braised or roasted meats in traditional sauces) include a warm short rib salpicón, flavorful pork green chile stew, and Cuban-style carnitas. The team caters to vegetarian and vegan customers with veggie-friendly options like a zucchini, yellow, and butternut squash dish with toasted pepitas, roasted garlic, and basil. For dessert, Eldorado offers sopapilla cheesecake, skillet cherry pie, and homemade cookies served with chocolate milk.
The beverage program, curated by bar manager Laura Beck, offers a selection of wine by the glass or bottle, Texas beers on tap, fresh lime margaritas, and playful cocktails like the Capt'n Bob, a Tiki concoction of Flor de Caña Rum, pineapple agua fresca, lime juice, and falernum with rum-spiced cherries. Non-alcoholic options include house-made agua frescas and horchata, as well as Maine Root sodas.
Eldorado serves full breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 7:30 am to 9:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday. The team plans to engage with the Austin community through partnerships with local nonprofit organizations.