Austin industry veterans turn to regional Mexican cuisine at new South Lamar taqueria
In 2023, we’re not accepting anything but handmade tacos, from the tortilla up. One anticipated opening blazing into the new year is Masa y Más, a taqueria in the Zilker neighborhood that combines personal experience with the business acumen of industry pros. Service starts on January 6.
Those pros, Larry Perdido and Chuck Smith, founded two Austin staples — Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill and Hopdoddy Burger Bar — and watched them grow over 20 and 13 years, respectively. Both focus on Southern American traditions, but Masa y Más pushes it south still to Central Mexico. Chef and operating partner Roberto Campos, executive chef at Moonshine for the past 19 years, leads the culinary journey.
“At a young age I started supporting my family’s carros ambulantes (food carts) in Guanajuato, Mexico, kneading masa for my grandmother’s gorditas and chopping vegetables for my mom’s pico de gallo,” said Campos in a press release. “The recipes and ingredients you’ll find at Masa y Más represent not only my culture and roots but also my family’s deep traditions. My goal is for everyone who steps foot in my restaurant to experience a piece of my home.”
Austinites will have to decide for themselves which tastes the most like home; the tacos, tortas, papas rellenas, bowls, margaritas, and more all come from different regions throughout the country. The restaurant previews some meaty dishes along with their respective regions, like barbacoa from Guerrero, suadero as it would be in Mexico City, and birria that embraces its Jalisco origin. The humble hero and namesake, tortillas made of yellow and blue corn (and even flour), are made as Campos’ grandmother taught her family. His mother keeps an eye on the business through a mural by Austin-based Peruvian artist Niz.
The bright and modern restaurant at 1817 South Lamar Boulevard updates a lot formerly occupied by Austin’s Pizza, on a crowded portion of road near residences and businesses like Bouldin Acres and Snooze. The counter service setup will likely be necessary to move waves of visitors through on busy days, who can also enjoy the food and cocktails on the porch, highlighting mezcal, tequila, rum, and beers imported from Mexico.
Masa y Más opens January 6 for service Tuesday through Thursday from 11 am to10 pm; Friday and Saturday until midnight; and Sunday from 8 am to 1 pm. More information including a link to apply is available at masaustin.com.