Monday, April 15, 2013

El Monumento

El Monumento

Hey there food fanatics! I know, I can see the hurt look in your eyes and I am sorry that we have been absent. It's been a long, cold, lonely winter with nary a word from the fabulously fanatical, furiously fiendish Food Junkies but we are back friends! And back with a fantastic new find for you in Georgetown, TX.

For years in the Austin area if you wanted high end Mexican or Tex-Mex fare your options have been limited. Yes I know there are plenty good little places around, Maudies, Vasquez, or classic Austin staple Chuy's. But when it comes to higher end fare you pretty much have had two long-enduring options- Z-Tejas (Tex-Mex) or Fonda San Miguel (Mexican). And to be clear, either of those options are FANTASTIC, but little Georgetown has now produced a third option that is easily on par with those two places.

"Georgetown? Seriously? What could ever come from there?," you may be asking. And if you are, stop it. First, Georgetown is a lovely little town worth a visit in its own right. Secondly, Georgetown has already given us one of my favorite diners- Monument Cafe. And now they have El Monumento to offer us as well. El Monumento, as you may have guessed by the name, is the sister to Monument Cafe and given the quality of food from Monument I automatically set the standard high. Extremely high to be honest, and they met my expectations easily.

Located just down the street from Monument El Monumento specializes in Mexican and Mexican inspired food. Like its elder sister, much of its produce is grown on site and any of the ingredients they don't produce are sourced as locally as they possibly can.

The restaurant and the property it sits on are very striking. Seriously, Dave and I could have spent all afternoon just wandering around and admiring the place. That creates certain culinary expectations, and the food lives up to those expectations.

So here's a quick look at what we had-

Campechana Cocktail- Shrimp cocktail  but so much better than shrimp cocktail. Texas Gulf shrimp, crab, tomatoes, green olives, and lime juice. It was a little sweet, a little tangy, the olives are not overpowering (even Dave loved it and he hates olives) and there is a generous portion of seafood in the mix. It comes served with chips. We ordered a small and found it to be a perfect size for sharing.

Mexican Benedict- Their take on Eggs Benedict. It may not be traditional Mexican fare, but it comes served with a deep fried avocado. I'll say it again: Deep fried. Avo. Cado. The only place I've been to that serves deep fried avocado as good as this is Izzos Tacos (now called Mellizoz) and Izzos is still my favorite nontraditional taco trailer in town. The avocado comes out warm and soft and buttery and is topped with a tomato remulade........But wait! There's more! It also comes with a bacon (pork belly) flauta, poached eggs, and black beans. Order this.

El Mon Casserole- Eggs, chorizo, poblano pepper, onions and tortillas are some of my favorite things. How do you make them better? Serve them up together as a casserole! Imaging the best breakfast taco you've ever had, turn it up to 11, then serve it with fresh home fries and fresh fruit. When I go back I may have to order this and something else so I can have this for dinner!

As expected El Monumento easily met the standard set by Monument Cafe. The food was excellent, the setting was beautiful, and the service was superb. I can't wait to get back!

Official AFJ rating  5 points of the Lone Star  

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