Saturday, April 19, 2008

Maria's Taco Xpress on South Lamar near Bluebonnet in Austin

Maria's is a fairly new place that feels like it has been there for decades. It is located in South Austin on Lamar Boulevard near the intersection of Bluebonnet, the corner on which Walgreen's Drug Store is now located. Walgreen's new location is Maria's old location and it was much smaller. She had many years left on her lease of the property and Walgreen's had their heart set on running her off so they could build there. Maria is shrewd and smart and wasn't about to be bamboozled or bullied. In the end she had to leverage almost everything she had worked years to acquire in order to buy the property next door so that Walgreen's could build her a new restaurant, at their expense, on property she no longer leased but owned, at her expense. Everyone in South Austin applauded and now we have a bigger, better beerjoint in which to quaff brew or sip margaritas while munching a taco or two. I do the the margarita's on the rocks, with salt and I consider them one of the top five available in Austin. Maria's has a large parking lot in back and additional parking in front. They have seating for a hundred or more people and could easily handle a crowd several times that size. Depending on who is playing music there, they often do. I liked the old Maria's and have good memories but rain ruined a lot of peoples gigs over the years. That's not a problem at the new location with a huge covered patio. Rain or shine the show goes on, and South Austin is the better for it.

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