Austin Tex-Mex favorite is causing a stir with new seafood restaurant

With the idea that there are a lot of other fish in the sea (and a lot of Mexican martinis), an Austin Tex-Mex institution is moving into a popular brunch spot with a new concept that’s sure to be a hit. ‘hook seafood lovers.

Restaurant group Trudy’s – known for its range of enchiladas, queso, tacos, fajitas and firm cocktails – will open its new concept, Trudy’s Del Mar, in the space that previously housed South Congress Cafe, the elevated restaurant that opened its doors. doors in 2003 to much praise.

Trudy’s Del Mar will open at the revitalized location at 1600 S. Congress Ave. on Wednesday, December 29.

The Trudy’s Group, which has historically owned and operated the South Congress Cafe, recently closed the restaurant to redevelop the space in preparation for the opening of Trudy’s Del Mar, Trudy’s CEO Dan Smith noting that the cafe concept “badly needed a facelift”.

To this end, the company decorated the restaurant with sea-inspired design elements, including nautical textures, seashell-shaped tiles, a wavy wall mural, and mosaic tiles featuring tiny seashells and textures. of the ocean. The iconic aqua-colored steel front doors of the South Congress Cafe will remain, but so will the entrance to the new Trudy’s Del Mar patio.

Trudy’s Del Mar’s cuisine will be led by Julian Rodarte, an award-winning 30-under-30 chef who has graced the spotlight on Food Network and Travel Channel, and is the owner of famed Dallas restaurant Beto & Son.

Rodarte, who also oversees the culinary operations of Trudy’s South and North Star restaurants, has crafted a Trudy’s Del Mar menu of unique seafood offerings, inspired by traditional recipes often found on the Mexican coast.

Highlights from the menu include the Daily Catch Veracruzana, seared fish topped with Veracruz sauce; Pepper-crusted New York strip topped with Garrison Brothers rajas cream and served with roasted potatoes and sautéed vegetables; seared tuna garnished with grilled pineapple pico; turf and surf fajitas made with fajita steak, lobster, fajita peppers and onions, and served with cilantro-lime rice and beans; and a seasonal selection of crudo and ceviche. The menu also features tacos, botanas, soups, salads, queso, and guacamoles (it’s a Trudy’s restaurant, after all).

But in an effort to also deliver the ‘special qualities’ and menu items that have made the South Congress Cafe so endearing – including its excellent brunch and handcrafted cocktails – Trudy’s Del Mar will be serving up some coffee fan favorite brunch specials. , including sweet potato cakes and carrot cake French Toast, as well as menu items such as a Benton BLT breakfast, hash carnitas, migas and crab cakes. A late night menu will also be offered.

Of course, the Trudy’s brand – which has powered Austin since 1977 – is well known and universally loved for its cocktails, and the new restaurant won’t disappoint in that regard, with the bar serving delicious sips like a smoked mezcal margarita. , a home-brewed Bloody Mary, red and white wines, premium liquors, select local beers and, yes, Trudy’s legendary Mexican martinis.

“We always wanted to open up a unique Tex-Mex seafood concept and knew we had to find the perfect location to present it,” says Smith. “We thought this was the perfect place and time to bring the best of both worlds to this place, as Trudy’s Del Mar will feature Mexican inspired seafood dishes while honoring the terrific brunch and specialties South Congress Cafe classics in a lovely ambience. Bringing this new concept to life has been such an amazing undertaking for the company as we explore this culinary world of seafood with exciting new dishes that we look forward to sharing with the city of Austin.

Check out Trudy’s on social media at @trudystexmex for updates on the new restaurant.


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