By Darcie Papillion
Web Content Contributor
With its Mexican-styled cocktails, pink and teal seating, and array of Hispanic artists playing through the speakers, Gabriela’s is the place to go.
This Latina-owned restaurant opened in April 2021 in South Austin replacing an old sports bar. There was no doubt this restaurant would be a hit since the owner, Gabriela Bucio, owns other popular places, such as Taquero Mucho, Revival Coffee, and Gabriela’s Downtown.
The food served at these establishments has made them a popular Austin staple, along with the atmosphere provided upon entering. With all the pink décor, neon signs, cute cocktails, and great music, it has become a hit on social media as people crowd to snap trendy pictures at these spots. But who can blame them? Why only get food when you can get a cute picture in too!
When my friend and I first walked into Gabriela’s on a Sunday afternoon at the peak of a Sunday Funday for others, I instantly fell in love. The energy that radiated throughout the restaurant as music flared, drinks clanked as people did their cheers, and the hustle of the workers as they tended to their tables simply captivated me.
With all the hype surrounding Gabriela’s, I was convinced we were going to have to wait for a table, but luckily, we were able to get seated as soon as we walked in. We were placed in a pink booth/chair near the windows which allowed us to look at the whole restaurant. Each table had a centerpiece of a Topo Chico bottle with flowers in it, which was very cute, in my opinion, and in the middle of the table was a barcode to scan for the menu.
One thing I loved about their scannable barcode menu was that when it took you to the site, you had the option of choosing from three menus which were helpful to navigate when you are specifically looking for something, whether it is the cocktails or the brunch menu.
When ordering, we were unsure of what to get as it was our first time, and with the help of our waitress, we ordered the choriqueso. I do not think there are enough words to describe how delicious this starter was. The starter was served with tortilla chips in a cute pink chip basket followed by a mini cast iron skillet with a mixture of melted Mexican cheeses, spicy chorizo, and a scoop of guac right on top. To say I was impressed is an understatement.
The impressions did not stop there.
When our food arrived, my mouth just about watered. I ordered the Birra de Res Taco Plate that came with rice, beans, and consomé soup. The taco, stuffed with stew, came with cilantro and onions on the side to sprinkle on top.
Biting into this dish made my taste buds tingle. The meat was tender, flavorful, and easy to chew. The toppings of Verde sauce, cilantro, and consomé worked together to create a unique and delicious flavor. But warning, this dish is very greasy. The side of rice and charro beans was outstanding as well.
As someone who is very picky with their rice and beans, and I do mean picky, I was in awe. Before I had even finished my meal, I knew I would be coming back. I will admit, I may have gone four times in a week whether it was the South Austin or Downtown location.
Do not let appearances fool you. Gabriela’s is more than just a place to get cute Instagram pictures.
The food, the drinks, the music, and the vibes are all great. This place is perfect for a casual date or even a girl’s night out!
Featured Image via Darcie Papillion