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On the Menu: Las Manitas Avenue Cafe

Las Manitas Avenue Cafe is closed while the sisters prepare to open in a new location.

By May 1986Comments

Tex-Mex and The City by Gary Cartwright [February 2007] The knock-down, drag-out battle to save Las Manitas has really been a battle to save Austin’s soul—assuming, of course, a city’s soul can be saved.

Austin wouldn’t be Austin without Las Manitas Avenue Cafe. The modest downtown restaurant hasn’t changed much in appearance since it was opened by sisters Lidia and Cynthia Perez in 1981, except that it has become more and more popu lar as each year goes by. The two sisters started working on their restaurant and the menu way before 1981, with cooking parties for friends who would then critique the food. The menu has now grown to include Mexican and Central American dishes, such as the breakfast stand-by migas and the weekend necessity, menudo. The Perez’ version is bolstered with a hearty dose of bone marrow—even if menudo’s curative powers for a hangover is only a myth, Las Manitas’ recipe is at least very good for you.

Other menu items cannot be found elsewhere in town—the Central American breakfast, for instance. Two eggs served with black beans, fried plantains , sour cream, and two tortillas is a healthy start to any day. And don’t expect to find vegetarian chorizo at too many other Mexican eateries—soybean gluten spiced with traditional Mexican chorizo condiments and scrambled with eggs, onions, and serr ano peppers is a happy alternative for the health-conscious. Relaxing at Las Manitas over a weekend breakfast or meeting for a power lunch during the week is now an Austin tradition, and even if you have to wait a while for a table, there’s always in teresting art on the wall since Lidia and Cynthia are also the founders of La Pena, an organization to promote Latin arts.

Las Manitas Avenue Cafe
211 Congress Ave, Austin
(512) 472.9357

Breakfast
Mon-Fri 7am to 11:30am
Sat & Sun 7am to 2:30pm

Lunch
Mon-Fri 11:30am to 4pm
Sat & Sun 11:30am to 2:30pm

Make Las Manitas Fajitas at home, or Las Manitas Enchiladas Zacatecanas as featured in Texas Monthly Joy of Mex November, 1999.

<!– Photos by Beverly Spicer from the book Open Ceilings by Connie Miller Burton –>

Las Manitas’ Breakfast Menu

Huevos Rancheros Two eggs topped with our ranchero sauce, served with refried beans, potatoes & two tortillas

Huevos a la Mejicana Two eggs scrambled with fresh tomatoes, bell peppers and onions, served with refried beans & two tortillas

Spicy Huevos a la Mejicana Two eggs scrambled with fresh tomatoes, onions, ranchero sauce and chile serrano, served with refried beans & two tortillas

Migas Con Queso Two eggs scrambled with corn tortillas, topped with cheddar cheese and ranchero sauce, served with refried beans & two tortillas

Migas Especiales con Hongos Crispy corn tortilla strips, mushrooms & garlic scrambled with two eggs and topped with monterrey jack cheese and ranchero sauce, served with black beans & two tortillas

Huevos Motuleños Two eggs, served over black beans and a corn tortilla, topped with cheddar cheese and ranchero sauce & two tortillas

Plato de Chorizo Chorizo (Mexican sausage) scrambled with two eggs, served with refried beans & two tortillas

Plato de Chorizo Vegetariano Soybean gluten spiced with traditional Mexican chorizo condiments and scrambled with eggs, onions and serrano pepper, served with black beans, lettuce, tomatoes & two tortillas

Chilaquiles Rojos Fried corn tortilla strips, topped with cheddar cheese and a red sauce made with onions and chile chipotle, served with black beans, sour cream & two tortillas

Chilaquilas Verdes Fried corn tortilla strips, topped with monterrey jack cheese and a green sauce made from tomatillos and onions, served with refried beans & two tortillas

Central American Breakfast Two eggs served with black beans, fried plantains, sour cream & two tortillas

Plato de Fruta Seasonal fresh fruit platter

Las Manitas’ Lunch Menu

Chalupas Two crispy corn tortillas covered with refried beans, cheddar cheese, lettuce & tomatoes

Chalupas de Picadillo o Pollo Two crispy corn tortillas topped with refried beans, ground beef or chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and monterrey jack cheese

Chalupas Especiales Two crispy corn tortillas covered with black beans, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes

Carne Guisada Beef tips cooked in a spicy Mexican style gravy, served with rice, refried beans and two tortillas

Flautas Three chicken flautas fried and topped with two of the following toppings: guacamole, white cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo and served with rice and refried beans

Enchiladas Rojas Two cheese or chicken enchiladas covered with a spicy chile ancho sauce and monterrey jack cheese, served with rice and refried beans

Fajitas Marinated beef skirt steak charbroiled and served with rice, refried beans, pico de gallo and two tortillas

Quesadillas Two corn tortillas filled with melted monterrey jack cheeses and pico de gallo

Enchiladas de Michoacán Two chicken or cheese enchiladas covered with a jalapeño sauce and fresh cabbage, monterrey jack cheese and tomatoes, served with rice and refried beans

Combination Special One chalupa, one fajita taco, one flauta, one quesadilla and rice

Crispy Tacos Two taco shells, filled with ground beef or chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar che ese, guacamole and served with rice

Paco’s Taco Plate One Paco’s taco, rice and black beans

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