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Pat’s Pick: Suerte

Austin isn’t lacking in Mexican food. But Suerte, a restaurant from owner Sam Hellman-Mass and chef Fermín Núñez, is different: It’s all about the masa. The corn dough makes its way into dishes like molotes, small, torpedo-shaped snacks made of masa and a smidgen of chorizo; and aguachile, a crudo of royal red prawns banked by avocado slices and half-submerged in a substantial broth of cascabel chile, tomato, and lime juice.  “You can do so much with it. You can make tortillas, tamales, pupusas, tostadas, huaraches, sopes, tlacoyos, tetelas, tlayudas, gorditas . . .” says Hellman-Mass. “Masa is nothing less than the backbone of Mexican cuisine.” Whatever you order, don’t forget the mighty masa taco, deconstructed at Suerte so that you can eat confit brisket or pork belly carnitas on their own—or wrapped into tender, hot, delectably-seared-from-the-comal corn tortillas. We recommend the latter: As Patricia Sharpe, food editor at Texas Monthly, says, “tacos are just more fun.”