Because Mexico vanishes and reappears throughout the world at random, no one is exactly sure where it is. Luckily for Austinites, today's deal treats tongues to a taste of this elusive constitutional republic: for $10, you get $20 worth of fresh Mexican fare at Zocalo Café, the adorably-precocious little-sister restaurant of the The Galaxy Cafe.
Zocalo Café menu sandbags the state's flood of cheese-saturated Tex-Mex by serving up authentic Mexican cuisine that lets the fresh ingredients take center stage. House specialties such as the Zocalo Plate's crispy grilled chicken and corn chilaquiles tossed in creamy verde sauce over black beans, sour cream, and queso fresco ($8.49) and seared snapper with chipotle slaw ($10.29) reimagine traditional Mexicana even more creatively than Guillermo del Toro's monster-filled biopic of Emiliano Zapata. Lighter appetites can satisfy the seagull they accidentally swallowed with white fish ceviche ($6.79) accompanied with jalapenos, avocados, bell peppers and crackers, or loudly slurp the soul-mending elixir that is the Pulled Pork Posole Soup ($5.49). Taco traditionalists can take baby steps outside tortilla-encased comfort zones by ordering tacos del Barrio (ground turkey or beef sauteed with seasonings and fresh veggies; $6.99), del Mar (grilled mahi mahi or shrimp with cabbage, carrot slaw, and mango-watermelon salsa; $7.99), or del Tha Funkee Homosapien (currently not in season). As the evening's credits start to roll, top things off with a cup of coffee and a slice of Zocalo's creamy, strawberry-topped Tres Leches cake ($4.79).
With a name that translates to “town square” or “meeting place,” the locally-owned-and-operated Zocalo strives to provide not only healthy and delicious fare, but also a community-strengthening hang-out rarely found outside of old Honeycomb commercials. Eschewing the eye-burning overload of south-of-the-border kitsch and incongruous lederhosen found in many Mexican eateries, Zocalo's minimalist decor is adorned with art and photography from local artists. Zocalo also keeps as green as possible by participating in a local-run recycling program for all its biodegradable and compostable to-go packaging. Make a date of it, or just make amends with the estranged straight man in your comedy duo with today's Groupon to Zocalo Café.
Owners Chris Courtney, Kelly Chappell, and Jay Bunda designed Zocalo Cafe to be directly rooted in service to their community, even going so far as to name the restaurant after the Spanish word for "meeting place." This goal is evident in their participation in a locally run recycling program and use of compostable, eco-friendly to-go packaging, as well as their dedication to displaying work by local artists. Furthermore, their eatery boasts high vaulted ceilings, enormous floor-to-ceiling windows, and a bright garden patio, all of which create a space as open and inviting as their community mission.
Zocalo Cafe's chefs craft a Mexican menu as deliberately light and fresh as the restaurant's minimalist decor. The selection of classic, yet updated, interior Mexican cuisine includes crispy stacked enchiladas as well as turkey, beef, and mahi mahi tacos prepared using housemade tortillas and salsas. The weekend brunch menu unleashes modern twists on traditional breakfasts, such as eggs benedict with sweet potato biscuits and chilaquiles.