Santa Catarina Restaurant

In: Eating

1 Jun 2011

(map) This place opened in December, but is only now putting the finishing touches on the decor. Now on the menu: inviting booths, artwork, music, even a relaxing area for dining outdoors. The two guys behind Santa Catarina come from Manuel’s and Fonda San Miguel, two of the best spots in town for interior-Mexican cuisine. Jesus and Francisco bring Fonda’s emphasis on authenticity and fresh ingredients, but at about half the price! Above, the Coctel de Camarones, the best shrimp cocktail ever. Big, whole shrimp outside, and the inside is filled with more shrimp, chopped. The cocktail sauce is a bright, complex combo of onion, tomatoes, serranos, red wine vinegar and salsa valentina. Muy padre!

Cochinita Pibil, tender chunks of pork shoulder marinated in achiote and then steamed in a banana leaf. The rich pork is offset by the pickled onions on top. The creamy guacamole has bits of chopped onion and tomato.

Here, you’ll find interior-Mexican classics like huaraches, totopos, and sopes, above. A masa-corn base holds your choice of toppings, in this case, shredded pork in a flavorful guajillo sauce, dressed with a little shredded cabbage, cotija cheese and sour cream.

They’ve installed booths along every wall, accented by paintings, sculpture and artifacts from Mexico. Music livens up the place, also.

There are eight flavors of the special Catarina margarita, including the sweet-tart pomegranate, above. Just $5 at happy hour!

Queso Fundido with venison chorizo is fantastic, rich and gooey with chihuahua cheese (more expensive than the typical monterey). Filled with strips of peppers and onions, you fold it into the soft, fresh tortillas they make themselves (in fact, the tortilla maker was patting them out near our table).

Enchiladas Pibil, an enchilada version of the Cochinita Pibil, covered with a spicy, bright-green tomatillo sauce, and more chihuahua cheese. The black beans were tender and well-seasoned. Even the rice was dressed up with some chopped vegetables.

The new area for outdoor dining is marked by silk drapes and festive chandeliers. Flower-filled boxes line the railings.

Santa Catarina Restaurant website

Santa Catarina Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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4 Responses to Santa Catarina Restaurant

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Julie

January 22nd, 2011 at 7:49 am

We went there last night – the atmosphere was great the wait staff very good the wine and prices were great – didnt get too excited about the food – had the peghuga mole and the mole was kind of boring – i like more traditional mole – my husbands shrimp dish was way too salty and really boring as well – i was hoping more fonda san miguel style and it didn’t live up to it – it’s more like manuel’s without the flavor. hopefully it will improve but we’ll skip it.

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Jane

February 25th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

My husband and I go all the time now. The lunch specials are all great. We love the adobe sauce and the mole.
We are old Fonda San Miguel patrons and think that it is totally worth not driving into town.
The biggest difference from Fonda’s is the price, not the taste.

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Brian

June 1st, 2011 at 8:59 am

Santa Catarina has the best happy hour in Lakeway although they don’t seem to promote it. The specials are good throughout the restaurant, which is essential when you have a little one in tow.

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ella

June 1st, 2011 at 9:01 am

Had lunch there shortly after they opened and it was delicious. Glad to know from Jane’s comment that they now have lunch specials.
Definitely going back soon!

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