Austin Landmarks on the Menu
Jaime's Spanish Village802 Red River, 476-5149
Monday-Thursday, 11am-9pm; Friday-Saturday, 11am-11pm
The precise history of Jaime's Spanish Village is as murky as the Spanish moss that hangs over the trees of the South. Current keeper of the restaurant's oral history is waitperson Orfalinda, who has been serving up enchiladas there since 1981. But her history with the rocky perch above Red River goes back even further: Her uncle Lupe Abeita bought the restaurant in the 1950s from its original owner, "an Anglo lady" whose name has been lost in the mist of time. Mr. Abeita was one of a group of waiters who pooled their money and bought the restaurant. In those days, it was known simply as Spanish Village; the "Jaime" portion was added in 1978 or 1979 when Orfa's uncle Lupe sold the restaurant to Tom Bullard. For Bullard, who doesn't even live in Austin, the place was an investment, and he leased it to Jaime Tames, who added his name to the restaurant and managed it until his passing in 2007. Jaime's Spanish Village claims to have been in business since 1931, but an old-timer who frequented the place recalls the location as the home of his grandparents where he romped and played in the 1930s. So who knows exactly when the legacy began? Longhorn fans know it's a beloved place for reliable Tex-Mex, as the hordes of people who pack the place on game days will attest.