Mariscos in Austin
Mexican seafood restaurants are a gustatory vacation
Mariscos los Jarochos9200 N. Lamar #100, 339-3022
Sunday-Thursday, 9am-12mid; Friday-Saturday, 9am-1am
A Jarocho is a resident of Veracruz, so this 2-year-old restaurant in the strip center on the northwest corner of Rundberg and Lamar leans toward Veracruz specialties. You enter to a large full bar, with blaring Mexican music and soccer on the big screen. In the basket of chips is a wonderful tuna empanada for each guest, and these should really be a menu item! The shrimp cocktail ($7.50, small) is ample enough for two diners, packed with tender shrimp. The caldo mixto ($8.50, small) was loaded with fish and shrimp in a tomatoey seafood stock. The ceviche ($7.99, small) of shrimp, octopus, fish, and crab is the ketchup-included version, and we found the seafood minced a little too small for our tastes.
Snapper Veracruzano ($14.30) was fine, although not at its freshest. Fried whole and then sauced, it was loaded with all the requisite sauce ingredients but light on the tomato. Crab-stuffed shrimp ($13.75) is a generic item that didn't seem house-made; don't bother. Arroz a la tumbada ($9.90) is a Veracruz version of seafood paella, loaded with fish, shrimp, octopus, and squid. Portions are huge, and everything can be shared. The menu here is all seafood, so avoid it if you crave meat or are a vegan. A buffet ($7.99) runs between 11am and 4pm during the week, and happy hour is 4-8pm.