The Austin Chronicle

Mariscos in Austin

Mexican seafood restaurants are a gustatory vacation

April 30, 2010, Food

Mariscos Tampico Bar & Grill

10601 N. Lamar, 795-4147
Monday-Thursday, 10am-8pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-10pm

Tampico is on the north end of the Mexican flea market across from Chuy's on Lamar. Warning: If you go on a Saturday or Sunday, be ready to deal with the crazed flea market parking lot traffic; it's much more civil during the week. There's a full bar and a raised dance floor where bands, dancing, and karaoke take over weekend nights. The menu here offers the standard meat-centric items as well as the specialty seafood and cocktail menu.

We split a shrimp cocktail ($8.50, small) that was a treat: perfectly cooked shrimp with lots of diced vegetables and avocado in a tangy sauce. The octopus tostada ($4.25) was good, but the chunks of poached and then griddled octopus were a little on the chewy side. The ceviche tostada ($3.75) was excellent, done without tomato or ketchup, with a large mound of fresh ceviche on the crispy shell. A fish taco ($3.25) was packed with grilled tilapia, bathed in a chile-accented mayonnaise. Excellent and almost a meal in itself. Thankfully we got our wires crossed, and the fish we ordered never came. We were stuffed, and it would have been a waste. Very friendly service, Mexican soaps on the big screens – we loved it all and will definitely go back often.

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