I attended a media tasting last night of the new El Alma (the former El Chile) at Barton Springs and Dawson Road, headed up by Executive Chef Alma Alcocer. We were seated in the upstairs terrace patio area, which, given the late summer heat, was still quite comfortable, and you don't really hear the noise from the street. The white-washed walls and how it's built into the hillside evoke an image of Greece!
It started with the Guacamole al Chipotle, on the right, and the Ceviche on the left. I really liked the sunflower seeds on the guac, and while ceviche isn't usually my first love, this was done with black drum, and was nicely prepared with pickled onion, and not at all "overcooked."
Next was Sopecitos with beef, which was delicious! It's not a regular menu item, but it's worth getting if you see it on their specials. The masa cake was nicely done, not overly dry or heavy.
Then the Gringas quesadillas with mushrooms and caramelized onions, with a nice sauce, that if memory serves, I think was chipotle.
Followed by the crab cakes, also a non-regular menu item. They were pure crab with whole corn kernels on the inside (no filler!), with a heavy tortilla breading on the outside, served with remoulade and pickled onions.
And a pork taco al pastor that had nice flavor.
Finishing with a bite of Tequila Lemon Cream Cake!
I have it on good authority that the duck relleno is fantastic, so I know what I will be ordering from the entree menu when I return! Nice to have another quality establishment in the neighborhood!