The corner of Dawson (South 5th) and Barton Springs has been a revolving door for restaurants for a number of years. Most recently, it was an outpost of El Chile, and it appeared to be doing well. Then, it seemed without warning, El Chile closed last June, but rebranded itself with a new executive chef, Alma Alcocer, formerly of Jeffrey's. I attended a tasting they hosted, but haven't been able to get back for a full meal. This time, happy hour, and their half-price antojitos (appetizers) beckoned, so I still need to go for a main meal!
During daily happy hour, they've got specials on margaritas, sangria, and Lone Star beers. I was more than happy to sip on a sangria while waiting for my friend to arrive! The corn tortilla chips were nice and light, and the green sauce with tomatillo, avocado and lime was particularly tasty!
To snack on, I picked the emapanadas and the queso blanco y rojo. The corn masa empanandas are filled with mushrooms and cheese, and must have achiote paste in the masa to give them their orange color. The salsa was called picosa (different than the one that was with the chips), and it had a nice light, roasted flavor. The queso was really good! Great consistency (no crappy cheese by-products!), and nice bits of rajas (sauteed poblano pepper strips) and onions. It's served with tostados, or, yesterdays flour tortillas that are cut and fried. I love how thick they are, but several were very greasy.
My friend had the ceviche clasico, prepared with black drum. She offered me a bite, which for some reason I turned down at the time. She loved it, and I missed out!