Sep 19, 2023 - News

First look: Ay Caramba brings Jalisco flavor to Pearl area

A bar with red leather high-top seats and a purple and white ceiling artwork hanging down.

Interior of Ay Caramba. Photo: Madalyn Mendoza/Axios

Ay Caramba Taco Cantina is one of the new additions to the food scene on Broadway near Pearl.

What's happening: Owner Flabio Vásquez tells Axios the Mexican restaurant will focus on flavors from Arandas, Jalisco, his hometown.

  • A grand opening date has not been announced, but owners are planning for the first week of October.

Details: The menu has not been finalized, but Vásquez is planning on more than tacos — including burritos, bowls, chilaquiles.

  • For dessert, there's an intriguing chocolate tamal, served with a scoop of creamy ice cream.
  • A trompo is set up in the kitchen, so expect fresh cuts of al pastor.
  • The owners are working with a chef from Arandas to guarantee the authenticity of the food.
A plate of chilaquiles with meat and cheese.
Chilaquiles from Ay Caramba. Photo: Madalyn Mendoza/Axios

The space has plenty of indoor seating as well as a covered pet-friendly patio.

  • The dining room's focal point is a wooden structure adorned with flowers, symbolizing the jacaranda trees that are known to bloom abundantly throughout Mexico.
  • There's also a full bar with additional seating.
  • Vásquez plans to feature live music at the restaurant.

Flashback: The space at 1915 Broadway was previously home to Tacos and Tequila, which closed in 2017, followed by Señor Fish, which closed this summer.

Zoom out: Nineteen Hyaku, an upscale sushi restaurant, is scheduled to open on Sept. 27 in Jefferson Bank tower, across the street from Ay Caramba.

  • Bellagreen, a sustainability-focused restaurant chain, is also in the works at Jefferson Bank tower, according to permitting information filed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
A plate featuring an omlette and salsa and cheese.
Ay Caramba also serves breakfast items like omelets. Photo: Madalyn Mendoza/Axios

💭 Madalyn's thought bubble: I was able to try a few of the salsas and couldn't pick a favorite. I hope they have a prominent place on the final draft of the menu.


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