Hotmess Tex Mex
Hotmess Tex Mex pays homage to that often misunderstood cuisine, tex mex. The owners have brought their eye for detail to both the food and decor here, without being too specific or finicky.
There are kitschy wall decorations like illuminated glass Coors signs and a vintage menu with old school prices thatâs apparently from Georgia.
Bob Armstrong chili con queso ($14) adds taco meat, sour cream and a scoop of guac to their classic queso, in the tradition of a Texas landowner who apparently demanded a little extra of the queso at El Rancho in Austin.
There are a range of slaws like the Caesar ($8), peppery and striking a good balance between light and filling for a salad.
The carrot slaw ($7) is topped with crunchy pepitas and sweet pineapple.
Bean and cheese taquitos ($7) suitably elevate the convenience store snack, with a slightly hot ranchero sauce of tomato, onion, garlic and guajillo.
Salsa verde guac ($9) is one of several versions of the go-to dip, brightened by cucumber, chayote and apple.
Truck stop chili ($12) is super creamy with a ton of cheese and sour cream over taco beef, beans and tomato, served with crackers and Texas toast.
Enchliadas al pastor ($14) bring in a little Hawaii with pineapple complementing very crisp plantains on top and pork hock inside.
Texas tea ($9) is very sweet but popular, brewed iced tea with brown sugar simple syrup and a ton of Jack Daniels.
They only do short cans here (all $6) but you can sample such gems as Anderson craft beers and Phillips Bottle Rocket. They even store suds in a no-frills cooler on the bar.
Beer and shot deals are available for just ten bucks.
Straight-up drinks make up a limited menu of recognizable cocktails, like margaritas ($12) rimmed with salt and garnished with a lime wheel.
Micheladas ($9), that delightful beer/Caesar combination, are made with Modelo and rimmed with Southern all-spice Tajin.
Different sized groups can squeeze in at long tables, the bar, little front tables.
Otherwise, go solo sitting at a retro slot machine.
Thereâs more space at the back, where a TV plays a constant Dukes of Hazzard marathon.