Austin >Food & Dining > Iron Cactus Mexican Grill
10001 Stonelake Blvd, Austin, TX | Directions 7875930.390672 -97.739357
Neighborhoods: Gateway, North Burnet - Gateway
Gone Totally Downhill – This used to be one of my favorite places, great food, great margaritas, great atmosphere. I no longer live in Austin and every time I come to town I used to get a group to come meet there. So we went last night and it's obviously changed and gone way downhill. First clue was the parking lot...practically empty. I thought it was just because it was cold and only a few days before Christmas. Then there's the smoking...I didn't realize this was one of the few places apparently "grandfathered" for smoking. The smell permeates throughout. Then the service...even though the place was no more than 20% full it was all we could do to get a waitress to come see us. Then the food was awful. Absolutely awful. And the menu choices in the bar....fried pickles at a Mexican restaurant? No more of the old yummy Iron Cactus quesadillas? We tried the spinach & artichoke dip - barely any spinach or artichokes in it! What a sad waste of what used to be such a great place.
Great salsa, ok food and service – My wife said this used to be "the" place back 10 years ago, it looks it with the 1990 decor. We decided to give it a shot...
We walk in and the smoke from the bar is wafting out the door and into the restaurant. Not a great start but we're seated far away (only later did the smell permeate all the way across to us).
The chips and salsa were great. I mean the cold salsa was good, the warm salsa fantastic. We loved it. Margarita was very good as well.
The chicken poblano was about the driest chicken I've ever seen come out of a kitchen. I mean it was way overcooked. Flavor was ok, but not good enough to overlook. The fajitas were pretty good. Probably the first time ever I've been given too many tortillas with fajitas (I think I counted 8!). The meat was flavored well but a tad overcooked too.
All in all not bad, service was sweet but inconsistant here and there. Very young servers all around which is never good in a place like this.
Not sure we'll go again, but we may give it another shot.
Trency Delightful Mexican Haunt – I've been to the 6th St and N Austin location once. I'll focus this review on the N Austin with some comparison. Parking was bad- but it was a Friday night during prime dinner time. Our reservations were ready and the ambiance was delightful with glowy lighting and a very modern fountain in the center of the room. Our waitress was quite attentive with multiple check-ins but not interrupting the flow of the food. I also love when a server actually takes an interest in their cuisine and can offer suggestions. It's hard to choose between their two salsas- the cool crisp pico type is the perfect blend between chunky and brothy, and the smoky warm chile type is biting but smooth. Luckily, they give you both! In both trips I chose shrimp with my entree and both times I was amazed. Shrimp was cooked perfectly, and with amazing popping flavor. The butter they bring with it is also flavorful and adds a perfect compliment. Better than a seafood restaurant often is! On the downside, my steak kabobs were completely overcooked and underseasoned. I very nearly asked for them to send new meat out but they were just chunks and we were near the end of the meal already. But a big disappointment, specially considering this is Texas where you NEVER get badly cooked cow. It came with cilantro lime rice with corn and cheese. The flavors mixed together wonderfully, but was just too cheesy for my own tastes. Almost casserole like. The ambiance is definitely trendy, but warm. A bit pricier than typical Austin fare, but with the right dish completely worth it. Still casual enough to become an Austin regular.
Don't go late – We went to dinner around 8:30pm on a week night. This is not late, people. The servers were so busy sweeping and checking salt and pepper shakers that the TWO that were attending to our table couldn't bring out chips for our guacamole for 15 minutes, or the bottle of beer my husband ordered. When we got the check, we sat waiting for someone to pick it up for another good 10 minutes while we just sat there watching 3 of the staff cleaning the restaurant. We finally got up and paid for it at the counter.
Place to have a Holiday party – Had our Holiday Party here and the food, Service, ambience and drinks were fantastic!
Required additional food since we actually had additional people attend and the kitchen accomendated our need wihout a hitch.
Bartenders were attentive and treated all my guest as if they were family
Awesome Mexican Grill and Especially the Margarita Bar – Highly recommend it for the pre-party and even the after party.
We had a choice of a variety of tasty dishes but opted for the evenings feature dish which was esquisite!
Great drink specials and service to go along with it.
Sunday's brunch is a great place to cure the hang over with bottomless mimosas and several breakfast and lunch choices.
HORRIBLE SERVICE RUN FROM THIS PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – I will never step foot in this place again. My friends and I (18 of us) decided to go and hang out on the patio of Iron Catus and have a few drinks. We had no waitress and when one finally came she did not want to serve us. Myself not knowing there would be a waitress outside went inside to open a tab. When it was time to get a drink the waitress finally came out I asked her for a drink and she refused to serve me. Her exact words were " You can get it yourself from the bar, I won't make any money from you since you opened your tab at the bar so you can get it yourself!" I did nothing to provoke her to be upset. The service inside was fine..a little slow but fine. I'm in the service industry myself and I'm also a nightclub promoter and I have NEVER had so much bad service my whole life! Never again will myself or my 17 friends ever go back there.
Southwestern menu, L.A. vibe--a definitive Silicon Hills evening. – In Short
The building mixes Luis Barragan and "Miami Vice"--bold Latin colors, glass blocks, black granite tables and etched panels--with a Los Angeles attitude. At night, the exterior glows with blue lights like an airport runway. The crowd includes young professionals, families, singles and wedding rehearsal/bachelorette parties. Starters include smoked duck quesadillas and tortilla soup with sun-dried tomatoes. Entrees feature pollo relleno with jalapeno cream sauce and camarones a la parilla--seared shrimp stuffed with cheese and jalapenos.
Just what North Austin Needs! – I have patroned the Iron Cactus North quite frequently in the past several months. I was wowed on my first visit by the tasteful dishes, the attentive service, pleasant ambiance, and smoking permitted bar!
Consistently Terrible Service – I have been to the Iron Cactus north location three times, and every time have had horrible service! Slow and inattentive, and they don't do much to win back your business. My most recent visit was the worst: We had a party of 10 for a birthday, but the server was so slow that we only had two rounds of drinks the whole time, plus two meal orders were screwed up, I got an $8 drink instead of the $3 one I ordered, and only after we spoke to a manager did we get an extra server at our table -- and after all that, no adjustments on the check, until we asked for it! I will never go back. The food is great, but that's about the only thing this place has going for it.
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