AustinReal Estate & Development

Taco Palenque Expands Texas Presence with New San Marcos Outlet, Austin's Food Scene Sees Growth and Uncertainty

Taco Palenque Expands Texas Presence with New San Marcos Outlet, Austin's Food Scene Sees Growth and UncertaintySource: Instagram / taco.palenque
Matt Mitchell
Published on February 12, 2024

The Laredo-based Taco Palenque is expanding its Texas footprint with a new outlet slated to open its doors in San Marcos this fall. Set to replace a former Burger King site on the I-35 frontage road, the fast-casual Mexican cuisine restaurant chain, known for its breakfast tacos and parrilladas, is making headway with construction already, Community Impact reports.

In an expansion streak that includes a recent foray into Austin's bustling food scene, Taco Palenque has also just recently opened a ghost kitchen in Austin. Operating with a limited breakfast and lunch menu, this location is designed to swiftly serve takeout and delivery orders from its outpost within GhostLine Kitchens at 3400 Comsouth Drive in the McKinney neighborhood since July 21. The brand has been steadily gaining momentum since its first location launch in 1987, with its new San Marcos location falling in line with its regional growth strategy.

Meanwhile, Austin's dining community is facing the potential shuttering of a long-standing watering hole, as Cain & Abel's, a staple in the West Campus area since 1991, stands on uncertain grounds. Developers are eyeing the property for transformation into student housing, a pivot that comes with somewhat of a countdown; Ellis Winstanley, the owner since 2002, has disclosed that the bar's lease is not due for renewal for "several years", according to a revelation shared with the Austin Business Journal.

The city’s food landscape continues to evolve with other recent openings, such as the Korean-Mexican fusion outfit Chi’lantro unveiling its seventh location in South Austin. Moreover, the much-anticipated Bao’d Up Bobar Riverside has greeted the public, bringing both a menu staple of bao as well as its newest concoctions like "spicy bursting boba". These additions are just the latest in a line of events that keep Austin's residents and food enthusiasts poised to thoroughly explore and embrace newer tastes and culinary experiences.

Not to be left in the shadows, the more adventurous diners can look forward to the heat week specials, courtesy of the South Austin barbecue truck LeRoy & Lewis. The challenge, which promises to test spiciness thresholds with dishes like spicy shrimp aguachile and khao soi burnt ends, is to reward those who successfully conquer the daily specials with merchandise and a gift card. These culinary experiments are set to run from July 27 through July 31, adding yet another hot topic to Austin's food conversation.

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