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An update of this review can be found at okgourmet.com .
Karam's Mexican Dining Room (Closed)
121 N. Zarzamora St.
San Antonio, TX
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Best Items: Cheese Enchiladas, Tamales, Tacos
Chips: , Salsa:
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Karam's has been around for so long it is one of the few restaurants I can say I have gone to for more than 30
years. I also think it is one of the best examples of Tex-Mex food there is. So far, in fact, it has turned out to
be the restaurant by which I judge Tex-Mex food. Many restaurants in Austin came close, and some had
specific items that were better, but Karam's seems to have captured the essence of Tex-Mex cooking to a
point that it is almost equal in quality to other styles of Mexican cooking.
Known for its Cheese Enchiladas, I think they are some of the best I have had that are not New Mexico or El Paso style. They are interesting because the tortillas are soaked in a sauce that turns them the signature red of true Tex-Mex style.
Although the enchiladas themselves are good, a combination dinner is even better--there may be no better examples of Tex-Mex style Tamales than at Karam's. These have a masa that is soft and seems to break away the moment a fork touches it, with a flavor that I could almost imagine all the times I had fast food and TV dinner tamales while on a student budget, but which even most Tex-Mex restaurants in Austin could not duplicate.
Karam's is popular enough to have required building a parking lot across the street. In addition to the restaurant, Karam's Catering, a separate portion of the building dedicated exclusively to take-out orders, does a brisk business. With the mild weather found in south Texas, the outdoor patio with a fountain is an added attraction.
I think that unless you are specifically hungry for meat items such as the fajitas at Mi Tierra, you really owe it to yourself to make Karam's your one special San Antonio Tex-Mex meal. It is a San Antonio institution for a reason.
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