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Lung's Cocina del Sur


The Lung family actually ran three restaurants as I recall... one of them a legit Chinese place. The others served the popular Austin fare of the times: steaks and Tex-Mex. The Tex-Mex place was incongruently named Lung's Cocina del Sur. It was on Anderson Ln. BUT not where current Jimmy Buffet fans think. The current inhabitant of the old Lung's place is called "Star of India"... still a restaurant, still Eastern.

The menu at Lung's "looked" to be your standard Tex-Mex fare but when it arrived at the table, you could tell the difference immediately. More sauce, different spices, and especially the chips and hot sauce. They coated their chips in a powder that made them taste a bit like Barbecue or smoked. Along with them, the salsa was the smallest bowl of salsa served in Austin, I think, and very thin and kind of weird itself. All of this is somewhat understandable as long as you consider that Lung's was 1) a way-north Austin place for the times and, 2) run by a Chinese family. It was in the same "white bread" center with Swenson's and Lock, Stock, and Barrel.

The claim to fame for Lung's was the night that Jimmy Buffet had one too many there and went home to pen the immortal party classic: Margaritaville. That song has never really spoken to Austin. However, Since it was penned by a young guitar picker who was sleeping on a borrowed couch in Austin during the 70's does redeem it in my mind.