Polvos Mexican Restaurant

Homey Tex-Mex, tasty margaritas, outdoor seating, and a self-serve salsa bar make for a fun place to relax with friends. You might not remember the food, but you’ll enjoy it all the same.

Polvos
Bouldin - Austin, TX
$$
★★☆☆☆

 It was dark and rainy out, but I wanted this photo to be as bright as I expected Texas to be, so I went for an overexposure.

It was dark and rainy out, but I wanted this photo to be as bright as I expected Texas to be, so I went for an overexposure.

Any time I get out of the city I like to hunt down a good Tex-Mex restaurant for a little taste of home.

Why? Because, for some reason, there were a lot of Tex-Mex restaurants in my corner of North-East Mississippi, strange as that is.

Anyway, I was just flying into Austin for Seanwes Conference 2 around this time last year and my friend Patrick, also from Mississippi and also with a soft spot for Tex-Mex, picked me up. First thing I like to do when I leave an airport is sample the local cuisine. So a quick check on Foursquare brought up Polvos as a promising spot.

It’s a fun little spot, with lots of artwork and a great self-serve salsa station. At said station you can choose between shallow plastic bowls and these beautiful ceramic bowls. Not sure why there’s even an option, as the choice is very clear.

 String lights and outdoor seating? Must be in Austin, TX. Nevermind the rain. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying a meal al fresco.

String lights and outdoor seating? Must be in Austin, TX. Nevermind the rain. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying a meal al fresco.

It was raining outside, as it did for several days of my trip to Austin, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from sitting outside. If there are two things I associate with Austin, it’s eating outside and string lights overhead. And this place certainly has both. So that’s a win in my book.

 I’ve known this guy since I was, like, 10 years old.

I’ve known this guy since I was, like, 10 years old.

Quick Review:

How was the food, you might be wondering? It was nothing special, really. I wouldn’t recommend you go out of your way to eat there. Patrick really liked it, though, so I actually ended up going here again on the last day of my trip. It’s huge and there never seems to be a wait unlike the more popular joints in Austin, so that’s a plus.

About the images:

I came to Austin with this idea about how I wanted to capture the city - as this bright, hard sunlight, peak of summer look. But it was rainy and overcast most of the days. At first I didn’t embrace that, which you can see in that first image of the food that I brightened up significantly.

The second image, of the patio in the rain, there’s no way to fake. It’s obviously raining, so I embraced that. I was just editing some pictures from the second day in Austin last night and when I originally edited them last year, I had pumped up the brightness a lot. That’s just the place I was in photographically back then. This year, though, it’s been pretty overcast back home in New York and I’ve been really embracing it, ready for the cooler fall season to come. So I re-processed the images to have a darker look that really embraced the overcast weather at the time. You’ll see those in a coming post.

What you’ll also see from this trip is a decent amount of black & white photography. Patrick’s girlfriend, Heather, got really into b&w film photography and darkroom developing around this time, so she and I bonded over that quite a bit and I pushed myself to make some black & white images, which is typically outside of my wheelhouse. Still need to get a film camera and force myself down that lane a bit more. Why? Because when you shoot black and white on a digital camera, you still get a color image, it just sucks the colors out when it displays the image. When you import it into lightroom, it still has color. Which can be nice if you decide you want to go back, but I feel the best way to learn is to force yourself down a single lane so you really understand it. This is why I advocate that your first lens be a prime - so you get a really deep understanding of that particular focal length. But that’s getting off on a tangent. So let’s steer it back home.

Hehe, steer, Texas - get it?

See ya next time.