I don’t remember when I had my first flan. It’s really remarkable that I even had ever tasted the stuff as one of five kids growing up in a casserole world. Basically, my mother and grandmother cooked everything I ever ate, and I really don’t remember them getting in the kitchen and making flan. We ate out once a quarter at Furr’s Cafeteria. Maybe they served flan there one Sunday.
What I do know is this. Somehow, I’ve loved flan for a long time, and although I didn’t realize it, my relationship with flan has been a secret to my family. “I’m going to do a flan challenge for my blog,” I said. “Flan, flan, flan, glorious flan.”
“What?” All three of my kids thought I had “flallen” off my flashy rocker. “You like flan??” And then the worst comment of all from all three kids. “I don’t think I’ve ever had it.” Uh-oh.
In fact, a lot of people have never had flan. Most restaurants that serve it are also the kind of establishments where you fill up on chips, salsa and cheesy goodness. A lot of guilt comes with ordering flan after a combo plate.
But I love it, and I recently thought to myself, hey – we’re Overfiftyers, we don’t have to provide anyone with a balanced meal five nights a week, and I’m goin’ for it.
I’m going to go all over Austin and eat flan. I’m going to find the best flan in this whole dang town. (That’s really exactly what I thought.)
So, here goes.
Good Flan: Lupe Tortilla. We had never eaten at a Lupe Tortilla before moving to Austin, but I’ve now been there twice, and I think they have fantastic fajitas. So, on my way home from Bible study one night, I called my hubby and told him I was stopping by Lupe Tortilla for flan-to-go. There wasn’t any need to call and report in, really, but I wanted him to stay awake until I got home.
I was so excited for our first flan that I flat forgot to take a picture, so I had to get this one from Yelp. But you get the idea. Flan, berries, a sprig of mint and a little whip cream. It was yummy. Keep reading, though, because there’s actually better.
Better flan: Manuel’s. A group from work went to Manuel’s one day for lunch, and one of my coworkers talked us into ordering the flan. Flan for lunch with coworkers will get you through anything the afternoon throws at you.
Since that was months ago, I decided I better taste it again to see if it was still good.
Mike and I walked over to Manuel’s one Friday night to share this lavish piece of flan and some Mexican coffee. Both were outstanding. Manuel’s flan is distinctive and known for its coconut crust. It’s very, very good. (Side note: the waitstaff at Manuel’s is amazing.)
Mexican coffee with flan? Ole!
Best Flan: Casa Colombia in East Austin.
We talked some friends into experiencing the challenge with us and let them pick the restaurant. They did a little research of their own and chose Casa Colombia. This restaurant was a find in several ways, but the flan! There are two flavors to choose from, and they’re both flan-tastic! My favorite was the one with a darker caramel – it had a hint of coffee in there somewhere.
This was a fun foodie thing to do, and while there are still flans out there, the sweet man who married me said he just couldn’t keep going with me on this one. He ate nothing but flan for a week, so he said I’m now officially on my own. “You’ll have to find some friends to go with next time,” he said. He’s so funny. Maybe I should get him a shirt.
So, if any of my readers want to try some of Austin’s finest flan, please give me a call. I’ll go with you.
Encouraging intentional adventure and a fling with some flan,
PS – The flan at La Condesa was also very good, and I loved the atmosphere at this spot on the corner of 2nd and Guadalupe. We’ll go back and try something besides dessert next time.