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Local Austin venues offer authentic Mexican food products and an appealing alternative to the conventional

Related Links:

• Fiesta Tortilla Factory
• La Mexicana Bakery
• Mr. Natural

Texas's proximity to Mexico has had a definite influence on the cuisine. But sometimes it's hard to see past the haze of corporate chains that offer a conventional version of Mexican food. Austin Now takes a look at threePhoto: tortillas on assembly line local venues that offer authentic and innovative products.

Fiesta Tortilla Factory begun with its first tortilla in 1984 in East Austin. Over a decade later, they have become well known for their customized tortillas and flavorful tortilla chips among other things. Since then, it has outlasted the pressures of corporate offers and has grown to be a prominent distributor in Austin.

"We always try to make a product that meets our customer's needs--I don't know if a large corporation is able to do that or even cares to do that, it's what's made us successful" says Jaime Picos, owner of Fiesta Tortilla Factory.

Photo: pastries

Freshly, handmade pastries, typical of "panaderias" in Mexico are La Mexicana Bakery's signature mark. This unique bakery is one of the handful of places that is open 24-hours a day, but their bread isn't the only treat that attracts people.Photo: Maria Mendoza A restaurant addition along with Mexican food products truly makes this a popular, Mexican-root derived venue.

Another unique spot in town is Mr. Natural. You don't hear of Mexican vegetarian food too often, however this is exactly what sets Mr. Natural apart. More than just a restaurant, Mr. Natural is a way of life. It includes a health food store, bakery and yoga classes that help make up the principles that Mr. Natural was founded upon.

Maria Luisa Mendoza, owner of Mr. Natural stresses, "Our whole approach for being healthy includes the physical body and the mind."

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Produced by Eliana Maruri.

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