You know how you sometimes discover a place before anyone else and you are so excited that you start telling everyone about it. I just had this happen to me. I received an email from Andres Tellez, a percussionist friend of mine. The email said that there was this new restaurant that was featuring Latin jazz on Thursday nights. Great food, great jazz and a family atmosphere. I was immediately intrigued. I took down the name and address and made plans to go check it out. Marfe Gardens has been around for about a year and a half. Brothers Jesse and Adam Solis who are locals and have been involved in the restaurant business for many years own the restaurant.
The restaurant offers a variety of Mexican dishes made from family recipes. That night I ordered the fajita plate. As you can see, they don’t skimp on the portions. The meal was delicious. The fajitas were cooked just right, and the rice and charro beans were perfectly seasoned, but what was the icing on the cake for me was the music. Marfe Gardens has a huge backyard area that has been turned into a great outdoor venue. There are plenty of table and chairs all around the huge dance floor. A nice sized stage in situated under some trees and is illuminated by strands of multi-colored lights. That particular night, Pete Diaz and his band Cabo Bay Latin Jazz was performing. These veteran performers kept the crowd entertained as they played Pete’s spicy selection of Latin jazz tunes His masterful flute playing was a pleasure to enjoy. Monte Mann’s guitar work was a great counter to Pete’s flute while Rob Jewett kept it solid with his upright and electric bass playing. Pete also invited fellow flutist Joe England and Saxman Art Martinez to come up and join them. The evening turned out to be a wonderful night of great Latin jazz performed by some great local talent. Pete and the rest of the band will be there every Thursday night so if you are in the mood for some great Mexican food and want to enjoy it while listening to some equally tasty jazz music, mark your calendar for Thursday nights and head on down to Marfe Gardens on 183 across from the Austin airport. I recommend you go there while its still a secret because once people find out about this new Austin jazz venue and great restaurant, the place is going to get very popular and won’t be a secret any more although I’m sure that the Solis brothers won’t mind.