Saturday, April 13, 2013

Austin, TX

Priya and I spent a few days in Austin and environs and had a very delicious time.

First night: small plates at Barley Swine. Too dim for pictures (sorry!) but so good. we had broccoli, cheese custard, almond, & fermented chili; pig trotter, grilled face, loin, refried lentils, yogurt, and dates; duck, foie gras, strawberry, black trumpets, nasturtium; beets and bacon with honey-mustard ice cream and sauerkraut chips; the hen-egg special; and a Meyer lemon tart with basil, quinoa granola, and rooibos sorbet. It was really excellent (though our most expensive meal).

The next morning, we went to Tamale House East, as part of a vow to have breakfast tacos every morning. They had some great horchata iced coffee as well.


Lunch at East Side King's Hole in the Wall location on Guadalupe. So much I wanted to eat here!

Pork-belly buns (not quite as good as David Chang's, but still great):


Really good beet fries with Kewpie mayo on the side:


EXCELLENT chicken-tortilla ramen. A truly great fusion of two cuisines; there were even little dried shrimp floating in the broth adding glutamates:


Dinner at an Alamo Drafthouse while we watched Burt Wonderstone. It was all right (the movie, and the food--I had pizza and Priya had a Mexican salad).

The next morning, we picked TacoDeli for our breakfast tacos. Maybe among the best on the trip. The had really excellent salsas, too. However, the rajas were a bit too crunchy for our tastes...


Lunch at Chuy's, which was okay, but nothing special. It committed a cardinal sin, though: very few of the items we got were spicy. The salsa itself was basically tomato sauce. I asked for some hot sauce and they gave me...Tabasco (which is not spicy, and is also unpleasantly vinegary).

Dinner at Lulu's, in San Antonio...chicken-fried steak and chicken-fried chicken (with queso instead of gravy). We passed on the three-pound cinnamon bun for dessert:





The next day, Torchy's Tacos from a truck, along with queso:



Really delicious food--fried chicken tacos, fried avocado tacos, a chile smoke sausage taco, pork taco...I wish the queso was a bit spicier but I think we should have asked for some kind of Diablo sauce, and we didn't? Still very good.

A cake-batter doughnut from Gourdough's for dessert:



Dinner at El Alma (more queso, plus carne asada and enchiladas with bean sauce...pretty good!), though too dim for pix.

The next morning, in East Austin, we had breakfast tacos at Mi Madre's. Unfortunately, shortly after ordering, a police car chase ended with the fugitive crashing her car into ours (parked out front) and fleeing on foot. Over the next hour as we dealt with phone calls and insurance stuff, our tacos grew cold (though the staff thoughtfully wrapped them up for us). I thought they were still excellent--my potato-and-chorizo one particularly--but we probably didn't get to judge them very accurately.



After going swimming at Hamilton Pool, we went to dinner at Salt Lick BBQ out in Driftwood. We split a big variety plate and it was plenty of food, and among the best barbecue I've ever had. The smoked turkey and smoked sausage were the highlights, and the mustard-based BBQ sauce was just insane.


We also got a split plate of blackberry cobbler and peach cobbler--also outstanding.











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