Tag Archives: Austin

HIMYS Recommends Austin Eats: SXSW Edition (Very Belated Part Two)

A few months ago, I posted Part One recommendations of Austin restaurants that I felt were staples to the city (aka a place that as a tourist or a local, you should try). However, although I started writing this post at the same time that I wrote SXSW Edition Part One, for a variety of personal reasons, I was unable to finish it until today. What follows is a list of newer establishments that are worthy of becoming staples in the city or are generally just really good places to make a pit stop. While Austin is a foodie’s paradise, these may not be the fanciest of establishments but I believe your belly will thank you later. Enjoy!

BBQ: Franklin’s

Started as a food truck, Franklin’s is one of those restaurants that people rave about so much, you can’t help think: is this just hype? Let me tell you. It’s not. The meat is amazing. The brisket melts (that’s right, MELTS) in your mouth. The ribs fall off the bone. Of course, there are a few catches to any crazy popular restaurant in Austin. Franklin’s serves until it runs out of meat. Which means that you have to get there early and there is always a line. The last time I went to Franklin’s, I waited four hours to get inside and order. So, when you go, make it a good visit – get food to eat there and get some to go. The second catch, I’m personally not a huge fan of the side dishes. BUT – go for the meat and you won’t be disappointed.

As with any BBQ place, it’s easy to let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. You may just want to expect that this will either be your only meal of the day or you are going to have the meat sweats like no other. If you’re just in town for a short amount of time, and want to try all that Franklin’s has to offer, I actually recommend the Tipsy Texan sandwich. It includes brisket and sausage with loads of sauce – and don’t forget to ask for the cole slaw on top. (As a bonus, Texas Monthly recently ranked this as Franklin’s as the top BBQ restaurant in the world…so you know, it’s gotta be good.)

Comfort Food: Gordough’s

Yet another restaurant that started as a food truck, Gordough’s is definitely a place for comfort food with a twist. Most of what you find at Gordough’s is actually created with homemade donuts. Keep in mind, this isn’t just a donut shop. Imagine getting your sandwich made with a garlic donut instead of a roll. That’s what you’re going to find at Gordough’s – delicious dishes with a creative twist!

Food Truck: East Side King 

I am a huge Top Chef fan and I’ve been dying to try Top Chef: Texas winner Paul Qui’s group of food trucks East Side King. If you’re looking for asian street food, I’ve heard that East Side King is a must. The location I read about most recently was at the Shangri-La but you can also find these trucks at the Liberty Bar, the Grackle and the Hole in the Wall. If you’ve ever attempted to go to a Top Chef contestant or winner’s restaurant, you know that it can be incredibly difficult but it’s usually worth the wait. Since I haven’t personally tried East Side King food or been to a location yet, I can’t guarantee that you won’t have a wait but I’ve always been under the impression that food trucks are more accessible. So if you’re looking for something a little different, East Side King is where it’s.

American: Black Sheep Lodge

Located on South Lamar, Black Sheep Lodge has been a frequent lunchtime stop when I’ve visited Austin. It’s got a laid back atmosphere and definitely gives you the feeling of one of those great neighborhood bars. But it’s not the beer selection that caught my heart. It was the food. I love good fried pickles (slices not spears) — and Black Sheep doesn’t disappoint when it comes to this delicious treat. In addition, you’ll always find delectable sandwiches or burgers, which get an extra star for the option of tots on the side. Black Sheep is definitely an All American food locale where you can find your favorite variety of burgers or sandwiches always cooked to perfection.

What do you think? Any restaurants that you would recommend be added to this list or disagree with any included? Leave a message in the comments section.


HIMYS Recommends Austin Eats: SXSW Edition (Part One)

While I always discuss my travels or talk about new Boston events or restaurants I’ve encountered on this blog, I was thinking about this great time of year: time for the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin. For me, it’s hard to ignore the festival – and it really got me missing Austin. Now that the commotion is dying down, I thought this would be a good time to throw out a few restaurants musts including some staples (part one) and some new hot eats I’ve been reading about or heard good reviews on (part two). Clearly, this isn’t a complete list of my restaurant recs since there are so many incredible places to eat, this is at least a good starting place for those making a trip to the ATX.

Austin Staples (aka from the Travel Book or Local Recs for First Timers)

BBQ: The Salt Lick

Of course, if you’re making a trip to the ATX and you’re looking for great barbeque, you’ve got to try the the Salt Lick. My personal recommendation is to take some time to visit the original in Driftwood. It’s not far outside the City but you’ll definitely need to devote a few hours for this. The great thing about the original location, is that it’s very classic, picturesque Texas Hill Country. Two things to keep in mind: it’s BYOB and cash only! If you’re looking to bring wine though, check out the winery up the street from the Salt Lick.

Mexican: Chuy’s

Chuy’s is a quirky Tex-Mex restaurant is trademark Austin, and by quirky, we’re talking from decorations to the massive burritos. This is another restaurant, like Salt Lick, that you can find multiple locations of because, well, it’s just that popular. If you get stuck on the details, the original is the Barton Springs location – which if you’re visiting for Austin City Limits or heading to the Trail of Lights in the winter, is pretty close to where the action is. Chuy’s is just great Tex-Mex. Pure and simple. Austin is full of amazing Tex-Mex restaurants though but I like to think that Chuy’s is good for those looking for somewhere to set the bar. My personal recommendation, whether you have an enchilada or “Big As Your Face” burrito (which is totally worth the belly ache), go with the deluxe tomatillo sauce.

Comfort Food: Kerbey Lane

I have a confession. I used to be skeptical about Kerbey Lane. It was a destination in college that I always had a bad experience with, particularly the location near the UT campus. That all changed the day I visited the original location on Kerbey Lane. Started in a cute house on what probably used to be a quiet street, Kerbey Lane is probably best known for its fantastic breakfast fare – which is available at pretty much any time of day (i.e. it’s open late). The pancakes are to die for and when I venture to Austin for trips, I always pick up some mix. If you’re not really in the mood for breakfast, try the Kerbey Queso (cheese queso with guacamole in the middle). I think that Kerbey Lane is a great way to either start or end your day. Quick tip: Sunday’s can be packed – so get there early if you need to park at the original location.

Comfort Food/Southern Staple: Broken Spoke

Most Austinites know the Broken Spoke for its two-stepping, as it is a dance hall. What I later learned, after being introduced by a fellow Bostonian, was that the Chicken Fried Steak was probably some of the best you’ll ever have. Similar to the Salt Lick, if you’re looking for a traditional Texas experience, this is your place. This is a ten gallon hats, belt buckle and cowboy boots kind of place. Funny enough, it’s in an area of Austin that’s being flooded by new mixed use condo/retail units. However, the experience straight from the gravel driveway around the restaurant to the huge plates of chicken fried steak remains the same: a classic.

Kerbey Lane Pancakes!

What are your favorite staple restaurants in Austin? Leave them in the comment section below.