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Guide

The Best Things We Ate This Week

A running list of the best dishes we’ve had recently.

59 Spots
Launch Map
60 Spots
Launch Map
Updated January 7th, 2021

Restaurants across the state have slowly started to reopen, close, and reopen again over the past few months. It can be a lot to keep up with. There are dozens of great patios and backyards in Austin, but if you’re not sure where to start, or you’d rather order something great for takeout, we totally understand. We eat a lot over the course of the week, from takeout and delivery to the occasional meal on a patio when it’s not 100 degrees. And to keep up with it all, we’ve decided to start sharing our favorites. From brisket enchiladas to latke-stuffed picadillo burritos, here’s a look into our personal food journals.

If you’ve had a great dish that you want to share with our team, send us an email at austin@theinfatuation.com. Now, on to the dishes.

The Best Things We Ate This Week

Raphael Brion

Tejas Birria

$$$$
TacosMexicanTex-Mex  in  BudaSouth Austin
$$$$ 2390 FM 2001

Out in Buda, in a dusty parking lot of a gun shop, you will find the new trailer Tejas Birria. As the name implies, they’re serving the requisite birria and quesabirria tacos, but they’re also doing things you don’t see at too many other places, including birria ramen, a birria grilled cheese sandwich on Texas toast, a double stacked birria quesadilla, and birria kimbab (on Sundays only). The quesabirria tacos were some of the best we’ve had - we’ve eaten a lot of them - just a perfectly balanced combination of beef birria, melted cheese, onions, and cilantro. The corn tortillas were really great too, the kind that makes your hand smell like corn hours later.

Nicolai McCrary

Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen

$$$$
$$$$ 1303 S Congress Ave

On South Congress, Lucky Robot is making some excellent sushi and Japanese bites, including one of our favorite chirashi bowls. We really like the toyosu chirashi bot here. It comes with king salmon and three rotating selections of fish - seared swordfish belly, pickled mackerel, and scallops, in our case - with avocado, pickles, and a 144° egg. It’s almost as much fun to look at as it is to enjoy.

Nicolai McCrary

Hoody's Subs

$$$$
$$$$ 1205 Round Rock Ave #121

Hoody’s is a sub shop in Round Rock dishing out some of our favorite sandwiches in the Austin area. Sandwiches here are split into two categories - cold and hot, with the hot subs gaining hot-peppers in addition to some time on the griddle. We have yet to try - or even hear about - a bad sandwich here, but maybe that’s because we just can’t stop ordering the pastrami and the meatball sub. The latter - in addition to its requisite meat component - is covered in onions and peppers, then drowned in a spicy marinara sauce that all gets trapped under a blanket of melted provolone. If you live in Austin, Hoody’s is worth the drive to Round Rock. And if you live in Round Rock, well, at least you have something you can tout over Austinites.

Nicolai McCrary

Batch PM

$$$$
$$$$ 3220 Manor Rd

We’ve always loved Batch for their excellent kolaches and great beer selection, so we weren’t super surprised to find that their new food trailer, Batch PM, was making food of the same caliber that we’ve come to expect. The menu here is all about bratwurst and fries - two of our favorite things to pair with a draft beer - with a variety of toppings, dips, and accompaniments. We tried the Cuban bratwurst on a recent visit - it comes topped with roast pork, a pickle spear, Swiss cheese, and mustard - and it’s every bit as tasty as it sounds. The Belgian fries were about as perfect as any we’ve had, only made better with some curry ketchup and garlic aioli. Batch also has a large, spacious patio, making it a great spot on the East Side to grab a beer and some fries while you get a little work done (or at least convince yourself you’re working).

Week Of January 4

Nicolai McCrary

China Family Restaurant

$$$$
Chinese  in  Highland
$$$$ 6801 Airport Boulevard

China Family has long been one of our favorite spots for Sichuan food, and their mapo tofu is some of the best in town. The tofu is soft and silky, and the ground pork adds just enough rich and savory texture to remind you that it’s hiding somewhere in there. And the Sichuan peppercorns that season the sauce provide just enough of that mouth-numbing sensation to temporarily stop you from yelling at Netflix that you are, in fact, still watching. The portions here are generous - something we especially love with a dish like mapo tofu that tastes even better the next day.

Raphael Brion

The Butcher’s Burger is a new delivery-only burger concept from the East Austin butcher shop/restaurant Salt & Time. We were maybe a little hesitant to order from it since burgers and fries tend not to travel super well - but they’ve definitely cracked this puzzle, with a burger that arrived a perfect medium rare and beef fat french fries that were still crispy and hot. The classic butcher’s burger is the way to go, and then there are rotating burgers that switch out regularly.

Nicolai McCrary

Le Cowboy

$$$$ 2213 Manor Rd

Taking up residence in the former Eastside Cafe space on Manor, Le Cowboy has been operating as a pop-up restaurant for about five months now. And while their time is sadly coming to an end in a few short weeks, we’re squeezing as many meals as we can out of their remaining days. On Mondays, they’re open exclusively for takeout. And in addition to their usual menu of handmade pastas and salads they do their “Le Parm” dinner - a massive serving of chicken parmigiana that “serves 2-3” - which almost feels like more of a challenge than a suggestion. It’s also served with a (large) side of pasta and one of the best Caesar salads that we’ve had in recent memory.

Raphael Brion

Shortie's Pizza & Grinders

$$$$ 7858 Shoal Creek Blvd

Shortie’s Pizza & Grinders is a new spot on West Anderson Lane from the people behind District Kitchen and Oasthouse. They make New England Greek-style pizza - cooked in cast iron skillets. They use local ingredients, like wheat from Barton Springs Mills. We got the Punisher pie (with house-made spicy sausage) and the Twig & Branch (made with arugula, Texas goat cheese, and Texas olive oil). The pizza is delicious - sort of a distant cousin of a bar pie - with caramelized, crispy cheese around the edge. We got it to go, but maybe next time we’ll get it on their spacious rooftop patio. Do make sure to get a cannoli, those were good, too.

Week Of December 14

Nicolai McCrary

Le Bleu

$$$$ 9070 Research Blvd #303

Le Bleu is the brick-and-mortar sister restaurant of popular food trailer, Saigon Le Vendeur. But while Saigon Le Vendeur’s menu is limited mostly to banh mi and vermicelli bowls, Le Bleu’s larger space near 183 and Burnet has allowed them to expand the menu, offering things like pho, bánh xèo, and spring rolls. We tried the phở bò on a recent visit and it was exactly what we needed on a cold, rainy night. Their use of serrano peppers on top - instead of the more common jalapenos - was a welcome (and spicy) addition.

Nicolai McCrary

Shirley’s Trini Cuisine

$$$$ 7800 S 1st St

Located in the Thicket Food Park in South Austin - next to other favorites of ours, Brooklyn Breakfast Shop and Artipasta - Shirley’s is a new food trailer dishing out excellent food from Trinidad & Tobago, with things like jerk chicken, doubles, and roti. On a recent visit, we tried to oxtail stew with a side of pelau. The food was excellent - we even let out an audible sigh when we felt our fork scraping the bottom of the box.

Nicolai McCrary

Song La

$$$$ 411 W 23rd St

Song La is a Taiwanese food truck located in a former parking lot just behind the UT Co-Op. The menu here is mostly bento box-based (try saying that three times fast), with things like braised pork belly and fried chicken with basil. Right now they’re entirely contactless - so you can either order from their site in advance or place an online order once you get there, and spend the next 15 minutes taking photos with “The World’s Largest Longhorn” in the same parking lot. Spoilers - it’s made of fiberglass and it’s not that exciting. We tried the bone-in fried chicken bento box on a recent visit. It was the perfect combination of crispy and tender, and an all-around generous portion.

Raphael Brion

Julie's Noodles

$$$$
$$$$ 8557 Research Blvd #110

We go to Julie’s Noodles in North Austin for the dumplings and the handmade noodle dishes, but we also really like their Big Plate Chicken, the chicken stew out of Xinjiang, China. A bold and aromatic dish, there are spices like star anise, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, and dried red chilies. Here the chicken is skin-on and bone-in, and the potatoes just soak in all the sauce. The portion size is big, enough to feed four people. Just make sure to get it with the handmade noodles for an extra $4.

Week Of December 7

Nicolai McCrary

Monk's Momo

$$$$ 75 Rainey St

Monk’s Momo is a food trailer located in a lot on Rainey St that specializes in one thing - momos. In normal times, these Tibetan dumplings are perfect for a little post-party recovery after a long night out; now, they’re the perfect food to enjoy in your living room on a cold (for Austin) weeknight in. The dumplings - with beef, chicken, and vegan options - can be fried, tossed in sauce, served with dipping sauce, or drowned in a spicy soup. Our favorite was the steamed chicken momos that came served with a spicy dipping sauce. They also pair well with a nice glass of red wine and a cold Tuesday night.

Nicolai McCrary

Barbacoa Santa Rosa

$$$$ 8624 FM812

Barbacoa Santa Rosa is easy enough to find - there’s a line that stretches out 30-40 feet on the average weekend (the only time they’re open) - and well worth the drive. They’re out just south of the airport in a large lot with about 4-5 other food trailers. There wasn’t really a menu posted here, so we just went with our gut and ordered a few barbacoa de borrego tacos. The lamb was soft and tender - something that was immediately apparent as the man in the trailer pulled out the bones from a giant slab, and cut and pulled apart our meat as we ordered it. We also picked up a pint of their consome de barbacoa - a rich, flavorful broth made from the barbacoa drippings that was pretty much the best thing we could have asked for on the cold and windy morning we visited. This is some of the best barbacoa we’ve ever had.

Raphael Brion

Jamie’s Barbecue & Mini Tacos

$$$$
TacosMexicanBBQ  in  South Austin
$$$$ 8006 Bluff Springs Road

We like the quesabirria tacos at Jamie’s Barbecue And Mini Tacos in South Austin, so of course when we saw they added birria ramen to their menu, we had to go. Like other spots, they use a Tapatio Ramen Noodle Soup cup and then add their consomé and birria beef, resulting in just an incredibly rich and spicy noodle soup.

Raphael Brion

Banger’s on Rainey Street has long been making their own very tasty sausages, and just recently they added a “Sub Shop” menu with a dozen or so deli sandwiches, all on 10” Leidenheimer rolls. Mostly everything in these sandwiches they make themselves. We got the Montreal-style smoked meat sandwich made with their pastrami and sauerkraut, as well as their Deli Hero that uses their house-made mortadella, bologna, and coppa. There are lots of great sandwiches in Austin, and these are right up there.

Week Of November 30

Nicolai McCrary

Ceviche Love

$$$$ 9110 FM812

Ceviche Love is a seafood-focused food trailer in a lot just south of the airport. They do ceviche, of course, but they also have a variety of aguachiles, seafood tacos, and oysters. You can get the ceviches on their own or in tostada form, but either choice ends with you and a small mountain of fresh seafood - the portions are huge. We recently had the oysters preparados here - they come covered in shrimp ceviche and salsa verde, in what just might be our new favorite way to eat oysters.

Raphael Brion

Taqueria Los Regios

$$$$ 2601 W Braker Ln

We recently got a bunch of things from Taqueria Los Regios on Braker Lane (find them in the Sunoco gas station parking lot that they share with Yucatán Tacos & More, another taco spot we’re into). The tacos were the standouts - including the barbacoa, al pastor, and carnitas - all on handmade corn tortillas. Make sure to get the red salsa that’s slightly chunky and faintly smoky.

Nicolai McCrary

Uroko

$$$$
$$$$ 1023 Springdale Rd Bldg 1

Before the world shut down, Uroko was one of our favorite (and most affordable) omakase spots in town. And while their small dining room remains closed to guests, they’ve switched to a takeout omakase experience that comes about as close to a perfect at-home omakase as we’ve experienced in recent months. There’s a printed out daily menu that goes into detail about each of the 12 pieces, a side of edamame, and even a bonus deep-fried shrimp shell, an extra from the piece of shrimp nigiri. The best part? It’s $45 - a steal for the quality and the amount of sushi we received. And if you’re not feeling up to a full multi-course omakase, you can still pick up some of their popular hand rolls to bring home or to enjoy on their shared-use patio out front.

Raphael Brion

La Curry

$$$$

La Curry is a new pop-up doing Indian-inspired curry bowls and burritos. We got a bowl with a spicy coconut milk curry and a chicken burrito with basmati rice, a Jalfrezi-inspired spicy tomato curry, mint-cilantro chutney, and a cucumber pico. It’s all very Indian-meets-Tex-Mex in just the most delightful and fun way. Follow them on Instagram to find out when the next pop-up is happening.

Week Of November 16

Raphael Brion

Buddy’s Burger

$$$$
$$$$ 9001 Cameron Rd Ste 101

Buddy’s Burger has been one of the most buzzy burger spots recently, and we’re happy to report that the burgers are very much deserving of the hype. The smashburgers are caramelized and juicy, and the food comes out fast, whether you opt for the drive-thru, eat on their small patio, or dine-in. The menu is simple: single, single with cheese, spicy with cheese, or double with cheese. We recommend getting a double, the seasoned fries, and one of the hand-spun milkshakes. Do note that If you get a combo meal you will get a soda in a comically large styrofoam cup will most likely not fit your car’s cup holder. Find them on Cameron Road near Rundberg.

Nicolai McCrary

Qi Austin

$$$$
$$$$ 835 W 6th St Unit 114

Qi is a new “food-focused and farm-driven” restaurant located downtown, from the folks behind Clarksville’s Lin Asian Bar. And if you’ve had the dim sum at Lin, then you’ll know that they know how to do dumplings here. We really liked the crab meat fish maw soup dumplings here - and they’re almost as beautiful to look at as they are tasty to eat. There’s also a whole menu full of different fried and steamed dumplings, and you should probably just try as many as you can.

Raphael Brion

Rogue Radish

$$$$
$$$$ 2113 Manor Rd

Rogue Radish is a newish trailer from the former chef of Pitchfork Pretty with seasonal grain bowls featuring a whole bunch of regularly-changing ingredients. The menu is often very short - when we ordered the only choice was a “daily vegan feast” - but we were able to add a tamari-marinated egg and goat loin, grilled to a perfect medium rare. We still think about the caramelized sweet potato that came with our bowl. It’s on the lot of the former Eastside Cafe at 2113 Manor Road.

Nicolai McCrary

Tio Pepe Chicken

$$$$ 6406 N Highway 35

This week we had an intense late-night craving for some Peri-Peri chicken while finishing up the latest episode of The Mandalorian, so we fired up the ol’ delivery apps and found our way over to Tio Pepe Chicken. They specialize in Peri-Peri chicken so it seemed like the perfect match. it was. The chicken here takes on a nice smoky flavor and some really crispy skin - probably a result of the flame-grilling process - before being drenched in one of their many sauces. We went with the garlic and would (and will) absolutely order it again.

Week Of November 9

Nicolai McCrary

Two Hands

$$$$ 1011 S Congress Ave. Suite 170

Two Hands is an Australian-themed brunch-focused cafe based out of New York City that recently opened an outpost on South Congress. Confused yet? Don’t worry - all you need to know is that they’re now open in the Music Lane development, and that they make some of the best toasts in town. On a recent visit, we tried the mushrooms and greens toast - stacked high with roasted mushrooms, poached egg, braised and charred greens, herbed tahini, and za’atar (we added an avocado). It was excellent, albeit a little pricey, but something that we will definitely be ordering again.

Raphael Brion

Tan My Restaurant

$$$$ 1601 Ohlen Rd

We recently had a big craving for a bowl of Bún bò Huế, so we ordered it from Tan My off of Research Blvd, one of our favorite Vietnamese spots. They’re a very serious takeout-only operation - even the cubes of congealed pork blood are packed separately - there’s no online ordering though, as you need to call in. The broth was rich and spicy, the beef was super tender, and it really, really hit the spot.

Nicolai McCrary

Sarah’s On The Road

$$$$ 902 E Cesar Chavez St

This is an offshoot of the popular Sarah’s Mediterranean Grill - if you’ve been to the original, then you already know this is a tasty alternative if you find yourself in the Cesar Chavez and I-35 area. If you haven’t, well, now you’ve got dinner plans. We ordered the grilled chicken platter, with a generous serving of meat over a huge bed of rice and a side salad. Everything is packaged really neatly and made for almost two full meals.

Raphael Brion

JNL Barbecue

$$$$
BBQ  in  South Austin
$$$$ 1505 Town Creek Dr

The trailer JNL Barbecue recently celebrated their one year anniversary - we’ve been hearing good things - and we finally got to check them out. The menu is pretty straightforward - except for the al pastor pork ribs. And it’s clear that they’re Franklin Barbecue alum, as the brisket was our favorite thing here. We really liked the pulled pork, too, especially with the chicharrones mixed in. Find them at the coffeeshop/bar Buzz Mill off East Riverside.

Week Of November 2

Nicolai McCrary

Poke-Poke

$$$$
$$$$ 2320 Hancock Dr

You know those fast-casual poke restaurants you see everywhere now - the ones that feel kind of like a Chipotle, but with raw fish? Poke-Poke is not that. We like our poke fish-focused, thick-cut, and marinated in the classic dressings - salt or soy sauce, sometimes rice wine vinegar or sesame oil - and topped with some green onion and sesame seeds. And that’s exactly what we got here with The OG bowl. Of course, you can add additional toppings as well, but the quality of ingredients and the lack of a Subway-esque assembly line is what makes this one of our favorite bowls of poke in town. They currently have three locations in the Austin area.

Raphael Brion

Ñoño’s Tacos

$$$$
$$$$ 102 W Powell Ln

Yes it may be called Ñoño’s Tacos, but one of our favorite things to get there is the Grande Burrito. It’s a breakfast burrito with eggs, potato, chorizo, bacon, refried beans, pico, and cheese - we like to add avocado - that gets crisped on a flattop. It’s a glorious experience, and while not super-enormous, it’s still slightly a gut bomb. This is the kind of meal you need to help with a hangover, or the thing you need to eat because you’re going to be doing yard work all day.

Nicolai McCrary

Korea House

$$$$ 2700 W Anderson Ln

Korea House has been dishing out classic Korean staples from a storefront on West Anderson for over 30 years now. In that time they’ve firmly established themselves as one of Austin’s favorite spots for Korean staples, like japchae, bibimbap, and budae jjigae. And if you happen to find yourself with a lunchtime craving (our craving kind of transcended time, and maybe even space?) do yourself a favor and pick up one of their Korean Lunch Boxes, or Doshirak. It comes with a generous portion of meat - we got the galbi, which was excellent - along with white rice, fried dumplings, salad, and a couple of side dishes (banchan).

Raphael Brion

Sammataro

$$$$
$$$$ 1158 Lost Creek Boulevard

Sammataro is a new pizza operation that we’re really into. More on the well-done side, it’s reminiscent of the pizza you’d find at places like Sam’s Restaurant and Lucali in Brooklyn, and definitely not a style you could get in Austin until now. The pizza is spectacular - so much so that we immediately put in an order for another day.

Week Of October 26

Nicolai McCrary

Las Trancas

$$$$
$$$$ 1210 E Cesar Chavez St

Las Trancas is one of Austin’s favorite spots for late-night tacos, and their close proximity to downtown on Cesar Chavez makes them perfect for soaking up a few drinks after a long night out. These days, we find ourselves there at all hours of the day. On a recent visit, we tried a few different tacos, but the carnitas was the biggest standout, with juices just bursting out from both ends of the house-made corn tortillas. The pork was some of the most tender we’ve had, and we instantly wish we had ordered a few more. So we did.

Raphael Brion

Pieous

$$$$
$$$$ 166 Hargraves Dr Bldg H

On a recent outing to the Hill Country for a socially-distant winery visit, we stopped by Pieous for a pizza. We got the Rocket Pizza - a white pie with Prosciutto di Parma, arugula, fresh mozzarella, and olive oil - and it was excellent as always. Both their dining room and patio are closed at the moment, so be prepared to get the pizza to go or just eat it out of your trunk in the parking lot like we did (just bring napkins).

Nicolai McCrary

Salty Cargo

$$$$
$$$$ 1700 W Parmer Ln

The O’Hana Style fried fish at Salty Cargo in the Hana World Market food court in North Austin might just be our new favorite way to enjoy a fish. It’s a whole snapper - so prices will vary a bit - fried and served with a bowl of sweet chili sauce that’s meant to be poured over the fish right before eating. And they serve it with rice, mint, cilantro, red onions, kimchi, and butter lettuce, so you can turn every bite into a little lettuce wrap. The portion is pretty generous too - enough to feed a few hungry people.

Week Of October 19

Nicolai McCrary

Rosita's Al Pastor

$$$$
$$$$ 1911 E Riverside Dr

Rosita’s has become something of an Austin institution - dishing out order after order of fiery-red al pastor tacos from a trompo on East Riverside until late into the night. For many, this has typically meant a much-needed meal after a long evening out, but our recent afternoon visit reaffirmed that they are, in fact, delicious in a more clear-headed state of mind. If the name didn’t give you a hint, you’ll probably want to get the al pastor here. Or try the gringas - it features the same meat on an excellent house-made flour tortilla and a layer of melted cheese.

Raphael Brion

Sugar Pine

$$$$
$$$$ 8578 Research Blvd

Craving vegetables because you can’t live off birria tacos alone, we ordered food from the Japanese restaurant Sugar Pine on Research Blvd. The yaki soba with tofu was delightfully loaded with vegetables and a very healthy amount of tofu. We also got the katsu pork bento box that comes with a bunch of things, including rice, miso soup, seaweed salad, pickles, and even a cookie.

Nicolai McCrary

Hawaiian Bros.

$$$$
$$$$ 8023 Burnet Rd

Hawaiian Bros is in the new Kitchen United Mix space, meaning they don’t have a physical restaurant, but are instead available exclusively for takeout and delivery. The focus here is on plate lunches - with things like huli huli chicken or luau pig over rice with macaroni salad - but they also have spam musubi and Dole whip soft-serve. We recently tried the mixed plate - where you can choose two meats - with molokai chicken and slow-roasted kalua pork (luau pig). The chicken was sweet, spicy, and all-around well-balanced. The pork was tender and savory and only got better with a drizzle of their house-made pineapple barbecue sauce.

Raphael Brion

Yucatán Tacos & More

$$$$
$$$$ 2106 Braker Ln

We’ve been meaning to check out Yucatan Tacos & More for a while, and we’re glad we finally made it. We got a bunch of tacos - all made with their handmade corn tortillas - and the standout was definitely their cochinita pibil. The al pastor tacos with diced pineapple are good, too. There are the standard red and green salsas, as well as very spicy habanero salsa - handle with care. They’re in the parking lot of a Sunoco gas station on Braker and Burnet.

Week Of October 12

Raphael Brion

Tomodachi Sushi

$$$$
$$$$ 4101 W Parmer Ln Ste E

We recently got the sushi-sashimi for two from Tomodachi in North Austin, and the quality of the fish is some of the best we’ve had in Austin. It was composed of 8 pieces of sushi, 15 pieces of sashimi, and three rolls, which is a lot of food on its own, and a phenomenal value. Where Tomodachi really shines are the specials that they post on the wall (and on their Facebook account) with fish flown in from places like Japan and Hawaii. You want to order from this menu.

Nicolai McCrary

Autenticos Michoacanos

$$$$ 4329 S Congress Ave

Autenticos Michoacana is a relatively new player to the Austin taco scene, but they’ve certainly come in swinging, with a wide menu of tacos, tortas, quesadillas, machetes, and just about anything else you can fit inside of a tortilla. On our most recent visit we tried the quesabirria tacos with consomé and a campechano machete, and both were excellent. The machete - an oblong corn tortilla quesadilla of sorts - is packed full of enough meat and cheese to fill half a dozen (or more) street tacos, and should definitely be on your list of things to order ASAP.

Raphael Brion

Estrada’s Texas BBQ

$$$$
TacosBBQTex-Mex  in  South Austin
$$$$ 4903 FM 1327

Estrada’s Texas Barbecue - out in Creedmoor, TX, a small town just south of Austin - is doing very solid barbecue, Tex-Mex, and breakfast tacos. The brisket, ribs, and turkey were super good, but we especially liked the carne guisada taco and the tender smoked pork chop special, a cut you don’t see too often at barbecue spots.

Nicolai McCrary

Heo Eatery

$$$$ 6214 N Lamar Blvd

When we saw a duck confit banh mi - one of the recommended options on Heo Eatery’s banh mi menu - we were a little skeptical. We’ve tried most of the classic fillings - from cold-cuts and pate to grilled pork, shrimp, and tofu - but this was a first to us. The bread here is light, fluffy, and flaky, adding a nice textural contrast to the incredibly tender duck housed inside. And to round out the meal, it’s served with cottage fries, which are basically flat tater tots about the size of a quarter, but a lot more fun to eat.

Week Of October 5

Raphael Brion

Carnitas El Guero

$$$$
$$$$ 5717 S IH 35 Frontage Rd Building D

We recently visited Carnitas El Guero as the first stop in a South Austin taco crawl, with the goal of visiting a few spots. The carnitas tacos were so amazing that we abandoned the taco crawl and ordered some more. The green tomatillo salsa was great, as was the smoky chipotle red salsa. Find it inside the Stassney Foodmart/Texaco.

Nicolai McCrary

R&B’s Steak And Fries

$$$$ 2730 E Caesar Chavez

Do you ever get one of those late-night cravings that can only be satisfied by a perfectly-cooked, ultra-cheesy, meat-filled sandwich? Maybe that’s just us, but we sure were happy to realize that R&B’s was still open when the craving hit. The cheesesteak here isn’t just good, it might be our favorite in town. The sandwiches here follow most of the “rules” of a Philly cheesesteak as we know them - a fresh Amoroso roll, grilled (Texas) ribeye, Cheez Whiz or Provolone, and optional sautéed onions. And if lifting a giant sandwich to your mouth over and over sounds like too much work, you can get all of that served over a giant basket of crinkle-cut fries.

Raphael Brion

Mikado Ryotei

$$$$
$$$$ 9033 Research Blvd

We recently got the Mikado Combo from Mikado Ryotei on Research Blvd in North Burnet, and it hit right in the center of the Venn diagram of affordable, fast, and quality (usually you only get to pick two when it comes to sushi). The sushi is neither comically large nor ridiculously small, and there’s also a good sake list. Mikado is definitely entering our regular rotation.

Nicolai McCrary

Granny's Tacos

$$$$
$$$$ 1401 E 7th St

It’s not every day that you find a breakfast taco covered in mole. And when it’s a chilaquiles breakfast taco, you make sure to order it. All of the tacos at Granny’s Tacos come on a house-made flour tortilla, unless otherwise specified (they also make their own corn tortillas) - a choice that works really well, in this case, where it acts as a soft, protective barrier to everything inside. The chilaquiles taco is loaded with corn chips that are so crispy you’ll swear they were fried to order, before being covered in an almost bitter, but slightly sweet mole sauce, onions, cheese, and a slice of pickled jalapeno. It’s a shining example of perfect balance - sweet and spicy, sour and bitter - that makes for an excellent breakfast taco.

Week Of September 28

Raphael Brion

Sap's Ver Fine Thai Cuisine

$$$$
$$$$ 5800 Burnet Rd

The temperature outside finally dropped slightly - you can wear pants now - so we recently ordered a couple of noodle soups from Sap’s Ver Fine Thai Cuisine on Burnet Road. We got the Kao Soi, the deeply flavorful red curry soup with egg noodles, and the Guay Teaw Tom Yum Moo, their excellent pork broth-based noodle soup. Also when you see something on a menu called “amazing green beans,” you can’t not order it. Just trust them when they say it’s “Spicy Level 4.”

Raphael Brion

Bummer Burrito

$$$$ 89 Rainey St

We’ve long held that Bummer Burrito is the best burrito trailer on all of Rainey Street, and it was only recently that we finally got to try their breakfast burritos (we were enticed by the $1 mimosa special they run on Sundays). The order: a breakfast burrito with “trashbrowns,” Oaxaca Jack cheese, bummer sauce, and sausage, and a migas burrito, something you don’t see very often. The burritos were great, the drinks were tastier than they cost, and we are happy to report that Bummer Burrito also serves the best breakfast burritos on Rainey Street.

Raphael Brion

Brooklyn Breakfast Shop

$$$$
$$$$ 7800 South 1st St

Don’t just think you can just roll in at Brooklyn Breakfast Shop in the Thicket Food Park in South Austin around 1pm on a Saturday and get a breakfast sandwich (we tried this once). First off, they close at 1. And more importantly, they sometimes sell out of things. So we recently made sure to get there on the early side to get the breakfast sandwich. It’s fennel sausage, pimento cheese, and a sunny side up egg, with a crucial assist from sliced homemade pickles, all on a tender, barely holding together biscuit. It’s a perfectly-composed sandwich, one that you should most definitely get up early for.

Nicolai McCrary

Fukumoto

$$$$
$$$$ 514 Medina St

This East Side izakaya/sushi hybrid recently opened their doors and their patio to dine-in customers, but they also have their full menu available to-go. The sushi here is excellent - grab whatever specials they have available for the day and throw in an extra roll or two to fill up. We went with a few of their daily nigiri recommendations, as well as a roll of the fatty tuna with pickled daikon - everything was excellent and packaged well for a take-home experience. Grab a bottle of sake and throw in a few yakitori skewers if you want to recreate the full izakaya experience at home.

Week Of September 21

Nicolai McCrary

Plaza Colombian Coffee

$$$$ 3842 S Congress Ave

Plaza Colombian Coffee somehow manages to pull off a combined coffee shop, tiki bar, and Colombian restaurant in a way that feels surprisingly natural. We really liked the patacon here - a thinly-smashed plantain covered in queso fresco, pickled onions, green onions, and, in our case, pulled skirt steak. It’s served with two types of Colombian salsa - aji and hogao - that both add a bit of heat and a rich, tangy element to the dish. They also make a nice cortado, if you happen to be there at an espresso-appropriate hour (but really, does anyone keep track of the time these days?)

Raphael Brion

Machetes “Doña Leova”

$$$$
$$$$ 10600 N Lamar Blvd

It’s hard to miss Machetes Doña Leova on North Lamar, what with the brightly colored, hand-painted signs proclaiming they have machetes, the large and oblong gordita/quesadilla hybrid made with corn masa and cooked on a flattop. You can get different fillings, but we went with a campechano machete, and it was great. It’s nearly enough to feed two hungry people.

Nicolai McCrary

Sour Duck Market

$$$$
$$$$ 1814 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

Sour Duck has been slinging out some great takeout pastries, sandwiches, and cocktails from their storefront at MLK and Chicon since the lockdown started, but they recently opened up their patio. You know, if you’re worried about your food surviving the drive home (we’re looking at you, french fries). We really like the burger here - made with two 44 Farms ground beef patties, cheddar, pickles, onions, green chili mayo, and a house-made bun. It’s a fairly classic burger made with high-quality ingredients, and it really shows. And if you’re eating on the patio, a glass of their strawberry swirl frozen margarita or a paloma almost feel mandatory, especially if you happen to show up during Happy Hour.

Raphael Brion

Julie's Noodles

$$$$
$$$$ 8557 Research Blvd #110

Julie’s Noodles in North Austin is probably best known for their handmade noodles - it’s in their name after all - and a recent takeout order was a great reminder of how phenomenal the food there is. We got the noodles with meat and bean sauce alongside the spicy beef suan tsai noodle soup (and some scallion pancakes). Like any solid takeout operation, the noodles were packaged separately so they wouldn’t get soggy. And they included a generous amount of their homemade chili oil. It was so good, we’ve already started putting in our next order here.

Week Of September 14

Raphael Brion

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

$$$$
BBQ  in  Brentwood
$$$$ 6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757

The brisket enchiladas at Stiles Switch are an exceptional marriage of two of the major pillars of Austin food, barbecue and Tex-Mex. Stuffed with their smoky brisket, the enchiladas are topped with a chili con carne, shredded cheddar, and diced onion. It’s available Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Brentwood location and the new location in Cedar Park. They’re also on the regular, everyday menu at their sister spot The Switch BBQ off 290 in Belterra.

Nicolai McCrary

JewBoy Burgers

$$$$ 5111 Airport Blvd

While JewBoy might be best known for their creative burgers - they come topped with things like queso, latkes, and pastrami - they also make a pretty great burrito. All of the food here, described as being influenced by a mix of Border and Jewish culture, features lots of Hatch green chile, queso, and latkes. And the El Paso-style burritos are no exception - we loved the puro picadillo burrito. It comes stuffed with ground beef, hatch green chile, grilled onions, queso, white cheddar, and chopped latkes. They’re located near 51st and Airport.

Raphael Brion

Sabor Tapatio

$$$$ 5604 S Congress Ave

We recently stopped by the Mexican food truck Sabor Tapatio on the corner of Stassney and South Congress. We got a bunch of things, including Jalisco-style barbacoa tacos with consome and a torta ahogado. We also got five mini al pastor tacos, with charred and crispy meat, topped with a spicy green salsa, cilantro, and onion, and we can’t stop thinking about them.

Nicolai McCrary

Talad Thai And Lao Street Food

$$$$
Thai  in  East Austin
$$$$ 1606 E 6th St

Talad is a food truck located at East 6th and Comal that specializes in Thai and Laotian cuisine. We had a late-night Pad Thai craving, and the noodles here really hit the spot. They’re sweet, salty, spicy, and the portion was generous. There are a few different meat (or tofu) options, but we like the chicken here. Be sure to throw in an order of Lao-style beef jerky or Moo Ping (caramelized, grilled pork skewers) to balance out the meal.

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