SXSW events are happening all over Austin, but here are some recommended spots in and around downtown, the nexus of the action, just in case you're still hungry after eating all the free food sponsored by start-ups and record labels. Barbecue, breakfast and brunch, tacos, and more on this guide.
'La Condesa' on Serious Eats
A Thai restaurant was not what Austinites expected when La Condesa's Rene Ortiz and Jesse Herman announced their latest project. After all, La Condesa is known for its modern Mexican fare and cocktails. Check out what they're cooking up at Sway, which just opened last week.
Drawing inspiration from his travels and La Condesa's food menu, bar manager Nate Wales incorporates lesser known ingredients into the drinks. He uses sotol in a spin on the Salty Dog, and mixes up his own fermented pineapple spirit for an unusual margarita. Here are 5 recipes so you can make these drinks at home.
Perrito means little dog in Spanish. Inspired by the Salty Dog, Nate Wales of La Condesa took the basic gin and grapefruit drink and transformed it into a savory and lively concoction.
Simmering Mexican Coca Cola, brandy, and red wine down into a syrup provides body to this spin on a Manhattan from La Condesa in Austin, Texas. Rye and Punt e Mes coax out the syrup's complexity.
Tepache is an ancient Mayan pineapple spirit and La Condesa's version is "slightly fermented and has the spark of kombucha," according to Nate Wales. It's delicious in this unusual margarita.
To subdue the potentially overpowering mezcal, Nate Wales devised a hibiscus agua fresca. The final result is a light, subtly smoky, and well balanced cocktail with a gingery zing.
Smoked Berkshire ham, slow-roasted kurobuta pork belly, arugula, Swiss cheese, habanero mustard, pickled jalapeños, and toasted garlic are piled and pressed on ciabatta, with the spicy mustard and vinegary tang from the pickles and onions dominating.
Despite its unappealingly mysterious jet-black color and origin as a fungal infection on a corn cob, it's delicious. Vaguely mushroom-y (but not in a truffle-y way), a little tart, and extremely savory, huitlacoche makes one of the greatest taco/sope/huarache fillings around and I very rarely get my fill of it.