Austin's frozen dessert scene is undergoing a renaissance. In fact, about half of the city's best ice cream options are at establishments less than five years old.
Austin has a vibrant patio culture. Thanks to year round warm weather and little rain, almost every restaurant seems to have al fresco dining space. So what makes a patio area particularly special? Well, plenty of shade helps since Austinites are still willing to sit outside long after the temperatures exceed 100 degrees. Of course a relaxed space serving great food, beer, and cocktails doesn't hurt either.
Mexican food confused me when I first moved to Texas. Suddenly I encountered restaurants serving the Lone Star state's famous queso dip next to cochinita pibil from Yucatán wrapped in flour tortillas. I didn't know what to make of it. But Carlos Rivero, owner of El Chile Cafe y Cantina and several other Mexican restaurants in Austin, clarified that "'Mexican' is a very broad term because that profile encompasses so many different flavors and ingredients. When come to El Chile, you can have a modern take on Mexican or you can have the die-hard fajita platter. It's up to you."
The third annual Austin Food and Wine Festival came to a close yesterday. Kicking off on Friday night with a "Taste of Texas" event showcasing restaurants from around the state, it was an educational but sometimes wild weekend of epic eating and drinking. Between chef demos, dishes from restaurants and comapnies around the country were available for tasting, and various chefs kept the fire pits smoking all weekend.
Pies are the only sweets option at The Rustic. It was near impossible to choose from their offerings of key lime, banoffee, and chocolate silk, but in the end I trusted a local's recommendation of peanut butter. As the waitress placed the towering piece of quivering pie on our picnic table, I noticed it was loaded with halved peanuts and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
Lemongrass, keffir lime, and passion fruit are all ingredients you might associate with Cambodia. But what about chocolate? For the past six years, Griet Lorré, owner of The Shop in Phnom Penh, has been making handmade chocolates inspired by these traditional Southeast Asian flavors, and they're delicious.
Kampot peppercorns are famed around the world, and like a true Champagne, can only be grown in one region. We visited a pepper farm near Kampot, Cambodia, to find out what it takes to grow one of the best spices in the world.
My first pa tong go, or Thai cruller, experience was a tad disappointing. I gave the treat another chance at a cafe fittingly named Pa Tong Go. This time, the results were crunchy, sweet, and awesome.
With several new restaurants opening every month, there's no shortage of great places to eat in Austin. But because most of these new places typically charge $20 to $30 per entrée, it can be hard on both your stomach and your wallet to keep up. Don't feel too bad for us Austinites, though—there are plenty of budget-friendly options out there if you know where to look. Here are ten of our favorites!
Specializing in cupcakes, cookies, and bars, this old school Hyde Park bakery also successfully executes fancier desserts. One in particular stands out as a good choice for Austinites who don't want to cook on Valentine's Day: the Chocolate Ganache Cake.
Beef with horseradish is, of course, nothing new, and Épicerie's sandwich arrives on the plate looking modest, if a bit larger than you might expect. But let this be a lesson in judging sandwiches by their covers, because that banal appearance belies some major flavor.
Most tourists are too busy admiring the ornate pastel buildings of seaside Gdansk, Poland to visit the massive Market Hall just a few blocks away. Reminiscent of a nineteenth century train station, crowned with a wrought iron and glass roof, it houses an overwhelming selection of food vendors. You can fulfill your Polish food fantasies for paczki, herring, kabanosy sausages, and every variety of E. Wedel chocolate, all in one place.
The Trail of Lights is Austin's most beloved Holiday attraction. Once you're in, there's no turning back. All roads lead to the giant Zilker Holiday Tree at the end of the trail. Prepare to get "hangry" if you show up on an empty stomach. If you're just looking for dessert after dinner, however, there are plenty of options along the Trail.
At this time of year, Austin bakeries and ice cream shops are simply bursting with both peppermint and eggnog flavored sweets. You'll also find Christmas cookies galore along with plenty of seasonal cupcakes, but there are also cranberry blondies, cream puffs filled with gingerbread cream, and boozy ice cream.
Suddenly there are plenty of youthful, trendy food businesses popping up around Birmingham. The gourmet popsicles at Steel City Pops are for real. Their flavors are made from scratch using mostly local produce or ingredients, sugar, water, and/or local dairy. They carry between 20 and 25 flavors at any one time, and the creamy paletas are separated from the icey paletas in separate freezers, just like in traditional Mexican paleterias. Their Southern inspired flavors are truly noteworthy.
A. Blikle, the storied bakery located on the historic Nowy Swiat boulevard in Warsaw, is synonymous with pączki, or Polish doughnuts.
Austin bakers are getting creative as they gear up for Halloween. So why just have another pumpkin flavored treat when you can celebrate with creepy cupcakes, gingerdead men, wormy doughnuts, and more?
Talking shrimp, natural disasters, fishing and more with Wayne Hebert, a veteran seafood seller at Westwego Shrimp Lot, a no-frills seafood market outside of New Orleans.
"Most folks raised in North Alabama have firmly believed since childhood that barbecue sauce is white," writes pit master Chris Lilly in Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book, of the legendary barbecue joint. Barbecue chicken with white sauce is the area's regional specialty. While visiting Birmingham, I drove about an hour north to Decatur to taste the classic dish at its source. Back in the city, I tried BBQ chicken at five different restaurants, in a search for the best.
Don't believe anyone who says going to the 77 Flea Market in Brownsville is just like being in Mexico. Yes, it's located very close to the border, but the large selection of cowboy hats and boots and Rio Grande Valley delicacies like hot Cheetos smothered with queso should serve as a pretty good indicator that this particular market is distinctly Tex-Mex.
On Saturdays and Sundays, a cluster of vendors appear behind El Gran Mercado on Pleasant Valley Road in Southeast Austin. They huddle under a network of tents and tarps that just barely shields the compact market from the intense sunlight. Here, you'll find things like cowboy boots, phone cases, toys, and even used cars—and some of the best Mexican food vendors in town.
Here in Austin, there are seemingly endless frozen sweet treats to help us survive the triple-digit temperatures of August. Here are 8 more frozen desserts we love.
There's no shortage of pie in Austin—in fact you could probably call it the city's favorite dessert. From chess to fruit to cream, these six slices are the perfect finish to any meal.
This Austin burger chain specializes in burgers made with all natural, vegetarian-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free angus beef. They also offer several options for those avoiding red meat.
Vera's is the last commercial vendor in the country selling the traditional version of barbacoa, and something of a legend in the BBQ world. Located on the Texas-Mexico border, Vera's is the real thing—meat from the whole cattle heads are smoked over mesquite in an underground pit and served with fresh tortillas and salsa. We went behind the scenes with owner Mando Vera to find out more.
Eggplant Parmesan sandwich from Mike's Deli. David Greco taught us to make the fresh mozzarella they use on their sandwiches....