Austin360 Eats


Fareground food hall opens downtown on January 18 with some of Austin’s biggest names

Fareground, Austin’s first major food hall concept, will open on Congress Avenue between Cesar Chavez and Second streets on January 18, operators announced today. The food hall will feature some of the biggest names in Austin dining. The space will include Easy Tiger; a taqueria from Dai Due; Henbit, an all-day concept from Emmer & Rye;...


How smart should your kitchen be?

How smart should your kitchen be?

I have seen the kitchen of the future, and we’re all going to need a lot more counter space. The Smart Kitchen Summit convened in Seattle recently. The lanyarded crowd swarmed in and out of plenary sessions on topics such as “I, Chef-Bot: Applying AI to the World of Food & Cooking,” and talks like “You Are Eating Software.” The average attendee: white, male, mid-30s,...
Wines that resound in memory

Wines that resound in memory

For wine, “best” has little meaning. Ideally, every bottle opened will be the right one for that particular occasion, whether it is a $20 Oregon gamay or a $100 Champagne splurge. I’ve had a lot of best bottles this year, although not every one was memorable. Memorable wines strike notes beyond the glass. They stir emotions that forever link the wine and the occasion. They ought...
Top New York restaurants of 2017

Top New York restaurants of 2017

 Each December as I choose my favorite new restaurants of the year, I go slightly bonkers trying to find patterns. It must be a side effect of writing criticism on a weekly deadline, which forces me to focus on the task at hand. When I step back to look at the big picture in 12 months’ worth of reviews, my eyes have trouble adjusting to the light. The trouble is that my weekly column is...
A new Roman restaurant with a young chef celebrates the classics

A new Roman restaurant with a young chef celebrates the classics

The ochre walls at Santo Palato are hung with loud, futurist-style posters embodying the stylized cubism of 1920s Italian art. This design scheme is more than a trendy aesthetic choice. It prefigures the menu’s bold and decisive flavors and signals that the dishes are clearly rooted in their location: the San Giovanni neighborhood southeast of central Rome, which was laid out during the fascist...
Italian deli from popular restaurant group opens in East Austin

Italian deli from popular restaurant group opens in East Austin

Austin longs for more quality sandwich shops, so the opening of La Matta in East Austin should come as welcome news to sandwich lovers (present company included). New Waterloo, the team behind Sway, La Condesa, the South Congress Hotel and more, opened the Italian sandwich shop and cafe at 501 Comal St. The shop is helmed by Italian-raised executive chef Erind Halilaj...
Where to eat on Christmas Eve and Christmas

Where to eat on Christmas Eve and Christmas

Have yourself a merry little Christmas that doesn’t include working in the kitchen. While many restaurants around town will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas (check websites of your favorites), below is a list of restaurants that have a little something special up their red velvet sleeves for the occasion. Apis. 23526 Texas 71. 512-436-8918, apisrestaurant. The wonderful restaurant on the...
They said it couldn’t be done: Star Wars-loving chef makes Death Star ravioli

They said it couldn’t be done: Star Wars-loving chef makes Death Star ravioli

It’s hard to miss the love of Star Wars in the South Austin restaurant Cane Rosso. Star Wars characters pop up everywhere at Cane Rosso thanks to pieces like this one from artist Jay Jerrier. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman All the brightly colored art that lines the walls of this pizzeria...
Where to buy tamales in Austin

Where to buy tamales in Austin

Tamales from Mi Madre’s. It’s officially tamales season in Texas, but making them from scratch isn’t necessarily a project that everybody wants to take on. Dozens of restaurants sell them this time of year, and here is a list of some of them: Tamale House East Chumikal’s Cafe DK Maria’s Legendary Tex-Mex ...
Healthy-eating haven Flower Child opens on Second Street

Healthy-eating haven Flower Child opens on Second Street

The Austin division of the Fox Restaurant Concept’s empire expands with the opening of Flower Child in the “Google building” downtown. Fox already operates North Italia, Culinary Dropout and Flower Child at the Domain and Domain Northside and True Food Kitchen at Seaholm. Skinny Cobb, Chopped Vegetable, and Organic Kale salads at...
It’s Italian Cucina and Manin Pasta now open on South Lamar

It’s Italian Cucina and Manin Pasta now open on South Lamar

The stretch of South Lamar Boulevard between Barton Springs Road and Ben White has added two new Italian options. It’s Italian Cucina recently opened at 1500 S. Lamar Blvd. (in the Post complex that is home to Barlata). Owner Al Fini’s Northern Italian-influenced restaurant, which grew out of a former market of the same name in East Austin...
Herbs from the underground

Herbs from the underground

In the basement of a loft-style building in Tribeca that houses a vet, a dog swimming pool, an eye-and-ear infirmary and a two-Michelin-starred restaurant, there is a working farm. Farm.One is a hydroponic facility, which means the plants do not grow in soil. Many of these farms are located indoors, in controlled environments, with artificial lighting. The new two-room space, which opened in November...
Actually, you do want to know how this sausage gets made

Actually, you do want to know how this sausage gets made

When you slice into a salami, you are enjoying the fruits of some very small organisms’ labor. Like other dried sausages, salami is a fermented food. Its production involves a period where manufacturers allow microbes to work on the ground meat filling to create a bouquet of pungent, savory molecules. Traditionally, the bugs find their way to the sausage from the surrounding environment. But...
My holiday tradition: making a whole bunch of beef Wellington

My holiday tradition: making a whole bunch of beef Wellington

For the past 20 years, my family has looked forward to a boat parade party hosted by some of our dearest friends. The hostess provides cocktails, appetizers, dinner, desserts and a trombone choir to perform from a balcony overlooking her pool. My favorite part of the evening, though, is always the tray of mini, homemade beef Wellingtons served before the main meal.  They are bite-sized bits of...
Floral, sunny rosé fights back winter’s chill

Floral, sunny rosé fights back winter’s chill

Several years ago, the sky ablaze with early-evening sunlight, a formidable selection of rosé bottles in front of me, I thought, “Maybe this time it’s for real.” That summer event was designed to promote rosé drinking, to impress upon people that there was nothing wrong with enjoying a glass of pink wine. The aim of such events was to suggest that rosé was actually...
How to saute mushrooms to crispy, browned perfection

How to saute mushrooms to crispy, browned perfection

Remember when Alice ate that mushroom in Wonderland? “What can all that green stuff be?’ said Alice. “And where have my shoulders got to? And oh, my poor hands, how is it I can’t see you?”  Oh, dearie, dear, dear. Poor Alice. If only she’d boned up on the works of Timothy Leary before she listened to that Caterpillar.  No bother, though, because our mushrooms...
Drinking away political woes? New NC beer helps fight gerrymandering

Drinking away political woes? New NC beer helps fight gerrymandering

Fullsteam Brewery is letting people protest while they drink, with a new beer called Purple State.  For every pint sold the brewery will donate $1 to Common Cause NC, a nonpartisan political watchdog group whose main goal is fighting against gerrymandering.  “North Carolina is diverse in thought, political beliefs, socio-economic backgrounds, and agricultural resources,” Fullsteam...
Tamales: Where to buy ’em, how to make ’em and why it’s not ‘tamale’

Tamales: Where to buy ’em, how to make ’em and why it’s not ‘tamale’

It’s not Christmas without tamales in many Central Texas homes. You can find the most common Mexican-style tamales at food trucks, restaurants, gas stations, corner stores, grocery stores and even a cooler at a neighbor’s house, but you might also celebrate with Puerto Rican-style pastelada or another variation. No matter which kind of tamal you’re enjoying...
Seafood-centric restaurant TLC opens next week to Alamo South Lamar next week

Seafood-centric restaurant TLC opens next week to Alamo South Lamar next week

If you’ve been to the Alamo Drafthouse (or Vox Table or Lick Honest Ice Creams et al) over the past year, you’ve seen the work-in-progress that is TLC for months. Well, the wait is almost over. The restaurant from the Manera Restaurant Group, which also operates J. Black’s Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge, will open the comfort spot that draws...
Holy Roller hosts pie-eating contest Tuesday to benefit SAFE

Holy Roller hosts pie-eating contest Tuesday to benefit SAFE

Raising money for a great organization while watching famous chefs gorge themselves on pie? Sounds like a win-win situation. Chef Callie Speer’s irreverent comfort-food spot Holy Roller (509 Rio Grande St.) hosts a pie-eating contest tonight from 6 to 9 p.m. to benefit SAFE (the organization that has joined Safe Place and Austin Children&rsquo...
Why you should add cauliflower rice to a frittata, even if you don't like it

Why you should add cauliflower rice to a frittata, even if you don't like it

Do I like cauliflower as much as the next guy? Well, no. It's one of the cruciferous vegetables whose cooked aroma sends me running for the exit. But the oh-so-trendy riced variety, stirred into this frittata mix, works for me.  Here's why: Used raw, it adds a bit of healthful yet stealthful heft to the eggs, and it takes a back seat to the better-smelling trio of quickly sauteed onion, garlic...
Keep your holidays happy by letting go of food guilt

Keep your holidays happy by letting go of food guilt

Every year around holiday time, there's an influx of articles about how to stick to your healthy eating goals and resist temptation. You may read about how to say no to second helpings, stop gobbling up fat-laden appetizers or alternate alcoholic drinks with sparkling water to combat calories. That advice is practical, but it focuses too much on what not to do. It could end up making you feel guilty...

Toblerone vs. Poundland: a food fight with peaks and troughs

Call it the candy bar war that peaked. When the makers of the distinctive Swiss confection Toblerone reconfigured their triangular treat last year to slim down its hallmark summits and widen the valleys between them, a potential rival — Britain’s Poundland discount chain — saw a niche in the market. What Poundland perhaps did not anticipate was the battle of the brands that kept...

The latest wait-in-line, Instagram-your-purchase status food: cheese tea

We've nearly made it through 2017, a year that gave us the unicorn frappuccino, pea milk, the gummy bear juice cleanse, pumpkin spice deodorant, and its greatest (worst) gift, microwaveable mug cakes for one. But just when you thought we were out of the woods, along comes 2017's final salvo: cheese tea. You are thinking: Those are two words that do not go together. Cheese! In tea! But we're not talking...
Pasteles, a Puerto Rican tradition, have a special savor now

Pasteles, a Puerto Rican tradition, have a special savor now

After Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, it took two weeks for Harry Franqui-Rivera to reach his 76-year-old mother, Amelia Rivera de Franqui, by phone at her home on the island’s west coast. When he did, Franqui-Rivera, a history professor at Bloomfield College in New Jersey, found that her main concern was not the lack of electricity or running water. It was the loss of...
'Recipes are dead': What the future of cooking might look like

'Recipes are dead': What the future of cooking might look like

There will be no more cookbooks from chef Tyler Florence. Sure, you've welcomed him into your home through his books "Tyler Florence Fresh" and "Dinner at My Place," and such Food Network shows as "Tyler's Ultimate." But he will not print any more recipes. Why bother?  "I'll publish a cookbook and I'll have 125 recipes. People only use five," he said. And...
Love the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar? Re-create your own Bliss

Love the Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bar? Re-create your own Bliss

Peppermint white chocolate mochas and eggnog lattes are certainly top sellers this time of year at the 13,000-plus Starbucks outlets nationwide. But what lures many devotees into the nation’s largest coffee chain during November and December is the company’s seasonal baked-good behemoth, the Cranberry Bliss Bar.  And why not? It’s brilliant, and irresistible: a moist, dense...
Hanukkah cheese-basked pastries celebrate the story of Judith

Hanukkah cheese-basked pastries celebrate the story of Judith

At the culinary heart of Hanukkah (which begins at sundown Tuesday) are foods fried in oil to commemorate the triumph of the Maccabees, who won back their sacred temple, and the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days.  But there’s another Hanukkah story, not as well-known, that shifts the culinary narrative to a brave woman and her killer cheese. This story from the Book of Judith...
Instant Pot 7-in-1 multi-cooker is hot for the holidays

Instant Pot 7-in-1 multi-cooker is hot for the holidays

Oh Instant Pot, Oh Instant Pot How faithful are thy functions  Perfect risotto every time  And pork roast finer than fine  Oh Instant Pot, Oh Instant Pot  How faithful are thy functions  Instant Pot, we think we love you.  No-stir creamy risotto in half the time. Dried beans that cook up plump and quick — no pre-soaking required. Pork roast with perfectly cooked...
Tips on rolling, decorating cookies from a sprinkles-loving grandma

Tips on rolling, decorating cookies from a sprinkles-loving grandma

It started with a need for a holiday dessert. Something I could do the day before the dinner party for eight that I was hoping to have between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. My mother-in-law was visiting during the planning stage of this dinner. When I asked her thoughts on a festive end of the meal, she suggested rollout cookies. “Oh, I can’t do those,” I said. “The rolling...
Give your holiday fudge a twist with an unexpected secret ingredient

Give your holiday fudge a twist with an unexpected secret ingredient

I’d heard about marshmallow fudge, a common shortcut to make the beloved holiday treat, but I was having a hard time wrapping my head around Velveeta fudge. A brick of processed cheese, mixed with powdered sugar and melted butter — this was not a recipe I’d heard of growing up in my neck of the Ozarks. But others with Midwestern roots in the newsroom chimed in that they’d had...
The search for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe is over

The search for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe is over

Arguably more American than apple pie, the chocolate chip cookie — which celebrates its 80th birthday next year — is adored for its simplicity and nostalgic nature. Because opinions differ widely about how the perfect chocolate chip cookie should taste, the internet is swimming with recipes claiming to be “the best,” often promising results that would be super-chewy, crispy...
Six easy, impressive cookie recipes for the holidays

Six easy, impressive cookie recipes for the holidays

These holiday cookie recipes will impress your friends — and they’re ridiculously easy to make. Even if you bake only for special occasions, this is the time of year you’re most likely to heat the oven and stir up some doughs. Biscochitos These not-too-sweet, anise-flavored Mexican treats happen to be New Mexico’s official state cookie. Lard makes for an especially crisp and...
Bring on the spice. Cooking Indian food doesn’t have to be daunting.

Bring on the spice. Cooking Indian food doesn’t have to be daunting.

While spending two months in India in the early ‘80s, I fell in love with the cuisine, the culture and the people. From my travels, India has remained an impressive memory, one that gets reignited every time I smell the aroma of coriander, cumin, curry leaves, turmeric and garam masala in my kitchen. So I’ve been cooking food from Northern and Southern India for more than 15 years, and...

Winter creams

I almost missed my flight out of Charles de Gaulle once, when luggage scanners found one of my bags full of cartons of a liquid so dense it was almost solid. The tension finally broke with a murmur of approval from the security workers when they opened my bag. “Le blah blah l’Américain blah blah oui oui blahblahblah le Crème Anglaise.” Translation: “The American...
Kansas City greats create limited edition barbecue sauce with whiskey

Kansas City greats create limited edition barbecue sauce with whiskey

Guess which two Kansas City greats have teamed up to make a whiskey-infused barbecue sauce? If you guessed Joe’s Kansas City and J. Rieger & Co., you’d be on the money. Joe’s Kansas City Whiskey Bar-B-Que Sauce combines “two things that are great about Kansas City,” says Cary Taylor, Joe’s KC culinary director. But creating a balanced sauce was not as easy as pouring...
This NC county wants to make it easier to grow (and eat) local food

This NC county wants to make it easier to grow (and eat) local food

Wake County is known for its technology companies and urbanizing communities, but elected leaders want to boost a lower-profile economic driver: farming. Using language familiar to start-up culture — words like “incubation” and “entrepreneurship” — Wake commissioners want to provide opportunities for the next generation of farmers as land continues to become more...
Light, fresh wines to match braised trout recipe

Light, fresh wines to match braised trout recipe

This dish is light and clean, and calls out for wines that are the same. Three selections — a Champagne, a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand and a gruner veltliner from California — will complement the braising citrus and still be fresh and light enough not to overpower the fish itself. Make this: Orange-Braised Trout Heat oven broiler. Fillet 2 whole rainbow trout; place fillets skin side...
Cocktails only a local could love

Cocktails only a local could love

Coca-Cola North America recently announced that it had purchased the U.S. rights to Topo Chico, the Mexican mineral water that is popular along the border. Could this mean that ranch water — a mix of tequila, lime juice and Topo Chico — will soon become a coast-to-coast craze in America? Probably not, because ranch water has thus far proved a stubbornly local drink, primarily consumed...
Celebrate casserole season with a humble bean gratin you’ll brag about

Celebrate casserole season with a humble bean gratin you’ll brag about

Beans are fine fellows. Hearty, wholesome, humble. The old-kind humble — hard workers who sidestep the spotlight. As opposed to the new kind of humble. Now, every promotion, book deal and Oscar is met with #humble. Seriously? Do these overachievers own dictionaries? Humble and brag cancel each other out. The practitioner of actual humility might drop the hashtag, pick up a spoon and dig into...
This east Sweet Potato Pie tastes like popular Patti LaBelle version

This east Sweet Potato Pie tastes like popular Patti LaBelle version

At a Walmart, I spotted boxes of Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pies. Two years ago the pies, sold exclusively at Walmart, were scarce. It was all due to a video by James Wright of California at that time, who made a YouTube video of his review of what he refers to as “Patti’s Pie.” Since then, the video has been viewed more than 5.5 million times. Wright’s video was hilarious...
Could durian be the worst-tasting thing in the world?

Could durian be the worst-tasting thing in the world?

How bad could it be? I have been intrigued by durians for years, ever since I first heard them described on the radio. Some people, the report said, find the durian the best-tasting fruit in the world. No, more than that, they think it is the best-tasting food in the world. But others — and the radio guy hinted they may be in the vast majority — think the distinctive fruit from Southeast...
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