Austin360 Eats


DINING GUIDE 2017: We ranked Austin's best restaurants. Who made the list?

You can tell a great deal about a city by the way its citizens express themselves, whether through art, music or civic engagement. I find food to be one of the most engaging articulations of individuals and community, with restaurants offering a specific lens through which to view a city.


The secret sauce to Fischer & Wieser’s success? Family and new flavors

The secret sauce to Fischer & Wieser’s success? Family and new flavors

No jam, jelly or savory sauce is too weird for Fischer & Wieser’s product development team to try out. Weird is what won them the country’s biggest specialty food award in 1997. That’s the year the Fredericksburg-based food manufacturer became nationally known for its roasted raspberry chipotle sauce, a smoky-sweet sauce that became one of the signature flavors of the decade. CEO...
When charms of low-tech lifestyle disappoint, grilled cheese saves day

When charms of low-tech lifestyle disappoint, grilled cheese saves day

The dryer does its thing, spinning round and round. Without doing that other thing: drying. Our clothes enjoy the ride, and when it stops, they tumble out, damp and dizzy, begging for another go. We used to indulge them in this endless game. Then we pulled the plug. We snapped: Go play outside. Lining up the clothes on a clothesline called for shopping and tying and drooping and retying. Plus untwisting...
Explore the diverse styles of Long Island wine

Explore the diverse styles of Long Island wine

When I hear “Long Island,” the first thing that springs to mind is “suburbs,” and that is a big part of the place’s identity. But the skinny land mass that is literally a long island jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean also provides terra firma for Brooklyn and Queens. Beyond those two urban enclaves, moving east, city turns to suburb, suburb turns to nature, and vineyards...
How to get stuffed peppers right — the peppers, the sauce, the filling

How to get stuffed peppers right — the peppers, the sauce, the filling

Fresh peppers, hot and spicy, sweet and crunchy, are the ultimate quick change artists. I roast poblanos and jalapenos for Mexican-style rajas, puree red and orange bells into soups and sauces, dice green bells and Anaheims for omelets and gingerly tuck habaneros into salsa. When the farmers market baskets overflow with varieties not regularly found at the supermarket, I stock up. Long skinny shishito...
'Wasted! The Story of Food Waste' Anthony Bourdain’s new documentary

'Wasted! The Story of Food Waste' Anthony Bourdain’s new documentary

You can call the statistics stomach-churning: 40 percent of all food is wasted in the United States at a cost of a trillion dollars a year, one-third is wasted worldwide; 10 million tons of produce a year go unharvested in the U.S.; 90 percent of all wasted food ends up in landfills, where it can take up to 25 years for a head of lettuce to compost; the decomposing food in landfills release methane...
Uchi restaurants across Texas auctioning private dinners for Hurricane Harvey relief

Uchi restaurants across Texas auctioning private dinners for Hurricane Harvey relief

Uchi restaurants across Texas are holding auctions to raise money for the Greater Houston Community Foundation, which is helping with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. People have the opportunity to bid on a 10-course, beverage-paired meals for 12 at Uchi Houston and Dallas and Uchiko in Austin. The November 6 meal in Dallas will...
New food truck raises eyebrows and anger with name Poke Me Long Time

New food truck raises eyebrows and anger with name Poke Me Long Time

Kevin Randolph and wife Sherilyn Milch named their food truck Poke Me Long Time with the hopes of getting people’s attention. Fishin’ accomplished. The food truck at 1606 E. Sixth St. has received some negative reviews online for its name, which some see as juvenile and crass at best and racist at worst, playing off the demeaning depiction of Vietnamese...
Filipino restaurant Be More Pacific Kitchen and Bar now open in North Austin

Filipino restaurant Be More Pacific Kitchen and Bar now open in North Austin

Be More Pacific Kitchen and Bar, the Filipino restaurant spawned from the food truck that Mark Pascual and Giovan Cuchapin began six years ago, is now open at 7858 Shoal Creek Blvd. in the space previously occupied by  Rebel Pizza Bar.  Guided by chefs Salvador Melgarejo, a Philippines native and cousin of Pascual, and Tony Dominguez, a veteran of the kitchen...
How 5 Miami entrepreneurs are changing the way you enjoy wine

How 5 Miami entrepreneurs are changing the way you enjoy wine

Miami may not seem like a natural environment for wine entrepreneurs to flourish, but meet a few and you may want to raise a glass.  Make no mistake: These entrepreneurs aren’t doing things the way it has always been done in the $300 billion global wine industry. Maybe it’s being outside the well-known wine-making locales where innovative ideas can ferment more freely.  South...
Breastfeeding reduces breast cancer risk

Breastfeeding reduces breast cancer risk

Breast cancer seems to have touched everyone in one way or another -- whether a relative or friend or yourself. I'm thankful my mom is a two-time survivor. To mark National Breast Cancer Month in October, the American Institute of Cancer Research highlights a finding from its recent report -- mothers who breastfeed have lower risk of breast cancer. The report states the lower risk is modest, but it's...
H-E-B is making meal kits, but are they any good?

H-E-B is making meal kits, but are they any good?

Purple Carrot, Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Plated have created an entirely new segment of the grocery industry: the meal kit. These handy (or overly expensive and wasteful, depending on whom you ask) kits contain all the ingredients you need to make a meal. Some services focus on healthful eating or vegetarian meals, while other emphasize their sourcing or unique recipes. All these services cost about...
To make this frittata, use your noodles

To make this frittata, use your noodles

Just when you think you've had every kind of frittata in the egg playbook, along comes yet another good one to tackle. This noodle version has ingredients that are standard issue at the supermarket these days, yet I had never had them combined in quite this way The pasta invoked is a Chinese egg noodle, on the short side and at a medium width instead of the wide egg noodles typically used for kugels...
Recipe of the Week: To celebrate fall, here’s a chickpea sausage stew

Recipe of the Week: To celebrate fall, here’s a chickpea sausage stew

Hearty sausage stews made on Sunday come in handy for lunches during the week. This version comes from U.K. author Nick Barnard’s book “Eat Right: The Complete Guide to Traditional Foods, with 130 Nourishing Recipes and Techniques” (Kyle Books, $39.95), and it originally called for lard. I wouldn’t recommend using commercial lard for a dish like this, but if you have access...
Anthony Bourdain’s latest project hits Alamo Drafthouse this weekend

Anthony Bourdain’s latest project hits Alamo Drafthouse this weekend

Anthony Bourdain might be known for being drunk on screen, but his latest project, “ Wasted,” isn’t about booze. The popular CNN host and author is now on a crusade to help us understand why food waste is a growing international problem. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcVNFJn7NgI&w=492&h=307] The movie, which debuted at the Tribeca Film...
Krua Urban Thai opens in former Barley Swine space on South Lamar

Krua Urban Thai opens in former Barley Swine space on South Lamar

South Austin has a new option for casual Thai food. Krua Urban Thai opened this week at 2024 S. Lamar Blvd. in the small space formerly inhabited by Barley Swine. The menu features familiar dishes like Thai-style chicken wings, Northern Thai sausage, a variety of curries, crab fried rice and more.  Krua is initially open from 5 to 10 p.m. daily, with plans to add lunch...
Salad-making robot may cut germs, and jobs

Salad-making robot may cut germs, and jobs

Salad bars are magnets for bacteria and viruses. Even if the sprouts and ranch dressing aren’t tainted, the serving utensils could be. The Silicon Valley startup Chowbotics has devised what it says is a partial solution. Its device, which it calls Sally the Salad Robot, is aimed at reducing the risk of food-borne illness by assembling salads out of precut vegetables stored in refrigerated canisters...
Kitchens and their evolving personalities

Kitchens and their evolving personalities

Douglas Friedman’s kitchen in Marfa, Texas, looks more like a mysterious appliance or a piece of art furniture — perhaps imagined by Terry Gilliam for his dystopian satire, “Brazil” — than a room. It is, in fact, an object, rather than an assemblage of cabinetry, fixtures and hardware designed to be ordered by the foot and bolted to a wall.  The kitchen — made...
Walmart puts its eggs in time-saving basket: Grocery pickup

Walmart puts its eggs in time-saving basket: Grocery pickup

A personal shopper is something you might expect at Bergdorf Goodman or a boutique on Madison Avenue. Not at the Walmart on Route 42 in Turnersville, New Jersey. But that’s where you will find Joann Joseph and a team of Walmart workers each day, filling up shopping carts with boxes of Honeycomb cereal, Cheez-Its and salted peanuts. The customers select their groceries online, and then the shoppers...
Singing cantaloupe’s praises in a refreshing sparkler

Singing cantaloupe’s praises in a refreshing sparkler

Cantaloupe means singing wolf. Not the scene that jumps to mind when slicing open the dazzling melon. And yet, no secret. Slice open the word to find canta, “sing” in many a language, and loupe, “wolf.” Apparently the melon is named after a town, which is named after the wolves who once serenaded its hills.  Perhaps they were howling to that other orange orb, the moon...
Hang on to fading flavors of summer with a shakshuka

Hang on to fading flavors of summer with a shakshuka

Just because summer’s officially over, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the fruits of its labor. Farmers markets are piled high with local vegetables, and not just with fall offerings such as squash and root vegetables. You still can find tomatoes and a colorful array of peppers, which work in harmony in this easy Middle Eastern egg dish. It calls for yellow peppers to make a bright...
Poor nations need farm investment or face importing more food

Poor nations need farm investment or face importing more food

The poorest countries risk a greater dependence on food imports unless more is invested in their rural agriculture industries as people move toward cities, according to the United Nations As urban populations rise, diets are changing and consumption of foods like meat, fruit and vegetables are set to rise, according to the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization. To meet that extra demand, rural...
The meal-kit industry is at a crossroads

The meal-kit industry is at a crossroads

It was going so well for Blue Apron, until it wasn't. The company, which set nationwide trends with its mail-order subscription meal kits, delivering ingredients and instructions to hundreds of thousands of Americans, had valued itself at $3.2 billion weeks before its initial public offering. But a few days before Blue Apron shares entered the market on June 29, Amazon.com announced that it intended...
Beyond the usual tailgate: Think outside the playbook

Beyond the usual tailgate: Think outside the playbook

If you believe the tales of tipsy folks, tailgating and brats were practically made for each other.  At the first ever college football game, the story goes, spectators spent their pre-kickoff time grilling sausages at the “tail-end” of a horse.  Did that really happen? Who knows? Personally, we’d prefer to enjoy our grilled meats and lagers a safe distance away from the...
Get your growler (or crowler!) filled with beer at these Austin bars

Get your growler (or crowler!) filled with beer at these Austin bars

Before the recently resurrected Celis Brewery released bottles of its famous Celis White, one of the best ways to get our fill of it at home, as a draft-only beer, was through a growler: a 32 ounce or 64 ounce glass, ceramic or stainless steel container just for beer. It was truly a treat to enjoy Austin’s oldest craft beer whenever I pleased. That’s what a growler (and now the increasingly...
Original Austin Java is closing

Original Austin Java is closing

After more than 20 years in Central Austin, Austin Java will be closing the doors at its original location, 1206 Parkway St. The coffee spot and lunchtime hang that opened in 1995 will close permanently on November 1, citing “economic changes in the area.” The coffee shop always maintained its original 90s Austin vibe, coming along well before...
Drink bright white wines with citrusy salad

Drink bright white wines with citrusy salad

A touch of richness or even sweetness will complement this fresh salad, but don’t forget the acidity to cut through the dish’s briny saltiness. Any of these three whites — a pinot grigio from Italy, a riesling from New York or a chenin blanc from France — will do the trick. ———  Whisk together 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar...
People wait hours for food assistance in wake of Hurricane Irma

People wait hours for food assistance in wake of Hurricane Irma

Hela Garcia and her mother, Gloria Ferrales, sat on folding chairs Monday under a small white tent, taking a brief respite from the midday sun beating down on the Plant City Stadium grounds. A few minutes earlier, mother and daughter had walked out of another tent with a debit card that Ferrales will use to buy nearly $400 worth of food over the next two months. The money, courtesy of the federal...
This fall, say hello maple and so long pumpkin spice

This fall, say hello maple and so long pumpkin spice

Come on, admit it. You’re so over the pumpkin-spice craze.  Seasonal beer, coffee drinks and cookies spiced with ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon are one thing. But when those cozy fall flavors sneak their way into a Kit Kit candy bar or a stick of Burt Bees lip balm or onto a pizza, you know it’s officially jumped the shark. Big time.  Which is why some of us were glad to...
McDonald’s Sauce Promotion Disappoints Fans of ‘Rick and Morty’

McDonald’s Sauce Promotion Disappoints Fans of ‘Rick and Morty’

McDonald’s was skewered on social media by frustrated customers who had hoped to score some of its limited edition Szechuan sauce but were instead turned away and left empty-handed. The fast-food behemoth behind the McRib, the Shamrock Shake and other cult favorites promised to bring back the same Szechuan sauce that debuted when the Disney film “Mulan” was released in 1998. It was...
Sour ales, the new gateway brews

Sour ales, the new gateway brews

To a mainstream beer drinker, the list of featured beers at a recent Washington-area festival might sound like a truly weird beer geek's Christmas list: a crisp, briny gose that gets its flavor from local oyster liquor - the liquid you slurp from the half shell - and is fermented with yeast cultured from the shells of oysters; tart Berliner weisse-style beers brewed with blood orange, mango and passion...
McDonald's just reintroduced chicken tenders, and they're really good

McDonald's just reintroduced chicken tenders, and they're really good

When I flipped open the lunchbox-like container for McDonald's Buttermilk Crispy Tenders, I didn't know what to expect, but it wasn't this: a drool response. The craving hit me fast, before I could think about it, before I could remind myself to act all cool in the face of Mickey D's latest attempt to fight back against the fast-casual tidal wave. I mean, who likes being a shill for a clown accused...
Nutty, chewy Israeli couscous pairs well with flavors of fall in this recipe

Nutty, chewy Israeli couscous pairs well with flavors of fall in this recipe

If you’ve been paying attention to a guy named Michael Solomonov — the James Beard award-winning restaurant chef and owner of Zahav in Philadelphia — you already may be familiar with the nutty flavor and slight chew of Israeli couscous. At his restaurant and in his cookbook, Solomonov serves the pearl-shaped granules in a variety of ways: cooked risotto-style with tomato to serve...
Florida family is making jelly from only fruit traced to Johnny Appleseed

Florida family is making jelly from only fruit traced to Johnny Appleseed

Paul Bunyan, not real. John Henry, possibly real. Johnny Appleseed, totally real. This American legend, born John Chapman, was a missionary for the New Church and a nurseryman who introduced apple trees to big swaths of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Ontario and what is now West Virginia. He was born in 1774 and died in 1845, and somewhere between 1837 and 1845 he planted an apple tree on...
BBQ Throwdown will decide if Austin or Houston has better barbecue

BBQ Throwdown will decide if Austin or Houston has better barbecue

First, it was a San Antonio-Austin taco war. And, I could see why San Antonio would be mad about Austin trying to claim taco superiority. But now it gets interesting. Our cousin to the southeast wants to try and take us down on the cuisine most closely associated with Central Texas. The Hou-ATX BBQ Throwdown on December...
Former Longhorn All-American football players opening Gigi’s Cupcakes location

Former Longhorn All-American football players opening Gigi’s Cupcakes location

Former Longhorn All-Americans and NFL Pro Bowlers Brian Orakpo and Michael Griffin were hard hitters while playing at the University of Texas, but apparently they have a soft spot for sweets (and entrepreneurship). The two Longhorn legends are opening a Gigi’s Cupcakes in Bee Cave next year with fellow former Longhorn Bryan Hynson. It will be the...
Slurp up this behind-the-scenes video of the world’s largest ramen expo

Slurp up this behind-the-scenes video of the world’s largest ramen expo

Remember that world’s largest ramen expo we told you about a few weeks ago? Ramen Expo USA was in Austin earlier this week, and attendees found booths from businesses that make all kinds of ramen products, including noodles. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman Well, it took place Monday and Tuesday at the Travis County Expo Center, and I stopped by on Tuesday afternoon...
H-E-B is making meal kits, but are they any good?

H-E-B is making meal kits, but are they any good?

Purple Carrot, Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Plated have created an entirely new segment of the grocery industry: The meal kit. Many grocery stores are starting to make their own meal kits, and this is H-E-B’s Meal Simple kit filled with the ingredients to make beef stroganoff. Everything except the cooked egg noodles were fine, but I decided against using the mushy pasta in ...
An architect designed a calmer restaurant. It was very stressful.

An architect designed a calmer restaurant. It was very stressful.

This is going to be about the room, not the food, because there wasn’t any. Not yet. There sat the architect Brad Cloepfil last Wednesday, four days before the restaurant was to open — reopen, really — in a chair he had designed in middle of the room he had designed — redesigned, really — saying that the idea had been to make the room “calmer.” This was after...
Hot news flash: Herbal menopause beer is here

Hot news flash: Herbal menopause beer is here

When New Hampshire brewery owner Joanne Francis first floated her idea for a new kind of beer a few years ago, her employees reacted, she says, with disgust and horror. Her idea: a beer for women in menopause.  Why not, the 57-year-old Francis wondered.  “The idea of simply putting herbs into a beer that would be favorable for a woman experiencing menopausal symptoms was simply just...
4 easy, tasty, good-for-you (or at least not bad for you) snacks

4 easy, tasty, good-for-you (or at least not bad for you) snacks

As the Resident Fitness Nag and an inveterate snacker, I’m always looking for easy, healthy treats to pop into my mouth. Here are four of my favorites: Frozen bananas. Yeah, it sounds weird, but trust me. The recipe is rather complicated, by the way; you might need to write it down: Peel a banana. Cut into half-inch slices. Put into a plastic bag. Freeze. Yum. A banana has about 100 calories...
Wine hacks are for suckers. Here’s how to be a real pro

Wine hacks are for suckers. Here’s how to be a real pro

These days, we’re all about hacks. Food hacks. Life hacks. Wine hacks. I blame millennials for overuse of the word “hack,” although they have definitely made up for this annoying habit by doing useful things like killing off Applebee’s, reminding us how delicious avocado toast is and patiently explaining how we can live without cable. Thanks, millennials! Although breaking...
Even with a healthful tweak, and this savory veg bake stays sumptuous

Even with a healthful tweak, and this savory veg bake stays sumptuous

This recipe is my spin on a favorite from the very first cookbook I owned: the "Moosewood Cookbook," by Mollie Katzen (Ten Speed Press, 1977). That book, which I still have - its cover sun-bleached and pages spattered - fed me throughout my college years and beyond. One dish from it that I made again and again was the simply named Cheese-Beans, a savory, chili-seasoned bake of red beans...
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