Matthew Odam

Restaurant critic

Matthew Odam is the restaurant critic and a features writer at the Austin American-Statesman. The Austin native and sixth-generation Texan has worked for the Statesman since 2007. His favorite foods are sushi, hamburgers, Southeast Asian and Italian cuisine. Oh, and Mexican. And, sandwiches. You get the point.    When not writing or eating, the dog lover can be found enjoying many of the things that make Austin great: Barton Springs pool, live music, Lady Bird Lake, BookPeople, the Alamo Drafthouse and Violet Crown Cinema, municipal golf courses and the nearby Hill Country.

Latest from Matthew Odam

Cafe Josie starting all-you-can eat Sunday brunch, ending weekday lunch
 There are some changes on the way for longtime Clarksville-area favorite 
               Cafe Josie. The restaurant will end its weekday lunch service at the end of this week
            
            , but the weekday changes does not mean the end of sunlight service at the West Sixth Street spot. Cafe Josie at 1200 W. 6th St. The restaurant...

Posted: 14 hours ago

There are some changes on the way for longtime Clarksville-area favorite Cafe Josie. The restaurant will end its weekday lunch service at the end of this week , but the weekday changes does not mean the end of sunlight service at the West Sixth Street spot. Cafe Josie at 1200 W. 6th St. The restaurant...
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...

Posted: 6 days ago

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...
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...

Posted: 6 days ago

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...
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...

Posted: 10 days ago

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...
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...

Posted: 11 days ago

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...
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...

Posted: 12 days ago

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...
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...

Posted: 12 days ago

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...
Chipotle’s attempt at queso is a well-intentioned fail
 One of the main gripes I used to hear from people about Chipotle was its lack of queso. You can serve all the humanely raised meat you want, but in Texas, if you’re going to serve Tex-Mex, you better have queso. Of course, the inherent problem with Chipotle and queso is that the company has long made its name on sourcing conscientiously...

Posted: 26 days ago

One of the main gripes I used to hear from people about Chipotle was its lack of queso. You can serve all the humanely raised meat you want, but in Texas, if you’re going to serve Tex-Mex, you better have queso. Of course, the inherent problem with Chipotle and queso is that the company has long made its name on sourcing conscientiously...
Pitchfork Pretty backs up good looks with great food
 My visits to the Hill Country stretch back further than my memory. My family vacationed there for decades. I attended summer camp in Hunt. And my folks have a place along the Blanco River. But, for the life of me, after all these years, I wouldn’t have known what “Hill Country cuisine” was if it swung off a rope and landed...

Posted: 26 days ago

My visits to the Hill Country stretch back further than my memory. My family vacationed there for decades. I attended summer camp in Hunt. And my folks have a place along the Blanco River. But, for the life of me, after all these years, I wouldn’t have known what “Hill Country cuisine” was if it swung off a rope and landed...
Hal’s BBQ takes over the former La Barbecue truck space
 With La Barbecue recently opening inside the Quickie Pickie, there became a hole (located at 1906 E. Cesar Chavez St.) in Austin’s barbecue market. That hole was quickly filled by 
            Hal’s BBQ, a new food truck serving the classics, like brisket and ribs, in addition to offering specials like Taco Tuesdays. The operators...

Posted: 26 days ago

With La Barbecue recently opening inside the Quickie Pickie, there became a hole (located at 1906 E. Cesar Chavez St.) in Austin’s barbecue market. That hole was quickly filled by Hal’s BBQ, a new food truck serving the classics, like brisket and ribs, in addition to offering specials like Taco Tuesdays. The operators...