Austin360 Eats


Wink Wine Bar introduces expanded bar menu, including roster of burgers

One of the coziest happy hour retreats in town has upped its offerings. Wink Wine Bar, the separate space opened in 2004 adjacent to the fine dining restaurant that opened at 1014 Lamar Blvd. in summer 2001, has long been known as a great place to sip from a collection of quality wines while noshing on snacks and sliders usually set to a tasty soundtrack. The neighborhood...


Beyond Assyrtiko, Greek whites reach for distinction

Beyond Assyrtiko, Greek whites reach for distinction

Among all the little-known grape varieties found in the ancient land of Greece, assyrtiko is the one that seems to have broken through. Yet its surfacing has been tentative. A vanguard of curious and adventurous drinkers recognizes that assyrtiko from the island of Santorini displays many of the characteristics that are associated with great dry white wine. It has been by far the most popular among...
In Thailand, ‘obesity in our monks is a ticking time bomb’

In Thailand, ‘obesity in our monks is a ticking time bomb’

The Buddha, in his laughing incarnation, is often depicted with a jolly smile and a giant, quivering belly. That model of plenitude seems ever more apt in Thailand, where the waistlines of the country’s Buddhist monks have expanded so much that health officials have issued a nationwide warning. In June, officials from Thailand’s Public Health Department urged laypeople to offer healthier...
These easy summer flatbreads can be made in no time - and with no oven

These easy summer flatbreads can be made in no time - and with no oven

My oven is getting dusty. It's only reasonable, of course, that I am reluctant to turn it on in the summer, when all it does is add 20 degrees to the inside temperature, causing my old air conditioner to work that much harder. Besides, who needs a casserole or a cake between, say, May and September, when just-picked tomatoes and ice cream are on the menu? Fresh bread, however, is a year-round necessity...
How to make better bloody marys at home

How to make better bloody marys at home

A bloody mary is the savory tooth's best friend: It's rich with tomato juice, spicy and complex from the seasonings, and has a pleasant, boozy kick. And making your own - starting with a stellar mix - is a fun way to experiment with the random spices, hot sauces and liquors you've already got in your kitchen. Make a large-ish batch of the mix, store it in the refrigerator for up to a week, then invite...
Anheuser-Busch on its way to becoming king of craft beer to

Anheuser-Busch on its way to becoming king of craft beer to

A decade ago, Anheuser-Busch made no beer that could legitimately be called “craft.” The nation’s largest beer company dabbled at the edges of the burgeoning craft beer movement, but its backbone remained the brands to which craft beer was largely a reaction — Bud and Bud Light, Natural Light and Michelob Ultra, and whatever odd innovations might tempt a new generation of consumers...
Velvety, bright, flabby: Stop to consider how wine feels

Velvety, bright, flabby: Stop to consider how wine feels

Road builders and skin care professionals probably spend a fair amount of time thinking about how they can bring some smoothness to whatever it is they’re working on, but the concept probably doesn’t cross the mind of many winemakers. Yet a lot of beginning wine drinkers automatically go to the word “smooth” to describe wines. This default descriptor indicates a certain easiness...
How to break your plastic, foil and paper addiction in the kitchen

How to break your plastic, foil and paper addiction in the kitchen

I’m a plastic addict. I fill gallon-size zip-top bags with tomato sauce bound for the freezer and snack-size bags with cashews bound for my purse. I stretch plastic wrap over a Key lime pie I plan to nibble on later. My husband, meanwhile, seems to pull off several feet of aluminum foil just to wrap a sliver of lime. I find these treasures littering the back of the refrigerator, looking like...
What it takes to get more quality ingredients in school lunches

What it takes to get more quality ingredients in school lunches

As Austin-area parents and students are getting back-to-school supplies in order, local school districts are preparing menus, placing orders and preparing staff for another school year of feeding thousands of elementary, middle and high school students. The Austin Independent School District provides more than 73,000 meals every day, but they serve only about a third of the students at breakfast and...
Will cutting back on plastic straws really make a difference?

Will cutting back on plastic straws really make a difference?

With more than 8 million tons of plastic trash entering the oceans every year, according to advocacy group Plastic Oceans Foundation, do straws really matter? That’s a question many of us have been asking recently. Last month, Starbucks became the latest company to ditch conventional plastic straws, joining several major hotel chains and airlines in pledging to cut out single-use straws. Austin-area...
Test Kitchen recipe: Have a taste of New England with these lobster rolls

Test Kitchen recipe: Have a taste of New England with these lobster rolls

A co-worker who recently spent two weeks on the East Coast raved about the lobster rolls served at Spindler’s in Provincetown, Mass. It’s no wonder the lobster roll was good. The restaurant’s menu development was overseen by James Beard award-winning chef Barbara Lynch, who is the chef-owner of Boston-based Barbara Lynch Grupp, according to www.spindlersptown.com. Lynch was also...
The unhealthiest menu items in America? See this breakfast burrito, giant pretzel

The unhealthiest menu items in America? See this breakfast burrito, giant pretzel

How’s this for breakfast? The Cheesecake Factory’s breakfast burrito or seven McDonald’s sausage McMuffins? According to the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, those two orders have the same nutritional equivalent. But the Cheesecake Factory order is the “winner” of the center’s 2018 Xtreme Eating Award for the Worst Way to Start the Day. The center...
Summer treats made with nutrient-rich milk you can feel good about eating and serving

Summer treats made with nutrient-rich milk you can feel good about eating and serving

With Summer in full swing, parents may be wondering how to ensure their children are staying hydrated and maintaining nutritious diets to help them get the nutrients they need. One out of two kids ages 9 and up are missing out on key nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and potassium – nutrients critical for their growth and development. And, most kids younger than nine are falling short on vitamin...
Plumcots, apriums and pluots: How to keep track of all those hybrid fruits

Plumcots, apriums and pluots: How to keep track of all those hybrid fruits

The choice presents itself to you in the produce aisle like a word puzzle. There are pluots and plumcots and apriums, in shades of green and purple and orange that suggest either - or neither - plums or apricots. In this bizarre Venn diagram of late-summer Frankenfruits, which will you choose? Here's a quick breakdown of the differences: - Plumcots are 50-50 crosses between plums and apricots. - Apriums...
Yes, you can have crispy, juicy fried chicken at home without a trip to the drive-through

Yes, you can have crispy, juicy fried chicken at home without a trip to the drive-through

Of all the arguments that can be made for cooking at home, most come down to this: Home-cooked food is better. Here's the thing, friends: You aren't going to make fried chicken at home that tastes exactly like Popeyes. I'm just telling it like it is. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't make it, because what you pull out of your own skillet can still be every bit as satisfying as what comes out of...
Treat yourself to showstopping strudel

Treat yourself to showstopping strudel

Strudel is traditionally made by rolling many-layered, paper-thin pastry around a sweet or savory filling. But the new strudels at Breads Bakery depart from the standard. The pastry has more in common with the kind of flaky laminated dough used for croissants and mille-feuilles. The results — beautifully burnished, 2 feet long and filled with apple compote, poppy seeds or red cabbage sauerkraut...
Good things happen when bread meets eggs

Good things happen when bread meets eggs

The original egg on a roll was not bought from a cart on the streets of Manhattan, I imagine, but it is now a cheap, fast, made-to-order breakfast for New Yorkers of all stripes in a hurry. Wrapped in paper, the sandwich is as unassuming as it is satisfying. What’s not to like? Egg-and-bread anything is a great combination, no matter how plain or fancy: fried egg sandwiches; soft-scrambled eggs...
Is It Southern food, or soul food?

Is It Southern food, or soul food?

When you’re a Southern cook, everyone thinks they know what you’re about. You bake your cornbread in a cast-iron skillet. Your kitchen is stocked with grits and greens and grease. You’re probably white or African-American, a churchgoer, a straight woman and a mother. And you learned at your own mother’s apron strings, never wanting to cook anything other than the foods of your...

The hamburger of the future is here, but will you eat it?

Despite a long love affair with red meat, more Americans than ever are turning toward plant-based imitators at restaurants and grocery stores. Not the hockey puck veggie burgers in the back of your freezer, mind you-these are plant-based patties engineered to mimic the taste of real meat. But making vegetation seem like flesh has always been tough. To create something that satisfies carnivores, Silicon...
Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Hamptons

Where to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Hamptons

Each May, new restaurants pop up in the beach villages of New York's Hamptons. Many close by the end of November, though, unable to face the void left by the seasonal nomads. So what's the secret behind the restaurants and food shops that endure? Some hints: a chef or owner with passion and personality; decor that envelops without feeling stuffy; and perhaps hosts who love this area as much as diners...
Readers share sensational memories of Kirschner’s Cafe on Burnet Road

Readers share sensational memories of Kirschner’s Cafe on Burnet Road

Reader Gary Vliet asked of our Austin Answered project if we could find out more about an old chicken joint on Burnet Road, which he patronized after moving to Austin in 1971. “Times were much different then,” Vliet writes. “People didn’t go out to eat like they do now, and there were few eating places. But one we frequented often in those first few years was Kirschner&rsquo...
Recipe of the Week: Giada De Laurentiis’ spin on a tuna salad sandwich

Recipe of the Week: Giada De Laurentiis’ spin on a tuna salad sandwich

Tuna salad in America is different from tuna salad in Europe, in part because our canned tuna is different. In Europe, you can buy jars and tins of fish that taste so fresh and flaky, you’d never know they were preserved for shelf storage. In the U.S., canned fish has improved over the years, especially with the addition of those easy-to-open packets of tuna, but you don’t have to look...
In Manhattan, Atomix is a 10-course gift of Korean fine dining

In Manhattan, Atomix is a 10-course gift of Korean fine dining

The woman sitting next to me takes a bite of what's been introduced as "twigim" and says what I'm thinking after I spoon into the same dish at one of the most bewitching restaurants to open in Manhattan in seasons. "Oh, my God!" Twigim, the third offering in a 10-course tasting menu at the tranquil Atomix in Midtown East, showcases Scottish langoustine, seasoned with lemon zest...
The food of the whole Islamic world, in one crazy-ambitious cookbook

The food of the whole Islamic world, in one crazy-ambitious cookbook

Some cookbooks, to state the obvious, are a lot more ambitious than others. There are the books, stacks of them, that arrive with dismaying frequency — slight kitchen novellas, cheerful recipe boxes — and whose shelf lives are as short as the time it likely took to produce them. Not so with Anissa Helou’s new cookbook, her ninth, a stately encyclopedia of a book that runs over 500...
A pleasing brew from Yunnan Province

A pleasing brew from Yunnan Province

Among the more unusual single-origin coffees is this new import from Yunnan province in China, a region usually known for its teas. But there is a budding coffee culture, established to combat poverty in this area of southwestern China, bordering Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos. Thanksgiving CoffeeCo. of Northern California is now roasting this Yunnanese coffee that the company blends together from two...
Talenti® Gelato & Sorbetto calls on fans to save their favorite pint flavors

Talenti® Gelato & Sorbetto calls on fans to save their favorite pint flavors

Talenti ® ― the best-selling gelato in America ― today announced that it will retire select flavors in order to make room for new delicious Talenti flavors coming in 2019, and it's up to fans to save their favorite flavors. The brand is calling on fans to share photos of their favorite pint, or reasons why they love it, using #SaveYourFave on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The flavors...
Cajun shrimp is easy dish with French, Southern influences

Cajun shrimp is easy dish with French, Southern influences

Cajun cooking is a combination of French and Southern cuisine. This easy recipe for Cajun Shrimp uses prepared Cajun spice seasoning and beer to flavor the shrimp. Although Cajun and Creole cooking differ in many respects, rice is an important staple in both. Red beans and rice is a basic Creole dish that completes this meal. Serve with a green salad. — Look for raw, peeled, deveined shrimp...
The best pork chops aren’t actually chops

The best pork chops aren’t actually chops

What if I told you the best grilled pork chop in the world is actually not a chop at all, but sliced pork shoulder? Marbled with and surrounded by fat, the crown jewel of winter braising could soon become the hero of summer grilling. No, not by smoking a large hunk of meat for 64 hours in an extremely expensive grill, though that would be delicious. You’re going to slice the shoulder into thick...
A Guy Fieri ‘convention’ is coming to paint Austin in donkey sauce

A Guy Fieri ‘convention’ is coming to paint Austin in donkey sauce

The world will eventually come to end. When the ground beneath our feet has turned to ash the color of lead, and when poisoned air grasps at our throats with its choking skeleton grip, will you be able to remember a town that once bloomed with flavor? You might, as there is a Guy Fieri convention coming to Austin this fall. That’s according to Do512, where a posted event called &ldquo...
Simply throw together peas and goat cheese for afternoon delight

Simply throw together peas and goat cheese for afternoon delight

“Ticklemore, peas and lovage.” The message, dispatched from a London hotel suite, made me blush. It sounded sweet and naughty and terribly British. My world traveler, once home, insisted I had to try it. Cautious and curious, I acquiesced. He dropped his plans, dashed out the door and returned with a paper-wrapped packet of goat cheese. Imagine my surprise. Ticklemore, I learned, is a...
The perfection of pesto: a public service announcement

The perfection of pesto: a public service announcement

You haven’t forgotten about pesto, have you? This is a public service announcement. I made pasta with pesto for guests recently, and they loved it. As in, could not stop talking about how good it was while they ate it as fast as they could and then asked for more. The happiness-to-effort ratio was approximately 1,000,000 to 1. I felt like I tied my shoes successfully and was given a Nobel Prize...
You don't have to be brave to make your own yogurt

You don't have to be brave to make your own yogurt

Cookbook author Anissa Helou recently joined The Washington Post Food staff to answer questions about all things edible. Here are edited excerpts from that chat. A: The yogurt you save will not spoil the new batch. You can make yogurt with goat or sheep milk as well, although I have only used cow's milk at home, and straight from the cows, which I pasteurize myself. - Anissa Helou A: You can use almond...
Lemon bars, with blueberries in a supporting role

Lemon bars, with blueberries in a supporting role

The best lemon bars strike a perfect balance: They’re both sweet and tangy, their sharp, creamy centers anchored by a crisp, buttery crust. My desert-island dessert, they’re the one confection I can imagine eating ad infinitum — or, at least until the rescue plane arrives. Because maintaining that sweet-tart balance is so essential, lemon bars aren’t the kind of loosey-goosey...

Diabetes quick fix: Salmon gazpacho

Fresh salmon, cucumbers and tomatoes make a tasty combination in this creamy soup supper. Gazpacho is a Spanish soup served at room temperature or chilled. Adding freshly cooked salmon creates a complete one-dish meal in which the soup ingredients flavor the salmon. The secret to the rich flavor of this dinner is the salmon is cooked for just a few minutes on its own and removed from the saucepan...
One wine glass to rule them all

One wine glass to rule them all

Choosing stemware for every varietal does not interest English wine critic Jancis Robinson. Her line includes a single mouth-blown wineglass with a generous bowl and a gently tapering tulip shape that she says can be used to serve anything: Champagne, white and red wines, sherries and ports. The glass holds a good 15.5 ounces, but a drinkable 4 ounces will fill it to the widest part. It’s comfortable...
Is a biblical food the next foodie fad? This chef thinks so.

Is a biblical food the next foodie fad? This chef thinks so.

Last year, as Todd Gray and his wife, Ellen Kassoff, prepared to open their 165-seat, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant at the Museum of the Bible, they faced a culinary conundrum. The name they had settled on for the eatery was Manna, a reference to the food God sent down to the Israelites after their escape from Egypt in the Bible. But if the restaurant was to be called Manna, they wanted to be...
Now open: Tex-Mex barbecue restaurant N’Esperado opens in old Alcomar space

Now open: Tex-Mex barbecue restaurant N’Esperado opens in old Alcomar space

The new restaurant N’Esperado brings together Tex-Mex and barbecue in the space formerly occupied by Mexican seafood restaurant Alcomar at 1816 S. First St. Credit: Nesparado.com The restaurant, which is operated by the owners of Tex-Mex/Indian hybrid Nasha on East Sixth Street, features a menu with Mexican dishes like enchiladas (which can come with barbecue...
These are the 4 types of sugar even the most casual baker should always have on hand

These are the 4 types of sugar even the most casual baker should always have on hand

All sugar is sweet, but that doesn't mean it's all the same. As with many ingredients at the grocery store, there are more options than you'll likely ever want or need. If you're even a casual baker, though, it pays to have more than one variety in your pantry. A quick sugar primer: Despite the fact that you and I keep these in our cabinets, all these sugars are known as table sugar, or sucrose, which...
You might think there are more vegetarians than ever. You'd be wrong.

You might think there are more vegetarians than ever. You'd be wrong.

The number of Americans who self-identify as vegetarian or vegan has remained steady over the past 20 years - and it's still a pretty small group, according to a recent Gallup poll. Five percent of Americans identify as vegetarian, a rate that has remained unchanged since the previous survey in 2012. In 1999, when the survey was first taken, as well as in 2001, 6 percent of Americans identified as...
Ralph Lauren’s take on the ballpark frank

Ralph Lauren’s take on the ballpark frank

Nostalgia for New York Yankees games and the hot dogs he ate at the stadium in his youth are what inspired Ralph Lauren, a native of the Bronx, to have wieners made using beef from his Double RL Ranch in Colorado. But his $20 presentation for dinner at the Polo Bar is a far cry from a ballpark frank. The hot dogs — thick, juicy and with good snap — arrive on a board with condiments in...
More Austin360 Eats Stories