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

There’s a new place for sushi and Pacific Asian flavors in 2nd Street District
 The 2nd Street District received an infusion of Asian flavors today, as 
            
               She’s Not Here
             opened in the former Malaga space at 440 Second St. next to the Violet Crown Cinema. Nigiri at She’s Not Here. (Credit: Nicolai McCrary) The menu at the restaurant operated by Uchi veterans Ben...

Posted: 2 hours ago

The 2nd Street District received an infusion of Asian flavors today, as She’s Not Here  opened in the former Malaga space at 440 Second St. next to the Violet Crown Cinema. Nigiri at She’s Not Here. (Credit: Nicolai McCrary) The menu at the restaurant operated by Uchi veterans Ben...
Freedmen’s barbecue near UT is closing. Here’s what’s next.
 Freedmen’s — the barbecue restaurant near the University of Texas that has consistently held a spot on the 
               Austin360 list of Top 10 barbecue restaurants in Austin — will close Aug. 31 amid plans for construction of an apartment complex around the historic building at 2402 San Gabriel
               St. Freedmen&rsquo...

Posted: a day ago

Freedmen’s — the barbecue restaurant near the University of Texas that has consistently held a spot on the Austin360 list of Top 10 barbecue restaurants in Austin — will close Aug. 31 amid plans for construction of an apartment complex around the historic building at 2402 San Gabriel St. Freedmen&rsquo...
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...

Posted: 5 days ago

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...
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...

Posted: 6 days ago

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...
Kerlin BBQ closed for summer vacation
 It looks like 
            Kerlin BBQ headed into their summer break in style. The trailer from Bill and Amelis Kerlin hosted a fifth anniversary party Sunday
            and then locked up the trailer and headed off for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. The East Austin trailer, which has
            ranked in the Top 10 in our last...

Posted: 8 days ago

It looks like Kerlin BBQ headed into their summer break in style. The trailer from Bill and Amelis Kerlin hosted a fifth anniversary party Sunday and then locked up the trailer and headed off for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. The East Austin trailer, which has ranked in the Top 10 in our last...
Mediterranean fast-casual Cava giving away free meals Thursday on Congress Avenue
 D.C.-based Mediterranean fast-casual concept 
            Cava opened to big crowds in Westlake earlier this summer, and this week it brings its customizable bowl and wrap concept to downtown.
            The restaurant will open at 51 Congress Ave. on Friday, but in advance of its opening, it will be giving away lunch and dinner
       ...

Posted: 8 days ago

D.C.-based Mediterranean fast-casual concept Cava opened to big crowds in Westlake earlier this summer, and this week it brings its customizable bowl and wrap concept to downtown. The restaurant will open at 51 Congress Ave. on Friday, but in advance of its opening, it will be giving away lunch and dinner ...
Beer and food come together in unexpected ways at the Brewer’s Table
 The olive oil-slicked jewels of venison tartare and baubles of toasted sonoran wheat collide in your mouth, a symphony of meaty pull and crunchy pop. Maybe you follow the complex bite from the flower-laced dish with a sip of your 6-ounce pour of house-brewed Beets by Drew, the smoky earth of the beer’s featured vegetable buttressing...

Posted: 13 days ago

The olive oil-slicked jewels of venison tartare and baubles of toasted sonoran wheat collide in your mouth, a symphony of meaty pull and crunchy pop. Maybe you follow the complex bite from the flower-laced dish with a sip of your 6-ounce pour of house-brewed Beets by Drew, the smoky earth of the beer’s featured vegetable buttressing...
Weeklong event celebrates black-owned restaurants in East Austin
 Black-owned restaurants in East Austin, like many other businesses, face increasingly stiff challenges to remain in operation amid continued gentrification and rising property taxes and rents. The 
               Austin Justice Coalition
             next week will shine a light on some of the pillars of the black community in East Austin...

Posted: 13 days ago

Black-owned restaurants in East Austin, like many other businesses, face increasingly stiff challenges to remain in operation amid continued gentrification and rising property taxes and rents. The Austin Justice Coalition next week will shine a light on some of the pillars of the black community in East Austin...
Going back to Cali: Following fires of 2017, Sonoma is ready for you
 Wind your way through the sections of the rolling hills and valleys of western Sonoma County and you might not detect any visible clues that wildfires devastated about 100,000 acres of the county last October. While towns like Guerneville in the Russian River Valley and Healdsburg to its north may have escaped physical damage, those small...

Posted: 13 days ago

Wind your way through the sections of the rolling hills and valleys of western Sonoma County and you might not detect any visible clues that wildfires devastated about 100,000 acres of the county last October. While towns like Guerneville in the Russian River Valley and Healdsburg to its north may have escaped physical damage, those small...