Via 313 Pizza

After hearing rave reviews of Via 313 for months on months now, I finally made a long overdo visit to the pizza trailer during a recent visit night out. To be honest, as a Neapolitan pizza girl at heart, thick, deep dish style pies don’t normally call my name. However, maybe it was the crunchy cheese crisped along the edges of its pizza, but I must admit Via 313’s Detroit-style pie lived up to the hype.

The Herbivore - $12

The Herbivore – $12

Not unlike a Sicilian-style pizza slice, Detroit-style is a rectangular pizza with a thick crust oven cooked in a metal pan and cut into squares. Toppings are layered in reverse order, starting with meat or veggies and finished with a thick layer of red sauce painted across the top. In this case, Via 313’s freshly crushed red sauce is robust and hearty, with plenty of flavor to stand up to the pie’s thick crust. Though the pizza’s crust is about an inch or two thick, it is surprisingly lighter than expected and manages to garner a slight toasted crunch while cooking. Continue reading Via 313 Pizza

Austin Restaurant Openings Forecast, Part I: Burgers, BBQ, and Comfort Eats

As 2013 winds down and we look forward to 2014, it’s time once again for a round up of the latest and greatest new additions to the Austin dining scene as well as a few newcomers to look forward to in the coming months. Go ahead and scratch any future New Year’s resolutions to go on that diet because we’ve got a lot of eating to do…

UPDATE: Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken – Now Open as of January 6, 2014
Memphis-based southern eatery Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is set to open its 5th location downtown in January 2014. The finger lickin’ good franchise will be located at 117 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701.
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Austin Restuarant Openings

Austin Restuarant Openings

East Side Kings – Open in South Austin December 2013
It’s a Boxing Day miracle! East Side Kings’ newest location on South Lamar officially opened today (12/26). Menu items include ESK favorites such as Liberty Rice, fried Brussels sprouts, and Chicken Kara-age and Asian-fusion tacos such as the ‘Ebi Ebi’ shrimp tempura, Spicy chicken thigh, and mocha vegetarian taco. East Side Kings is open daily for lunch and dinner at 2310 South Lamar, Austin TX 78704.
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P. Terry’s – Opened in North Austin December 2013
The end of 2013 also marked the beginning of the battle of the burger in Austin. Local favorite P. Terry’s opened its 8th location at 183 & Oak Knoll Road this December. The ‘anti-fast food’ chain also announced plans to open 12 area locations by the end of 2015, including a 9th spot on Burnet Road in early 2014.
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In-N-Out – Opened in North Austin December 2013
Meanwhile, California cult favorite In-N-Out opened its much-anticipated drive through windows early December. Known for its wallet friendly prices and a not-so-secret menu featuring the famed ‘Animal Style’ burger, In-N-Out’s new Airport & I-35 location has quickly become a local hotspot. Must be all those Californians headed to Texas we keep hearing about…
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Shake Shack – Opens South Austin Late 2014
Only further adding to Austin’s Burger Battle Royale was the announcement that East Coast transplant Shake Shack will be setting up shop in the South Lamar shopping center anchored by Alamo Drafthouse, which is currently undergoing extensive renovations. Shake Shack is expected to open late 2014.
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Schmidt Family Barbecue – Opened in West Austin Fall 2013
Lockhart BBQ fans now can enjoy the legendary eats from Smitty’s and Kreuz Market by way of Bee Caves with the recent opening of Schmidt Family Barbecue. Now under third generation leadership of Keith Schmidt, the family has granted the wishes of many by bringing its famed meats to Austin.  Sticking with family tradition, the Schmidt’s new restaurant employs the same cooking methods that have been passed down from generation to generation. Schmidt Family Barbecue is located near the Hill Country Galleria at 3812 Market Street, Bee Cave, TX 78738.
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Continue reading Austin Restaurant Openings Forecast, Part I: Burgers, BBQ, and Comfort Eats

Breakfast of Champions: King and Country

Every once in a while, I stumble across a dish at a restaurant that is so deliciously perfect, it becomes – in my mind – the touchstone by which all future similar dishes are compared. Such is what happened during a visit to a tiny diner in Brooklyn, NY a few years ago when I discovered an omelet to end all omelets. Since that time, my search to find an equivalent match in Austin has proved to be a sad and fruitless endeavor.

King and Country French Omelette

King and Country French Omelette

However, my search officially ended last week when an omelette at King & Country, a newly opened East Austin trailer eatery, washed away any residual longing for breakfast in BKY. Light, fluffy golden-yellow eggs were mixed with Parmesan cheese and expertly folded into a creamy French omelette. A flavorful blend of sweet and spicy homegrown peppers filled the inside of the delicate dish. Paired with Cuvee Coffee espresso, it was an incredibly satisfying breakfast I can’t wait to wake up to again soon. Continue reading Breakfast of Champions: King and Country

Tour de Thai: Thai Thani

After recently tapping into an unrealized infatuation with the flavors of Thailand beyond Pad Thai, I have initiated a quest to uncover Austin’s best Thai spots. This Tour de Thai comes at an ideal time since Austin’s dining scene has scene a surge of new Thai and other Asian-inspired spots popping up around town.

Today’s featured stop is Thai Thani.  Owned by a mother/daughter team, Thai Thani specializes in casual Thai street food dishes such as curries and stir-fries. Located in the parking lot of a stop ‘n go on Manor Road, the lone trailer would almost be easy to overlook if not for its bright yellow exterior and swarm of neighborhood regulars waiting for their orders.

Drunken Noodles w/Beef at Thai Thani – $6.95

My newfound taste for Thai was kickstarted by yellow curry, making my choice of entrée an easy one. The yellow curry was well balanced with just the right amount of heat and sweet. Continue reading Tour de Thai: Thai Thani

Bomb Taco Truck

Keeping with this week’s Cinco de Mayo theme, it is only fitting to share about a recently acquired addiction to Bomb Taco Truck. Although I’ll admit to sampling a late night taco or two from the truck prior, my true appreciation for these tacos didn’t form until I acted on the advice of a fellow customer and ordered out of my comfort zone. While patronizing the fantastic White Horse Bar on Austin’s East Side, my friends and I joined fellow revelers in line to order a late dinner off the truck’s laundry list of options. It was there I noticed a woman braving the Saturday night bar scene solely for the purpose of Bomb Tacos to go. Considering Austin has no shortage of decent tacos in much easier to manage locations, I had to ask what drew her to the stand. Clearly she must live a stone’s throw away, but no she actually braved the hoop jumping of parking, cover charges, and crowds. We pressed for recommendations of her favorites and ordered accordingly. Acting on her advice, we ordered a few beef and vegetarian tacos along with a mini taco sampler plate. What we received were high quality tacos far surpassing their $3 price tag. The veggie tacos were fresh and flavorful enough to please herbivores and carnivores alike. My Campenchana taco was filled with tender beef, sweet pineapple, grilled onions, and generously topped with cheese. The mini taco plate wasn’t exactly a plate of tiny tacos, but instead a hearty plate of Al Pastor, cheese, and avocado big enough to fill five tacos. Confusion aside, it still did the trick. Overall, Bomb Tacos was, well, the bomb. 

 

Bomb Taco - $3

Bomb Taco Truck has two location:

White Horse Bar. 500 Comal Street, Austin, Texas 78702.

Lustre Pearl Bar. Rainey Street, Austin, Texas 78701.

Continue reading Bomb Taco Truck

Budare’s Arepas

Nestled in a deep pocket of Rainey Street, it is almost easy to overlook Budare’s Arepas, save for its bright yellow sign. After one visit to the Venezuelan food trailer, however, and overlooking it won’t be a mistake made twice. Budare’s specializes in serving authentic Venezuelan delicacies like arepas, cachapas, and empanadas made fresh to order. I officially became hooked on cachapas after a recent sampling of the South American answer to quesadillas. A cachapa is a thick corn pancake made from fresh corn. Budare’s folds in a combination of cheese and meat inside before griddling them. The indulgent . . . → Read More: Budare’s Arepas

Foodie Happenings: Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival

Austin’s original Food Trailer event, the Gypsy Picnic, is back at Auditorium Shores Saturday, October 22nd. This year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than last year complete with more trailers, larger venue space, improved service and live music. Entrance is free and food samples are priced $3 or less with larger portions available for a dollar or two more. There will be craft beers and non alcoholic beverages for sale at the fest, but feel free to bring bottles of water. Of course, the Gypsy Picnic is fun for the whole family, four legged members included, so . . . → Read More: Foodie Happenings: Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival

Bananarchy

Ever since becoming a diehard Arrested Development fan, it is hard not to associate a frozen banana without thinking of the Bluth family’s only successful business. Of course, it was only a matter of time before Austin, the trailer dining epicenter, got its very own frozen banana stand, Bananarchy. Normally I am not one for ‘kitschy’ trailers, but I am one for hilarious shows, so I am completely on board with the idea of a frozen banana stand. I also recently saw Michael Cera walking down South Congress, and I had a small slither of hope he may just be behind the glass, wearing a full banana suit, obviously. The way Bananarchy works is you first choose to go halfies or wholsies on a banana. Then pick a dip flavor from vanilla, chocolate or peanut butter and topping from selections like sprinkles, oreo and toffee. They also have a specialty menu as well, including the massively sized Gob (just don’t spill any on your $4000 suit). The outside dip shell holds up well and is a nice contrast to the soft banana texture inside. These are definitely rich treats, so a halfies is plenty for one person. I wouldn’t say this is a treat I would go for on a regular basis, but perfect when you are looking for a summertime dessert alternative to snowcones and ice cream. And you can pretend this dessert is healthy since there is a banana in the middle of it.

Whole Banana w/Vanilla and Sprinkles - $3.75

 

Bananarchy. 700 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78704. http://bananarchy.net/

Continue reading Bananarchy