Talk About Restaurants

  • November 1, 2012
  • Scott

The land of “culinary startup” seems to be Austin, Texas – we’re not just the live music capital, nor just silicon hills…

The Statesman just released a list of the top 50 restaurants.  I’ve been to (almost) all of them, and I only take issue with one or two of the ones on their list.  And yet… this just scratches the surface in Austin.

In the area of burgers alone:

Don’t get me started on steak places… And in the land of TexMex… Almost no mentions, so I’ll list a few that veer into TexMex and tacos:

  • Peached Tortilla.  Yes, it is that good.  Get the Banh Mi slider or taco.
  • Taco Deli.  Get the Deli Belly.  Do not pass go.  Or get the Cowboy taco.
  • Torchy‘s.  Like the black sheep of the taco family, but man they’re good.  Ace of Spades (ask for it wrapped to go, trust me) is amazing.
  • South Congress Cafe.  Best fusion Tex Mex ever. Ask for the carne asada even if it isn’t on the menu, its that good.
  • Garridos – excellent high-end tacos.  And atmosphere. And service.
  • Chuys.  Oh sure, they’re big and public now, but they haven’t screwed up the food – its still awesome.  Whatever your order for dinner, try the tres leches for dessert.  You’ll thank me.
  • The above are my regular choices – and there are dozens more, no exaggeration at all.

Oh sure. But what about BBQ? Franklin’s deserves to be on that top-50 list. But how do you not mention:

I almost forgot diners, an Austin specialty!

Almost every one of these restaurants started as a family endeavor.  Often they risked everything they had to start these restaurants – mortgaging house and savings to get that restaurant off the ground.  These are great startup stories.  More power to them!

And speaking of great non-tech startups, I’m off to the Red Velvet Events 10-year anniversary party downtown in Austin (at the Rattle Inn, a great venue).

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