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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  • Andrew

    Maudie’s as a diner rather than tex-mex?

    • its a toss up… but since they got their start not in mexican food, and serve pancakes, french toast, and other good breakfast stuff… had to go one way or the other. to my mind, menu is more like kerbey lane than chuys. of course, put kerbey lane in my home town and it would have had the best texmex in the who town 🙂