Selina, the kids, and I recently visited Austin for three days over spring break. We had a great time and as many of you have already noticed, we brought back a new roaster, Cuvee Coffee. We came across Cuvee because a friend of ours who had lived in Austin had raved about them. After our visit to their roaster at the foot of the Hill Country and and owner Mike McKin. Mike impressed with his imprint on the green bean buying process. They also really dig down into each bean and how to illicit the best profile. Their decaf bean was excellent so we have been switching our decaf to Cuvee decaf. Come by and try some for yourself.
Some other highlights of our trip to Austin include:
Ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya. Broth and cha-shu were excellent. Noodle could have been a bit more al dente or firm. Owners are on premises greeting and cooking which is always a good sign.
Houndstooth Coffee. Knowledgeable staff, rotating coffee roasters. But have to say, our baristas have better technique. In our opinion, the best coffee shop among the 5 we visited in Austin.
Stag Provisions for Men. A really hipster men’s shop that packs it into about 2000 sq ft.
Torchy’s Tacos. We visited the original location on South 1st. Just try the fried avocado taco—you will be blown away.
Walton’s Fancy and Staple. Susan Bullock owns this. You pay, then sit down and eat. Food was high quality but nothing unique that we can’t get in NYC including a dirty bathroom.
Gourdough’s. We visited their truck on South 1st. They are known for doughnut meals. We had the bacon maple syrup chocolate doughnut that you need a knife and fork to eat. These were full strips of bacon-I give it a baker’s dozen thumb’s up. Selina was less enthusiastic, I think because of health concerns.
Franklin’s Barbecue. You can’t make a trip to Austin without visiting Franklin. Even if you don’t want to stand in line for three hours, then go to just see the line. We were very lucky since we had contacted Franklin’s wife about carrying their barbecue sauce at Nolita Mart, we were able to get a sampling of the brisket. If you enjoy meat, this is heaven. Their barbecue sauce is needed if you go for the lean cut. Suffice to say, we are looking forward to being one of the first to carry Franklin barbecue sauce in NYC. They have a deal with a local supermarket chain and will need that to expire before moving on.
Foreign & Domestic. They don’t take reservations so arrive early. Farm to table, creative cuisine. An excellent, creative, and not expensive meal.
Ingredients. Grocery store where everything is sold in refillable containers. We were inspired. Selina will be looking to create a few more refillable programs as a result.
Uchiko. We were told one of the best and most expensive restaurants in Austin. We were not disappointed on both accounts. They had two omakase choices, so of course, we had to order one of each. Very creative Japanese and the sushi was top notch with some of it imported from Japan. Our waiter was from Brooklyn. We left completely satisfied with no complaints.
John Mueller Meat Co. This is the grandson of the most famous barbecue family in Texas. John was on premises manning the pit. This was excellent melt in-your-mouth brisket and the pork ribs were the best. I also enjoyed the rub and I ate the entire crust. His barbecue sauce is also different and is best explained as a cross with a salsa sauce.
East Side King food truck. This is the food truck from a Top Chef winner. I had the pork katsu sandwich. It was juicy and basically gourmet food for only $7. I wish we had this in NYC.
Trailer Food Tuesdays at the Long Center. If you are in town Tues night, you have to go to this food truck fest with a dozen food trucks from Austin and sometimes further out. There music and play areas for kids. We had a blast and sampled a few dessert trucks.