Legit Delish: Austin Edition

by Emily on March 17, 2011 · 10 comments

in Food,Recommendations,Restaurants

I'm back from Austin, TX where I just spent a few days for the SXSW Interactive conference and a separate food bloggers' conference. Now that I've been to Austin a couple of times, I wanted to share what I think is legit delish. A warm welcome to you if you're stopping by because we met or you heard about my site while in Austin. Let's get into my top picks by category, starting with a good cocktail. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Liquor sign at Lambert's"]Liquor[/caption]


Peché Austin - Across the board, everything here was great last year. Haddington's - Wonderful flips and fizzes, and blue corn whisky that I've never heard of anywhere else. Lambert's - Sazeracs so damn good that I didn't drink anything else while inside for five hours. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="375" caption="Street Food: Bacon waffle cone, filled with brisket, jicama slaw, chipotle aioli."]Bacon waffle cone, filled with brisket, jicama slaw and chipotle aioli. Hollerrrrrr.[/caption] Brunch: Old Pecan Street Cafe - I went here for the first time with a friend when I was down last year, and remembered it being good. It's not stunning food but it was a solid brunch each of the three times I've been,  and the waitstaff here really goes above and beyond to make sure people are taken care of. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="375" caption="Beef Tartare at Parkside Restaurant (2010)"]Beef Tartare at Parkside Restaurant[/caption]

Appetizers/Small Plates:

Parkside - Enjoyed dinner and an unconference here in 2010, and was so surprised by the wonderful execution. We had the lovely tartare pictured above, fresh and flavorful oysters and outstanding libations. The funny thing about Austin is that I never expect to get the food I do given whatever the restaurant is named. I don't know - Parkside just sounds ... under the radar? But if this is what under the radar calls itself, that's where I want to be. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Bacon Gorgonzola Burger with onions, and a side of grilled brussel sprouts"]24 Diner - Austin, TX[/caption] Lunch or Dinner: Lambert's - Already mentioned under "cocktails," this was one of my two best food experiences on this trip. The appetizers at a party hosted here were so good that we stayed on for dinner. Slices of fried green tomato topped with crab salad, baby brisket sliders, deviled eggs, ribs and FRITO PIE. Yeah. Maybe I'll just move there. 24 Diner - I am NUTSO about burgers. I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Maybe you don't know that because this is primarily a site about ethnic food, not cheeseburgers. When I find a great burger, I will sing its praises and get in fights defending its honor. You should think nothing of hopping in a cab over to this place. It's just a few minutes from the convention center and I am telling you this: your face will never be the same after eating a burger made of high-quality brisket. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="2010 BBQ Excursion: Blacks, of Lockhart, TX. Brisket and ribs and more, oh my..."]Brisket and ribs and more, oh my...[/caption] BBQ: Black's - See the picture above. It's an establishment for a reason. Over the course of this visit, there were also Korean tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches that tasted amazing because they were free (and came with free beer), these addictive individual Sticky Toffee Puddings made by an Austin company, wines from Texas and many, many other things. There were other things besides eating and drinking going on at SXSW like parties, seeing friends and -- oh yeah -- an actual conference with panels and things to learn. Here's a photo from the panel I moderated at Techmunch Food Bloggers' conference on Sunday. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Techmunch Austin 2011 panel with Stefanie Michaels, Gaby Dalkin and Erik Trinidad"]Techmunch Austin 2011 - Building Your Personal Brand[/caption] The panelists who participated on this session are talented, very smart and were fun to work with. If you don't already read their sites, check them out as I know you will love them: [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="375" caption="Tenneyson Absinthe"]tenneyson[/caption]

Honorable In-Flight Mention:

Tenneyson Absinthe: I met Tenneyson founder Graham Wasilition last year, while I was in town for SXSW 2010. My friend Lindsey of Lush Life Productions introduced us, and four of us tasted his category-bending yet traditionally-crafted absinthe in the backseat of his car. The Austin-based spirit company's product is distilled in one of the most respected absinthe towns in France. True story. You'll be hearing more about Tenneyson here, as Graham is now a client of mine and I can't wait to get this stuff in your mouth. I happened to have a small gift vial of Tenneyson, which I mixed with tonic to drink on the flight down. Pick up a bottle for yourself on either end of your trip in Austin or in NYC. Austin definitely holds its own in the food and beverage world, so I can't wait to go back and cast the net a little farther off the beaten path!


I love sharing details about upcoming tasty trips and adventures, so you won't want to miss a bite. As always, please feel free to chat with me on Twitter, join our group on Facebook and keep up with new posts here by subscribing.


  • Anonymous

    that bacon waffle cone thing… wow, that looks insane!

    • http://www.mouthoftheborder.com emilyspearl

      Hey Justin —

      Thank you for stopping by, and for your comment. I’m a fan of your site as
      well. The bacon cone was delicious, but I would have been just as happy to
      eat that tasty filling on its own. Just a giant scoop on a bed of lettuce —
      it was that delicious. I could spend probably 3-4 days eating at Austin food
      trucks and not get through them all!

      – E

  • http://www.twitgift.me melissaleon

    Where did you get that Bacon Cone thing?

    • http://www.mouthoftheborder.com emilyspearl

      glad I saw your question on twitter – wouldn’t have wanted to miss it! did
      you find it?

  • http://twitter.com/bizdevbarryb bizdevbarryb

    Next year, try breakfast at (1886 @) the Driskill Hotel. Great biz/chat & chow spot. Standouts: The Texas Pecan Waffle & Smoked Honey Glazed Turkey Hash with poached eggs & truffle Hollandaise. MMMmmmmm

    • http://www.mouthoftheborder.com emilyspearl

      That sounds delicious! and, yes, the Driskill is the place to be during sxsw
      – that’s why it had the distinction of being my first “networking” stop of
      this year’s event.

      Still so sorry I missed you.

  • http://littlemebigyou.com Nadia

    Awesome! It looks like you had a BLAST. Cheers to you!

    • http://www.mouthoftheborder.com emilyspearl

      It was a great time, for sure, Nadia – met so many amazing people. It’s been
      worth it for the new relationships alone the past two years. The learning
      and other opportunities have been an added bonus!

  • Russell Davis

    Didn’t I introduce you guys to Graham last year at the festival. We went out to his car and tried the absinthe in the parking lot! No love for Russell?!

    • http://www.mouthoftheborder.com emilyspearl

      Russell – I heard a rumor of you wanting to take credit for this. It was
      Lindsay who intro’d us – she had mentioned wanting us to meet in advance and
      then when you, me and Selena were out at Plutopia, you helped make it

      SO — shared love for Russell? You know Austin wouldn’t be the same for me
      without you!!

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