Last updated: June 25, 2012 09:27:50

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We're building the ultimate internet destination for Foodies to celebrate (or lament) Austin Food and Restaurants.

You'll find lists of restaurants and trailers on the left hand side and information on particular foods and dishes on the right. If you rollover most links you'll see a little more info. In the near future, you will be able to add to, rank entries and comment on these lists. For detailed blogs see the next tab.

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Austin Bbgo

Korean cuisine is nestled somewhere on the familiarity spectrum between well-known Chinese and Thai imports and their virtually unknown cousins like Malaysian and Sri Lankan food. But Korean can definitely embody many of the tasty attributes that Asian fare has going for it.
After recently debating about trying somewhere new, we ended up instead in a spot that we knew would treat us well - Austin Bbgo, the yummy place with the whacked out name. (Did they misread BBQ and didn't realize it until after their massive sign was made? Is it an indecipherable effort to bolster their take-out business?) Ambiance is non-existent in the strip mall spot, but it’s BYOB and consistently turns out some of the best Korean food I’ve had.
They had a revamped menu (which has better English explanations) and new signage. We ordered and quickly gobbled up some mandu dumplings while deciding on the max amount of food we could possibly hold. We selected 2 dishes, knowing the banchan would be plentiful.
On this night the little dishes were piled with kimchi, cucumber kimchi, spicy fish cake strips, jellyfish salad and mild egg custard (The only plate we didn’t lick clean. It was a texture thing.) Our bibimbap was an abundant mix of fluffy starch and crunchy veggies, of tame fried egg and spicy red pepper sauce. Textbook and delicious.
The kimchi pajeon (pancake) was loaded with fermented cabbage, pork chunks and green onions. It was thick enough to retain its spongy center while crisping up oh-so-nicely on the outside. I was really excited the next day to see that it re-heated better than I’d expected.


 Austin Bbgo is not a first date kind of spot…more like an 'I know you’re down for a great food adventure even if there’s nothing to look at but each other’ sort of place. The people are friendly enough. But definitely go for the food. It’s located at 6808 N. Lamar Blvd. #B-110


La Michoacana Meat Market

La Michoacana Meat Market is the largest independently-owned, Hispanic grocery store in the US according to the all-knowing internet. Although it was started in Houston in 1986, the stores generously dot the city of Austin. My interest was first piqued because I noticed no matter what time of the day or night I passed one, it seemed to be flanked by tons of loiters.

 On a day of Sunday exploration, we decided to stop in for some fuel. We landed at one of the smaller locations, near Manchaca and Stassney, which was adequately crowded considering its square footage. After passing the bling corner where they ‘compramos oro’, we headed straight for the deli counter off to one side. All the signs and menus are written in that type of Spanish that uses reflexives and odd verb endings and obviously isn’t intended for gringos with college-level Spanish. After trying to order at the counter, being waved off to the checkout line, finding the correct lane in which you could buy deli foods and returning to the ready-made food counter, we got a little nervous, fearing we wouldn’t be able to communicate what kind of carne we wanted; it appeared they didn’t have time to play language games. As I tentatively tried to request specific fillings, one cook took pity on us and called us to the end of the counter where we were able to talk meat.

 For a whopping $5.50 we ended up with enough food to easily feed two a hearty, might have to delay your actual dinner, sort of snack.
The barbacoa gordita was stacked and sauced nicely. The tortilla halves were complementary bookends; the top thin and fried crisp, the bottom thicker with a bit of toothiness and grain to it. The barbacoa was plentiful, tender and not too fatty but lacked any salty highlights. The crema and key lime juice did their part to wet the mound of goodness. It was the kind of sandwich that leaves a small side salad on your plate to be devoured as a second course.

 The carnitas taco was so excellent that we had eaten it all before realizing that neither of us had photographed it for posterity’s sake. The meat was flavorful and juicy, and accented well by green and red peppers that had been simmered along with the pork. With its sprinkling of onions and cilantro, it stole the show.
The Mexican drinks left something to be desired. Be sure to choose the ones that say ‘natural flavors’ to avoid that battery acid after taste.

 La Michoacana also provided after lunch entertainment; weaving through the aisles we found tons of reasonably priced and well organized goodies although, we would go to a larger location next time for more real estate to explore. The meat counter revealed all sorts of cuts and bits that aren’t normally displayed in grocery stores. It’s stacked in Lexan containers behind glass. In an attempt to order some loose chorizo I requested a half hour of book, but eventually got around to a decipherable “media libra”.

 The whole place is quite an adventure and the delicious food was a fitting reward for navigating some confusing protocol.


Tam Deli

On a sunny afternoon on the north end of Austin, we managed a pleasant buzz while touring the Texas Sake Company. Food was in order…preferably delicious and involving bread. I’d been to Tam Deli once long ago, and thought a revisit would just the thing we needed. Note: iphone will lead you astray and you’ll end up on a dead-end, pot-hole ridden street surrounded by dilapidated trailers and stray dogs. So keep your eyes peeled for the non-descript strip mall that houses it.

 Upon entering, we already knew what we were having pretty much – the banh mi sandwich, that beautiful baby born of French colonization of Vietnam. It was a nice surprise to see a rather lengthy menu of options that proved this wasn’t just a sandwich shop but more of an earnest Vietnamese café. We split 2 sammies, the lemongrass beef and the bbq pork, and couldn’t resist trying the shrimp and yam fritters.

 The sandwiches were a bit smaller than I’m used to, barely pushing 8 inches, but they definitely brought the goods. Veggies did their crunchy, tangy trick…bread was crusty and chewy.
The juice and marinade from the lemongrass beef seeped into the bread and added a nice, moist complement to the Asian mayo. Hands down, the bbq pork was the more perfect sandwich, which speaks to the quality of the meat considering all other ingredients were held constant. The texture was firm but not tough, the pieces were well chopped, in strips not logs, and the flavor was just charred enough.
Although the fritters were unlike the ones I grew up on (my great-grandma‘s cornbread fritters) in composition, I wasn’t disappointed. These non-pancakes were expertly fried; the crunchy nests of batter dotted with tiny chunks of yam and miniature shell-on shrimp.
The cheap and cheerful meal makes me lament it’s a bit of a haul to Tam Deli. But if that banh mi recipe from Bon Appetit that I stumbled upon tastes as awesome as it sounds, I won’t even have to leave the house for one…
8222 North Lamar Boulevard  Austin, TX 78753


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