09 March, 2012

South By Southwest (SXSW) 2012...So Where Is A Music/Film Lover To Eat While In Austin?

Video courtesy of CHOW.com.

I adore Austin and as many of you know, I will be moving to that lovely locale myself in a few months to attend graduate school at the University of Texas. Sadly, I will not be there in time to get in on action of the 2012 South By Southwest (more commonly written as SXSW) Film and Music Festival that opens today, but that does not mean, however, that I can't direct a few of you lucky souls in the direction of quality food to keep your energy levels up so you can be dancing in the streets.

Here I am diggin' into some of Austin's finest pork ribs at Franklin Barbeque.
Let's start with a super video (above) made by one of my favorite online food sites CHOW for last year's festival. Keep in mind also that some of the places they visit are outside of the city limits, so not all of the food spots will be accessible if you do not have a car at the ready. Nonetheless, the CHOW video features several places that I have personally eaten at and can unequivocally recommend to you. First off is one of my all-time favorites - the food truck (now brick and mortar restaurant) Franklin Barbeque. In fact, the last time I was there in December, Aaron Franklin himself (an amazingly funny and humble man I might add) was slingin' meat at the carving station and wearing a cheeky T-Shirt that he said was a gift from CHOW for doing the interview above. Get to the restaurant early (seriously, like an hour+ during a peak season time such as SXSW because they open at 11AM and close when they run out of meat, often just a few hours later), and get as much meat as you dare (they have to-go containers after all). I recommend the pork ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, and potato salad. Oh, and they even have locally made pies and cold beer on tap, as well as adult-size T-Shirts, infant onesies and beer koozies to take home as souvenirs.

CHOW also visited Odd Duck Farm To Trailer, a fancy-pants-yet-affordable food truck that serves local, sustainable, incredibly edible dishes. Unfortunately, Odd Duck is closed for the winter so instead you can check out the brick and mortar version called Barley Swine. Then there was Uchiko, a Japanese farmhouse dining and sushi restaurant, which I have not been to in person yet but wrote about in my March 1st post about Top Chef: Texas winner Paul Qui who is the Executive chef there under Head Chef and owner Tyson Cole (featured in the video interview). I hope to make this restaurant one of the first new spots I visit when I move to Austin, as well as Foreign & Domestic, another featured restaurant in the video. Finally, there was East Side Show Room. It is a farm-to-table, nose-to-tail, exquisitely decorated restaurant (the images in the video do not do it justice), and like I experienced when I visited the joint, they also have fantastic cocktails using artisanal liquors. For a run down of all of these restaurants plus a few other winners, also check out The SXSW Eat Sheet: CHOW's Favorite Restaurants in Austin.

The Twalls playing at Lucy's.
Next, let's look at some other fun food things happening about town in honor of SXSW. For instance, a favored Austin bar of mine, Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant (especially on Tuesdays when they have cheap tacos and live music from local Country-Swing-Bluegrass-Hillbilly-Blues crooners The Twalls), will have a food/music/drinking party tomorrow evening (Saturday) to kick off the festivities. Want free food instead? You are in luck! A publishing software company called Squarespace has put together something fun: a gathering space for free food under one roof called the Squarespace Food Truck. These neat guys not only are doing a little self promotion of their new software product, but the food they are giving away for free are not stale granola bars or generic hot dogs. No ma'am! In fact, three of their vendors were featured in the CHOW video (Franklin Barbeque, Foreign & Domestic and Salt & Time), and another (East Side King) was started by the aforementioned Paul Qui, which I talked about in my post on Paul. 

Video courtesy of YouTube.com.
Not really ready to be so premeditated about your food search by planning things out for a particular neighborhood or style of cuisine? Would you rather just wing it and find good impromptu grub closest to wherever your tipsy toes take you after hours of taking in live music? Then the Austin version of Chefs Feed smartphone app (iPhone and Android) that launched yesterday is for you! The video above gives a teaser of some of the chefs spotlighted on this app and for more reading check out these articles from The Huffington Post and Bon Appètit. Another fantastic resource is this thorough compilation by Eater Austin that includes guides like "25 New Places To Eat Since Last Year's SXSW," "Food Trailers You Won't Want To Miss," and "Sustainable By Southwest."

Rounding out my food tour of Austin, I will mention something that is at the heart of the SXSW Festival: a film! As a contender in the "Emerging Visions" category of the festival, this juicy-looking flick called Eating Alabama by director Andrew Beck Grace, seems to be a good one (go to their website here). According to SXSW's website it is about how "a quest to eat locally becomes a meditation on community, the South and sustainability. Eating Alabama is a story about why food matters." Well, cheers to that! 

Video courtesy of YouTube.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have something to say do it here: