An LA Writer Takes on Austin: A Food Diary

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Austin is one of my favorite cities to visit. The people are cool, laid back (maybe a little too laid back sometimes), and the city treasures the things I love most in life – movies, barbecue and music culture. Like all great cities in America, Austin is a city of food. That’s how I see it, anyway. What sets Austin apart is the particular care they give to their food to make it the most delicious and unique spot for eats on our country’s map. You can’t throw a stick from the window of a taco trailer without hitting the next culinary trend spot. Whether it’s the best BBQ to ever pass your lips or a Chinese/Mexican fusion dancehall buffet (or something like that), Austin is, first and foremost, a place to put on your eating pants. You know, the most elasticized pair you own.

When we arrived I immediately wanted TexMex. There’s really no point setting foot in these city limits if you aren’t ready for a mountain of chips and salsa with tacos and frosty margaritas to follow. There’s Polvo‘s, which is amazing – the locals call it interior Mexican food – as are a slew of other locally famous places. After a few minutes of trying to choose between them, I decided I wanted something uncomplicated. So we went to Curras (see: lead image). A South Austin mainstay, it’s one of those great places in town that can be best described as a dive. While the food is fairly straightforward, it’s a got a leg up because it’s also damn delicious.

Polvo's South Austin

Polvo’s South Austin

You really can’t go wrong with a fried fish taco and refried beans, and that’s exactly what I go to. And sure, while I did fill up on the chips and salsa, that didn’t stop me from growing a second stomach when the margaritas and tacos arrived.

After a few minutes (ok, 90) of napping off all that food, we headed North to a friend’s place. We thought we’d have pizza, but somehow more tacos appeared on my plate. I’m no fool, so again I indulged in the flour wrapped food of the Gods. This time the feast was courtesy of Torchy’s. And while Torchy’s is actually a chain, it’s still an Austin-local chain with some of the best damn tacos you could ask for. I’m partial to the fajita tacos because no matter what mood you’re in, they’re always good. If it’s a real gut-buster evening, get the chips and queso, too. That shit is like crack! And apparently the fried brownie batter is good, but I’m not brave enough for stuff like that. I’ll take my friends’ word for it.

Torchy's Austin

Torchy’s Austin

We ended up going for a nightcap at The Goodnight, a bar/bowling ally/pool hall/local concert venue. I’ve been here many times now, but I still haven’t tried the food. What I can praise is their beer selection. Austin takes a lot of pride in their local beers (and vodka – some of my favorites) as rightly they should. Come to Austin ready to sample many hops and flavors, get drunk, and then maybe YOU can try the food and tell me what it’s like.

The Good Night Austin

The Goodnight Austin

About The Author

Robbie Imes is FourTwoNine's Director of Content and Social Media

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