just back home in nyc after a week in austin (we've been vacationing in austin almost annually for many many, many years). here's some feedback:
right off the plane i immediately went to louie mueller's in taylor for a late lunch monday. although manna from heaven for non-texasites (heh!) to be more texas-wise critical the brisket was just ok. a bit flavorless and dry. however, the pork ribs were exceptionally good and tasty:
out back is louie's wood
now let's get the worst meal of the trip over with. for some reason i had this tilapia dish special for dinner at the FIFTH ST SEAFOOD counter in the downtown whole foods hq. although you watch them cook it, they literally soaked it in gross liquidy cooking butter before i noticed what was happening. i know, i know, what was i thinking? i guess i was mezmerized by the stunning grocery shop and being so close to the fish? ugh. the local wine was ok, but nothing special either:
back to the good stuff. before picking up my spouse at the airport for my first breakfast i went to CHANGOS on lamar. i enjoyed my macachada taco (dried beef & egg) and a mushroom taco. the salsa selections are exceptional here. i had the nortena style. washed it all down with a tamarindo aqua fresca. i have no idea why i was the only one in the joint during a busy morning rush hour?:
don't let the strip plaza location hold you back!
this is the rather famous MARIA'S TACO EXPRESS on lamar. i had a barbacoa taco and a migas taco (egg, onion, tomato, tortilla chips, cheese). i go heavy on the cilantro. super tasty:
note the tortilla delivery truck. a shame they don't make'm in house
HEY CUPCAKE! cute cupcake trailer on s. congress. austin's entry in the urban cupcake fad. they were what they were:
a last visit to LAS MANITAS before they have to move. awesome as ever. i had the deliciously lemony chicken and tortilla filled caldo de lima soup and also the stunning al pastor taco. what a great, almost cinnamony sauce on the pork. a wow meal. spouse had the chicken chilaquiles verde platter:
last up is more 'cue. this is city market in luling. fabulous as ever. imo the best brisket of all of'm. perfectly smoky and moist. i am also partial to the links here:
still hungry, we stopped in lockhart at SMITTYS for more brisket and pork ribs. the brisket was better than louies in taylor, but the ribs were not quite as tasty (although they had better char and were chewier, which i like):
ahh EL SOL Y LA LUNA. contrary to reports it was all still sorta ok, if not as good as in the past. breakfast dishes are probably the thing to stick with. i had a barbacoa platter late night one time, which was a mistake, but only because it was just bland, wasn't bad or anything.
as for the local libations, at least one local craft brewery was a wash. i was all over tasting the live oak brews at the gingerman and doc's. the winner was the pils. just right. very drinkable. the other styles not so much. for example, despite some hound hype i read here, the hefweizen was rather bland, over rated. the margs at GUEROS and CHUYS were fine as always.
thx as always austin for a fine vacation and thank you 'hounds for your suggestions.