Two of our editors have been tirelessly crawling Austin to find the best food the city has to offer. And hordes of people are about to descend upon the place for the annual SXSW music, film, and interactive conference—including a panel at the interactive portion moderated by our own Jane Goldman. If you're going, knowing where to get a good bite to eat might make or break the trip. (So might getting your app a place in the pantheon of SXSW success stories, or getting your band signed, but we're here to help with the food.) So check out our tour of Austin:
Roasted acorn squash couldn't be easier, or more delicious. A little butter, salt, freshly ground pepper, and a sprinkle of brown sugar to emphasize the squash's natural sweetness, plus about an hour in the oven, and you have a gorgeously caramelized side (or main dish, if you stuff the squash), with a pool of glaze in the center of each piece.
Slow Cooker Pork Ramen
A simple but delicious version of Japanese ramen, this soup starts with pork cooked to perfect tenderness in the crock pot, with garlic, ginger, leeks, mushrooms, and onions rounding out the flavors. The noodles are cooked separately just before serving, then the shredded pork and fragrant broth, with a little soy and sesame oil added, are ladled over top. A soft boiled egg makes a great garnish, as do shredded scallions or chopped baby spinach. Add some chile oil or Sriracha if you want to spice things up.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Softened vegetables, including onions and bell peppers, amped up with spices like chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne, form the base of this tortilla soup. Chicken broth and tomatoes are added, along with soft corn tortillas that meld into the liquid to make a hearty, thick meal. Finally, shredded chicken is stirred in, and everything is garnished with crunchy tortilla strips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and scallions (avocados, pickled jalapeños, and cilantro would all work too).