In the words of Addison, the list includes “singular steakhouses, barbecue standard-bearers, Tex-Mex strongholds, and cafes serving outstanding burgers, breakfast tacos, and kolaches: the foods that make Texas defy trendiness,” as well as restaurants that “reflect the rich multiculturalism of its metropolises.”
Austin had seven entrants make the cut. They are (with the parenthetical numbers showing the restaurant’s list in our annual Austin360 Dining Guide: Contigo (Critic’s Pick), Emmer & Rye (#5), Franklin Barbecue (#10), Kemuri Tatsu-Ya (#9), Odd Duck (#4), Tamale House East (n/a) and Veracruz All-Natural (Critic’s Pick). That list of Austin restaurants checks a lot of boxes: rustic, farm-to-table, Japanese, barbecue and tacos. The biggest surprises on omissions would probably be Olamaie (#1), Dai Due (#3), Lenoir (#2) and Barley Swine (#7, though sister restaurant Odd Duck did make it in).
Addison was joined in compiling the list by Eater Austin editor Nadia Chaudhury, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn, who tackled the barbecue restaurants around the state, and others. Houston, not surprisingly, had the most entrants on the list with 10.
Tickets cost $85 ($125 for VIP tickets) and can be purchased online. Proceeds from the event will benefit Austin Food & Wine Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas culinary community.
Eater’s national critic Bill Addison is a tireless man, traveling the country in search of the nation’s up-and-coming and stalwart restaurants. The website today released its list of America’s 38 Essential restaurants. One Austin restaurant made the grade. The big shot? Franklin Barbecue. Addison writes, “The most famous barbecue restaurant in America deserves its celebrity; every omnivore should wade through the long (really long) line once to fathom Aaron Franklin’s smoky pyrotechnics.”
The only other Texas restaurant to make the list was fellow James Beard award-winner Hugo Ortega’s namesake restaurant in Houston. Check out the complete list of Eater’s Essential 38 here.
Bon Appetit released its Hot 10 today. The list covers the 10 best new restaurants in America, and it includes a unique East Austin restaurant that has captivated critics around the country.
Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, which nabbed the #8 spot on the list, blends Japanese izakaya and Texas smokehouse for good eats and a real good time. The food captivated the Bon App writers, as did the vibe. The magazine’s restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton wrote:
And at no place did I party more than at Kemuri Tatsu-ya in East Austin. That’s bound to happen when you combine a raucous izakaya (think Japanese pub) and a smoky Texas BBQ joint with the “keep it weird” mantra of the capital.
But it wasn’t just the sweet vibes that captivated the writer. The food is no joke.
But it’s the more oddball, ambitious dishes that really show Kemuri’s penchant for playfulness. “Hot pocketz,” a kind of crispy sandwich involving fried tofu slices, gouda, and yes, more brisket, can’t possibly be delicate and nuanced, can it? Let’s just say I’m still trying to re-create them at home. Then there’s the octopus fritter topped with Texas chili that defies classification.
ASK ABOUT: the specials, or Kemuri-Osusume (“recommendations’). Some of the best things we ate came from this menu, including a rich crawfish chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) and “fries with eyes,” roe-filled smelt that are deep-fried.
GO HERE: to find out what our ideal wine bar looks (colorful! neon!) and tastes like (a little bit healthy, a little bit indulgent). Restaurateurs Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman have done it again (see also: Jeffrey’s and Clark’s Oyster Bar) combining smart, stylish settings with good food and vibes.