Like a scene from an old western, the streets of big Texas cities are littered with the bleached bones of famous restaurants from afar. Their owners thought they would open here to thunderous applause, only to discover that cracking the Texas code is harder than it seems. Remember Craft, BLT Steak, and Charlie Palmer, in Dallas? Or Bank and Katsuya, in Houston? What about Coyote Cafe, in Austin? The longest-lived, Tom Colicchio’s Craft, lasted only six years.
It’s picnic season, a time when we congregate at long tables laden with hearty mains and their humble sidekicks. And the heavyweight among the latter is undoubtedly potato salad, its lustrous bulk crushing limp-noodled macaroni salads and insipid slaws alike. Indeed, the dressed spuds are best buds with all kinds of edibles, like burgers and fried chicken and, of course, barbecue.
Dallas super chef Dean Fearing did not get where he is today by being a shrinking violet. Or lacking ambition. Noticing that no one had written a cookbook named The Texas Food Bible, he claimed the title for his own.
It’s not surprising a Texas chef took home the award for Best Chef Southwest last night at the James Beard Foundation Awards; after all, four out of the five nominees hail from the state.
Real estate blog Estately.com has proven, incontrovertably, something that we all already knew was true: Texans like tacos more than anybody else likes tacos.
In a post on Estately called "The Most/Least Taco-Crazed Cities In America," the blog analyzed the fifty largest cities in the U.S. to determine which cities loved tacos the most, and which city residents were content to drive through a Taco Bell. The methodology is perhaps a bit suspect, but quantifying taco love is an inherently subjective enterprise, and we'll give them some credit for at least revealing how they came up with the list:
To determine the level of taco enthusiasm in the largest 50 U.S. cities, Estately looked at three things.
- Percentage of each city’s restaurants serving tacos (souce: Yelp)
- Percentage of Facebook users in each city expressing interest in tacos (source: Facebook)
- Level of internet searches related to tacos (source: Google Trends)
We'll take just a moment here to savor a string of words like "level of Internet searches related to tacos," but then continue on with the list, in which each of the top five cities are right here in Texas—with seldom-remarked-upon Arlington taking the number one spot.
Behind Arlington, the list includes Fort Worth, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, while Houston clocks in at #9 (tied with Los Angeles)—behind taco-mad non-Texan cities like Long Beach, Oklahoma City, and San Diego. El Paso—the final Texas entry in the top fifty—lands at #15.
This past weekend, the Austin Food and Wine Festival delivered quite a punch in the way of celebrating all things savory, from hands-on grilling demos from Fort Worth Chef Tim Love, to day-long fire-pit grilling by a rotation of Texas chefs, including San Antonio’s Jason Dady, Austin’s Jack and Bryce Gilmore, and Aaron Franklin. And serving, ahem, as a nice complement to all this food fanfare was an impressive showcase of Texas's liquid culture.
This weekend, a group of acclaimed food and beverage personalities will flock to Austin for the third annual Austin Food & Wine Festival, including James Beard Foundation Award finalist Bryce Gilmore of the Odd Duck and Barley Swine in Austin. Below, Gilmore jumps into who should win this year’s James Beard Best Chef Southwest award, Odd Duck’s negative GQ mention, and working with his chef-father (one day).
This weekend, a group of acclaimed food and beverage personalities will flock to Austin for the third annual Austin Food & Wine Festival, including pastry chef Jodi Elliott of the soon-to-open Bribery bakery in Austin. Below, Elliott spills details about her new dessert bar, leaving Foreign & Domestic, and her profound affection for Austin Tex-Mex.
Layne Lynch: The past few years have been really awesome for you as a pastry chef. What’s been the greatest highlight thus far?
This weekend, a group of acclaimed food and beverage personalities will flock to Austin for the third annual Austin Food & Wine Festival, including celebrity chef Rick Bayless of Top Chef Masters fame and the famed PBS series Mexico: One Plate at a Time. Below, Bayless delves into Tex-Mex versus Mexican cuisine, recreating historical menus, and his great love for Mexico City.
This weekend, a group of acclaimed food and beverage personalities will flock to Austin for the third annual Austin Food & Wine Festival, including Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s, Backstreet Café, and Caracol in Houston.