Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appètit’s powerful restaurant spotter (aka the Foodist), continues his love affair with Austin in the magazine’s just-released list of the Twenty Most Important Restaurants in America. Three Austin dining venues—Uchi, Uchiko, and Franklin Barbecue—made the cut. Austin was second only to New York City (with six). San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Chicago each got two nods. No other Texas restaurants were recognized, which is sure to ruffle more than a few feathers.
In his write-up for Uchi and Uchiko, Knowlton says, “I can hear the sushi snobs already: ‘This know-it-all is saying the best sushi in America comes from a white dude. In a 1920s bungalow! In Texas?’ But yes, that is what I’m saying. Tyson Cole is the Japanese-speaking, James Beard Award–winning perfectionist behind these Austin institutions. . . . This isn’t your typical minimalist-chic sushi experience; this is Japanese-inspired small plates that only someone not bound by the constraints of tradition could pull off.”
About Franklin Barbecue, Knowlton praises “35-year-old Aaron Franklin, who opened Franklin Barbecue in a trailer in 2009 [and], attracts longer lines and more accolades for his meat (which sells out by noon every day) than anyone else in the country.” He then asks Franklin, “How long would you wait for barbecue?” to which the king of ‘cue replies, “I can’t eat barbecue anymore. I’d stand in line for a good salad, though.”