Texas Monthly adds and updates approximately sixty restaurant listings to our Dining Guide each month. There’s limited space in the print issue, but the entire searchable guide to the best of Texas cuisine is at your fingertips online!
Below are a few highlights from the new restaurants reviewed in our August 2019 issue. In case you missed it, restaurant critic Patricia Sharpe’s 2019 list of Texas’s Best New Restaurants came out in our March issue, and you can also read up on her latest Pat’s Pick, on Dallas’s Homewood.
Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant:
Bryan’s on 290
Chef Bryan Gillenwater continues to serve up flame-cooked Hill Country fare with big-city flair in his unpretentious roadside eatery. For starters, we ordered marrow bones: smoky, silky “beef butter” with grilled bread and chimichurri for brightness. Grilled cracker-thin flatbread with caramelized onions proved as good as ever, and the ceviche was fresh and studded with bits of creamy avocado. Entrées feature lots of beef, ranging from a 28-ounce cowboy ribeye to an 8-ounce tenderloin, plus Berkshire pork chops and fish (always salmon and redfish, halibut and others when available), all cooked over Bryan’s signature wood fire. The roasted half-chicken was succulent and juicy, encased in marmalade-glazed skin as crispy as any Peking duck’s. While the buttermilk potatoes are good, the smoked Gouda mac and cheese is better. Plus, the chef’s mother pops in to make desserts, and if her Apfelkuchen is available, order it. You can thank us later.
American | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Blood Bros. BBQ
The queue for ’cue is the sign of success, and this acclaimed Bellaire spot already has long lines of eager fans. We arrived Wednesday at 1:30. “Turkey breast only,” they announced. Fine! We love smoked turkey breast, and BBB’s version is thick-sliced and juicy, with pepper-coated skin. The peppery house-made sauce will make you sweat, in a good way. The next day we returned at 1:00 and were blessed with the last pork ribs. They’re exceptional: tender, of course, but with enough chew to require a tiny pull, not too smoky, coated with pepper and Asian-inspired seasonings, and served with mustard-enhanced barbecue sauce. Stellar sides include stir-fried rice with chunks of brisket, sweet creamed roasted corn with jalapeño bits, and rockin’ coleslaw to cool the palate (though it’s also spiked with diced jalapeño).
Barbecue | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Austin City Taco
Inspired by Austin taquerias, this sunny, stylish upstart in the Cultural District serves tacos as delicious as they are elaborately conceived and constructed. Magdalena’s chef Juan Rodriguez moonlights here as menu engineer, creating corn-tortilla tacos like the Bohemian, packed with oak-smoked chopped brisket, guacamole, queso fresco, shredded cabbage, and a creamy serrano sauce, and the al carbon, brimming with achiote-marinated rotisserie chicken, guacamole, queso fresco, pickled carrots, and that serrano crema. Seafood options include a fluffy flour tortilla wrapped around fried shrimp with crushed salt-and-vinegar chips, while veggie possibilities include a taco with fried portobellos, pico de gallo, and queso fresco. Fried onion strings, fresh jalapeño sauce, sliced avocado, and bacon jam are among other additions. Look for that bacon jam in the three-cheese queso, laced with chiles and served with crispy french fries or tortilla chips. Cold-brew coffee figures among good sipping options.
Mexican | ⭑⭑⭑ | $ | More Info
A year after the original taqueria’s star turn on the Food Network, this outpost launched. Traditional tacos make good on the menu’s “Tijuana Street Flavors” boast; the shredded barbacoa in chile rojo is a standout. But the “Gourmet” and “Funky” tacos really show chef-owner Jesus Carmona’s culinary chops. A delicious pulpo taco features tender, pesto-bathed octopus cradled in pillowy corn tortillas with molten cheese and avocado. Tuesday’s chicharrón-crusted fried cod taco is also a winner, especially if augmented with squirts of mango-habanero salsa (one of three house salsas). A vegetarian Tesar Taco salutes chef John Tesar, for whom Carmona worked at meat-centric Knife. Extras like mole fries and tres leches cake round out the menu.
Mexican | ⭑⭑⭑ | $ | More Info
Yvonne’s Cantina & Grill
The location is familiar, as it housed a Mexican restaurant for more than twenty years. When Yvonne Loya, who has a wonderful little eatery on El Paso’s east side, decided to share her talents with the west side, she was welcomed with open arms. It’s an inviting spot with an open kitchen that sends out fresh tostadas with fiery hot red salsa, expertly crafted gorditas, fish tacos, ceviche, and more. Wash it down with a glass of the glorious sangria, chilled and filled with fruit. A sunset view from the patio adds to the experience.
Mexican | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Our reviews are written by critics who live in the cities and regions they cover. They remain anonymous to ensure that they receive no special treatment. The magazine pays for all meals and accepts no advertising or other consideration in exchange for a listing. Comments? Write us.