For the third year in a row I have been fortunate to attend the Austin Food and Wine Festival. Like every year, the weather has finally cooled down and the wine certainly did flow. Like a pro, I showed up early(yes having a media pass helps) and hit the vendors hard. These are a but a few of my favs from the weekend.
2M smokehouse has been on my bbq wishlist since since 2016. The fact that it is located in San Antonio might be reason why I haven’t been but that might finally change in 2023 after finally trying their food. I had a few tacos during the Austin Food and Wine Festival but none slapped as hard as these skirt steak tacos. Also skirt steak tacos rule.
Back in 2017, my Cooking Channel series Cheap Eats, visited Nashville and you best believe we dipped into some serious Nashville Hot Chicken. While I still haven’t been to Prince’s, I was quite happy to scratch Hattie B’s off the Hot Chicken Bucket list. Apparently this was entry level hot and I handled it well . . . just ask TikTok. PS – they are opening a location in Austin per Eater.
I’ve not spent much time in Waco but that doesn’t mean the scene hasn’t been drawing my attention. After trying these wild boar meatballs from Milo, I think I know where my first stop is going to be. Also they apparently do one mean chef driven burger which is always on my radar. If there burger game is anything like their meatball game I think I might already be a fan.
In an event like Austin Food and Wine, choosing a drink that can pair with a variety of foods is certainly a wise move. Champagne is often the suggestion of a sommelier and if you ask for a bargain version of Champagne . . . here comes the Cava. Spain’s answer to sparkling wine is equally delicious, affordable and a move I leaned on quite a bit at the festival.
East Side King has been Austin food staple ever since it’s food truck days parked at a bar on the east side of Austin. Paul Qui, the culinary driving force and at times lighting rod for controversy has endured because of his formidable cooking skills. They couldn’t keep the boats on the table long enough before people like me dipped in for seconds and thirds. The roti was spot on too.
Another entry from San Antonio graced the live fire cooking arena: Sari Sari Supper Club. While I loved the steak taco from 2M Smokehouse, Sari Sari apparently had a lechon worth waiting a long line for. I missed the lechon but I was able to sneak in and grab these pork skewers which were quite tasty. I do wish I would have scored a little lechon too. Looks like I have another reason to go back San Antonio.
Last year I tried Sazan, Daiboku’s sister ramen restaurant, and walked away with a ramen joint worthy of a date night thanks to their bar which serves well priced Japanese Whisky. Now I have not been to Daikoku but if they have this Pork Belly Ssam on the menu, I might ditch Sazan all together. This was my favorite bite at Austin Food and Wine Festival along with the chili crab from East Side King.
Yup, I just dropped my fav bites. Every year the line up changes at Austin Food and Wine and while these bites were truly a cut above, I still look forward to what’s on deck for 2024. Maybe I’ll see you there.