We look at a lot of food sites in Austin on a daily basis. There are few that we find compelling, most are boring and everybody seems to be lowering the bar on a daily basis. Austin’s Chowhound board is a graveyard. Most days you’ll see two to three desultory, eight word “reports” as management scrambles around trying to figure out how to keep the lights turned on. Nice work CBS.

Austin’s Yelp board is like catching the green mist from Tajiri. You’re not going to die but wonder if death might not be preferable to the slow death of reading what passes as food criticism by their members.

Sammies? I love me….? Burrito as big as my face? Mouthgasm?

We wonder if closed head brain trauma is one of the requirements to start posting on Austin Yelp.

The Chronicle has Mick Vann who singlehandedly keeps the weekly relevant. Wes Marshall is good too and they have the occasional contributor that can string a few sentences together in an interesting way but re-invention is definitely needed by the graybeards driving the rusted out Volvo parked over on I-35 frontage.

So when we read that Mike Sutter, the recently retired Austin American Statesman food critic was launching his own site instead of going quietly into the dotage that most retirees enjoy, we were intrigued.

It’s day one over on http://www.fedmanwalking.com/ and right off the bat we have to say the site looks like a million bucks. Photography is crisp and professional, something that’s typically lacking round these parts.

Sutter starts off with a GIANT project. Tackling the foods of Airport Boulevard in a three part series that promises to cover a lot of territory.

The first installment includes a dozen reviews of restaurants, taco carts and donut shops that we frequent on a weekly basis. Lots of good writing in here and we love that he’s not afraid to call a spade a spade. Something the head honchos clearly frown on at the Statesman as their ad dollars are what keep the bills paid.

House Pizza gets some good recognition as the best pizza joint in Austin should. Tamale House is feted as befits a legend and Mrs Johnson’s Bakery gets their proper respect as well.

We’re in the middle of three different projects as we pen this so we have to cut this piece short, suffice to say Mike Sutter doesn’t look like he’s quite ready to be put out to stud in a pasture out near Thorndale just yet.

He’s still got some good writing left in him.

Now we turn our gaze towards the Statesman to see what the new buck over that way; Matthew Odam’s got for food readers in Austin Texas.

previous coverage on Sutter

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/7/6/Mike-Sutter-We-Hardly-Knew-Ye

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