Now’s the time of the year when know-nothing national websites all start penning their SXSW guides for Austin Texas.
First out of the gate: Serious Eats, the seriously boring website that loves writing about Texas and seems to always gets it wrong.
Let’s take a look at some of their recommendations for SXSW attendees. 1] They claim Lambert’s has “the most decadent brunch buffet”. Lambert’s actually does a good job on a few things but in no way offers Austin’s “most decadent” brunch buffet. They make a great queso flameado and their nightly special is usually good especially if it’s a steak.
Their barbecue is middle of the road and expensive however. If you want to experience true decadence at brunch in Austin there is only one route: Four Seasons. Endless mimosas, caviar, ostrich, prime rib, two dozen fresh seafoods-all for what you’ll pay at Lambert’s once you factor in buying alcohol per drink.
2] Frank. Really? We’ve had two friends come out of the kitchen at this upscale hot dog stand and each cook regaled us with tales that make this restaurant an absolute no go. We listen to the cooks in situations like this.
3] 1886 Cafe and Bakery. Home of the $9 breakfast taco. Enough said.
4] Angie’s Mexican. Bafflingly popular, over priced, sub standard carnitas which are, of course, praised by Serious Eats for utilizing American cheese. With dozens of taquerias around Austin putting out sublime carnitas there is no reason whatsoever to darken Angie’s door.
5] Casino El Camino. The long downhill slide of Casino has been documented ably around Austin by food writers who lived here during the bar’s glory era. Serious Eats praises them for their house cut fries which vanished from the menu years ago.
6] Las Cazuelas. Yes, they are open late at night but that’s where the charm ends. Serious Eats praises them for their Tex Mex items like machacado and nopalitos, neither of which are actual typical Tex Mex offerings.
7] Magnolia Cafe. “arguably the best queso in all of Austin”. Not even close. In a city filled with great queso, Magnolia doesn’t even register on the meter. Over rated, over priced, always packed. Truly mystifying.
At least Serious Eats gets the barbecue portion of the article right. Solid choices here of House Park, Franklin and J Mueller. All good options.
The comments on the article are truly hilarious though as a variety of Torchy’s apologists all line up to lather praise over some really bad tacos.
Nobody ever lost any money appealing to the lowest common denominator and this has long been Serious Eats stock in trade.
Here’s their article. Good for a few laughs. http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/03/where-to-eat-in-austin-texas-tx-sxsw-southby-southwest-street-food-brunch.html
Want some real SXSW tips? Go here http://chowpapi.com/wordpress/wordpress-2.8.6/wordpress/?s=sxsw