Lunches Philly Needs from the South: Austin

As  I mentioned last week, I have been down South on vacation, and while we will return to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow, I thought I would share the amazing eating I have been doing in Austin, Texas and point out some lunches here that Philly is lacking.

I get so jealous when I hear about southern state fairs with fried butter and fried bacon. So the #1 spot goes to Awesome Things that are Fried…

While roadtripping, we made a much needed stop at K-Bob’s Steakhouse. Though not in Austin, K- Bob’s Steakhouses can be found all over Texas, New Mexico, and has locations in Oklahoma and Colorado. I had vowed to myself that I would eat all things chicken fried while down South, so despite being tempted by local cattle, I went with the chicken fried chicken. I don’t know what the secrets of getting chicken this crispy are, but K-Bob knows it.

Back in Austin, I got my chicken fried steak fix at Trudy’s (409 West 30th Street). Again, that crispiness  was there and the pounded steak was peppery  and not dry despite being thin. Imagine how much fatter and more happy the people of Philly would be if chicken fried things were more readily available?

Also at Trudy’s is the miraculous, stupefying fried avocado. Here, a ripe avocado is stuffed with shredded chicken, dipped in batter, deep fried, covered in cheese, and your choice of sauce. These are worth an early death.

And while we’re at it, Uncle Billy’s (1530 Barton Springs Road) serves jalepeno sausages that are filled with cheese, breaded, deep fried and served with ranch. Why not?

#2- Mexican Bakeries and Grocery Stores

La Mexicana has so many colorful baked goods, I felt like a bee in a field of flowers.

I was advised to try  the cono relleno, a flakey pasty drizzled in dark chocolate and filled with sweet, but not too sweet, cream.

At La Michoacana (1917 E 7th Street) , you can get giant hunks of fried pork skin. Or you can order from the steam tables. I tried a carnitas taco, the pork tasted way better than it looked. Now I am not going to get into Austin tacos, its too much to wrap my head around- but believe me, every single one I tried was awesome.

But I will touch briefly on #3… BBQ, specifically BBQ in unexpected places.

At 2451 S Capital of Texas Hwy you can fill up your car with gas… or you can get amazing barbeque at Rudy’s. You should buy your meat by the pound, specifically the brisket, and it gets served on wax paper with white bread. 2 other musts are the ridiculous creamed corn and banana pudding. Leave it to the south to take such innocent yellow fruits of the earth and turn it into something sinful. Can you get creamed corn anywhere in Philly? I can’t think of a single place.

What is with Texas BBQ on highways? Like Rudy’s, the Franklin BBQ Truck is off of one- 3421 N IH 35. Here, the lines are long and the food runs out, so beware.

This was the best brisket I have ever had in my life. The fatty parts melted seamlessly into the meat and perfectly charred bark. This is last-meal-on-death-row good. BBQ brisket truck in Philly, pretty please? I know its a lot of work, but I will offer my expert BBQ consultation services free of charge.

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  • While Texas may be South, it is not THE South. As anyone there will tell you, it’s Texas.

    Anyway, good job in ordering the one good thing at Trudy’s (the fried avocado… well, that and the Mexican margaritas).

    As for ‘cue, Rudy’s is a chain, and okay. It makes some concessions, like BBQ sauce, which is so very un-Austin. Did you not make it to Lockhart?! I’m guessing your not publishing the 6th St. pictures…

  • I’m lusting after that succulent-looking brisket (and good gracious, that is one sexy smoke ring!) as I sit at my laptop, wiping away drool off my keyboard. Even with the growing number of impressive barbecue joints in Philly (here’s looking at you, Sweet Lucy), there’s still nothing more gratifying that an fatty chunk of authentic, Texan barbecue. Give me lard, give me mesquite!

    As for the dazzling display of Mexican pastries, you should definitely try Las Lomas Panaderia y Pasteleria in the Italian Market. They have a grand array of panes dulces and some fabulous flan.

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