Tuesday, March 18, 2008

sxsf: south by south food

lauren: typically, these middle weeks of march are reserved in austin for showcasing music, technology, and film. under these auspices, we trek across the desert deep into the heart of texas, but find ourselves much more interested in food than, well, anything else.

lauren: as you may or may not know, your heroes are more than obsessed with barbque. we often quiz each other on favorite bbqs, idly discuss going to the bbq championships in memphis, and frequently riff on things we'd do with ribs before we eat them (make silly moustaches, lazer pointers, etc.); thus, texas was kind of our holy grail.

and oh, it was beautiful. that little gem is from ruby's in austin, kind of a hipster-ish place, but that is irrelevant as no texan bbq is bad, no matter how ironic your waiter's haircut is. the brisket in question had discernible smoke rings around its flaky exterior that gave way into sweet tenderness, complimented by a vinegary coleslaw and a bun toasted just so. later, i went into a complete and total food coma at sam's across town, where i filled myself well beyond capacity with a completely different tomatoey style of 'que.

max: sam's bbq in austin. the only boss worth listening to, bruce springsteen, eats here. so does leann rimes. they claim its so tender you dont even need teeth, and though i have teeth (mostly), i believe them. the fellow behind the counter (sam?) picked up a huge baby sized chunk and cut it with love. so tenderly, just like the meat.

lauren: of course, the dual gems in texas's crown are bbq, yes, but also mexican food. from our starting meal in san francisco at papalote, to a repeat visit to el taurino in la, to tamale house in austin, we covered most of the southwest. it was, in short, an extravaganza.

lauren: but there is also regional cuisine, and we found this in las cruces, at nopalitos.
this is completely novel to me, but my enchilada was vertical rather than cylindrical, and covered with a god damned egg that melted beautifully deep into the chile sauce. my all-star here was the sopapilla, another newcomer to me, that likely will forever change how i think of fried dough slathered in honey.

max: dig- southwest(ish) poutine (waffle house). to wit: double order hashbrowns 2.25. smothered .25, covered .35, chunked .75, peppered .50, capped .75, gravy (! NEW) .75. go!

and, as always, more pictures from our trip here.
y'all come back now!