Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Everything's bigger in Texas

Especially the portions! Our first two days there we pretty much ate like crap. It was crap I wanted to eat but it was still crap nonetheless - Sonic burgers (the cherry limeade slush, I'll have to agree, was delicious), Popeye's fried chicken...

When we finally got to Austin, Alex decided my first meal should be tacos so we went to Aranda's:

Alexis: I ordered a chicken taco and a lengua (tongue) taco. I don't know what they do with the chicken but it was so tender and lightly flavorful. Juicy and delicious and served only with tomatoes and lettuce. The lengua taco came with onions and cilantro - I usually don't order tongue when I am out. My mother used to make it sliced thickly, slowly cooked, with mushroom gravy and that's they only way I'd want to eat it. This taco was delicious - the tongue was sliced thinly and tasted like beef...only milder. Good and cheap - the best kind of food.

Alex: Simple, cheap, and delicious. If you want that real deal taco feel here in the Big Apple, head out to Queens and cop one from a Taco Truck.

On Friday we ate at Hoover's Cooking, which is a soul/comfort food joint.

Alexis: I ordered the 1/2 rack of ribs and added on a quarter pound (2 big links) of Elgin sausage. For sides, I got garlic cheese grits and corn on the cob. It all came on a plastic tray covered in butcher paper with a pile of pickles and red onions. Way too much food, of course but so good and cheap! The garlic cheese grits were awesome - note the soup spoon they gave me for them. Elgin sausage is pretty much my favorite sausage so far from Texas - I've tried Kreuz's and Louie Mueller as well but Elgin's is just plain good. No jalapeños or cheese added.

Alex: Chat-n-Chew is pretty good for comfort food, but it doesn't hold a candle to Hoovers. The sides alone will blow your mind. I had the Fried Pork Chops, Sweet Potatoes, and Jalapeño Spinach. Talk about a whole lot of food, and cheap cheap cheap!!! The Chops were cooked to perfection with tender juicy meat with a crispy crust. My favorite part of a Pork Chop is gnawing on the bone. The Sweet Taters were nice and sweet (just how I like 'em) and the Spinach was good, but could have been more Jalapeño-y. They are also known for excellent desserts but we were just too stuffed.

On Saturday we drove out to Taylor, TX to Louie Mueller BBQ. You know if dude puts his name on his BBQ it's gotta be good. This time we decided to share and got all three sides (potato salad, beans, cole slaw) and we also got a beef rib, moist brisket and chipotle sausage:

Alexis: The verdict: MOIST BRISKET IS GOD HERE. Holy shit. I never swear on this blog but the brisket was pretty much the best I've had ever. A thin layer of fat and tons of flavor. The beef rib was so soft it was almost creamy. I was not a big fan of the sausage, however - a little to smoky for me. The sides were good - potato salad being my favorite. The beans were average but the cole slaw was just off - maybe too much salt or something but it was not good. The BBQ sauce was very light, almost brothy, with onions and peppers hiding in the bottom.

There's not much in the way of atmosphere/ambiance but who cares with meat this good. Definitely tops my BBQ list.

Alex: What she said. Texas BBQ is king. Everyone always raves about the BBQ in Lockhart but we didn't want to deal with the crowds, and Louie is never disappointing. The Slaw was a bit of a let down though, they seriously need to lay off the salt. I have no idea what Alexis is talking about a lack of ambiance, that place is awesome on the inside!!!

Haha... I just noticed that they don't like using plates in Texas. Yee-Haw!

One major bummer was that we didn't get to eat any good Tex-Mex. The whole week was just so hectic we couldn't possible fit everything in. But I guess we can have our fill of Mexican food when we go to El Paso (hint hint).

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