One last dance before the heat hits: now is the time to get outside and enjoy what’s truly best about Austin dining. This month’s Hit List includes some of the best of what this city can do: barbecue, tacos, ice cream, fried chicken, and fine patio dining. Not to mention the newly-reviewed Japanese/Texan mashup Kemuri, Philip Speer’s bistro-meets-diner Bonhomie, and a brand-new menu at longtime favorite Salt & Time. Here is your late-Spring eating agenda:
Because Philip Speer & co. are killing it at their new Burnet Road eatery. Here’s the move: grab a table outside and order the burger, the brisket croissant, and a pommes rosti – their tricked-out, Frenchified take on hash browns. Complete the meal with a decadent banana split profiterole (and a glass of wine, or two). //Allendale. Book now at Bonhomie.
2/Fine Foods Cocktail Bar and Jo’s Burger Box
Because the old Snack Bar space is in good hands with hotelier Liz Lambert. After her Bunkhouse Group took over Austin Motel, it seemed likely great things were in store, and here they are: a delightfully simple menu of delicious staples and cocktails. Try a cheeseburger and frozen Old Fashioned or an “Ann Richards’ Revenge”– made with rum, apricot, pineapple, and lime. //South Congress. Walk-ins only.
3/Kemuri Tatsu- ya
Because this Japanese barbecue joint has been getting stellar reviews lately. Come for the Guaca-Poke or a Matcha Painkiller, and stay for the tasty grilled skewers and smoked meats. Did we mention it has one of the best patios on the East Side? //Holly. Book now at Kemuri Tatsu-ya.
Because this is fried chicken like you’ve never had before. Thanks to the fine dining chops of partner Todd Duplechan (Chef at Lenoir), JT Youngblood’s chicken has just a touch of finesse. And don’t skip dessert; the pies are sensational. Get there before strawberry season is over (read: soon). //Mueller. Walk-ins only.
Because this Instagram-worthy Southern restaurant boasts a wraparound porch and quaint courtyard that’s lovely on a sunny day. After you’ve taken a stroll around the lush, manicured property, settle in for some of the city’s best new cocktails and treats. Pimento cheese and fried chicken, anyone? //Bouldin. 512-444-1888.
6/LeRoy and Lewis
Because in a city that’s devoted to traditional Texas barbecue, LeRoy and Lewis masterfully reinvents its barbecue. In addition to mainstays like brisket, they serve up beef cheeks, beer brats, banh mi, and pie (mm, pie). Stop in for the daily offerings before they sell out. //St. Ed’s. Walk-ins only.
7/Salt & Time
Because . Grab a bunch of friends and order a large roast to share, like a Peeler Ranch beef shank (!) or a 44 Farms 40-ounce ribeye. Bonus: get the goods to go at the butcher shop next door. //East Austin. Book now at Salt & Time.
Because if there’s one thing this taco town needs, it’s these Austin-style street tacos. Enjoy a delectable variety from trompo-roasted al pastor to, of course, breakfast tacos. //North Burnet. Walk-ins only.
Because Austin is welcoming summer in the best way – with a hot new ice cream spot. Tasty Spoon on South First serves up authentic Italian gelato in seasonal flavors like grapefruit sorbet as well the classics. //Lake Travis and Bouldin. Walk-ins only.
10/Black Box Barbecue
Because John Mueller is back in barbecue. It’s a little bit of a hike from Austin, but next time you’re fiending for brisket (or heading up to Ikea), you could do much worse than stopping by Mueller’s new digs. //Georgetown. Walk-ins only.