After scoping out Barley Swine while interviewing Chef Bryce Gilmore about his trailer Odd Duck, we wanted to go back and actually eat dinner at the month-old restaurant.
Barley Swine is in South Austin, in a low-key brown brick building—we missed it the first time we drove by. The interior is also simple, with high wooden tables and a little bit of a pub feel. Definitely seemed like a natural extension of Gilmore's trailer ethos of cooking locally sourced stuff with a few fancier presentations, but serving it in a nonfussy environment and keeping it affordable. READ MORE
Food trailers are everywhere in Austin, cooking and serving everything from doughnuts covered in Canadian bacon, hot pepper jelly, and cream cheese to vegan Frito pies. We visited two trailers that we heard were serving really excellent food: La Boîte, a retrofitted shipping container turned coffee shop, and Odd Duck, where Chef Bryce Gilmore serves food like quail, venison, and duck eggs—things that don't sound like you'd buy them out of an old orange trailer. WATCH THE VIDEO
In Hyde Park, we visited Austin's only dedicated cheese shop, Antonelli's, on the suggestion of Chowhound amysuehere. John and Kendall Antonelli, the shop's owners, sell cheeses from all over the world, including some made in Texas, as well as cured meats from artisan salumi-makers (local and national) and preserves from Austin-based Confituras like a salted caramel pear butter and Rio Star grapefruit marmalade. READ MORE
Before our trip to Austin we hit the phones and the Web, calling around, researching, and posting to Chowhound to figure out the places we should cover. One of the most knowledgeable people we had the pleasure to chat with was Virginia B. Wood, food editor of the Austin Chronicle. Here's some of the insight she shared with us on Austin's food scene after living there for 40 years and covering local food for the paper for nearly 20. READ MORE
If you go to Texas to document food, you'd better get your hands on as much barbecued brisket as possible. That was our guiding principle at least. WATCH THE VIDEO
Portland, Oregon, has the DIY scene down when it comes to food, so we are looking forward to heading north and filming for the CHOW Tour: Handmade.
We're going to check out the cocktail scene (where bartenders are making everything from smoked ice to their own tonic water), as well as the booming microdistillery trend. Rad sandwiches will be on the bill, as we bring you a look at how local salumi and corned beef is being made.
And of course we'll film some of the top-notch food trailers. Should it be the homemade poutine at Potato Champion? English muffins at Brunch Box? Let us know which ones you think do the best homemade foods and we'll try to get them on board!
We’ve been really loving checking out the lively and diverse food scene in Oakland, California. In the coming weeks, we'll show you a peek at everything from Plum's high-end late-night drunk-food salad topped with slabs of pork belly and foraged greens, to a torta served out of a trailer dipped French dip-style in superhot chile salsa.
We'll cover the unpretentious street food of the Fruitvale area (not served by anyone with an ironic mustache) and unconventional sorbets in flavors like squash.
Plus: the best waffle ever, a behind-the-scenes look at handmade teff injera (Ethiopian flatbread), and a lot more. Oakland coverage on CHOW Tour: Handmade starts February 28!
Austin, you are keeping it weird. And that's exactly why we are excited about visiting you on CHOW Tour: Handmade. The first place we'll be filming is a winery tucked away in the Hill Country where the owner does everything by hand and talks Texas terroir with pride.
We'll hit the big meat state for a barbecue road-trip with the Franklins of Franklin Barbecue, but also bring you a look at the salumi and butchery scene, from Dai Due taking a whole hog and transforming it into sausage for biscuits and gravy, to a sandwich shop that makes everything—from mustard to bacon—from scratch.
We're taking Chowhound scrumptiouschef's recommendation and heading to a bowling alley for a taste of old-school Tex-Mex, where the chef who's been making the enchiladas for 38 years will show off some of her secrets (but not the secret spice mix!). And we'll bring you a look at some of the new wave of chefs who are taking Austin's cuisine beyond Tex-Mex and barbecue.
Check back! Austin videos start running February 14.
CHOW is going back on the road to report on the best food, drink, and fun we can find in Austin, Texas; Oakland, California; and Portland, Oregon. We're calling this road trip CHOW Tour: Handmade, since we'll be seeking out real people making real, authentic food—from pupusas being slapped together by hand out of a food truck to whole-animal-to-plate antelope tartare, fresh off the bone.