Cenote has your standard comfy, local-coffee-house friendly vibe. The overheads hummed with East Austin cool including Patti Smith and Sleater-Kinney.
Barley Swine's chef and owner, Bryce Gilmore, has been a James Beard finalist half a dozen times, and for good reason: This is world-class locavoring with immense attention to taste, presentation, and delivery.
...based on the peak-time waits and rave reviews, the Frieds have expertly arranged the perfect array of ingredients to create a successful neighborhood destination restaurant.
Holy Roller is comfort food for the formerly-punk/now-aspirational class, serving up biscuits, booze, and attitude. Since we fit that demographic to a (perfectly distressed) T(-shirt), we felt quite at home with rocket salad, biscuits, tasty mixology, a soundtrack of throbbing hardcore, and Saint Iggy anointing us with a scowlful "Good Morning."
All I can say is that these biscuits were conjured in heaven and delivered by angels, served steamy. You could spread used motor oil darker than death on these biscuits and still write a letter home to mama about how good they were.
...it's a mighty fine bánh mì with perfectly soft-and-crunchy French bread stuffed with the freshest of ingredients. Freshness, and the simple beauty of that freshness, carries throughout the menu.
Need a cup of late-night ceremonial-grade matcha green tea latte to quietly contemplate what has gone wrong with your life? Well, then: This is your place!
Food is food, but food is about more than food. There's place and presentation, history and memory, time and tradition, people and personality, comfort and novelty, expectation and surprise, bias and preference, foreplay and afterglow... Good eating is a complicated emotional event not wholly contained on the fork, between the chopsticks, or in the injera.
OneTaco, an Austin-based tortilla topper, brings homemade flour and corn tortillas, a variety of fillings, and a snappy 50s-south-of-the-border vibe to Anderson Lane.
...the Mole Amarillo was above and beyond. Although described in the menu as a "light mole", it was flavorful, nuanced, and surprising.