Thinking of moving from Brooklyn, NY to Austin--what would I be in for, foodwise?
My husband was offered a job in Austin and we're debating making the move...and of course I'm worried about giving up all the great food here.
Is there a great cheese shop? (not just whole foods)
A good French bakery?
How's the pizza?
Is there much takeout and delivery?
Is there dim sum, or any kind of Chinatown? (Long shot, but figured I'd ask.)
Any Malaysian restaurants?
Advice on any of this is greatly appreciated...
Answers, in order, starting with the one in the topic:
culture shock and relative deprivation
not much, especially not from good mom and pop businesses
approximately 5 dim sum places, and a brand new, pre-fab "Chinatown" business center
one that I know of that features some Malaysian dishes, plus one decent Indonesian place.
Well, we could really use a cheese shop and the pizza will not be up to Brooklyn standards. But, let me tell you what you will find in Austin:
Superb BBQ (espcially if you are willing to drive 30 minutes out of town)
Lots of people supporting organic and local food
Soul food and Southern food
Lots of vegetarian friendly establishments
Decent farmer's market
And overall, a highly educated population that tends ot be pretty open minded; lots of parks and green spaces; lots of spring festivals
We recently moved to Austin from Atlanta (Which is a very good dining city but not up to the standards of NY!) And have been a little disappointed with the food so far. Your best bet for cheese is Whole foods (It is a fairly impressive selection though!), no cheese shop in town that I know of, We've been to most of the bakeries and some are borderline good, but nothing thats really impressive. But with a trip out to wine country in Fredricksburg (about an hour away) There are some better bakeries to be had. There is some fairly good pizza, (Vespario, Mandola) but coming from NY don't expect anything up to those standards, plus being a college town you have to learn to weed through the massive amount of bad pizza out there! Asian restaraunts are kind of a weak point but once again if you can weed through all the bad there is some good as well, Uchi is a really great place for Sushi by any cities standards. We've found a few restarants we've liked, but overall this is not going to be anywhere near up to level of what your used to. On the plus side I do agree that there is definetly some good tex-mex to be had, with the expection of Salt Lick I have not been impressed with the BBQ, but I like Georgia BBQ which I've realized since moving here is MUCH defferent then Texas BBQ. Hope that helps!
you want barbecue? make a day of it and drive over to cooper's barbecue in llano. or louie mueller's in taylor (they've opened a store here in austin); and then there's southside barbecue and market on 290 e in elgin; or snow's barbecue in lexington. i'm convinced the best barbecue is outside of austin, although rudy's ain't bad. failing all else, there's black's and kreuz's in lockhart. BTW some of the best pizza in town is at frank & angie's, a little place off 6th street (owned by the same people who have hut's hambburgers). the best food isn't always found in fancy places...especially in austin.
central market is by and far the best place to buy cheese and also fresh baked bread (many more cheeses/ more informed staff). bakeries are sorely lacking. there is a fine amount of takeout, but very little delivery. ive found that for as many things ive had to go without, i have developed a taste for/ discovered just as many new ones here. it's certainly not brooklyn... but you CAN eat very well here. dont mind those naysayers.
Cheese is a very sour thing in Austin. Whole Foods and Central Market have a large selection of expensive cheeses but they are very clueless about what they are doing. The staff has no idea what they are selling, there is very little raw milk cheese, no special attention to local cheeses, and poor treatment of the cheeses themselves. The cheeses are pre-packaged wrapped in plastic (so they can suffocate I guess) and can stay on the shelf for weeks. The selection is large enough that you can find some nice finds, and if you are careful with the dates that also has not suffered too long. It is like many things in Austin, there is some her but it takes time and effort to find it. This does not come close to Murray's in New York or Formaggio Kitchen in Boston.
not true; Antonelli's in Hyde Park has fabulous cheeses, at least a dozen of which are made and marketed in texas. the young ocuple who operate the store pooled their life savings to open the store and it has been thriving for several years. they also have classes... and if you really believe that business about WF cheese, i urge you to contact cathy strange,the award-winning fromagiere who wrangles their cheese department.