chef moving to austin
I am a chef in NYC and am considering moving to austin. I was just trying to get a glimpse into the food and drink scene down there and was hoping anyone could recommend restaurants of all kinds, websites, blogs etc... any info would be greatly appreciated.
C'mon jesi, do at least a little bit of homework: What kind of food do you or would you like to cook? With just a few minutes of scrolling up and down the Austin board, you can easily ascertain which Austin restaurants are the subject of conversation and recommendation in any type of cuisine. Austin has plenty of good Italian, steak and meat, modern American, and even one of the most innovative Japanese sushi/fusion (Uchi) around. And of course lots of BBQ and Tex-Mex. The area is still growing, with the University and the tech industry, but the downturn in real estate and the economy at large has slowed things for now, and in many opinions is a necessary time of reassessment and sanity. It is a fun city, a great area, but you have to deal with and tolerate the heat. Do some research, a minimal review will lead you to some of the contributors and blogs, and then ask more specific questions so the responses can be more helpful.
Chef, welcome to Austin from an original North Easterner. A little advice, don't try to find a good bagel here ( sorry Austin bakeries), best pizza in town closest to NY style, IMO, is Home Slice followed by Whole Foods. Alright, with that being said, you are now an Austinite, or soon to become one, so open up your mind and embrace the really amazing offerings this town has and don't compare it to the NE. If you can do that, you'll be in good hands. Ok, if you enjoy good food as much as a good cocktail, check out my blog on where to find a great drink at; www.fabulousdrinksaustin.com Welcome to town and enjoy!
I am going to have to respectfully disagree with nosh about good Italian in Austin. No. Just...no. It doesn't exist here in the slightest. Neither do bagels or delis. I'm not a pizza expert, but from what I understand, just learn to accept that NY Pizza is not here, and learn to like the variety we do have.
I consider myself a foodie and I use Yelp, Chowhound, and the Austin Chronicle food section the most to learn about new places in Austin. Other than that, I read mostly food blogs from other states...like NY :)
Thanks for the interest. Certainly Chowhounds is useful, along with the Austin Chronicle web site. Yelp and austin.citysearch.com have limited usefulness. I'm sure there are local blogs out there, but I've never looked.
I've lived quite a few places around the country and I'd say the nightlife scene is very good here, among the best in the places I've lived (Boston would be second) but is weakest in the "affordable sophisticated". Upscale seems to mean more often expensive and pretentious than adult and interesting. It's getting better and there are lots of comfortable, unpretentious places I like to have a beer and relax, just not as many offering variety beyond the norm.
Italian food is getting better than is used to be but has room to grow. Pizza is still struggling to escape the "pizza joint" level. If there's a place with a wood-fired pizza oven, I haven't found it. Chinese food is very limited except for a few places that get mentioned over and over here. Don't expect a great range of choices that Chinatown offers. Tex-Mex and Mexican are obviously well represented, although Mexican still means mostly going to specific parts of town. There are decent Indian choices.
The places I like are based on cost and location mostly, so I'll let that pass for the moment. Feel free to post or PM any specific questions you have.