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Seafood stews

As the Fall weather slowly rolls in, I begin to crave hearty stews. This year I'm into seafood stews and soups particularly. What are your recommendations for finding a tasty cioppino, bourride, bouillabaisse, chowder, etc. in the Austin metro ?

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  1. In addition to French, Italian, and American versions, don't overlook a good caldo de mariscos at Austin's fine Mexican restaurants.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Are there any particular Mexican restaurants that you recommend for seafood dishes?

      1. re: verily

        After reflecting on my 2 years in Austin, and scavanging the boards and Google, I confess none come to mind. I know a few in Dallas where I am now, but it seems to be a missing link in Austin's eats. Someone, please suggest a decent sopa de mariscos?

        1. re: Veggo

          I don't normally recommend Marisco Grill, but (aside from their pulp revolcado?sp), the have a good crab soup. Sopa de Jaiba. I haven't had their mariscos or shrimp soup. The sopa de jaiba has a blue crab in tit.

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          Marisco Grill
          6444 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757

          1. re: rudeboy

            the sieta mares (or something like that ) soup from Casa Chapala on Anderson was pretty yummy a couple years back. i need to give it a go again.

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            Casa Chapala
            3010 W Anderson Ln Ste D, Austin, TX 78757

    2. Actually, the Cioppino at Soup Peddler is very good...

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      Soup Peddler
      501 W Mary St, Austin, TX

      1. The Fisherman's Cioppino at Whole Foods (Arboretum at least) is very good. I had some yesterday and it was very hearty. I may just go and get some more today since you brought it up!

        1 Reply
        1. re: danny_w

          Whole Foods offers a number of choices for seafood stews. While not great, they're pretty good (and of course you can supplement them). Cheaper than a restaurant and more choices than any restaurants of which I'm aware. You can't eat out every night.

        2. The Texas Bouillabaisse at Perla's is very tasty. Not sure what exactly makes it "Texas;" maybe just a little spicier? Anyway... it's good. As others have mentioned though, there are plenty of cheaper options around town. Quality Seafood has Cioppino, but it's not very good in my opinion. I really had to doctor it up to make it have any taste.

          Another one that's pretty hearty and a little off the beaten path as far as stews go (maybe it's not really a stew per se, but it's rich, very tasty and filling) is the Laksa Noodle Soup at Satay.

          3 Replies
          1. re: popvulture

            Maybe "Texas" because it has Texas fish in it? A lot of people proclaim that you can't get Bouillabaisse "right" unless you use certain fish from the Mediterranean. So, maybe the chef is aware of that and named it accordingly.

            "French cookbook author Madeleine Kamman couldn't understand why the bouillabaisse she made in the United States didn't taste like the classic French fish stew. She blamed herself. Then she taught a class in Aix-en-Provence, using fish from the Mediterranean. The dish suddenly bloomed with flavor, forcing her to advise American readers hungry for the authentic fish stew to make something else. "There exists no recipe written which, executed with the fish available in this country, will taste quite like the true Marseilles concoction, or I would refer you to its text immediately," she wrote in "The New Making of a Cook" (Morrow, 1997).
            "

            1. re: popvulture

              I've had a pretty good butternut squash clam chowder there. I think the soups are something they do particularly well, as I'm not that fond of the place in general.

              1. re: popvulture

                The one time I ordered the bouillabaisse at Perla's, I thought it was pretty lousy. The broth was boring, had no depth and the dish only had two lousy shrimps in it - no fish to be had in the entire bowl.For the price of the bowl, I could easily make a bouillabaisse to feed four that would blow Perla's version out of the water. Granted, this was well over a year ago and they might have gotten their act together since then...

              2. I love the seafood stew at Korea Grill in Chinatown center. It is called Stew for 2 people: Seafood on the menu, and hae mul jab tang in Korean.

                1 Reply
                1. re: luckyfatima

                  I believe I had this dish at Shilla once and loved it. I think they pulled it off the menu though. Putting Korea Grill on my list. :)

                2. El Zunzal off of East 7th St serves a delicious El Salvadorian seafood stew. My only quibble on a previous visit was that the whole crab claw was impossible to break open – seemed a waste.

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                  El Zunzal Restaurant
                  642 Calles St, Austin, TX 78702

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Alan Sudo

                    I just bite it through the claw with my teeth. Uncouth? Maybe....but that's the way we did it growing up. Also used the handle of a butter knife to smash a claw open.

                    1. re: rudeboy

                      I did what you do, and now I have 31 teeth. Next week I'll be home in FL for stone crabs, and I'll be on the ready with a claw hammer. Isn't that how it got it's name?

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Oh man, will definitely have to check out Zunzal's version! I love their pupusas. Ok... added to the list of future ventures.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          Sorry about your tooth! I certainly wouldn't try that with a stone crab claw. I assumed that it was a blue crab claw.

                    2. the menu for the reworked Bistro Mirabelle has a bouillabaisse http://www.mirabellerestaurant.com/Bi...

                      1. Does anybody have a good seafood stew recipe that they really like? I love the fisherman's style cioppino at Whole Foods and would love to have their recipe.

                        1. Tony C's in Avery Ranch is serving Coppino this weekend (maybe most weekends?). I was just wondering if anyone has had it and any feedback. Does is warrant the $20 price tag? If so, I'm very happy to pay it.

                          1. Chicago Fish chowder

                            1 and 1/4 lb lake perch or whitefish fillet
                            I medium onion finely chopped
                            1 cup celery finely chopped
                            4 tablespoons butter
                            2 cans Campbell's cream of potato soup
                            1 and 1/2 cans half and half
                            1 teaspoon chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

                            Melt butter in saucepan, add celery and onion.
                            Cook until tender. Place fish on vegetables and continue coking until fish flakes. Add other ingredients and let stand several hours with no heat.

                            from my Grandmother to you. Straight from the 1930s.

                            1. Since they're not directly replying to each other, we can't split the recipe request and recipe together over to Home Cooking, but we hope people who are looking to make their own seafood stews will take that conversation over there. It's a good topic of discussion and likely to be of interest to people all over the country rather than just here in Austin.

                              Thanks!