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Nov 3, 2011 08:24 AM

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.

          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.

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

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

      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. :)