We've been hearing it for years. "There's no good ______ food in Austin." Austin is all growing bigger, and with the growth, comes opportunity for growing a market for new types of food. For the near and possibly distant future, I'll start bringing you posts on these hidden gems in Austin. Some of them have been around for a while, and some are pretty new. All will offer menus from another country or region that you might be missing.
Very few of these places have marketing programs nor do they focus on an upscale dining experience. The vast majority of the places that I’ll introduce to you are family run with an emphasis on bringing you cuisine that they consider comfort food. Do keep that in mind when visiting these restaurants less talked about. The owners are welcoming you into their home to show you foods that show off their culture and their history.
Additionally, this sparks a conversation that Austin. Growing bigger and developing into a bigger city means being more aware and educated about diversity. Austin does not yet have cultural districts of town like Houston, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City. And that lack makes it really difficult to be exposed to different cultures, foods, and traditions.
However, before jumping headfirst into learning about the other cultures and their foods, taking a step back to understand the challenges. By now you should have hear about the Pho debacle caused by Bon Appetite. This is one of the best responses to the issue I have read, and it brings up many of the issues that is in the following links.
The first one on my list of hidden gems is Pho Thaison, which has several locations in Austin. My favorite location is the William Cannon and Brodie locations that started serving banh mi’s about two years ago. I am a self-proclaimed banh mi connoisseur having eaten banh mi’s all over the world.
The pork lemongrass banh mi with fried egg roll is one of my favorite dishes. It is my go to dish when I need something fast, satisfying, and to be out of the house. The pork is coming out tender and juicy, and the bread is crusty on the outside, soft and fluffy on the insight. My other favorite dish at Pho Thaison is the pho number 1. It is perfect comfort food on a cold day, rainy day, or just every single day.
There you have it. Hidden gem pho and banh mi in South Austin, TX.