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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

2013 #Austin Ethnic Food Round Up

We've all accepted that the Austin food scene is has blossomed into heaven on Earth for food lovers.  While our ethnic food scene is still young, it is vibrant and growing strong.  Here's a list of where I'm currently going for ethnic food.  Some of these were from a previous posts on the secret ethnic restaurant list, and some are recent finds.  Not everything on this list is authentic, and that's alright.  Note: Uchi and Uchiko already have their own posts on my blog so they aren't included in this round up.  I love them that much. 
  • Asiana Indian Cuisine 801 East William Cannon Dr. Austin, TX 78745
    • This restaurant isn't "pretty," but I assure you that this is one of the best Indian buffets in Austin.  The flavors are really interesting and distinct.  Weekend lunch buffet for an adult was $11.
    • The saag paneer is incredibly creamy, and the naan is perfect with it. The lentil donut is fantastic.  It is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  Dip these little babies into the tandoori sauce for some fun.   Do beware of the whole peppercorns though.
  • Curry in a Hurry  2121 W Parmer Ln  Austin, TX 78727  (512) 821-0000
    •  Two words: Thali Special.  Get it.  Thank me later.
    •  All menu items are vegetarian. You won't miss the meat. 
  • DFG Noodles 74 Rainey Street  Austin, TX 512-677-9DFG
    • I attended the media tasting, and oh my, I was surprised.  Many, many of the dishes tasted like what my family made. 
    • The Malay appetizer and the Special.  Get it.  You won't be sorry.
    • Cheryl Chin (of no relation to me) has an amazing resume.  She deserves the most diversified portfolio.  I've never been a personal chef for an actor.
  • Habesha Ethiopian  6019 S Interstate 35 Frontage Rd  Austin, TX 78723  (512) 358-6839
    •  The Azifa Roll appetizer is amazing. I mean simply amazing.  I did not know that good could taste so good! I dream of it. 
  • Milano Cafe  4601 Southwest Pkwy  Austin, TX 78735  (512) 428-6076
    • I cannot say that I'm a connoisseur of Italian food, but dang, do I love this restaurant.  The owners lived all over Europe, and the menu is a mash up of different European styles.
  • Phonatic several locations  - 2525 W. Anderson Ln., Bldg 3, Suite 280, Austin, TX 78757, 9900 S IH 35, Ste 500, Austin, TX 78748, 1468 E Whitestone Blvd, Ste 200, Cedar Park, TX 78613.
    • Phonatic is a great introductory Vietnamese eatery with a large wide range of menu items.  There's enough menu items here to satisfy almost every, even for those who haven't tried pho. 
    • The sliders are pretty awesome.  Not completely authentic, but those sliders are awesome.
    • I also really like the toppings bar - all the jalapenos you want!
  • Pho Thaison several locations
    • The South location is one of my favorites.  I think they make one of the best banh mis, though not entirely authentic. 
  • Ramen Tatsu-Ya 8557 Research Blvd. #126  Austin, TX 78758
    • Tatsu has got it going on.  The man can execute like no one's business.  I think about Tatsu's cooking when I eat Japanese food at other restaurant. 
    • Get the chashu bowl.  Also, get the copy cat version of their citrus edamame.  
  • Rice Bowl Cafe  (pic below) 11220 N Lamar St   Austin, TX 78758 (512) 835-8888
    • This place was recommended to me by Peter Tsai and Michelle Cheng.
    • I love the mapo tofu and the spicy fish and green onion pie here.  The Hunan chicken and Sichuan chicken are also fantastic. 
    • A knockout dish here is the three cup chicken.  It makes me glad that I'm FOB. 
  • Shabu Austin and Noodle Bar   2700 Anderson Lane  Austin, Texas 78757   512-336-8888
    • Shabu is one of the few places in Austin that actually serves hot pot.  Hot pot is like a fondue where raw foods are cooked in broth and cooked with a sauce. 
  • Soto Japanese and Sushi Bar 11066 Pecan Park Blvd, Suite 402, Cedar Park, Texas 78613 (512) 257-0788
    • The sushi here is pretty darn good.  There are definitely French influences in the dishes along with liberal use of truffle oil. 
    • Happy Hour Everyday!
  • Swad   9515 N Lamar Blvd   Austin, TX 78753   (512) 997-7923
    • I love the samosas and the masala rice here. 
    • The menu is vegetarian, just in case you were wondering where's the meat.
    • The Thali here is great too.  I'd get it if you like to try a little bit of everything. 
  • Sway Thai 1417 S 1st St  Austin, TX 78704   (512) 326-1999
    • While I love many things on this menu, I probably love the desserts the most.  Don't miss the Miso White Chocolate. 
  • Tam Deli  8222 N. Lamar Blvd. Suite D-33, Austin, Texas 78753  (512) 834-6458
    • The dishes here are pretty good, but my favorite was the dessert in banana leaves.  I'm not even joking. 

Salmon Craziness at Soto.

Moo Sway dinner at Sway.

Some pretty amazing dishes at Habesha.

Phonatic Pho sho!