Last year I was invited by Samsung to check out the food scene during South By Southwest (SXSW), the yearly film, music and interactive conference in Austin, Texas.
There were so many incredible bites, including the BEST BRISKET I have ever tasted (photos below), and a pop-up food trailer park called SouthBites that made it easy to find some tasty surprises too. SouthBites will be up and running again at this year’s 2014 SXSW beginning March 7. Check out the details here.
If you haven’t been before, Franklin BBQ should be your first stop. Order the brisket.
Brisket… Glorious Brisket. I asked for the fatty part and it was life-changing!
There will be a line at Franklin BBQ. It’s worth it. I arrived three hours before opening and was still about tenth in line. Thankfully someone across the street was renting chairs. About an hour before opening someone came around with beer for sale. Yes, beer for breakfast!
The MAN, Arron Franklin.
Tipsy Texan Sandwich with chopped beef, sausage, slaw, onions, pickles.
The sausage is good too… but it really is ALL ABOUT THE BRISKET.
“Sold Out”. I saw a few tears when the sign was posted. So full from my meat fest, I walked to the end of the line and gave my extra brisket to the last man standing. He smiled.
Do plan your schedule accordingly as Franklin BBQ is open Tuesday–Sunday and CLOSED on Mondays. Hours: 11am–sold out (just open for lunch). Watch Bourdain eat at Franklin here. More Franklin BBQ photos.
Ramen Tatsu-ya is Austin’s first authentic Japanese ramen shop opened by chefs/DJs, Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto. Get there EARLY as well as there are usually lines out the door. Lunch Hours are Tues-Fri, 11am-2pm (Sat+Sun, 12pm-3pm), Dinner Hours are Tues-Sun, 5pm-10pm.
How good is it? Bon Appetit named them one of their Top 50 Restaurants! “A strip mall may not be the first place you might think to look for one of the country’s best new restaurants, but you’ll be glad you did when you stumble upon this Japanese gem. The dining room’s bright red chairs and red-accented lamps set a fun, energetic vibe, but it’s the steaming bowls of ramen with hunks of pork belly that cause fans to line up outside the door.”
Ramen Tatsu-ya’s #1 Tonkotsu Original: Creamy pork noodle soup with chashu, ajitama egg, wood ear mushroom and scallions. More Ramen Tatsu-ya photos
Hankering for a more higher end (yet still casual) meal? Then head to Bryce Gilmore’s Barley Swine.
I dined solo at the bar and started with the Crispy Trotter, Grilled Pig Face, Loin, Beans, Sauerkraut.
Soft Hen Egg, Popcorn, Fermented Goats Milk, Celery, Dill. No wonder GQ included Barley Swine on their 2012 Top 10 Restaurant list. More Barley Swine photos.
Veracruz All Natural is a food trailer located at 1704 E Cesar Chavez.
HANGOVER HEAVEN. Migas with eggs, tortilla chips, avocado, cheese at Veracruz.
Two please. (Travel Maxie watching over my breakfast of champions). More Veracruz photos.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to eat at Qui last year (I don’t think it was open yet!) but the awesome SouthBites food truck lot was curated by chef Paul Qui.
Fortunately I got to try Paul Qui’s food via his food truck, East Side King, at SouthBites.
East Side King’s Kara-age Kimchee Yakisoba egg noodle, fried chicken kara-age, cabbage, cilantro, sesame, spicy mayo.
ESK Pork Belly Slider: Pork Belly, Pickles, Cilantro on a Sweet Roll by East Side King.
I don’t see Foreign & Domestic on the #SouthBites food truck list this year, but their Deep Fried WAGYU Weiner w Bacon Relish was killer.
Scheduled to be at #SouthBites again is the comfort-food-on-wheels Waffle Bus. Definitely go for the Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffle w Ancho Chile Honey.
Also returning to SouthBites is Ohio’s Jeni’s Ice Cream. My favorite was their Salted Caramel Ice Cream.
Follow CoolHaus Austin on twitter for SXSW locations. Their Bushmill’s Irish Honey Ice Cream is to DIE for.
Hey Cupcake gets my vote for the CUTEST FOOD TRUCK ever!
Michael Jackson Chocolate Cupcake w Cream Cheese by Hey Cupcake.
Many thanks to Samsung for this fun and delicious experience! All my photos were taken on a Galaxy Note II.
All my Austin food photos
Franklin BBQ website
Ramen Tatsu-ya website
Barley Swine website
Veracruz on FaceBook
East Side King website
Waffle Bus website
Jeni’s Ice Cream website
Cool Haus Austin website
Hey Cupcake website
SXSW SouthBites Food Trailer Park by Austin 360
Note: SouthBites is located at 604 Driskill St – Southeast corner of Cesar Chavez & Red River and is open to all SXSW Registrants & the general public.