Texas Tuesdays: Is Bigger Really Better?

photo: Jean-Michel Dufaux

photo: Jean-Michel Dufaux

Editor’s Note: Ya’ll already know Matthew from previous posts such as coo-coo for coquito; now he’s decided to take the plunge and adopt an official ES moniker. As Roodeloo, he’s set to help ES explore a strange, distant country — Texas. Here’s a preview:

Yes. I’d rather have a foot-long than a some dinky wiener from a street cart. Or a dozen buffalo wings than a measly ten. Quarter pounder? I’ll take 8 ounces, please. When it comes to some things, bigger is always better.

So when I got wind of the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, I thought it high time to dust off my black suede cowboy boots and head west. Held in and around Austin, Texas, the festival is celebrating its 25th year—bringing together culinary artisans and wine producers to highlight the Texas impact on food and wine throughout the world.

Texas wine? That might take a little convincing, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised and have no hesitancy diving into the festival offerings, as well as checking out some of Austin’s culinary hot spots. I’m going to take the famous BBQ pork versus beef challenge at The County Line BBQ, crunch my way through tacos at a local favorite, Guero’s Taco Bar, and swig and swallow my way through the festival’s Stars Across Texas Grand Tasting.

But I’ve also caught wind of a Texas beyond large slabs of meat and overflowing cocktails. There is a growing farm-to-table movement among local chefs and restaurateurs. I’ll be checking in with Emmet and Lisa Fox (ASTI and FINO), chef James Holmes (who recently brought a bit of Texas to the James Beard House in New York City), as well as Boggy Creek Farm—an organic urban market farm.

While my dance card is pretty full, there’s always room for another two-step. Do you have a favorite Austin culinary hot spot? Barbecue joint that beats all the rest? Favorite foodie delicacy that originates from the Lone Star State? Shout back with your suggestions and  “must eats” and I’ll let you know how they’re holding up.

Austin food trailer crawl
Austin farm-to-table
Austin meat tour