Austin Flavor Savors: It’s Gettin’ Hot In June, So Take Off All Your Clothes
Puttin’ foods in my mouthole, the Texas way (I’m assuming).
What’s up biscuitheads? The month of June 2017 brought lots of heat in the form of spicy salsas, weird soups, delightful curries, and hellish outdoor sunlight (the sheer power of which seemed capable of penetrating your very flesh).
Let’s get started!
Stop 1: Matt’s El Rancho
“King of Mexican Food”? “Always Good”? “Best Mexican Food In The World”? “FAMOUS”??? The sign beckoning hispano-gastro-enthused patrons into Matt’s El Rancho Mexican Restaurant is, let’s be honest, a little bit much.
Like, if we really think about it, Mexican food is pretty hard to mess up. Your idiot brother-in-law can make decent fajitas with pre-marinated steak and some low-grade tortillas. That’s a part of Mexican food’s whole appeal. It’s cheap! It’s delightful! You can make it easily in your own home! White people can do it!
So upon encountering this sign of superlatives I, heralded food critic, was skeptical of the impending food’s quality and authenticity. Probably mostly because I’d never met a Matt with any kind of special knowledge about Mexican cuisine, and because whoever Matt was, he was coming on a little strong.
Fast forward twenty minutes, after my friend Kedzie turned on the charm and guilt-tripped the hostess with a little “but it’s my birthdayyyy” plea, and we’re seated in what is possibly one of the most poppin’ restaurants I’ve ever been to. The bar was crawling with people (at like five o’clock on a Tuesday), there was a table full of cops in bulletproof vests, it was sweet. But the sweetest part was what was delivered to our table shortly after taking our seats.
THESE CHIPS ARE HUGE. Matt and his elves have taken actual tortillas, cut them in half, and fried the suckers into giant tortilla chips. It’s so simple. Any idiot could think of it. Any idiot could do it. THIS idiot, eats it. Happily.
If you haven’t gotten to the part of your life where you eat giant tortilla chips yet, hurry up. They have ‘em at Matt’s El Rancho (which I hear is famous and always good).
Also, how did nobody else think to do this?
The size of the chips pretty much dominates my memory of this particular excursion, but rest assured that everyone loved their Mexican food which (was pretty much just standard delicious Mexican food). We also got drinks, and the drinks were good. Mine was prickly pear flavored which made me feel like a cowboy or something, so.
Stop 2: Thai Spice
You KNOW I’m always on the lookout for Thai food, and Thai Spice didn’t disappoint on neither the Thai factor, nor the Spice factor.
My curry was a delight, the tofu was cooked pretty much EXACTLY the way that I like it (it’s gotta be a little wrinkly, ya know?), and my little rice lump was just cute as can be. To top it all off, the lunch special included all-you-can-eat soup and fried egg rolls, which I’m super down with OBVIOUSLY.
The soup had a kind of gelatinous broth (not in a bad way), and was thick, spicy, and flavorful, with all kinds of veggies all up in it. Boy did I slurp.
Thai Spice, I’ll be seeing you again soon.
Stop 3: Clay Pot
My girlfriend is dope, so one night whilst lying sick in bed at home while she was out of town for work, some mysterious Indian food was delivered to my door.
What I found when I opened the many containers was equal parts surprising and exciting. In one container lay your standard basmati rice, another had some vegetable samosas, all great.
But in the last container, I found a creamy, light-colored sauce surrounding what looked like six or so meatballs. I was confused. What the Gandhi were these meatballs doing in my veggie curry? But with a swift prod of a fork I realized that these were no meatballs…
And I still don’t know what they were. They were super good though!