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Bang for your BRISKET Buck: 5 Austin BBQ Picks

Austin, Barbecue, BBQ, Brisket, Cheap Eats, Texas By May 18, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

It often starts in a backyard where a Dad dumps lighter fluid over a pyramid of charcoal briquettes. Hotdogs stand at the ready to be charred. You inevitably eat outside. For a moment, the modern suburban American is somehow a little more connected to nature and the primal beginnings of human civilization. Eating around the fire is both ancient ritual and modern day American food tradition. In either case, while the scenario is fun, eating well from fire is often an art best left to the experts. Enter American Barbecue, the Central Texas smoked meat tradition, and our current food renaissance’s obsession with the pit master obsessed with brisket.  There is just nothing quite like it. Sure, Memphis fanatics will talk up the supremacy of sugar rubbed ribs and Carolina pulled pork enthusiasts will mock anything that isn’t porcine focused but man who doesn’t love beef in America? Further, who doesn’t love the pure satisfaction of beef kissed with smoke, salt and pepper? There is plenty of room on my table for all kinds of Barbecue and not just our domestic fare either, but I happily now count myself among the ranks of the brisket obsessed and I can thank living in Austin for that. There has been a renaissance, wait I used that word already, well F*** it, it is what it is, there has been a Renaissance in Central Texas Barbecue that has stretched out as far west as Compton CA and as far east as the Big Apple. But today we will focus on Central Texas Brisket found right here in Central Texas. So here we go – 5 Austin picks where you will find some Bang for your Brisket Buck.

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St. Louis in Requeim

Cheap Eats, Midwest, St. Louis By March 7, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , 2 Comments

The things you just may not know about your hometown. Like finding out that St. Louis is the chess capital of the world. A fact to surely take pride in but something that also seems just a little trivial when placed next to the earliest memories of one’s life. The first time I saw fireworks was off the banks of the mighty Mississippi. The heat of a humid St. Louis summer is synonymous with watching professional baseball(Go Cards!). And then there is the food that I grew up with. Late night burger runs at Steak ‘n Shake. Toasted Raviolis, Provel laced pizza, heck veal parms – it ain’t easy finding a veal parm sandwich these days. But that was not the St. Louis that Cheap Eats experienced. Like the saying goes, “you can’t go home again” and we didn’t. Our time was spent throwing the spotlight on a barbecue scene that is coming into its own over the last fifteen or so years. And bold St. Louisans who resist the constant temptation to settle in the idyllic if less historic suburbs west of the city proper in order to bring life to a city that was once the center of the Midwest. St. Louis has changed . . . some, and I’m proud to say that. So even though I look fondly on the this town as where it all began for me, let’s sink our teeth into a side of my hometown that is just as fresh and as different for you as it was for me.

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Des Moines in Requiem

Cheap Eats, Des Moines, Iowa, Midwest By February 22, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

The time has come to put Des Moines on your food map. I can’t say exactly when this Midwest town shifted from land of pork tenderloin sandwiches(you have company Indy) to a James Bear nominated food scene but the food renaissance of the 21st century is making its presence known in Des Moines. Of course there are somethings that remain timeless in Des Moines, like Miller High Life paired with quality fried anything or a college bar that doubles as a brunch destination. As I look back on the few days I spent in Des Moines, I recall funky neighborhood surprises like the uber hip clothing and knick knack store Raygun, visiting Midwestern yuppies, and more than a few meals I would happily make a return trip for. Oh Des Moines, the land of silent “S’s”(thx Meigan Bell), you are more than some markings on a map, you are true blue hub of Cheap Eats.

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Chattanooga in Requiem

Chattanooga, Cheap Eats By February 14, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Chattanooga. Nooga. Gig City. Chat-town. Maybe you have heard of all the nicknames, or maybe your knowledge of this growing tech hub of the south is limited to the famous choo-choo. Whatever camp you fall in, you know now that Chat-town loves their food. Like big brother Nashville to the north, the Chattanooga food scene is rooted in the ways of the South but is also keenly aware of the adventurous palates of 21st century American diners. The Cheap Eats lunch stop at Slicks Burgers serves as a clear indicator that our current burger renaissance is alive and kicking in the Nooga. Chocolate shops have long been a staple in the American food scene but it takes a modern day food specialist to deliver a pot de crème of the caliber that the Hot Chocolatier does. Even tacos, though in this case in Irish form, make a showing in Chattanooga. Despite a rich history, the side of Chattanooga we show in Cheap Eats is young, tech oriented(they boast one of the highest internet speeds in the country) and seems to draw in many a first time entrepreneur. Hungry Millennials make for hungry Cheap Eaters so let’s take a big bite into why Nooga is a Cheap Eats kinda town.

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Omaha in Requiem

Cheap Eats, Nebraska, Omaha By February 7, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Omaha. I just didn’t see it coming. Sure, a catch phrase like “Omahappening” puts you in a positive mood. Maybe you’re thinking that Cornhusker pride serves up some hearty Midwestern fare that starts with all day tailgates and ends with a serious steakhouse scene. Well that’s part of it. And so is hip neighborhoods, a thriving music scene and a quiet storm of Farm to Table cuisine. I came to Omaha thinking it would be all about the beef but what dropped my jaw was the dairy. Grass Fed Ice Cream and egg dishes that didn’t play second fiddle to big brother bacon. My Cheap Eaters – Omaha is indeed Omahappening – it’s a cool city that frankly offers more than I, and perhaps you, might have expected. The Cheap Eats here was my excuse to learn about one of the coolest cities in the Midwest. So let’s start with some eats and see why the town that brought you bands like Bright Eyes is a shining food city on a hill of . . . corn.

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Louisville in Requiem

Cheap Eats, Kentucky, Louisville, Midwest By January 31, 2017 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

So how do you say it? I went with version one, the one with the drawl, and it earned me more than a few nods of approval. Invoking that drawl also reminds you that Louisville is a little bit Southern. As Baltimore straddles a line on the cultural map of the East Coast and the South, so does Louisville, with the South and the Midwest. This city might surprise you with a diverse set of famous former residents like Hunter S. Thompson and Muhammad Ali, Thomas Edison and even Tom Cruise. You probably know about the whole horse racing thing and the bourbon. And you probably could have guessed that both have been an integral part of Louisville’s history and identity for well over 230 years. Point is you have heard of Louisville but do you know what’s going on with the food here? First off, they got some food history, the most notable IMO being the Kentucky Hot Brown and yeah we found one fit for the Cheap Eats Budget. This is a city that has more than a few nearby farms. And beyond that solid farm to table showing is a grip of talented chefs who are having fun with food. And on that note let’s start off with the most fun breakfast we have found to date:

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