the spot: Otherside Deli 1104 W. 34th St Austin TX 78705
the eats: The Roddy
the bucks: $11
the full nelson: The first pastrami sandwich that has made me miss LA a little less
In the weeks leading up to my imminent departure from Los Angeles in the summer of 2015, I made sure to eat at as many of my favorite haunts as I could. Knowing that I couldn’t get to them all, I made a special emphasis on foods that I knew would be in short supply in the Lone Star State. Falafels, Baja style fish tacos and delicatessen fare topped the list. Sure, one can find a respectable falafel in a city like Austin, but just not in the same frequency as one can find them in the city of Angels, or with the same variety; Israeli, Lebanese and Armenian options abound when it comes to scoring a Middle Eastern hush puppy.
As far as deli fare as concerned, I knew I would be in dire straits. So I made sure to hit up Langer’s delicatessen: home to the best pastrami sandwich in the universe. Yes, it’s better than Katz in NYC. Langer’s magnificently crafted pastrami sandwich, whose rye bread is just as perfect as the hand carved slices of pepper smoked beef, was worth a flight back to LA in my opinion. And I held to that opinion for years now, right up till about last week.
the spot: Little Big Burger 1630 East 6th St. Austin TX 78702
the eats: Little Big Burger with double patty, cheddar and bacon
the bucks: $7.50, $4.50 respectively
the full nelson: a burger chain that’s pretty keen on Bang for your Burger Buck
One of my first jobs out of college would occasionally take the staff out for lunch. I naturally liked to steer the ship on where would we go, and fought relentlessly from dining at a chain. That was almost 20 years ago and in the two decades that have since passed, the words “restaurant chain” conjure up a more complex dining scene. Yes, there are some respectable chains out there, especially in the world of burgers. In the case of Little Big Burger, you just might have the best Bang for your Burger Buck chain there is . . .
the spot: Tumble 22 7211 Burnett road Austin TX 78757
the eats: The OG Classic Hot Chicken Sandwich
the bucks: $8.50
the full nelson: a perfect fried chicken experience captured in a bun
Austin really isn’t a fried chicken joint town and that’s OK because these days it’s all about Hot Chicken, or should I say Nashville Hot Chicken. Now I’m sure of you saw Cheap Eats Nashville and know that I did indeed try some real deal Nashville Hot Chicken at Pepperfire, our spot for dinner. While Austin can’t compete with Nashville’s sheer number of fiery Hot Chicken joints, Tumble 22 serves up some hot chicken on a bun that makes me think twice about taking a trip back to Nashvegas. And they do it for a little over $8.
Day 3 of Austin City Limits Music Festival would be the grand finale of my ACL Eats Fest, and I think I went out with a bang. Micklethwait Craft Meats is not only my favorite vendor amongst the food court here but also ranks up there with the top three best barbecue joints I have ever been too. But don’t sleep on Tamale Addiction, which ended up being the biggest surprise ACL Eat of the festival. Which one will be my ACL Eat of the day? Well there is one way to find out!
And then there was Day 2 of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, which meant a fresh round of ACL Eats. I gotta say going hitting up all three days of an ACL weekend is a strong move, where pace and eyeing the right mix of food vendors is key. Chilantro and Noble Sandwich Co(aka Noble Pig) are both popular Austin staples that have gotten national attention in print media and food television. You really can’t go wrong visiting either of these spots but which spot and which dish became my ACL Eat of the day? Let’s find out!!