the spot: Rosita’s Al Pastor 1911 E. Riverside Dr. Austin TX 78741
the eats: Al Pastor Tacos
the bucks: $2 a taco
the full nelson: An Austin fav for Al Pastor tacos
Austin has a big rep for being a taco town, especially when it comes to breakfast tacos. As far as other tacos go, that statement needs some sense of bearing. Coming from Los Angeles, I feel confident in saying that Austin is not an Al Pastor town. That being said, there are a few spots to scratch the trompo itch and locals will tell you that Rosita’s Al Pastor is one of them.
the spot: Julie’s Noodles 8557 Research Blvd #110 Austin TX 75758
the eats: Xiao Long Bao(crab and soup dumpling), Pork Chopped Noodle Soup
the bucks: $10 a person will set you up nicely
the full nelson: a divey Chinese joint that satisfies the itch for affordable & authentic dough driven cravings
the spot: El Norteño Pollos Asados 4925 Craigwood Drive Austin TX 78725
the eats: tacos, carnitas by the pound, chicken and ribs grilled over hardwood charcoal
the bucks: $2 a taco, carnitas $10/lb, whole chicken $17, ribs $18 a rack
the full nelson: a real deal cheap taco truck that smokes up chicken and ribs + carnitas by the pound
El Norteño Pollos Asados is the kind of Cheap Eats find you want to keep to yourself but you just can’t because good food always tastes better when you brag about it. At $2 a taco, you have a legit Cheap Eats find in Austin where far too many tacos are nestling around the $3-$4 mark. Though sized like street tacos, you will find 4 tacos will cover your craving. My instincts told me to graze away at a few of the meaty offerings but one taco stood out by a mile . . .
the spot: Uroko 1023 Springdale road bldg 1 ste C Austin TX 78721
the eats: handrolls all day!
the bucks: $4.50 – $7 per roll, factor about $20-$25 per person for a reasonable meal
the full nelson: Quality sushi hand rolls at an almost hand roll only sushi spot
Uroko is a fascinating sushi concept: a high quality hand roll only joint that moonlights as a sushi school on Thursdays and a Omakase(Chef’s tasting menu) restaurant by reservation only, on weekends. What this means is if you want to go hard and drop major coin, you have to really mean it. Sushi ain’t cheap and if it is . . . that’s not a good thing. Don’t take short cuts on raw fish a wise ER doctor once said. TBH I didn’t actually hear a doctor say that but I’m sure it has been said before. Back to Uroko and Bang for your Sushi Buck: you can waltz into this little “food hall esque” restaurant and for as little as $20 you can walk out full with about 4 hand rolls in your belly, maybe more if you go for the beef tenderloin or the salmon belly, but not by much.
But is Uroko as good as a premium sushi spot? Well the answer lies in the chef’s pedigree . . .
the spot: 40 North 900 W. 10th St. Austin TX 78703
the eats: 40 North Burger
the bucks: $13.40
the full nelson: a double cheeseburger for grown ups and with a grown up price tag
It might surprise you to learn that Austin TX has a respectable pizza scene, including the likes of Neapolitan, NY style, New Jersey Bar pizzas and Detroit style pies. Within that flurry of pizza know how, 40 North stands out with some very tempting sandwich options like a Porchetta(roasted pork belly) on baguette, a fried chicken sandwich and one damn good and good looking burger. The 40 North burger also commands a somewhat hefty price tag of $13.40. Does it deliver some Bang for your Burger Buck? Read on to find out!