What You Haven’t Tried in Austin

Austin is known as one of the best gourmet culinary cities. It seems impossible to try every restaurant in the area. After looking into Austin’s finest venues for food, I came across some hidden but delicious meals.

Story by Ali Garza

Photos by Miranda Chiechi

Starbucks has secret mixtures, McDonalds has double-double cheeseburgers, and these local restaurants follow a similar trend. To increase the number of spots to try, ORANGE has compiled a few dishes that even the most dedicated foodie has yet to hear about.

 

Pasta Puttanesca from Enoteca Vespaio

To add to the delicious sound of an authentic Italian dinner, Enoteca Vespaio serves a secret dish of Pasta Puttanesca. This style of pasta is served with your preference of pasta, but I keep it simple with spaghetti, which pairs nicely with this olive and caper filled sauce. The savory olives and capers made every bite memorable, along with the marinated garlic tomatoes. Before I knew it, I saw capers and tomato sauce at the bottom of the pearl white bowl. Wishing I had another serving, I just had to settle with scooping the leftovers up with a piece of bread. The mixture of salty and sweet tastes reminded me why my favorite type of food is Italian.

Enoteca Vespaio is a quaint restaurant located on South Congress.

Enoteca Vespaio is a quaint restaurant located on South Congress.

 

Tachos from Black Sheep Lodge

This spunky bar and restaurant on South Lamar will blow you away with their secret menu item, the Tachos, or tater tot nachos. Black Sheep Lodge replaces traditional tortilla chips with tater tots. Loaded on top of the fried potatoes are sour cream drizzle, jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, black beans, and cheddar cheese. Make sure to bring your friends along because this appetizer dish is quite filling. “It’s a game changer, almost something you can find at a fair,” Texas Tech University student Kiki Alshouse says. Pair the tachos with their seasonal Brooklyn post road pumpkin ale, which complements the saltiness of the tachos surprisingly well.

Black Sheep Lodge is an outdoor beer garden with a full bar and grill.

Black Sheep Lodge is an outdoor beer garden with a full bar and grill.

 

Wagyu Burger from Foreign & Domestic

Located on East 53rd Street, Foreign & Domestic looks like a simple restaurant on the outside, but a romantic candle lit venue awaits you on the inside. The burger came with a sesame seed bun, green tomato jam, montboissie cheese, pickled onions. Optional toppings included bacon and a fried egg. Each bite of this burger provided a burst of flavor. The meat was juicy, the egg dripped delicious yoke, the bacon was crispy, and the pickled onions really gave it an interesting kick. It was a must try in this simple, yet distinct restaurant.

Foreign & Domestic is a locally owned restaurant.

Foreign & Domestic is a locally owned restaurant.

Whether or not these dishes were spontaneous experiments or special requests from customers, they are blessings to Austin’s collection of restaurants. Check out these gems because the secret is safe with us.