Austin is truly a feast for the senses. I haven’t stopped ruminating about my recent visit, which could be attributed to the greatness of the town, or my compulsive nature. Regardless, the food experience in this Central Texas hub is well worth your perusal.
Last we spoke, we chewed on trailer park Thai and boozy Kahlua ice cream. Today, it’s homegrown and cheesy.
Northwest of the University of Texas campus nestled between two parks is Trudy’s, which dishes out fabulous Tex-Mex. The menu consists of tacos, burritos and the usual Mex fare. But the enchilada selection boggled the mind. More than 20 choices.
Hey, you know of my affection for enchiladas. Don’t be shocked.
After an hour of postponing the inevitable, my blonde guest and I settled on the exact same dish. Tinga Queso Verdes. Corn tortillas stuffed with Mesquite-smoked brisket and chipotle, rolled fat, and topped with New Mexico green chile and chile con queso. One of the BEST quesos I’ve ever ingested too, as if I weren’t already skipping through the clouds.
From cheesy and meaty to slow, locally grown and on the other side of town, East Side showcases the fundamental of eating fresh ingredients at their best. When they say “locally grown”, they mean “out back”. Just behind the cafe is the East Side Garden. Everything grown in the garden is served, and the rest is locally produced.
We started with a plate of radishes, peppers, cucumbers, sweet potato leaves (seriously) and basil pesto, chimichurri, sea salt, and an herbaceous butter for dipping. It was refreshing to be reminded of how tasty raw vegetables can be when they aren’t mass produced and loaded with pesticides.
On to the main course. The grilled meatloaf, made from Niman Ranch beef, was topped with a bacon Shiner Bock tomato sauce. I’m going to pause while that sinks in.
The char on the meatloaf brought out the smokiness of the bacon in the SHINER BOCK tomato sauce. I immediately considered moving in. But that’s a big step, and I wasn’t sure we’d reached that level in our relationship.
Finished it off with a soy and sesame roasted acorn squash. Gastronomic bliss had been reached.