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Critics Mix On Lake Eats; Swift's Scores High In Statesman

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This week, the Austin Chronicle conducts a tour of lakeside eats, including All Star Burger and Yaghi's Pizza, while Matthew Odam at the Austin American-Statesman stays downtown at Swift's Attic.

For "Dining Del Lago," Virginia B. Wood hits the Oasis complex and Los Pinos Mexican Restaurant. At the Oasis, she notes the Uncle Billy's gospel brunch buffet is "plentiful and affordably priced," and that's about all we hear about the food besides the fact that it exists. Los Pinos is also about quantity, as the food "can best be described as plentiful, but uninspired."

Kate Thornberry, on the other hand, really enjoyed her farm-to-table time at the special Wednesday dinners at "unpretentious sports bar" Josey's, where $25 gets diners three locally sourced courses she calls a "great deal." At Yaghi's Pizza in Bee Cave, she finds the pizza "authentic and inexpensive, and for any transplanted East Coast folks, a little slice of home."

Meanwhile Wes Marshall visits three spots. All Star Burger impresses, especially after Marshall discovers the owner is Shane Street of Cool River fame. He calls the burger menu "especially inventive" and really likes the "West" burger, with "cheddar, roasted jalapeños, and garlic-cilantro infused cream cheese." He has much less luck at Chisos, where the chicken fried steak is a "large slab of mealy beef," the pork chop is "dry and flavorless" and the Presidio Tos­tadas are the only thing "worth stopping for." At Cafe Blue, Marshall couldn't get enough of the curry sauce on the Thai-Style Mussels and also praises the sauce on his Trout Almondine, though the fish courses were "cooked just a touch more than we normally prefer."

At the Austin American-Statesman, Matthew Odam reviews the much-abuzzed Swift's Attic, giving the restaurant with an "urbane-but-rustic vibe" a highly respectable 8.5 of 10 and coining a new term for the place: "gastroclub," because it feels like "your eccentric friend's catered loft party." (The hot pants on female servers seem to help.)

The food? Odam likes pretty much all of it from executive chef Mat Clouser and sous chef Zack Northcutt. He likes the "pork pleasures" of the pork cheeks and the "banh minis." He likes the venison kebabs, with "fenugreek whispering notes from India," and he really likes the Idaho rainbow trout in a "deep, comforting broth of white wine and butter."

At lunch, Odam recommends the burger, which he says is on his Austin top-10 list, and the vegetable Italian hero, another top-10 lister for veggie sandwiches. The only disappointment? The "CLT" sandwich with "salty and greasy cracklins."

For dessert, he writes that pastry chef Callie Speer's ingredients in her popcorn and a movie dessert "confuse and thrill like a whirlwind first weekend of dating a new love." A fitting end-of-meal: after this review, it's clear who Odam wants to take to the dance. (Hint: Swift's Attic is who Odam wants to take to the dance.)

· Dining Del Lago [Austin Chronicle]
· At Swift's Attic, culinary artistry flies unfettered [Austin360]
· All Week In Reviews Coverage on Eater Austin [-EATX-]

The Swift's Attic bar. [Photo: Deanna W./Yelp]

Swift's Attic

315 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701