Austin is a food-obsessed town, but there are plenty of hidden gems that most Austinites have yet to discover. Eater is enlisting the help of the city's many food professionals to track down some of Austin's most under-the-radar destinations. Welcome to Dining Confidential.
Legendary cocktail connoisseur and Peché owner Rob Pate just welcomed a new head chef, John Lichtenberger. In between settling in with the new team, he shared his go-to food favorites in town.
While his Warehouse District spot is known for its sophisticated cocktail program, European comfort dishes and, of course, absinthe, Pate is also a big fan of straightforward Asian and Cajun cuisine. When not behind the bar at Peché, he's seated at Hao Hao, Ho Ho Chinese BBQ or Evangeline Café. Pate's sign of a good meal? A high napkin-to-face ratio.
Hao Hao is probably one of my favorite places when I'm not here. I've been going there about 23 years. They do a good satay. It's my absolute favorite. And their hot and sour Vietnamese soup is really nice. Almost like a pineapple-sour-type soup that's wonderful. I usually don't get a chance to order. They just order for me though. That and Ho Ho. It's far away, but it's worth the drive. Roasted duck is always my favorite. A little rice and a little chili oil, and I'm a set, set person.—Ashley Cheng
Also, being south, there's Evangeline Cafe. It's a little place off Brodie. Cajun. They do a couple dishes that aren't that good, but all the rest are just amazing. So as long as you don't order the bad ones, everything else is good. He does a chicken gumbo that's really, really good. Also a roast beef po-boy sandwich that you'll need about 12 napkins to eat. Just runs everywhere. Just absolutely perfect.
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