Statesman critic Matthew Odam visits Uchi's new casual bakery/ restaurant St. Philip this week. While the restaurant is far from the game-changer Uchi was in the Austin dining scene, over Odam finds it to be a welcome addition to Sunset Valley. On the meatballs:
Outside of the pizzas, meatballs must be considered the restaurant's culinary heart and soul. You can order the moist, savory meatballs (made with beef or chicken) the size of racquetballs on a fat hoagie roll ($9.50) or as a stand-alone dish ($9), the tender orbs served in either oily tomato-based Sunday "gravy" or an unappealing, pasty Parmesan broth. Kids can order a junior version of the meatball sub from the separate kids menu, which also includes a milky macaroni and fontina cheese dish that compelled my nephews to lobby for a second order.
Virginia Wood of The Chronicle also weighs in on St. Philip this week. While the kitchen turned out a few misses, her review praises the baked goods especially:
Although I've tried several different things from the cases, I've yet to find a favorite item among pastry chef Kerstin Bellah's creations that rivals my affection for the Pullman brioche loaf used for the Texas toast, but that doesn't mean I won't keep trying. The pizza dough, breads, and pastries here make excellent canvases for the house creations and, though pricey, they're worth a trip in their own right.
Meanwhile, obsessive single-food-consumer Mike Sutter has a new target for 2015: tacos. The blogger plans on consume and post about 500+ tacos over the year in order to rank Austin's best. Here's his take on Burnet newcomer Fork + Taco:
Burnet Road is reinventing itself, and Fork & Taco is reinventing the neighborhood taqueria. With high prices and fancy pants, the cynic might say, looking at a $6 tuna taco on a menu that includes pears and portobellos and soy maple crema. A more thoughtful assessment? There's no reason a taqueria can't be a name-that-farmer artisan endeavor.