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Texas Monthly’s Pat Sharpe Praises Launderette; Odam Visits Fork & Taco

Fancy Instagram-ready tacos aren't for the Statesman critic.

Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Pat Sharpe over at Texas Monthly wrote about her exhilarating but at times "overwhelming" experience at Launderette, where she’s a fan of executive chef Rene Ortiz’s penchant for powerful, multilayered flavors and pastry Chef Sawicki’s talent for putting unlikely ingredients together. On the three entrees she tried:

Ortiz was his over-the-top self with all of them, which worked well with the garganelli, because the lusty Calabrian chile–spiked sausage paired nicely with the strong green flavor of curly kale ("We massage it with a bit of oil before we sauté it," Ortiz later told me) and a snowstorm of grated pecorino. His style was also spot-on with the grilled prawns with saucy stewed Aleppo and Fresno chiles and a cooling splash of yogurt seasoned with crushed nigella seeds (a.k.a. black cumin). But enthusiasm pretty much obscured the delicate filet of red snapper with a lemony pine nut–gremolata garnish, because it also got slammed by a generous cauliflower puree (putting it to the side would have solved the problem).

Meanwhile, Matthew Odam at The Statesman is less than thrilled with Fork & Taco’s attempt "to elevate the taco." While he’s impressed by the Burnet Road restaurants’ sleek design and regional, all-natural ingredient sourcing—and admits some of the tacos would make for a great Instagram post—the actual flavors and execution disappoint him. On two chicken tacos:

One with firm Asian pear slices and tomatillo and a jerk chicken taco with unripe mango, avocado and mojo sauce (both $3.95) — were both dry and reminded me of the chicken strips my college roommate would cook in a frying pan. Neither found salvation from the two salsas — an intriguing and slightly funky Thai chimichurri (labeled Fork & Hot) or the mouth-numbing bright orange habanero (Fork & Hotter), which reminded me of a hot piece of hard candy from a menacing grandmother.

— Sofia Sokolove


2115 Holly Street, , TX 78702 (512) 382-1599 Visit Website

Fork + Taco

4801 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756 Visit Website

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