Last week, Chronicle editor Brandon Watson sat down for Texas dining at EastSide Tavern. After opining on what Texan food really means to him (“heavily spiced junk foods"), he dug into the East Cesar Chavez restaurant’s offerings, which he ultimately found were uneven.
Watson took pleasure in EastSide’s appetizers, from loaded fries with chopped pork, smoked chicken wings, and Frito pie. What stood out to him the most were those tater tots.:
Stuffed with brisket and cheddar, they're everything you want to eat while chugging pilsners. I'll even forgive the side of chipotle aïoli (anyone can spoon some adobo into a jar of Hellman's) if only because they are good without any dipping sauce.
Watson thought the rest of the menu was a “mixed bag,” especially the barbecue, which was dry. He concluded that EastSide Tavern isn't necessarily a dining destination, but it'll do for group hangs.
Austin Monthly critic Jolène M. Bouchon added to the heaps of praise for Texas Japanese izakaya Kemuri Tatsu-ya, where the two cuisines blend seamlessly for inventive comfort food in a lively setting. Each region was represented well, from the skewers to pecan pies to sturdy tiki-inspired cocktail list. She had particular fun with Kemuri’s barbecue, the restaurant’s homage to its predecessor Live Oak Barbecue:
House-made brisket finds its way into the “Hot Pocketz” starter, melty with gouda, and smoke lends flavor to a roster of goodies, including a light, lemony mackerel; barbecued eel; and silky duck breast delicately flavored with orange ponzu.
Also for Austin Monthly, writer Darcie Duttweiler lounged around at Tillery Kitchen and Bar. While, yes, she did think the menu can be slightly pricey, she still thought the Mediterranean restaurant perfect for lighter bites and wine:
My cocktail of choice — the Tillery Tea Thyme with bourbon, black tea, and honey — paired beautifully with the bruschetta companion plate served with earthy mushrooms and a briny castelvetrano olive tapenade atop fresh focaccia.