It certainly was a week for restaurant reviews this week, so buckle up: Statesman critic Matthew Odam released his review of Nixta Taqueria, declaring it the home of some of Austin’s best tacos. The East Austin restaurant opened barely two months ago.
Odam noted that Nixta’s menu has gluten-free and vegan options, including an “astounding” beet tostada that was his favorite vegan bite this year:
The ruby jewels are tossed in a nutty salsa macha aioli creamy with nut butter, showered with shaved horseradish, draped by bitter micro greens and set atop a crackling yellow corn tostada spread with bright avocado crema.
Odam also praised the “savory-sweet” butternut squash taco with pickled fresno chilis and a quesadilla with panela cheese and blended potatoes and chorizo that he calls a “gooey and delicious mess.” Addressing the higher price of the tacos, Odam noted: “You’re paying for creativity, craftsmanship and the kind of attention to detail.”
Chronicle critic Jessi Cape reviewed Goan restaurant Vixen’s Wedding just before Thanksgiving, concluding that “the team (mostly) successfully navigates creating an Austin-esque homage” to the Indian region. The East Austin hotel restaurant opened in July under the helm of Lenoir chefs Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher.
Cape enjoyed all of her dishes: the whole roasted fish with green curry, the wagyu beef, and particularly the vindaloo ribs:
Five artfully stacked ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, complete with an incredibly bright and flavorful kick-your-lips heat, and served with shaved coconut salad (and tiny shrimp) and pickled onions. Well-balanced, you’ll regret having to share this, so don’t.
Cape added that the Holy Basil Colada cocktail was one of the best in town, and bread program was “brief but mighty.” However, she recommended saving “lovely but expensive” meal for a special occasion
Cape also reckoned with the significance of white restaurant owners cooking the food of a different culture, and wanted more explanations of the dishes and ingredients. She understood that Vixen’s served as a gateway to Indian food for people “who don’t frequent smaller, minority-owned restaurants,” but urged readers to patronize those establishments as well.
A week later, Chronicle’s Melanie Haupt reviewed food truck-turned-restaurant Cluck n’ Burger, finding “a bold approach to casual American food.” The food truck took over shuttered North Loop spot Turntable Eatery for its physical restaurant, which opened in September.
Haupt called the Broken Wedge salad a “bombshell,” and enjoyed the “nostalgic” chicken corn dog. However, the mains were somewhat disappointing, with plump and juicy Buffalo wings that had an underwhelming sauce and a “mushy” veggie burger. Desserts fared worse, with a “runny” milkshake and a huge chocolate cupcake that arrived frozen.
Austin Monthly critic Jolène Bouchon reviewed minimalist sushi restaurant Uroko this week, which, despite her initial hesitations, she found thoroughly impressive. The restaurant, from the team behind Japanese restaurant Kome, focuses on serving hand rolls during the daytime and omakase on Fridays and Saturdays as of May.
During a lunchtime visit, Bouchon was at first dissuaded by the “spartan” decor, but found the simple combinations “emphasized the crystalline freshness of the ingredients” for a hand roll with hamachi and one with crawfish tails. Bouchon called the quick omakase dinner “one of the most engaging dining experiences,” as each course comes with an explanation of the ingredients. Though she may have longed for another course, she called it a superior dining experience.
- Nixta Taqueria takes craft approach to some of city’s best tacos [Statesman]
- All Coverage of Nixta Taqueria [EATX]
- Restaurant Review: Vixen’s Wedding [Chronicle]
- All Coverage of Vixen’s Wedding [EATX]
- Restaurant Review: Cluck-N-Burger Gives Food Truck Vibes at Its Airport Boulevard Location [Chronicle]
- All Coverage of Cluck-N-Burger [EATX]
- Uroko: One of Austin’s Most Engaging Dining Experiences [Austin Monthly]
- All Coverage of Uroko [EATX]