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Austin Monthly Critic Fawns Over Cal-Mex Hotel Restaurant

Texas Monthly barbecue critic is hopeful for The Switch

Dishes from Joann’s
Dishes from Joann’s
Joann’s Fine Foods/Facebook
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

Austin Monthly critic Jolène Bouchon reviewed Joann’s Fine Foods this week, and was pleased with the revamped diner from powerhouse restaurant group McGuire Moorman. Bouchon noted that Joann’s, which opened in October, managed to execute stereotypically cheesy early ’70s decor with “effortless chic.”

Bouchon points out that while the menu may seem Tex-Mex, the usage of ingredients like Soyrizo, fish, and avocado made it more West Coast-influenced, meaning Cal-Mex. She appreciated the diner’s attention to sour and spice, such as the guajillo broth in the pozole rojo. She also enjoyed the beef fajitas with “soft and pillowy” flour tortillas, and a hearty toast:

the slab of grilled goat cheese toast topped with a meaty-tasting (but meat-free) mushroom saute and just enough arbol chile to cut through the richness is substantial enough as a lunch on its own.

Bouchon was less impressed by the “salty” shrimp veracruz, and noted the “hangover-ready” hash brown nachos were delicious, but the lacked crunch of nachos. She also addressed the famously contentious $32 chicken fried steak, noting that “at least $10 of it is a fair cost differential.” Overall, she said she’d “happily” return.

Texas Monthly barbecue critic Daniel Vaughn shared his thoughts on Cajun barbecue restaurant The Switch this week. The second restaurant from Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew (which is on Vaughn’s list of 50 best barbecue joints in Texas) adds some new favorite dishes to his list.

Some of Vaughn’s favorite dishes included the Ragin’ Cajun Boudin, containing crawfish and bacon, and the jalapeño cheese sausage. Though he preferred the brisket and ribs at Stiles Switch for now, he still called Switch’s lineup “impressive” and has confidence the team will hit their stride.

Though the menu has changed since his tastings, he did praise the gumbo served with potato salad instead of rice, and the s’mores sandwich, a “glorious mess chocolate, cookies, and toasted marshmallows.” He also recommended stopping by for Sunday brunch:

Anything on one of these fluffy, buttery biscuits would be good, and using them as the base for a brisket benedict with perfectly poached eggs was a great way to start a Sunday morning.

ON THE BLOGS: Sushi in the ATX visited Soto for lunch and loved the variety of the sushi and sashimi shokado. So Much Life Blog called the chocolate and beet muffins at Intero’s new brunch a “show-stopper.”

The Switch

166 Hargraves Street, , TX 78737 (512) 212-7211 Visit Website


1220 South Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78704