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La Condesa's Rick Lopez and Sway's Alexis Chong Map South First

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Alexis Chong and Rick Lopez were both recently promoted to Executive Chef at sister restaurants Sway and La Condesa respectively, after previously working in the kitchens under departed chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki. Lopez and Chong are clearly friends: Lopez often stops by Sway on his way home, while Chong says she "stops by Condesa to drop something off, but really it's an excuse to see Rick," a visit which Lopez calls "a good surprise." Both value having the other as a coworker as well as a resource to "vent to," and they're "excited" to take the helm and build up "good teams" in the kitchen.

Both chefs live off of South First, and they recently chatted with Eater about their top picks along one of Austin's classic restaurant strips. Chong's favorite breakfast tacos come from El Primo, while Lopez loves the carne guisada at Polvos. Both are big fans of Elizabeth Street Cafe, and they meet for weekly breakfasts at Bouldin Creek, despite Chong's "preconceived ideas about vegans."

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El Mercado

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[Photo:Daniel B./Yelp]

La Barbecue Cuisine Texicana

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[Photo: Deane M./Yelp]

Elizabeth St. Café

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Rick hits up Elizabeth Street two times a week. His order: the fried chicken banh mi and the octopus salad. Alexis craves their singapore noodles "all the time" and worries she will "start to hate them, and then there will be nothing good in my life."

[Photo: Thomas C./Yelp]

Bouldin Creek Café

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[Photo:Lydia L./Yelp]

La Mexicana Bakery

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[Photo: Dan G./Yelp]

Polvos Mexican Restaurant

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Rick's order: chips and salsa, the carne guisada plate, and/or the pork tips with green salsa. Alexis's order: the pulled pork tacos, because they're "interactive."

[Photo: Sara S./Yelp]

El Primo Taco Truck

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[Photo: Ben L./Yelp]

El Tacorrido

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[Photo: Melanie M./Yelp]

Habanero Mexican Cafe

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[Photo: chappy s.]

El Mercado

[Photo:Daniel B./Yelp]

La Barbecue Cuisine Texicana

[Photo: Deane M./Yelp]

Elizabeth St. Café

Rick hits up Elizabeth Street two times a week. His order: the fried chicken banh mi and the octopus salad. Alexis craves their singapore noodles "all the time" and worries she will "start to hate them, and then there will be nothing good in my life."

[Photo: Thomas C./Yelp]

Bouldin Creek Café

[Photo:Lydia L./Yelp]

La Mexicana Bakery

[Photo: Dan G./Yelp]

Polvos Mexican Restaurant

Rick's order: chips and salsa, the carne guisada plate, and/or the pork tips with green salsa. Alexis's order: the pulled pork tacos, because they're "interactive."

[Photo: Sara S./Yelp]

El Primo Taco Truck

[Photo: Ben L./Yelp]

El Tacorrido

[Photo: Melanie M./Yelp]

Habanero Mexican Cafe

[Photo: chappy s.]

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