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A man in a coat eating a big rib.
Phil Rosenthal eating a rib from LeRoy & Lewis in his show Somebody Feed Phil.
Courtesy of Netflix

Every Austin Restaurant in Somebody Feed Phil’s Texas Episode

Netflix television host Phil Rosenthal eats around the Texas city, indulging in barbecue, tacos, and ice cream

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Phil Rosenthal eating a rib from LeRoy & Lewis in his show Somebody Feed Phil.
| Courtesy of Netflix

The sixth season of the popular Netflix series Somebody Feed Phil — where host Phil Rosenthal travels to countries and cities to explore the local food scenes — premieres today, October 18. And luckily for Texas, there’s an entire episode dedicated to Austin.

Somebody Feed Phil’s third episode features a whole bunch of local restaurants, food trucks, chefs, and people, from new-school barbecue truck LeRoy & Lewis, Mexican restaurant Nixta Taqueria, and Japanese-Texas izakaya Kemuri Tatsu-ya. For the purposes of this map, Eater is also including restaurants/bars/food spots that are briefly featured since, you know, we recognize ‘em.

Here is every restaurant and food truck featured on Somebody Feed Phil’s Austin episode, listed in order of appearance on the show, which was filmed in January 2022.

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Torchy's Tacos

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Rosenthal kicks off the episode with a visit to the Austin-born and based taco chain’s flagship restaurant on South Congress, nothing that it’s usually his first stop whenever he’s in town. His enthusiastic order includes migas (he says because it’s the morning time, but also migas work all day long), the Mr. Orange (a blackened salmon taco), and the green chile queso (because, he says, “if you’re coming to Texas, you’re gonna need a little queso”).

He calls the tacos “Texas tacos,” and that “you can feel the Texas,” as he bites into his overstuffed migas, which he then dips into his queso. This is also the visit that starts a thread of him wondering what Tex-Mex is throughout the episode, though he does acknowledge that Torchy’s menu “is not Mexican-Mexican, this is Tex-Mex.”

A man eating a taco.
Phil Rosenthal digging into a taco at Torchy’s Tacos.
Courtesy of Netflix

More Home Slice Pizza

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In a brief introduction scene, Rosenthal is seen eating a slice of pizza from Travis Heights pizzeria’s takeout location.

Little Lucy's

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Another very brief scene, Rosenthal is seen walking in front of downtown cocktail bar Half Step and the bright pink doughnut trailer at night.

The Continental Club

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Yes, another very brief scene, but Rosenthal walks by the legendary Travis Heights music venue and bar while, naturally, talking about how live music is a very important part of Austin.

Amy's Ice Creams

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This is a two-for-one brief scene: Rosenthal is seen eating a bowl of ice cream from the Austin-based sweets chain’s South Congress location while seated on the patio of its next-door sushi restaurant neighbor Lucky Robot (see below) with a bunch of children.

Lucky Robot

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While Rosenthal isn’t actually eating food from the Japanese restaurant, he is eating ice creams from Amy’s (see above) on its patio with a bunch of kids.

Leroy & Lewis Barbecue

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Okay, and now for the next longer segment: Rosenthal goes on a barbecue tour with Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn, and their first stop is the Eater Austin award-winning new-school smoked meats truck in the Dawson neighborhood. Co-owners Sawyer Lewis and pitmaster Evan LeRoy serve and chat with the duo, who order brisket, beef cheeks, the Citra hop pork sausage, the bacon rib, the cheeseburger, and the cauliflower burnt ends. Rosenthal bites into the bacon rib, which is double-smoked and glazed in maple syrup several times, and exclaims that “it’s candy.” They also get the Frito pie, smoked/pickled jalapenos, the kale caesar slaw, and refried beans.

Lewis recommends that Rosenthal build a bite of potato bread topped with beef cheeks, kimchi, and the beet barbecue sauce, which he enjoys. Rosenthal and Vaughn cut the cheeseburger in half, and Rosenthal enjoys it so much that a crew member steals his portion.

Distant Relatives

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The next stop on Rosenthal and Vaughn’s barbecue crawl is the newer modern African American barbecue truck in the McKinney neighborhood (which was also named one of Eater’s best new restaurants and Eater Austin’s best new food truck in 2021). The two enjoy a glass of beer from host site Meanwhile Brewing, and then Distant owner and pitmaster Damien Brockway (who was also a James Beard semifinalist chef earlier this year) serves them an array of barbecue and sides, the latter including black eyed peats with burnt ends, hot smoked peanuts, pickled golden beets, and tallow-roasted radishes. Rosenthal tries the chicken with the paired chili-vinegar dip, and says that “this is some of my favorite chicken and sauce ever, I am finishing this.”

Then it’s time for a barbecue break. The next stop is what Rosenthal says is “one of my favorite restaurants in Austin” and “one of the best Mexican restaurants I’ve ever been to in my life, including in Mexico.” The East Austin Mexican restaurant was one of Eater’s best new restaurants in 2018 and whose chef Fermín Núñez was named Eater Austin’s chef of the same year.

Rosenthal’s dining guests include Núñez, along with the co-founders of the ATX Television Festival Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson (this makes sense, since Rosenthal sits on the advisory board for the festival and has often participated in panels and events).

During the meal, Rosenthal asks if Suerte is “not technically Tex-Mex,” and Núñez answers no. Rosenthal asks again, saying how because Núñez is Mexican and Suerte’s food is Mexican, “but there is a Texas thing” still. Then in a voice-over, he notes that the chef serves Mexican food with his inflections in Texas, so he wonders: “Does that count as Tex-Mex?” (editor’s note: the answer is no).

The group try the rainbow trout ceviche in an Aleppo pepper-puya pepper-orange broth topped with a tostada, of which Núñez says tastes “very Texas.” Then they dig into the tamale mole blanco, and end with the goat barbacoa, which comes wrapped in a banana leaf. Rosenthal asks, “Who doesn’t like that? Everybody likes that, right?”

A man and woman eating at a restaurant.
Rosenthal and Gipson eating a bite at Suerte.
Courtesy of Netflix

Interstellar BBQ

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Then it’s time for more smoked meats with Vaughn, and the pair head up to the near Anderson Mill barbecue restaurant. Owner John Bates serves them a big tray of smoked meats and sides, including brisket, burnt ends, lamb, turkey, and scalloped potatoes. Rosenthal and Vaughn split a piece of fatty brisket length-wise so that Rosenthal can really enjoy the melty fat. They complete the meal with the peach tea-glazed pork belly, of which Rosenthal says, “I’m glad we saved it for the end. Not only is it friggin’ delicious, it’s like the dessert.”

Birdie's

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Next up, Rosenthal heads to the Eater Austin award-winning Chestnut wine restaurant with Statesman food critic and reporter Matthew Odam. The duo dine with co-owner Arjav Ezekiel while co-owner and chef Tracy Malechek brings them food. They start with the chickpea panisse (which, alas, are no longer on the menu), and Rosenthal describes them as “gourmet french fries.” Next is the tartare with the carta di musica cracker, the roasted sweet potatoes with guanciale/celery-radish vinaigrette/sherry-black pepper-honey (Rosenthal says, “it’s a fun little tartare”).

Then it comes to the pasta courses, with the orecchiette with pork sausage, fennel, and black pepper; and the cavatelli with anchovies and tomatoes. Rosenthal is wowed by the dishes: “This tastes real. This tastes like I’m in Rome.” They end the meal with desserts: the chocolate chip cookie, olive oil cake, and the decadent soft drizzled with tangerine agrumato olive oil.

Nixta Taqueria

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Since it’s Texas, Rosenthal’s next visit involves a whole bunch of tacos with Austin’s Taco Mafia, a group of friends who also own taco businesses in the city. This involves host-site Eater Austin award-winning Nixta Taqueria’s Edgar Rico (who just won a James Beard Award) and Sara Mardanbigi, Central East Austin truck Cuantos Tacos’s Beto Robledo, Jerry Guerrero of what was formerly known as La Tunita 512 and is now called Palo Seco 512 in Parker Lane, and finally Central East Austin truck Discada’s Xose Velasco.

The group cheers with pineapple and strawberry aguas frescas, and then they dig into Nixta’s duck carnitas tacos. Rosenthal describes it as “one of the best duck dishes of any kind, just happens to be in a gorgeous taco.”

As Rosenthal is eating, he takes the opportunity to ask the group “how much Tex is in the Mex?” Rico rightfully schools him: “Tex-Mex for all of us is a thing that we kind of try and stay away from,” and notes that “all of us are Americans, you know? But we’re also Mexicans, so we’re trying to pay homage” through their food.

Discada

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Okay, while the show didn’t actually film at the Central East Austin taco truck, Rosenthal did eat its namesake tacos at Nixta with co-owner Xose Velasco. The group dig into the discada tacos — where layers of beef, pork, and vegetables are cooked in ways where each layer is cooked in the juices of the previous layer — at Nixta (see above). Rosenthal calls it “phenomenal.”

Palo Seco 512

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The third taco offering at Rosenthal’s Nixta visit is the Parker Lane truck, though, yes, the show didn’t actually film there. At the time of the filming, Jerry Guerrero’s truck was still called La Tunita 512, but he has since changed the name to Palo Seco 512. They try his birria quesotaco made with brisket with accompanying cup of consomé for dunking purposes at Nixta (see above). Rosenthal sums up his bite as “another ‘amazing.’”

Cuantos Tacos

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Finally, and yes, another place the show didn’t actually go to, but Rosenthal still had tacos from the Central East Austin truck during the meal at Nixta as the final taco offering. Robledo served his Mexico City-style campechana tacos, made with a mixture of brisket-cut suadero and Mexican chorizo longaniza. Rosenthal says it’s “another great one.”

Jo's Coffee

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Not an actual segment, but there’s a short scene where Rosenthal is awkwardly standing at a kissing booth setup at the Kendra Scott store along South Congress intercut with people drinking coffee and eating pastries at the South Congress cafe’s patio.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

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The next actual-food-segment takes place at the Eater Austin award-winning Texas-Japanese izakaya with Austin food blogger Jane Ko, who calls the restaurant one of her favorites in the city. Serving them is executive chef and owner Tatsu Aikawa. The first bite is the tsukune, a chicken meatball skewer served with a cured egg yolk and chicken skin furikake. The chef tells the pair how to break/mix/dip the skewer into the egg and then coat the chicken with the furikake, which Rosenthal describes as a “playful” action. Then, next was the Hot Pocketz, tofu pockets stuffed with brisket and smoked gouda cheese. Finally, there’s the brisket bento box, which comes with slices of brisket, veggies, pickles, and nori sheets so they can make their own hand rolls. Rosenthal says it’s more like a taco because the brisket slice is too big. He makes happy physical gestures after he takes a bite.

The Salt Lick BBQ

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The final destination is a big group meal with many of the Austin people featured in the episode over at the Driftwood barbecue restaurant, which Rosenthal describes as an “institution.” Hosting the event is Salt Lick owner Scott Roberts, whose father opened the restaurant in 1967. Roberts shares meats with the group straight from the iconic barbecue pit. Then they all move onto the patio where they dine on burnt ends, baby back ribs, beef, bison ribs (Rosenthal says it’s “maybe the best I’ve had so far”), chicken (he calls it “incredible”), and turkey.

A man with his arms up wearing a baseball cap that reads “BBQ Freak” with people dining behind him.
Rosenthal poses with his BBQ Freak hat at Salt Lick.
Courtesy of Netflix

Torchy's Tacos

Rosenthal kicks off the episode with a visit to the Austin-born and based taco chain’s flagship restaurant on South Congress, nothing that it’s usually his first stop whenever he’s in town. His enthusiastic order includes migas (he says because it’s the morning time, but also migas work all day long), the Mr. Orange (a blackened salmon taco), and the green chile queso (because, he says, “if you’re coming to Texas, you’re gonna need a little queso”).

He calls the tacos “Texas tacos,” and that “you can feel the Texas,” as he bites into his overstuffed migas, which he then dips into his queso. This is also the visit that starts a thread of him wondering what Tex-Mex is throughout the episode, though he does acknowledge that Torchy’s menu “is not Mexican-Mexican, this is Tex-Mex.”

A man eating a taco.
Phil Rosenthal digging into a taco at Torchy’s Tacos.
Courtesy of Netflix

More Home Slice Pizza

In a brief introduction scene, Rosenthal is seen eating a slice of pizza from Travis Heights pizzeria’s takeout location.

Little Lucy's

Another very brief scene, Rosenthal is seen walking in front of downtown cocktail bar Half Step and the bright pink doughnut trailer at night.

The Continental Club

Yes, another very brief scene, but Rosenthal walks by the legendary Travis Heights music venue and bar while, naturally, talking about how live music is a very important part of Austin.

Amy's Ice Creams

This is a two-for-one brief scene: Rosenthal is seen eating a bowl of ice cream from the Austin-based sweets chain’s South Congress location while seated on the patio of its next-door sushi restaurant neighbor Lucky Robot (see below) with a bunch of children.

Lucky Robot

While Rosenthal isn’t actually eating food from the Japanese restaurant, he is eating ice creams from Amy’s (see above) on its patio with a bunch of kids.

Leroy & Lewis Barbecue

Okay, and now for the next longer segment: Rosenthal goes on a barbecue tour with Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn, and their first stop is the Eater Austin award-winning new-school smoked meats truck in the Dawson neighborhood. Co-owners Sawyer Lewis and pitmaster Evan LeRoy serve and chat with the duo, who order brisket, beef cheeks, the Citra hop pork sausage, the bacon rib, the cheeseburger, and the cauliflower burnt ends. Rosenthal bites into the bacon rib, which is double-smoked and glazed in maple syrup several times, and exclaims that “it’s candy.” They also get the Frito pie, smoked/pickled jalapenos, the kale caesar slaw, and refried beans.

Lewis recommends that Rosenthal build a bite of potato bread topped with beef cheeks, kimchi, and the beet barbecue sauce, which he enjoys. Rosenthal and Vaughn cut the cheeseburger in half, and Rosenthal enjoys it so much that a crew member steals his portion.

Distant Relatives

The next stop on Rosenthal and Vaughn’s barbecue crawl is the newer modern African American barbecue truck in the McKinney neighborhood (which was also named one of Eater’s best new restaurants and Eater Austin’s best new food truck in 2021). The two enjoy a glass of beer from host site Meanwhile Brewing, and then Distant owner and pitmaster Damien Brockway (who was also a James Beard semifinalist chef earlier this year) serves them an array of barbecue and sides, the latter including black eyed peats with burnt ends, hot smoked peanuts, pickled golden beets, and tallow-roasted radishes. Rosenthal tries the chicken with the paired chili-vinegar dip, and says that “this is some of my favorite chicken and sauce ever, I am finishing this.”

Suerte

Then it’s time for a barbecue break. The next stop is what Rosenthal says is “one of my favorite restaurants in Austin” and “one of the best Mexican restaurants I’ve ever been to in my life, including in Mexico.” The East Austin Mexican restaurant was one of Eater’s best new restaurants in 2018 and whose chef Fermín Núñez was named Eater Austin’s chef of the same year.

Rosenthal’s dining guests include Núñez, along with the co-founders of the ATX Television Festival Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson (this makes sense, since Rosenthal sits on the advisory board for the festival and has often participated in panels and events).

During the meal, Rosenthal asks if Suerte is “not technically Tex-Mex,” and Núñez answers no. Rosenthal asks again, saying how because Núñez is Mexican and Suerte’s food is Mexican, “but there is a Texas thing” still. Then in a voice-over, he notes that the chef serves Mexican food with his inflections in Texas, so he wonders: “Does that count as Tex-Mex?” (editor’s note: the answer is no).

The group try the rainbow trout ceviche in an Aleppo pepper-puya pepper-orange broth topped with a tostada, of which Núñez says tastes “very Texas.” Then they dig into the tamale mole blanco, and end with the goat barbacoa, which comes wrapped in a banana leaf. Rosenthal asks, “Who doesn’t like that? Everybody likes that, right?”

A man and woman eating at a restaurant.
Rosenthal and Gipson eating a bite at Suerte.
Courtesy of Netflix

Interstellar BBQ

Then it’s time for more smoked meats with Vaughn, and the pair head up to the near Anderson Mill barbecue restaurant. Owner John Bates serves them a big tray of smoked meats and sides, including brisket, burnt ends, lamb, turkey, and scalloped potatoes. Rosenthal and Vaughn split a piece of fatty brisket length-wise so that Rosenthal can really enjoy the melty fat. They complete the meal with the peach tea-glazed pork belly, of which Rosenthal says, “I’m glad we saved it for the end. Not only is it friggin’ delicious, it’s like the dessert.”

Birdie's

Next up, Rosenthal heads to the Eater Austin award-winning Chestnut wine restaurant with Statesman food critic and reporter Matthew Odam. The duo dine with co-owner Arjav Ezekiel while co-owner and chef Tracy Malechek brings them food. They start with the chickpea panisse (which, alas, are no longer on the menu), and Rosenthal describes them as “gourmet french fries.” Next is the tartare with the carta di musica cracker, the roasted sweet potatoes with guanciale/celery-radish vinaigrette/sherry-black pepper-honey (Rosenthal says, “it’s a fun little tartare”).

Then it comes to the pasta courses, with the orecchiette with pork sausage, fennel, and black pepper; and the cavatelli with anchovies and tomatoes. Rosenthal is wowed by the dishes: “This tastes real. This tastes like I’m in Rome.” They end the meal with desserts: the chocolate chip cookie, olive oil cake, and the decadent soft drizzled with tangerine agrumato olive oil.

Nixta Taqueria

Since it’s Texas, Rosenthal’s next visit involves a whole bunch of tacos with Austin’s Taco Mafia, a group of friends who also own taco businesses in the city. This involves host-site Eater Austin award-winning Nixta Taqueria’s Edgar Rico (who just won a James Beard Award) and Sara Mardanbigi, Central East Austin truck Cuantos Tacos’s Beto Robledo, Jerry Guerrero of what was formerly known as La Tunita 512 and is now called Palo Seco 512 in Parker Lane, and finally Central East Austin truck Discada’s Xose Velasco.

The group cheers with pineapple and strawberry aguas frescas, and then they dig into Nixta’s duck carnitas tacos. Rosenthal describes it as “one of the best duck dishes of any kind, just happens to be in a gorgeous taco.”

As Rosenthal is eating, he takes the opportunity to ask the group “how much Tex is in the Mex?” Rico rightfully schools him: “Tex-Mex for all of us is a thing that we kind of try and stay away from,” and notes that “all of us are Americans, you know? But we’re also Mexicans, so we’re trying to pay homage” through their food.

Discada

Okay, while the show didn’t actually film at the Central East Austin taco truck, Rosenthal did eat its namesake tacos at Nixta with co-owner Xose Velasco. The group dig into the discada tacos — where layers of beef, pork, and vegetables are cooked in ways where each layer is cooked in the juices of the previous layer — at Nixta (see above). Rosenthal calls it “phenomenal.”

Palo Seco 512

The third taco offering at Rosenthal’s Nixta visit is the Parker Lane truck, though, yes, the show didn’t actually film there. At the time of the filming, Jerry Guerrero’s truck was still called La Tunita 512, but he has since changed the name to Palo Seco 512. They try his birria quesotaco made with brisket with accompanying cup of consomé for dunking purposes at Nixta (see above). Rosenthal sums up his bite as “another ‘amazing.’”

Cuantos Tacos

Finally, and yes, another place the show didn’t actually go to, but Rosenthal still had tacos from the Central East Austin truck during the meal at Nixta as the final taco offering. Robledo served his Mexico City-style campechana tacos, made with a mixture of brisket-cut suadero and Mexican chorizo longaniza. Rosenthal says it’s “another great one.”

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Jo's Coffee

Not an actual segment, but there’s a short scene where Rosenthal is awkwardly standing at a kissing booth setup at the Kendra Scott store along South Congress intercut with people drinking coffee and eating pastries at the South Congress cafe’s patio.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

The next actual-food-segment takes place at the Eater Austin award-winning Texas-Japanese izakaya with Austin food blogger Jane Ko, who calls the restaurant one of her favorites in the city. Serving them is executive chef and owner Tatsu Aikawa. The first bite is the tsukune, a chicken meatball skewer served with a cured egg yolk and chicken skin furikake. The chef tells the pair how to break/mix/dip the skewer into the egg and then coat the chicken with the furikake, which Rosenthal describes as a “playful” action. Then, next was the Hot Pocketz, tofu pockets stuffed with brisket and smoked gouda cheese. Finally, there’s the brisket bento box, which comes with slices of brisket, veggies, pickles, and nori sheets so they can make their own hand rolls. Rosenthal says it’s more like a taco because the brisket slice is too big. He makes happy physical gestures after he takes a bite.

The Salt Lick BBQ

The final destination is a big group meal with many of the Austin people featured in the episode over at the Driftwood barbecue restaurant, which Rosenthal describes as an “institution.” Hosting the event is Salt Lick owner Scott Roberts, whose father opened the restaurant in 1967. Roberts shares meats with the group straight from the iconic barbecue pit. Then they all move onto the patio where they dine on burnt ends, baby back ribs, beef, bison ribs (Rosenthal says it’s “maybe the best I’ve had so far”), chicken (he calls it “incredible”), and turkey.

A man with his arms up wearing a baseball cap that reads “BBQ Freak” with people dining behind him.
Rosenthal poses with his BBQ Freak hat at Salt Lick.
Courtesy of Netflix

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