austin: sour duck market (and burger galore!)

Sour Duck makes their own artisan bread and pastries; they have their own smokehouse to make their own meats; and they make their own specialty coffee (the Mexicano latte here is sweet and nice, but most of all, just heavenly). And these things aren’t just for dine-in; as a market, Sour Duck is kind of like a special grocery store where you can get nice restaurant quality foods, to eat in or take back to your crib.

recipe: deep-fried stuffed eggplants

In Chinese, 盒子 (hézi) literally translates into box -- an edible box, of course. A typical “box” that you’ll see sold as a quick street food item consists of chopped chives and eggs (or some other variation of that) stuffed into a dough “box,” although that box is shaped more like a crescent moon. I like to think of them as the older cousin of dumplings. Both are like savory pocket pies, but hézi usually are larger, have more filling, and a crisper skin.

austin: odd duck

Odd Duck's menu has complex items that are so eccentric and eclectic. The antelope tataki and smoked chicken nachos are amalganations of not just flavors and unique food items but also cultures. Antelope tataki combines antelope (a unique meat, in my opinion) and the Japanese cooking style of tataki - lightly searing meat. What this unlocks is a reservoir of flavors almost never seen beforehand.

recipe: shrimp pad see ew

Pad see ew translates into “fried with soy sauce,” and that’s basically the foundation for this popular Thai dish. It’s made with a combination of light and dark soy sauce (one for the color, one for the flavor), and is topped with eggs, protein, and Chinese broccoli. As for the star of the show: flat, broad rice noodles.

austin: bakery lorraine

Bakery Lorraine is a cute, aesthetic brunch spot located in the Domain. Known for their pastries, Bakery Lorraine has an array of macarons and other desserts, including croissants, cinnamon rolls, kouign-amann, cheese danish, muffins and bread pudding.