February 21, 2014

Cross these Austin food trends off your culinary bucket listAustin is known for many things, with one of them being an exceptional dining experience. But just like any other city, the food trends are constantly evolving. Thanks to Austin culinary arts courses, these trends are easy to keep up with. Next time you’re in Austin, consider trying any of these popular yet unconventional dishes:

Traditional slabs of meat like steak, lamb and beef will always be a top choice, but one meat that’s making headway is goat. It’s a tender and delicious dish that has grown increasingly popular thanks to Ty Wolosin of Windy Hill Organics. He raises goats and provides the meat to Austin establishments such as Congress, Whip In and Snack Bar. Goat is actually a much healthier choice than the traditional meats – it has 50 percent less fat than beef, 45 percent less fat than lamb and 15 percent less fat than veal. Goat also boasts a unique flavor that changes depending on the cooking process. Lenoir is one of the many restaurants in Austin that serves goat. Here, you can get it accompanied with a semolina coconut polenta, red curry and cauliflower.

Turns out, this food that’s traditionally associated with college students has found a place in modern cuisine in Austin. One restaurant, Ramen Tatsu-Ya, is an extremely popular joint to get the noodle dish. It was Austin’s first brick-and-mortar ramen shop. You can get veggie ramen complete with spinach, fried tofu, fried Brussel?s sprouts, corn, menma and woodear mushrooms, or you can opt for the tsukemen, which involves dipping ramen with nori, ajitama, lime and chashu. There’s also the DFG Noodles truck, which offers customers a weekday ramen special.

Dessert bars
Normally, after you finish a meal, you check out the dessert menu at the same restaurant to satisfy your sweet tooth. Instead, consider moving to a second location to enjoy a sweet dish. Dessert lounges are popping up all over Austin, like the Nightcap Dessert Lounge. This restaurant serves plenty of pastries along with sparkling cocktails.

This may not necessarily appear as a shocking “trend” at first glance, but this green veggie seems to be getting a second wind here in Austin. There are so many ways you can cook up the vegetable – try grilling, frying, roasting, sauteing and steaming to produce different flavors and add something special to your dish. You can add the veggie to warm or cold salads, use it as a pizza topping, put it in a casserole and add it to a soup. The possibilities are endless with this underrated vegetable.

Amaranth is a grain that is sweeping Austin’s culinary industry. Amaranthus is a species of more than 60 different plants with green leaves and bright gold, red or purple flowers. However, it’s not exactly your typical grain. It’s put into the grain category because it offers similar nutrients to what you would find in cereals. It’s also gluten-free and packed with vitamins such as calcium and magnesium.

Copper mugs
Austin is switching up the way cocktails are served. It’s much more than what’s in the glass that counts – presentation can make all the difference. Copper mugs give each beverage a trendy, vintage feel. Plus, the copper material is actually much better to use than glass. It keeps the drink colder and transports that chill to your lips and hands.