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FOOD REVIEWS

Dancing Circles

Dai Due's sure footing

Blue Streak

New Azul Tequila duplicates success

Bless Their Heart

Olamaie's Southern is everything but down-home

Into the Fold

Does Fork & Taco stand out on taco row?

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The dishes are authentically flavored, wonderfully spicy, and cooked with fresh ingredients. The Ma Po Doufu is a lusty temple to the gods of chile and mala: superb and perfect on a nippy day, delightfully sweat-inducing on a hot day. review
13376 N Hwy 183, Ste 100 + 512/258-5445
Genuine value for your dollar is what sets this place apart. That, and superfresh ingredients in handsome portions prepared with skill. review
6519 N. Lamar + 512/614-4974
8300 FM 620 N. Ste. 200-A +
Boasts a strong selection of artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, salads, homemade soups, and sandwiches. Gluten-free paninis and salads round out the menu. The wine list changes monthly. review
4800 Burnet Rd. #450 + 512/371-1600
Start with the Barbabietola salad of beets, farro, and goat cheese; heirloom tomato caprese; or perfectly delightful arugula-and-prosciutto pizza, and move on to stand-outs such as the hearty cioppino, chock-full of mussels, shrimp, and fish, in a rich, aromatic broth, and the Bistecca, which is a toothsome 10-ounce ribeye. The latter is paired with cauliflower and topped with gorgonzola, a vegetable side dish idea worth stealing. review
3403 S. Lamar + 512/900-8670
Try this much-loved neighborhood spot's full complement of Mediterranean dishes prepared from family recipes or stick with safe choices – you'll find 25 flavors of wings and an interesting pizza selection. review
6619 Airport + 512/419-0110
From the aficianados of Easy Tiger and 24 Diner comes this French bistro, so the excellent breads and pastries come as no surprise. Stuffed quail, grilled amberjack, and profiteroles for dessert bring back fond memories of French fare in Austin. review
601 W. Sixth + 512/992-2776
This family-run spot serves authentic, home-style Colombian cuisine in mass quantities for reasonable prices. Some unique treats include aborrajado, a sweet plantain fritter, and bandeja paisa, the national dish of Colombia. review
13717 MoPac N. +
Newly expanded, Asia Cafe brings it with the best and most authentic Chinese food in town. Unadulterated Sichuan cuisine is well worth the drive from anywhere. review
8650 Spicewood Springs Rd. #115 + 512/331-5788
In addition to the vegetarian selections, you'll find fragrant chicken, lamb, and beef. The lunch specials are a great bargain. Just count on ordering extra injera. review
2804 N I-35 + 512/469-5966
Cake balls: Not just for breakfast anymore. The menu here features appetizers, salads, entrées, soups, and desserts complemented by a well-chosen wine list, a selection of local craft beers in bottles, and a roster of custom cocktails. review
3401 Esperanza Crossing #104 + 512/215-3633
Elegant ambience and service is paired with first-rate steaks at quite reasonable prices. Particular care is taken with the sides, making for a complete experience. Don't miss the excellent wine list. review
1205 N. Lamar + 512/472-1813
Picked by our readers as 2012’s Best Kept Secret, Austin Terrier serves pizza and sandwiches alongside a good beer selection. Order the Trio of Fries – it's an orgy of flavors. review
3435 Greystone + 512/369-3751
The menu is divided between traditional Tex-Mex dishes and interior Mexican specialties served in generous portions with colorful plate presentations. review
3815 Dry Creek + 512/334-9973
Winner of 2011’s Best of Austin Critics Pick for Best Dinner Destination on a Damp, Cold Night, this place is about as authentically Italian as you can get without jumping on a plane to Parma. Antipasti, Neopolitan pizza, and a good wine list make for good shelter here. review
507 San Jacinto + 512/474-9899
Fans of humble hogmeat will adore this pork parlor that offers breakfast all day, and bacon worthy of the name. Local beers and homemade desserts round out your cholesterol and carbohydrate intake. review
900 W. 10th + 512/322-9777
Despite most Americans' unfamiliarity with the Balkans, the food won't seem the least bit foreign. It is simply prepared, with clean, fresh flavors that are as comforting as Grandma's Sunday pot roast. The Saturday-only rotisserie whole lamb is cooked over mesquite coals on a spit, seasoned only with salt. review
11800 N. Lamar Bldg. #3 + 737/703-5990
Celebrating sausage on Rainey Street for a year now, this place has become a neighborhood staple. Sure, the ample and often unexpected selections of sausage are responsible, but don't forget the creative specials, such as fried chicken sausage atop creamy mashed potatoes. review
79 Rainey + 512/386-1656
This tiny place serves reasonable small plates such as chicken-fried olives stuffed with bleu cheese and pomme frites with truffle aioli and Pecorino, as well as some of the most inventive cocktails in town. review
200 Congress + 512/827-2755