The Take-Out

Writing a food column during SXSW isn't easy

The Take-Out

Somewhere in between downing a pickleback shot and hurriedly swallowing half a burger at the Townsend this past Sunday, I realized I had no idea what my column would be about this week. There was certainly lots happening in food over the last few days, from the packed Anthony Bourdain interview at SXSW and the launch of half a dozen new food apps, to celebrity spottings at local restaurants and Austin Beerworks' one-week-only Festbier. But none of that seemed doable in the confines of a few inches.

I briefly considered crowdsourcing. After all, I was sitting with a savvy and opinionated group that live and breathe Austin food every day. There were several good ideas, although the only one I can remember right now related to tater tots. By the time we got to the topics of daddy issues and food and Wanya Morris from Boyz II Men, I knew that that attempt was derailed. Thanks, pals!

Finding a subject is typically no problem. There are enough happenings and controversies in our local culinary scene to fill more than 52 weeks of good old-fashioned bloviation. But keeping that subject local when there is a giant Ferris wheel looming over Congress Avenue and half of our buildings get temporarily renamed is another thing.

The temptation here is to write a think piece about SXSW and what it means for the city, to bemoan the street closures and monied outsiders, to take part in that annual grumble. But generally, I have always thought of this time of year as fun. For sure, there are a few annoyances, but most of those annual Austin elegies are from people who got to eat Franklin Barbecue at a party instead of waiting in the huge line.

Ignoring the hubbub in the city isn't a great option either. Half of the central restaurants have buyouts and half of the casual conversations involve where someone ate and drank the night before. Putting my fingers in my ears and screaming "lalalalala" seems silly.

So what do you write about on a week like this, when you are taking pickleback shots and posing for pictures with all of your friends? The whole city has become a theme park, ringed in wristbands and talk of "activations." Maybe I'll just take inspiration and talk about nothing at all.

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to food@austinchronicle.com

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Sound on Sound Review: Car Seat Headrest
Sound on Sound Review: Car Seat Headrest
Slacker Pavement hooks meet James Murphy’s drollness

Doug Freeman, Nov. 6, 2016

ACL Review: Anderson Paak
ACL Review: Anderson Paak
Hip-hop/R&B fusionist takes an ATX victory lap

Alejandra Ramirez, Oct. 9, 2016

More The Take-Out
The Take-Out: Responsibility in Food Writing
The Take-Out: Responsibility in Food Writing
How to talk more respectfully about global cuisine

Brandon Watson, Sept. 30, 2016

The Take-Out
The Take-Out
Restaurant interiors need a new look

Brandon Watson, Dec. 18, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Townsend, Austin Beerworks, SXSW 2016

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle