Top 10 Ways to Eat Corn in Austin
We're thinking outside the cob
Suerte has a thing for corn. It appears in some form in nearly every dish on the menu, and they do an irresistible job of showcasing the ancient grain. Although there is no right way to eat the masa at Suerte, the tostadas are where it really shines in combination with overlapping layers of silky refrito beans, a nutty sauce, and kale.
2) ROLAND'S SOUL FOOD
When it comes to soul food, forget restraint – just enjoy a hearty serving, top with a square of goldenrod-yellow cornbread, and sop the sauce. Perfectly browned on the top and spongy throughout, eating at Roland's is not complete if you haven't asked for a second piece to clean your plate.
3) ELOTES FANNY
Elotes Fanny proves that corn in a Styrofoam cup is the golden child of corn dishes. With monstrous portions – the medium is substantial and only $3 – and a wall of sauces and spicy sprinkles, elotes quickly becomes as much fun to order as to eat. We recommend tamarindo, but you might also want to grab a fruit cup while you're here.
Corn nuts were fashionable circa 2000, and it's time for a comeback. Yuyo's Peruvian version reinvents a vending machine staple, but make them Texas-sized. Dusted with flavor, it is most satisfying to eat the corn one-by-one to savor the texture as much as the taste.
The menu changes with the seasons, but thank goodness the hush puppies are nearly always available – they're my siren song. Presented as pocket-sized clouds of corn, these puppies wallop a heady flavor of blue corn. When slathered in a tallow soubise that boasts pickled Anaheims and smoked tomato powder, it's heaven. The delicate crust melts, rather than pops, paving the way for layers of flavor to hit the tongue in all the right places.
6) YELLOW JACKET SOCIAL CLUB
Sunday mornings often begin with daydreams of Yellow Jacket Social Club's shrimp and grits in a patio setting. When dreams become reality, the rush of salty bacon fat, nubby-textured grits, and succulent grill-marked shrimp exceeds all imagination. The spinach is there just to make you feel better.
7) EMMER & RYE
An early American staple, Johnny Cakes – aka cornmeal flatbread – go to 11 when sprinkled with grilled sweet peppers and cheddar and finished with a rivulet of crème fraîche. Each bite is a foil between the charred grill flavor and muted dairy sweetness, which is lovingly paired with the grainy texture of corn.
8) EL MILAGRO
When you chop and crisp some rotund taco wrappers, it's difficult to say no to another handful. That's why El Milagro has you covered with their tortilla chips that come in both thick and thin so you have choices for all occasions – at just the right price.
9) TEXAS CHILI PARLOR
If you've forgotten the joy of Frito pie, the Texas Chili Parlor has you covered. Revisit memories with a steaming bowl of those seriously crunchy, handily salted corn chips and a ladle of pungently spiced chili. When necessary, there's always a Mad Dog Margarita to cool off.
10) CISCO'S RESTAURANT
Cisco's has those perfectly greasy migas that balance cheesy, fluffy eggs with the crunch of tortilla chips and the hangover-curing addition of sausage and refried beans. They've mastered this art, so don't bother resisting.