Food & Drink

Austin's off-menu secrets, revealed

Published On 09/12/2013 Published On 09/12/2013
P. Terry's burger on the grill

Where we're going, we don't need... menus! That's because this is a roundup of Austin's five most must-get off-menu options in all of Austin-dom, from secret Frito pies to bleu cheese-slathered Cajun spicy waffle fries...

The Hipster, Torchy's
Various Locations
From the deepest, darkest depths of the Internet (so, Reddit), stories have foretold of a treasure trove of secret Torchy's goodness. The most heralded of them all, though? The Hipster, featuring panko-breaded fried tuna, bacon, green chiles, black beans, cilantro, cotija, and avocado sauce.

Frito Pie, Yellow Jacket Social Club
Central East
There's no comfort food quite like a Frito pie, and the gastronomers over at Yellow Jacket will make you one of the city's best if you pinkie swear you won't tell millions of people about it on your men's interest site. Whoops!

Grilled Onions and Jalapenos Burger, P. Terry's
Various Locations
Level up Thrillist's No. 1 burger in Austin with a heaping helping of grilled onions and jalapenos, which combine with the melting cheese to create one of the city's purest pleasures.

Secret Fries and Poutine Dogs, Frank
The venerable dog-slingers at Frank will whip you up either a) Cajun spicy waffle fries with bleu cheese, b) loaded nacho fries (cheese, beans, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, sour cream), or c) a Vienna beef Poutine Dog (aka the Canadian Tuxedo) smothered in gravy and cheese curds.

Breakfast in a Cup, Tacodeli
Various Locations
Because eating a breakfast taco while driving is just begging for a chorizo stain, the fine folks at TacoDeli will kindly make any of their morning delights in an easy-to-transport vessel that's much less likely to ooze juice all over your wrinkled Oxford.

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1. Torchy's Tacos 1311 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704 (South Austin)

The sign says “Torchy’s Damn Good Tacos,” President Obama stopped his motorcade for them, and Torchy’s has gone from a lone food truck in Austin to 30 locations across Texas and Colorado in a decade. Believe the hype, Torchy’s tacos really are damn good. Breakfast tacos are served all day (the Migas is objectively the best, just saying), and lunch tacos are outside the realm of your standard taco joint, with unexpected ingredients and flavor combinations, like the Trailer Park with fried chicken, green chiles, and poblano sauce (get it “trashy” with queso). Do as the locals do and wait in line, it’s worth it… don’t trust me, trust President Obama.

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2. Yellow Jacket Social Club 1704 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Austin)

This high school mascot-inspired bar has a late-night patio with plenty of ambiance, booze, and not-so-bar-like snacks. Locally soured ingredients make their handmade paninis and apps as tempting as that second drink.

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3. P. Terry's 404 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (South Austin)

This little walk-up window and drive-thru shack on South Lamar has a classic 1950s vine and a diner-style menu to match. The choice is simple: a beef, chicken, or veggie burger with or without cheese (or an egg burger is you show up in time for breakfast), a side of french fries and a milkshake (they've got the regulars plus caramel and root beer flavors) -- a true American classic. You're better off ordering from your car 'cause there's no seating outside by the walk-up window.

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4. Frank 407 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Although Frank is known for its creative hot dogs and sausage sandwiches made with nontraditional meats like antelope, venison, and kangaroo, it also boasts an extensive selection of fries, including chili cheese and Reuben waffle fries. Its cold beer menu includes gluten-free ales, rare craft beers, and ciders.

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5. Tacodeli 4200 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756 (Rosedale)

This Austin taco hotspot prides itself on using local and organic ingredients and creating lasting relationships with its suppliers, which is all in the service of creating a healthier and closer-knit community (with tacos!) The family-run business makes freshness a priority, constantly changing and updating the menu with the best of what's available and making room for new inventions from the kitchen. Breakfast tacos, vegetarian and vegan tacos, and an entirely gluten-free menu mark Tacodeli's commitment to giving their customers what they want, and still making delicious food while they do it.



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