Everything

SXSW Food Reviews: Uchi, Franklin, and more

Posted on by Ricky in Everything, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

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Here we go:

Franklin

First of all, did you know you can pre-order from Franklin? This will save you time. You will need to order a few weeks before SXSW and you will need to order a minimum of 5 pounds of meat so plan accordingly.

Franklin is the holy grail for BBQ. It’s considered the best and the lineups reflect this. Luckily we pre-ordered and we got the following:

2 pounds of brisket
2 pounds of ribs
1 pound of sausage (yields 6)

As expected, the food was phenomenal. It also came with onions, bread and pickles as you expect.

The brisket had a nice ratio of fat and meat that melts in your mouth and the bark was super tasty with a peppery mix of spice. Brisket is king at BBQ and Franklin is definitely among the best I’ve had.

The ribs were also awesome with a similar spice rub and the expected fall off the bone goodness. The sausage was tasty but a distant third on the taste meter.

Considering the absurd lineup for Franklin, the real question is … is it that much better then other places like La Barbecue to warrant the wait? I’m not sure. Top BBQ is top BBQ and I’m not sure the small percentage improvement is worth the wait.

However, if you do go to only one place, it’s definitely Franklin.

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Uchi

Uchi has been on my Austin Eat list for many years. However, being on South Lamar, its not exactly that close to everything else at SXSW. This year I decided to make the journey and boy, am I glad I did.

We chose an unofficial omakase, where the chef recommended some dishes for us based off our feelings.

What’s nice about Uchi was that it seems to blend Japanese food with some slight twists. For a lot of the cold dishes, raw fish was paired with a heavy use of citrus, which was a newer experience. Another dish paired the fish with candied quinoa.

Aside from the fusion dishes, the fish quality was amazing for a landlocked city. The uni, toro and other sushi pieces we had tasted next level.

The karaage came out with a strong smell, as a result of fish paste usage but tasted delicious

All in all, a delicious time. With drinks it came out to about 100 USD per person, so budget accordingly

Shorter reviews:

Pueblo Vieja – Best breakfast tacos within walking distance of ACC, hands down. The Taco Bueno is especially tasty with its mix of chorizo, cheese and potatoes. Ask for the corn tortillas, as they provide a nice texture when heated up and crisp.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya – I think I have to go to this place every year now. Its combination of Texas BBQ meets Japanese food is so unique and so tasty, it’s impossible to ignore. The smoked fish collar is a stunner and the BBQ brisket tsukemon is out of the world. One of my favourite place to eat anywhere.

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Suerte – Refined Mexican inspired food that served us an amazing cauliflower taco. This is definitely fancy in terms of Tacos, and even serves you a crazy Uni dish inside an actual dead sea urchin. You can even take that sea urchin shell home if your name is Gary.

Matt’s El Rancho – A highly rated Tex Mex place in South Lamar. I find Tex-Mex food to be only okay at best, but this place was definitely okay. It had a lively atmosphere and was very cheap. You can easily stuff yourself with queso, enchiladas and stuffed peppers here at a reasonable cost. Quality is also only okay.

SXSW Song of the Day: Flohio – Pounce

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flohio

I literally knew nothing about this artist but Flohio’s song “Pounce” has this really dramatic chorus that I like. There’s a real urgency to the song that I appreciate. Anyways, this track caught my ear as I was going through the SXSW playlist.

After doing some very basic internet research, here is what I found out:

Flohio is a British Nigerian rapper based out of South London. Obviously, being from London, this song has a grimey kind of sound to it.

You can read more about her in this Fader interview

Flohio is playing Latitude 30 on March 14 at 11:00pm.

SXSW Song of the Day: Squid – The Dial

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squid

Squid is bound to be one of those bands that people will claim are here to save rock & roll, and it’s easy to see why. The Brighton band have a post-punk vibe whose simplicity and effectiveness will invoke nostalgia from old rockers. the lead singer’s almost spoken vocals will remind many of James Murphy’s old man gruffs from LCD Soundsystem. Combine the two and you have an element of excitement.

Whatever they end up being, Squid is off to a good start. Check them out at British Music Embassy

Squid is playing Latitude 30 on March 14 at 10:00pm.

Ricky’s Favourite Songs of the Year

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

Hatchie, March 15, 2018

I feel like this year my list should come up with an asterisk, as I pretty much stopped absorbing new music when I had to take a 2 month work+fun trip in September to various parts of the world.

Still, up until then it was pretty good. Here are some songs I really enjoyed this year in no particular order.

Karen O & Michael Kiwanuka – O My Saint
This track was penned by Karen O for some Kenzo commercial, further cementing Karen O’s marriage of music and fashion. Yet this is clearly not a YYY song, with it’s slow build and the intertwining vocals between Karen and Michael. The results are memorable

Superorganism – Everybody Wants to be Famous
Probably my most listened to song of the year, this song is just catchy and fun. You would think a song peppered with so many sound effects and somewhat gimmicky sounds wouldn’t work, but somehow it all comes together in a fun and enjoyable package.

Lana Del Rey – Mariners Apartment Complex
An argument can be made that all of Lana Del Rey’s songs sound very similar, but I think that’s just her voice and delivery style. This track is her first with producer du jour Jack Antonoff and I’m not a big enough Lana fan to know if it made any real difference. Either way, I really like the first two lines of this song “You took my sadness out of context / At the Mariners Apartment Complex” and generally find myself enjoying this song.

Let’s Eat Grandma – It’s Not Just Me
Let’s Eat Grandma’s debut record was enjoyably weird. Something changed in the past two years and the duo decided to make ear-worm pop anthems with this year’s release of I’m All Ears. I’m not going to complain.

IDLES – Great
Definitely one of the most universally hyped and loved bands this year, IDLES rode the tidal wave of momentum from their SXSW showcases right into the consciousness of all punk rockers in 2018. The album tries it’s best to translate their energetic and exhaustive live show into a digestible format and it does a good job. GREAT is among a handful of GREAT songs that showcase this band’s ferocious energy and penchant for quality song writing. Don’t sleep on these guys

Sundara Karma – One Last Night On This Earth
I think I’m one of five people in North America who likes Sundara Karma. Anyways, these guys seem like the Rifles before them, intent on bringing back Brit pop. Unlike the Rifles, these guys do it with a heavy dose of glam and attitude. I, for one, am ready for a Britpop revival. Maybe these guys will chaperone it in.

Gang of Youths – My Heart is a Muscle
Well, technically this was released in 2017, but only in Australia so it doesn’t really count. I was describing Gang of Youths to someone the other day and they were like ‘oh, so they are posi-core?’. Is that a genre? I don’t even know. Gang of Youths are a happy band that was made to send out positive vibes. Their music reflects that and it’s weird because you don’t hear that many songs today like that. I don’t know why. Anyways, think anthemic rock that you want to jump up and down to while singing along. That’s them. It’s great.

Starcrawler – I Love LA
You listen to this song and you totally know it’s from LA. It’s guitars and just the right amount of detached coolness to it. Also, it has the word LA. I think I like this song more because of their live show, but it’s a good tune.

St. Vincent – Fast Slow Disco
This pop reworking of Slow Disco was released this July and man, it’s a delicious pop song that probably lit up dance floors this summer (I don’t go to these places). It’s a wonderful lesson to all artists – don’t be afraid to review your old tunes (even if it’s just one year ago) and rework them.

Shame – One Rizla
Shame or Idles. Seems like this year saw the rise of two rock bands from the UK of a similar aesthetic. Both have many things to say and quite the rambunctious rock shows. As is typical of the UK press, there is some notion that there is a competition. I say you don’t have to choose between the two. Don’t cling to conflict and just let go, just let go.

Lucy Dacus – Night Shift
This may or may not be my favourite song of the year. I always like songs with a slow build and this breakup song starts off in familiar singer/songwriter territory before exploding into something else and it’s great.

John Prine – Summer’s End
This song could have been in 1959, 1989 or 1999 – it has a timeless sound. I’m new to John Prine but apparently he’s quite popular in the folk world. This song is about the opioid crisis but its message should resonate with anyone.

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