Austin has a ton of dessert options, from trailers to fine dining to bakeries you are sure to find something to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Two of the best restaurants in town are Uchi and her sister restaurant Uchiko. You may have heard of them, Tyson Cole won a James Beard Award last year for best chef Southwest and if there is any justice in the world, Paul Qui will be crowned Top Chef tomorrow night. As ethereal as their food is, I always save room for dessert. Sometimes two.
Director of Culinary Operations at Uchi and designer of desserts Philip Speer was just nominated for a James Beard Award for the third time. His plates are as beautiful as they are tasty. Speer uses familiar flavors and combines them with bold techniques to make a sophisticated presentation. One of his biggest sellers is the peanut butter semifreddo which came to him one day when he was making a sack lunch for his daughter.
My next post talks about the Social Hour they offer at both restaurants. If you go, make sure to try the desserts as well.
The Carillon is the restaurant located at the AT&T Executive Center on the University of Texas Campus. This is one of the best restaurants in town that nobody seems to know about. It is probably due to the fact that it is located in a hotel/conference center run by UT and is only open to staff for breakfast and lunch but it opens for fine dining to the public in the evening and it is outstanding. I have been a huge fan of the executive chef, Josh Watkins, since his days at the Driskill. As much as I love Watkins’ food, his dessert program did not do justice to his high caliber food. That problem was recently resolved with the addition on Plinio Sandalio to the team.
Sandalio originally comes from Bolivia but spent most of his life growing up in Houston. He is known for his daring desserts that combine savory elements like foie gras or offer surprising twists like flavored pop rocks. I always look forward to his inventive design.
Huge tip- the restaurant validates for its parking garage. It is one of the few places downtown you do not have to worry about parking.
Additional fine dining desserts:
Tons of pastry cases around town including many Mexican bakeries that you should try but that is subject to a whole separate post. Here are a few of my favorite European style bakeries:
Do not forget the trailers! Far more delicious desserts than I can count but here are a few of my favorites:
What is better than fried dough? Fried dough with a maple glaze topped with bacon!
Before the economy collapsed, I was working with a guy that was trying to start a sorbet business out of a trailer. Back when Hey Cupcake was only in 1 Airstream and you could only get Chicken Cones during ACL. So I really understand the logistics and complications of these little gems that have become so prolific, especially on South Congress and Lamar. And gourmet trailer food is just so damn Austin.
Gordough’s is located 1219 S. Lamar between Barton Springs and Oltorf next to a couple of other trailers that also look interesting but I was there for one thing only, the Flying Pig. Gordough’s serves up huge, fresh fried yeast doughnuts with your choice of toppings for $3.25 plus $1 for meat. The Flying Pig has a thin maple glaze and is topped with several slices of bacon. DEE-LISH-US. I think I’ll try the Porkey’s next time- Canadian bacon, cream cheese, and jalapeno jelly.