Best Food in Austin
The Peached Tortilla
From on wheels into a brick and mortar, this new eatery is full of flavor and fun.
Next time you’re in a funk, head to The Peached Tortilla. This cheerful new spot elevates your mood and taste buds and sends your melancholy packing. Its infectious happy vibe infuses the entire little restaurant. The staff is friendly. The food is fun. The atmosphere is playful. And, everyone’s having a good time.
Walk in the door, and you find yourself standing in the dining room. No grand foyer. No pretentious hostess stand. This place is small. And popular. So expect a short wait — but expect the affable staff to make it as painless as possible by escorting you to the cozy bar or texting you when your table’s ready if you prefer to wander. But I recommend the bar. Tucked in a back corner, the white marble counter and mirrored backsplash make for a stylish, welcoming retreat. It’s manned by some seriously talented, laid-back mixologists who whipped me up a perfect Templeton Rye Old Fashioned and dispensed a refreshing glass of French rosé for my hubby. The extensive whiskey list is their calling card, but there are also creative cocktails and a respectable selection of beer and wine.
The Peached Tortilla (TPT) started as a food trailer and catering truck. But don’t let its modest roots fool you: this place is serious about food — even if nothing exceeds $20. Its influences come from around the globe, with a healthy dose of Asian and Southern influence. We started with a scrumptious riff on shrimp toast: Texas toast topped with a shrimp and pork mixture, fried until light and crispy, then nestled on a bed of shredded lettuce and herbs and drizzled with a lip-smacking gochujang chili sauce. A must order. Next came Brussels sprouts. I know, I know. They’re ubiquitous these days. But these are some of the best in town: charred and smoky and tossed with bacon jam, parmesan and lemon oil. For entrees, Southern Fun is another terrific East-meets-West mash-up: soft, wide rice noodles tossed with tender shredded brisket, fresh herbs, bean sprouts, scallions, and bits of kale. It’s comfort food with a kick.
Everything that came out of the kitchen looked tempting: Kimchi Arancini Balls, Thai Chop Chop Salad, trio of cauliflower, hangar steak, Bacon Jam French fries and TPT’s signature tacos. But those will have to wait until our next visit. We’ll also return for happy hour, the only time they serve their legendary sliders. Throughout our meal, a trio of exotic homemade condiments sat on our table, untouched. They were superfluous since everything was perfectly balanced. The staff was engaging and obliging and painstakingly explained each dish upon arrival, but never in a laborious or pompous way.
TPT’s ambiance is as eclectic and gleeful as its food. There’s groovy orange ‘70s wallpaper and white clapboard tables. The only piece of art is an enormous portrait of Lady Bird Johnson. It’s quirky, unexpected, unpretentious. And I can’t wait to go back, in any mood.