Celebrate National Toast Day at these Austin restaurants

Happy National Toast Day! Such a simple thing to celebrate, but an invention that truly changed the way we eat.

As we toast to toast, hit up these Austin restaurants for their own spin:

1. Crab toast at Launderette

Crab toast with fennel aioli, avocado, radish top-mint vinaigrette on semolina bread at Launderette. Photo by Lukas Keapproth
Crab toast with fennel aioli, avocado, radish top-mint vinaigrette on semolina bread at Launderette. Photo by Lukas Keapproth

Launderette clocked in at No. 16 on our list of top restaurants of 2015, and they offer a crab toast (pictured), a Stravecchio toast with arugala caesar, avocado and smoked butternut squash on semolina bread, and a soft egg toast wit asparagus, taleggio, truffle vinaigrette and bottarga on focaccia bread.

2. Sa-Tén toast

dish-of-the-week
The nori tama toast at Sa-Tén Coffee and Eats in East Austin is a delicious Japanese alternative to a breakfast taco. Photo by Matthew Odam

Sa-Tén recently was given food critic Matthew Odam’s Dish of the Week award. Odam delighted in this local offering of Japanese milk bread, and he gave the nori tama toast a special shout out. The restaurant offers many toast variations, including a miso honey toast, and a Sriracha salmon mayo toast.

3. French toast at 24 Diner

French toast with blueberries and vanilla cream. Photo by Jodi Bart via Flickr
French toast with blueberries and vanilla cream. Photo by Jodi Bart via Flickr

When there’s 24/7 breakfast, there’s 24/7 toast and, just as importantly, 24/7 French toast. 24 Diner’s rich french toast comes with vanilla cream and berries on top, giving you a photogenic and delicious opportunity to celebrate National Toast Day. Looking for other breakfasty spots this weekend to get your toast on?

For a couple of Odam-approved bread treats that will hit your breakfast spot regardless of the time of day, check out the egg toast at Apis or the avocado toast with egg at Josephine House. Odam also hears good things about the almond cinnamon toast at Epicerie. (And don’t forget to hit up some of the best brunches in Austin, toast or no.)

4. The “Jollyville” burger at Phil’s Ice House

Bacon, egg, cheddar cheese, and a burger served between two slices of sourdough french toast. Photo via Phil's Ice House
Bacon, egg, cheddar cheese, and a burger served between two slices of sourdough french toast. Photo via Phil’s Ice House

Not exactly just toast, but too good to leave off—Phil’s Ice House has the “Jollyville” burger that replaces burger buns with French toast slices. Genius.

 

 

5. Texas toast at Whataburger. Or Raising Cane’s. Really, anywhere with Texas toast.

Raising Cane's Texas toast on top of their chicken fingers and fries. Photo via Lee L./Yelp
Raising Cane’s Texas toast on top of their chicken fingers and fries. Photo via Lee L./Yelp

This might be a little different than the rest of the list, but you can’t celebrate National Toast Day in Texas and forget about Texas toast. (It’s also incredibly easy to make; just slather bread with butter and garlic and grill!)

 

Petition wants writer ousted from Texas over breakfast taco article

For jpg labeled: taco haven 3 Taco Haven breakfast tacos featuring the Torres taco (front), Haven taco (right) and chorizo and egg taco (back). Photo credit: Kin Man, San Antonio Express-News 1023food >>MOVED. Now for 1016food.
Taco Haven breakfast tacos featuring the Torres taco (front), Haven taco (right) and chorizo and egg taco (back). Photo by Kin Man, San Antonio Express-News

Don’t mess with breakfast tacos.

On Friday, Eater Austin published an article that has since become the center of controversy in the taco world. A veritable taco-gate, if you will. Matthew Sedacca, the writer behind “How Austin Became the Home of the Crucial Breakfast Taco,” set out to deliver the history of the dish as it pertains to the state capital. The response on social media has been swift, resulting in many comments claiming the piece commits cultural appropriation and resulting in an online petition to throw Sedacca out of Texas.

The number of signatures on the petition has grown rapidly, with more than 500 supporters within the 11 hours of its existence.

In the original article, Sedacca writes, “Like most foods in the Tex Mex pantheon, the breakfast taco was born out of cross-pollinating Mexican culture with Anglo-Germanic ingredients that were available in Texas.” While later saying the dish’s origins “lie in the kitchens of immigrant Mexican families living in Texas,” the article cites only one other city in Texas. Corpus Christi during the 1950s, as explained by food writer Robert Walsh, saw the “first instance” of the breakfast taco, known then as the breakfast “taquito.”

Walsh is the man behind book titles such as “The Tex-Mex Cookbook,” “Legends of Texas Barbecue” and “Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook.” Citing this taco historian, Sedacca writes Austin is the birthplace of the phrase “breakfast taco” and also the city behind the food’s rise to fame. The South By Southwest festival also had a hand in attracting tourists from all over the country who then spread taco appreciation to cities outside of Texas, according to Walsh.

“So the word went out, and in Brooklyn and L.A., you can get Austin-style breakfast tacos,” Walsh told Eater Austin.

9/20/10 Mike Sutter/American-Statesman. A breakfast taco called the Vaquero (eggs, Monterey Jack cheese, corn, roasted red and poblano peppers) on a whole weat flour from Tacodeli on Spyglass Drive. For 30 Tacos, 30 Days cover story for Austin360 tab. 1014xlcover.
A breakfast taco called the Vaquero (eggs, Monterey Jack cheese, corn, roasted red and poblano peppers) on a whole weat flour from Tacodeli on Spyglass Drive. Photo by Mike Sutter/American-Statesman

Tamale House’s Diana Vasquez-Valera told Sedacca the story of her father’s past visit to California. Tacos were sold outside of a sit-down restaurant environment, which inspired the Austin restaurant. But even she told the publication the tacos were “not an overnight sensation, but a novelty, a delicioso concept.” Tacodeli’s Roberto Espinosa also drops a line about the democracy of the breakfast taco.

Many comments on the article mention San Antonio as another important city in the taco game, as well as the south Texas region. (Full disclosure, this breakfast taco-loving writer hails from San Antonio.)

“Tejanos have been eating them for centuries, and the Taco Cabana chain, from San Antonio, found a very strong foothold in the mid 1970s— long before what this article mentions Austin as experiencing,” user Artisus writes.

“I’m from San Antonio but live in Austin. Breakfast tacos are awesome but their ‘home’ definitely isn’t Austin as much as it is San Antonio. Sorry dude,” writes user mina184184.

On an Eater Austin Facebook post, commenters echoed those complaints.

“Only a place like Austin would claim itself to be the home of breakfast tacos, or the original creator of the phrase ‘breakfast taco,'” writes user Jason Ybarbo. “There’s a whole region south of Austin that would beg to differ on this claim, but we know how much Austin likes to practice cultural appropriation while socio-economically segregating said cultures.”

“An article regarding the origin of the breakfast taco that fails to mention its neighbor 80 miles south is simply ridiculous,” writes user Greg Goodman.

But back to the petition. Among other complaints, the call for Sedacca’s ouster states that “More absurd is the notion that ‘breakfast taco culture’ was either codified or normalized by a generation of birkenstock-clad tech-jockeys and university incubatees majoring in Phish and Social Safety Net Surfing, and not by the laborers who spent the last century waking up at 5 am, breaking their fast on huevos con papas outside a truck, to build the aforementioned demographic’s luxury condos.”

The online petition calls for some rather creative resolutions, including “immediate deportation of the offender to a neighboring state where more liberal interpretations of ‘tacos’ are tolerated”; a ban on taco-centric writing until courses on “Applied Taqueria Studies and a seminar in Tex-Mex Disambiguation” are completed; “re-education and re-habilitation” courtesy of the City of San Antonio; and a “San Antonio Day” observed in Austin to include “public singing of songs that beg forgiveness for all taco-related transgressions.”

Despite the petition and online comment backlash, Sedacca seems to be taking it in stride, posting a photo on Twitter with a burrito, thumbs up and a smile with “burritos 4 life” as the caption.

Whataburger’s Twitter is the celebrity accountability tool we need

It’s been a big week for Kanye West.

His new album, “The Life of Pablo,” dropped late Saturday exclusively on music-streaming service Tidal. The album has been getting great reviews, but most of the headlines mentioning Yeezy this week have nothing to do with music. And Whataburger was there to capture it all, according to Revelist.

OCTOBER 30, 2015 - Commuters look on from the Whataburger restaurant near I-35 and Texas 123 as the intersection floods stranding drivers in San Marcos, Texas, on Friday, October 30, 2015. RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
(RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

It all started the day before “Pablo’s” premiere at the Yeezy Season 3 Fashion Show, when West, well-known for his use of social media, began firing on all Twitter cylinders. The Texas-based burger chain promptly fired back.

Two days later, West came under fire for the subject of some of the lyrics to “Famous,” where he took a swipe at Taylor Swift in the latest volley of a feud that’s been going on since 2009:

“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why, I made that b—- famous.” (West apparently thinks he made the pop singer famous when he, you know, interrupted her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.)

https://twitter.com/kanyewest/status/698145869720371200

Whataburger was there to monitor the hip-hop star’s actions, though.

And to her credit, Swift shot back in her Grammys acceptance speech Sunday night when she took home the Album of the Year Award for “1989.”

“There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success, or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame, but if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you …” Swift said.

As if that weren’t enough, some of audio of West, leaked from backstage at “Saturday Night Live,” hit the Internet earlier this week. Highlights (lowlights?) include West calling Swift a “fake-a–,” and proclaiming himself to be “50 perfect more influential” than director Stanley Kubrick, evangelist Paul the Apostle, painter Pablo Picasso and drug dealer Pablo Escobar. (The last three names presumably factored into “Pablo’s” album title).

And who could forget West brazenly asking Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for money to “invest in Kanye West ideas”?

https://twitter.com/kanyewest/status/698926987281371136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The latest subtweet from Whataburger to West on Monday left things on a warmer note. The chain posted this message:

Which was probably in response to another Wonderful West Tweet:

Kanye West Tweet

This wasn’t the first time Whataburger has inserted itself into celebrity feuds. The brand famously took on the Drake/Meek Mill spat last year, and they started a beef with Wingstop shortly after the Drake battle.

Hopefully whoever is running the Whataburger’s Twitter account will keep up the good work. They’re not the superhero we need in these troubled, feuding times, but they’re the hero we deserve.

Now — time to go get a burger.