When I was a child growing up in North London I vividly remember my parents taking me to one of those new American style chain restaurants that popped up in vast numbers all over the world – you know the type with huge bright-coloured icy blue cocktails, humongous burgers and pork ribs and fajitas served on sizzling black skillets. They were introducing us to a new type of cuisine, which was a cross between American and Mexican, the mighty Tex-Mex was born!!
Austin Food Works at Norrtullsgatan is, I’m glad to say, Tex-Mex done properly. They give so much attention to details in their food and drinks preparation, with everything made from scratch using high-end high-quality ingredients. They even make their own tacos.
I must start by telling you about the Chicken and Waffles. I have eaten this many times during my travels, but this was by far the most unique version. The cornflake-crusted crispy chicken is served with Jalapeno Bacon, Blue Cheese and Chocolate Sauce!!! Sounds crazy I know. The first mouthful was a complete hit on the senses, with the moist crispy chicken delivering a punch of flavour – followed by the spice from the Jalapeno bacon, and then the chocolate and blue cheese follows through on the pallet. When we tried this we both looked at each other and said wow, this is a highly unusual mix of flavours. But eaten together it all works magnificently, in an almost shockingly good way.
They have a proper meat smoker imported from America, which slow cooks the meat using hickory wood chips. The meats are slow-cooked for many hours and the result is soft, melt-in-the-mouth smokey goodness!
We tried the Texas Brisket, which is a cut of beef from the lower breast of the animal and is full of flavour. This cut is used everywhere in the American BBQ food scene and is hard to cook to soft, smokey perfection – but Austin Food Works definitely does this.
The other meat offerings we tried were the Pork Ribs, which were tender, and exactly what is expected from a good BBQ restaurant. The pork was moist and tender and the sausage had Jalapenos and Cheddar running through it and it was made to Chef Micke‘s exact recipe. Truly stunning meat. A carnivore’s paradise!!
Next up was the Mac’n’Cheese Burnt-end Burger. Burnt ends are the small pieces cut from the Beef Brisket when it is trimmed up. These intense beef flavour nuggets are served in a brioche bun, with gooey mac’n’cheese and pickled onion. You might want to wear a bib when attacking this monster of a sandwich!!
For the Mex part we had a couple of delightfully fresh Tacos. The first one was with grilled avocado with peanuts and goat cheese, the second one poached lobster with coriander and salsa.
The Nachos were the real deal – freshly made, not greasy and full of flavour.
We also had Brisket Popcorn!! Which is popcorn cooked in the juices from the smoked brisket. I’ve never eaten beef-flavoured popcorn before, but we agreed that if they kept refilling the serving, then we probably would never stop!
The restaurant is great for everyone, but I think sharing is the best way to go. They have a private room decorated as a Texas Ranch downstairs, which can seat up to 45 people, with its own bar area. This would be great for events, functions or private parties. I wish I had more friends to invite so I could hire it!
I’ve been to America many times and love real American BBQ food, which this certainly is mixed with great Mexican food. This place is a real gem and Stockholm is lucky to have it.
Keep an eye on their website for information about a once-a-month super Brunch
It’s certainly much better than the Tex-Mex I remember as a child!!!