4/18/2013 10:04:00 AM

Ask the Austin Zagat Blog: Where Should I Go for Bizarre Eats?

Eating out in our fair city raises all sorts of burning questions. Is it okay to take a date to a food trailer? Yay or nay on cargo shorts at Uchiko? Then there are the more general questions we’ve always wondered but been too afraid to ask. Are you allowed to eat garnish? Who pays for that extra appetizer? 

That’s where the Austin Zagat blog comes in. Ask us anything your heart desires in the comments section below, and we'll give you our honest opinion. 

This week a reader asked us, I have some friends coming in from Dallas. One likes to eat new things; the stranger, the better. Not quite Bizarre Foods, but not far from it, either. Where should I make reservations for interesting eating? 

Since your friends are fellow Texans, we advise you skip the barbecue and go straight for the eclectic.

Start with Foreign & Domestic, the first nose-to-tail eatery in Austin, for a beef heart appetizer with mango and papaya and the entree of braised tripe, shrimp and grits. Be sure to get dessert, since co-owner Jodi Elliott just won Food & Wine's people's choice award for the Central region's best new pastry chef in 2012.

Then head to Chen’s Noodle House for traditional, hand-pulled noodles. The food here is just delicious, not bizarre, but the divey atmosphere might challenge him a bit.

Last, it’s not all about beef hearts and carbs. For the real Austin touch, try Beets Living Food CafĂ© for a taste of the raw movement. We like the kale salad, “burger” with almond-sunflower flatbread and decadent smoothies.

Have a restaurant query you need answered? Ask Megan your questions below in the comments section.

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