What a week. A couple of THE culinary giants of Austin collaborated, and a PlayGourmet hero paid our hometown a visit. And there was no way we were going to miss either occurrence.

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For those unaware, Austin has an intense culinary scene. We don’t have every cuisine here, but the ones we do have, we show an immense pride for. The original Austin food was Tex-Mex, and although that may not be appreciated everywhere it is still very much a staple here. In recent years Tex-Mex has evolved into a dizzying variety of tacos. (And for this, I applaud, in fact, please don’t tell me if you don’t care for tacos)

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And just as obvious as Tex-Mex, is our BBQ. Beautifully smoked meat that falls apart on the paper it is served.

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Now one visionary brought the next most popular food to the area in the early 2000’s. A chef by the name of Tyson Cole, introduced Austin to the Japanese art of cooking, and since then, aside from his most well known restaurant, Uchi, there have been dozens of Japanese restaurants join the party, many of them to receive much acclaim.

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Now, for Food Channel fans and BBQ enthusiasts, I am telling you something you already know. Franklin’s BBQ is the most popular BBQ joint in town. It is famous for its 2.5 hour lines, and running out of food by lunch time.

Imagine for a second, that you are alone at the top of your game, such as how Tyson Cole or Aaron Franklin must feel. How do you avoid being bored? Who are your peers? What comes next?

How about a collaboration project? How about, we already have the two most popular restaurants in Austin? What if we created something together? Light bulb! Asian Smokehouse!

Let’s make Japanese inspired BBQ, or BBQ inspired Japanese. This is the latest and greatest in food fusion! And it launched this week.

Introducing Loro!

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As an appetizer, they gave us caramel corn with charred brisket, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Sweet/Salty/Spicy/Amazing!

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We tried everything, and everything was amazing. Starting with corn fritters and Chicken Karaage. Notice how pleased our little Play Gourmet was with his mom, when he thought she was going to eat his piece. Of course she was just trying to avoid a burnt roof of the mouth.

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Follow this with some salmon, cooked to perfection. Glazed and smoked, hot on the outside, still as rare as sashimi on the inside. Once again falling apart on your fork as you try to lift it to your mouth.

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And of course that world famous brisket, cut a little differently, sliced thick, asian style. Shockingly good.

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I won’t bore you with a picture of everything, but note to self, review pictures from April 2018 to find all the Loro pictures.

This place get’s the PlayGourmet seal of approval.

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Now is if that wasn’t enough of a treat for a single week, guess who rolled into town?

GRAVE DIGGER!!

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Finally the kid got to see his favorite truck in person, as Monster Jam made its way to Austin.

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As you can imagine, the anticipation of seeing Grave Digger in person was quite overwhelming, and so worth it!

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I would say that was a pretty good week. And we didn’t even get to the Texas strawberries. Food for another day.

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