Austin’s best comfort food, according to Texas Highways

The bar area at the Threadgill's restaurant location on Riverside Drive in Austin. Dina Guidubaldi for the American-Statesman.

The bar area at the Threadgill’s restaurant location on Riverside Drive in Austin. Dina Guidubaldi for the American-Statesman.

In case you didn’t know, Texas Highways, published by the Texas Department of Transportation, is technically the official travel magazine of Texas.

That doesn’t mean their word is the law of the land, but their recent rankings of all the best comfort food in Texas caught our eye nevertheless.

Here is where Austin did and didn’t rank in Texas Highways’ eight categories:

There was no mention of any Austin restaurant in the burger, chicken fried steak, kolache or “fish & shrimp” categories.

For the most part, pie and kolache kingdoms were found to be in smaller Texas cities, like West, and seafood remained the domain of cities situated on the Gulf, naturally.

Austin’s restaurants fared better in those categories which cater to large amounts of cheese.

Threadgill’s, a fixture both in Austin’s dining and live music scene, was among Texas Highway’s top five restaurants for Mac N’Cheese.

As for Tex-Mex, the most overtly Texan of all the cuisine categories, Austin’s Matt’s El Rancho shines on the list alongside two San Antonio restaurants: Los Barrios Continental Mexican Cuisine and Mi Tierra Cafe y Panaderia. In Texas Highways’ intro to the food genre, they also give a shoutout to Matt’s El Rancho’s namesake, Matt Martinez Jr., whom they deem a “Tex-Mex ambassador.”

Nearby but outside-of-Austin favorites like the Salt Lick, Luling’s City Market and Lockhart’s Black’s Barbecue were named the places the to go for barbecue by the magazine. There were no mentions of Franklin’s nor anything from the Mueller family.

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