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SXSW 09: Venture Further Afield To Find Hudson’s On the Bend

Last March at the end of South by Southwest then-SXSW Film Festival producer Matt Dentler drove indieWIRE’s Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks and myself out to a famous Austin-area restaurant called Hudson’s on the Bend. A reported favorite of Lance Armstrong, the Hill Country eatery is famous for rather detailed (and fantastic) food with a heavy accent on game. Be it venison, elk, antelope, pheasant or yes, rattlesnake, Hudson’s serves it, as well as lobster, trout, beef, rabbit, etc., etc., etc. and I’ll say up front, it was one of the richest, most diverse carnivorous and delicious meals of my life and if you have a free night before, during or after SXSW, it’s worth the 30 minute drive from downtown. I saved my write up until I started previewing SXSW 09 in order to make sure it’s fresh in your minds and to whet my appetite for my return visit!
One mark of a restaurant that takes food service and the art of fine dining seriously is the amuse-bouche (I prefer to use amuse-gueule, but that’s for another post…) that small palate starter that is not as common as it should be. This time it was a delicate pastry puff containing wild boar and Queso Chihuahua (No. It’s NOT.)
Amuse.jpg
Appetizers run the gamut from sushi grade Ahi tuna tartare with a wasabi avomole, pickled ginger pico and crispy lotus chips to pistachio-crusted diamondback rattlesnake cakes (pictured below) over a spicy chipotle cream to Maine lobster, butternut squash and chipotle lobster risotto topped with granny smith apple and pepitas. Other appies include escargots, oysters, duck confit, crab cakes and prosciutto-wrapped sc allops, among others. Are you sensing a theme, here? If you are a vegetarian, don’t bother. There are some nice salads (one pictured below) and desserts, but otherwise, your food has a very delicious face.

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