Restaurants / Lists

Texas Scores Big in Food Bible’s Best New Restaurants in America

Dallas Pulls Off the Strongest Showing, But Houston and Austin Get a Little Love Too

BY // 09.10.19

The praise for the Texas foodie scene just will not stop coming. We’re used to it by now, but a little more never hurt. Especially not when it comes from the culinary bible of the world.

Bon Appétit is giving serious kudos to four Lone Star State restaurants, naming them among the 50 Best New Restaurants in America. Fittingly, given how diverse Texas is, everything from Laotian bites to Vietnamese-inspired barbecue and beyond, is represented in these four. The nods cover just a taste of all Texas has to offer, but by god, are they tasty.

Blood Bros. BBQ of Houston, Petra and the Beast and Khao Noodle Shop in Dallas, and Carpenters Hall in Austin have all been declared Top 50 nominees in Bon Appétit’s America’s Best New Restaurants 2019.

It doesn’t get better than this.

A quartet of Texas restaurants also made the cut last year. It seems Lone Star State food can’t stop shining.

Texas Restaurant Power

Blood Bros. BBQ was recently written up in Bon Appétit by a Texas Monthly barbecue expert, who highlighted pitmaster Quy Hong’s inventive blend of Central Texas barbecue traditions with surprising and satisfying Asian twists. Think Thai green curry boudin and smoked turkey banh mis.

Blood Bros. also charmed The New York Times, earning a slot in its 52 Places to Go in 2019.

Bon Appétit‘s verdict on Blood Bros: “Stellar Texas ‘cue with Chinese and Vietnamese influences.”

Two restaurants are better than one in Dallas, which doubled up in terms of winners.

First, Khao Noodle Shop is revered for its Laotian delicacies, cooked up by chef Donny Sirisavath. It’s a cozy, casual spot with dishes inspired just as much from Sirisavath’s travels as the foods he ate throughout his childhood.

Years of pop-ups gave way to this charming brick-and-mortar, with favorites like boat noodles with bone marrow broth and shrimp bites with fish sauce and cilantro.

Bon Appétit’s verdict on Khao: “Fun-size Laotian noodles and snacks turn a strip mall into a destination.”

Dallas’ second restaurant in the Top 50 Petra and the Beast, which also earned a spot on Esquire’s list of Best New Restaurants in America, 2018. It was also a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in the James Beard Awards this year.

Petra and the Beast may just be the most lauded new restaurant in all of Dallas. The unconventional restaurant, helmed by chef Misti Norris, is posted up in a casual converted 1930s gas station, covered with anime posters and artwork.

Norris’ philosophy? Farm, forage, fermentation, fire — and, unofficially, funk. She was even dubbed one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs of 2019.

Top eats at Petra include fried chicken hearts wrapped in a green garlic crepe and crispy pig tails with sour purple cabbage.

Bon Appétit’s verdict on Petra and the Beast: “Misti Norris is the master of cured meats at this charcuterie-and-fresh pasta haven.”

And Austin’s Carpenters Hall more than deserves the spotlight. Chef Grae Nonas of Olamaie, a celebrated restaurant in its own right, heads up this restaurant in the high-end Carpenter Hotel.

The atmosphere is refined yet relaxed, making it the perfect spot for noshing on New American dishes, from brunch on to dinner. Think elevated migas, kolaches, spaetzles and more.

One small note: Bon Appétit’s editor-at-large Andrew Knowlton is “involved in the restaurant,” which the publication discloses. Christina Skogly Knowlton, Andrew’s wife, actually consulted on Carpenters Hall.

The magazine’s verdict on Carpenters: “The plate-sized cutlet says it all at this ways-more-than-a-hotel restaurant.”

You know what they say. Three’s a crowd, four is a crowd-pleaser.

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