New attention for Austin's restaurant scene

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by JADE MINGUS / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 11:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 10 at 8:24 AM

AUSTIN -- Texas is expected to outpace every other state in 2013 when it comes to restaurant sales and Austin is a big reason why.

Just two weeks ago, a French-Louisiana inspired cafe and grocery opened in the Rosedale neighborhood in Central Austin called Epicerie adding to Austin's expanding restaurant scene.

"Austin is the place to be food wise. There is a lot going on," said owner Sarah McIntosh. 

Recently, Bon Appetit magazine named two Austin eateries, Elizabeth Street Cafe and Lenoir, among the top 50 best restaurants in the country. They are both located on South First in South Austin.

"We were all incredibly excited for that, it was a really great honor," said Lenoir employee Nick Hurt. 

One of Austin's most well known chefs, Paul Qui, has garnered his own national attention. He won a James Beard award in 2012 and won the title of Top Chef on Bravo's television series.

"If you go to a restaurant where the chef is extremely passionate about what they do, the food is going to be good," said Qui.

The former chef at Uchi and Uchiko, Qui now owns a handful of food trailers in East Austin called, East Side King. A few weeks ago he opened a location at the Hole in the Wall on Guadalupe on the UT campus and plans to open another restaurant in East Austin in 2013.

"I like to change things up a bit, especially with the East Side King trucks. I like to add things and I like to inspire my cooks," said Qui. 

In Texas, the restaurant industry employs nine percent of all workers.

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