All You Can Eat

Gastronaut in love

photo / Made Underground Creative Commons licensed: Attribution 2.0 

All You Can Eat has been slow-coming as of late in part due to over-eating-induced food comas during the holidays, but also for the simple fact that I met someone. Wining and dining take a lot of time and energy, especially when you are as neurotic as I am. And for this endeavor, I’m putting in more time, energy, and thought than ever before.

One of my favorite activities is picking a restaurant or recipe for someone. When people ask, I spend hours researching and talking with them to arrive at to best place for their needs. To understate, I relish this task. Maps, photos, and menu suggestions are usually included in a packet for the individual in need.

And my perfectionism certainly doesn’t ease up when I’m looking for the perfect place to take a date. I enlist friends’ opinions, drag them along for test runs (awkward!), and consider a whole slew of variables and concerns. There are always food allergies and dietary restrictions to take into account. Anorexic? Buffet Palace might be a waste of money. Vegan? Austin Land & Cattle is also a no. You get the idea.

SXSW: Street vendor smorgasbord

All You Can Eat

Going downtown for SXSW madness? It can be exhausting to stand in line for a day party, get trashed on free drinks, recover, then get trashed again at night on more free drinks. You need street and bar food. Pubs and countries other than the US (the city of New York excluded) know the value of hearty food: fish and chips, burgers, sausage, tacos, pizza, and Kebabs. All these will insulate and fortify your body in order to survive the abuse that is SXSW. Healthy options? Pish posh. Your body will be able to distinguish between that fresh spring roll and the Rock Star and cheap vodka you’ve been gulping. Guess which one it will reject? Slip the booze past your stomach in a gut-bomb Trojan horse.

Taste it virgin

It’s bacon… and it’s also salt. Columnist James Bickham explores a mysterious condiment and the dangers of seasoning before you taste in this week’s All You Can Eat.

The best thing ever

Everybody should have the best thing ever: Columnist James Bickham shares some of his favorite local places in the latest All You Can Eat.

The Thanksgiving List

All You Can Eat

Staying in Austin for Thanksgiving and planning on going out to dinner? James Bickham has some ideas.

Dirty food

All You Can Eat: Dirty food

What does food mean?

No elbows

All You Can Eat: No elbows

What good is etiquette if you are so wrapped up in where your elbows are that you miss the whole point of the meal?

Heart burnout

All You Can Eat: Heart burnout

My body must have learned something at Catholic school because guilt works.


All You Can Eat: Butter

Butter isn’t doing so well these days. Heart attacks and cellulite have scared people away. Death and fat are bad, right? This seems logical on the surface, but the issue is more complex than “butter is bad.”

An old favorite: Frito pie

An old favorite: Frito pie

It’s a classic at state fairs, high school sporting events… and that’s about it. This is sad for such a tasty, cheap, and easy dish.

First things first

First things first

The first installment of food critic James Bickham’s column.