Eating up The Praise

East Austin hot spot deemed one of America's best 'anti-restaurants'

East Austin hot spot deemed one of America's best 'anti-restaurants'

Dai Due
Dai Due is a great restaurant in an unexpected setting. Photo courtesy of Dai Due/Facebook

One of what GQ magazine dubs “the best anti-restaurants in America” is right here in Austin.

In its September issue, GQ hails Dai Due, which opened in 2014 on Manor Road, as a “multi-purpose mash-up,” putting it into the anti-restaurant category. What’s an anti-restaurant, you ask?

“There’s a new day to dine out in America, and it has nothing to do with fancy restaurants. It almost has nothing to do with restaurants. It’s all about great food in … odd, incongruous, or just plain cool settings,” GQ says.

GQ proclaims Dai Due as one of those plain cool settings. “One half of Dai Due is a butcher shop that chops up just about everything you could imagine — from wild boor to quail. And the other half is a restaurant that Texas food critics are calling the best in Austin — which is saying a lot these days,” GQ says.

The magazine praises Dai Due’s proprietors, husband-and-wife team Jesse Griffiths and Tamara Mayfield, for sourcing most of their ingredients from Texas, and for serving up a virtual banquet of menu options.

“Pick from either à la carte dishes like beer-braised collard greens or venison hot dogs with kimchi, or a supper-club menu, with big, shareable family-style dishes of seafood on Friday and fried chicken on Sunday. So go on Sunday,” GQ says. 

The magazine also urges readers to head to Dai Due on Tuesdays, when the Wagyu cheeseburger appears on the menu.

By the way, Dai Due isn’t the only Texas eatery on the GQ list. Rancho Pizzeria in Coleman, nearly an hour’s drive southeast of Abilene, and Gilhooley’s in San Leon, about an hour’s drive southeast of Houston, also got a nod from the magazine.

Other anti-restaurants that GQ applauded are in both on- and off-the-beaten-path places: Taylor, Mississippi; New Orleans; North Branch, New York; Biddeford and Freedom, Maine; Gloucester, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; St. Louis; Cordova, Alaska; Dunsmuir, California; Greenwood, Delaware; and Los Angeles.