Dec 15 2005

Time For Your Squid

Non-rubbery calamari at Vespaio
Calamari. Vespaio, Austin, TX

  • Have you ever noticed that the scenester staff at Vespaio is vastly cooler than the unusually doughy, frumpy clientele? Even though your server looks like she’s dating the guy from Spoon, the food’s pretty good, and if you get there by six, you won’t have to wait in the doorway for 20 minutes while hostesses with alternative hairstyles give you the silent treatment.
  • The Faster family motto: it never hurts to order calamari once in a while. Vespaio’s red sauce effervesces as spicily as a tiny bloody Mary from the 5th dimension, and the lightly battered squid do not suffer to the rubber-o affliction so common to the species, thus nearly qualifying as “succulent.”
  • Also highly edible was the Seafood Mixed Grill, which comprised a smoky drum fillet, a decent crabcake with some sort of citrus cream, a hunk of salmon plunked into an ooze of polenta (which, if you’re like me, you find texturally problematic), and an excellent roasted cauliflower/Brussel’s sprout combo.

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    1. Twisty

      This is a test of the apparently failed Twisty Comment System.

    2. SneakySnu

      The calamari you describe is making me hungry. Again.

      a hunk of salmon plunked into an ooze of polenta (which, if you’re like me, you find texturally problematic

      Is this their version of the traditional Venetian polenta and baccalá (cod)? Personally, I hate cod, so the idea of it with polenta makes me want to retch. That is where my problem with the salmon-masquerading-as-baccalá comes from. What’s wrong with a good old sausage sauce, anyway? Or a nice mascarpone marjoram cream?

    3. Pinko Punko

      Oh man, squid boy PZ Myers might be sad, but those look good. I actually had rubber squid that tasted good once, only because of some sort of lemongrass-crack searing and a chili sauce-black pepper combo that made it amazing. Pho Vietnam in Boston Chinatown if any blamers are kicking it beantown style. On the appie list.

    4. Sylvanite

      I doubt PZ would be sad. He seems to include cephalopod food porn in his endless fascination with all things cephalopod. :)

    5. kathy a

      mmm, that looks good! glad to see food commenting again.

    6. curiousgyrl

      mmm. brussel sprouts.

    7. misspinkerton

      the server probably has dated the lead singer from spoon. britt daniels is a whore, and not a discriminating one.

    8. ae

      “Roasted cauliflower/Brussel’s sprout combo.” Dude, I am so there. But “oozy” polenta? No.

      Twisty, happy to see that you’re back and enjoying some tasty morsels! Hope your appetite continues to have the bounce-back factor of your obstreperal lobe.

    9. laughingmuse

      So delighted to see the food commentary back!

      Ugh, salmon and polenta. I love fish (although I hope that was Alaskan wild-caught salmon), but I have had problems with weirdly textured polenta across this great land of ours.

      Good calamari fucking rocks. Bad calamari induces sadness and indigestion in me.

    10. karen

      i don’t even live in austin, and this is my favorite. restaurant. in the universe.

    11. Vespaio is my uncle’s restaurant! I’m so glad you like it!

      I just found your site and am reading my way through it backwards. Obviously I love it and have spent a lot of time on it today.

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