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Manuel Treviño is a former Top Chef contestant and current chef at Marble Lane — the steakhouse inside the Dream Downtown in New York City. Treviño, who previously served as chef at Travertine and Lavo, just returned from a trip to Austin, Texas. Which we’ve found out first hand has a pretty incredible restaurant scene — and we’re thinking outside barbecue and tacos. Take it away, Manny.

Where are you just back from?
Austin, Texas.

Business or pleasure?
Pleasure, but whenever I’m in a restaurant, there is always a little business mixed in!

What was the highlight? 
Dinner at Hudsons on the Bend near Lake Travis was definitely a highlight for me. They serve amazing game dishes with great local flair. We had dinner outdoors in the middle of their garden!

Lowlight?
I was really excited to eat at La Condesa. I had heard so many great things from a lot of my chef friends, but overall I was disappointed. I also wanted to get to Franklin’s BBQ, but couldn’t. Definitely a lowlight!

What airline did you fly and how was it?
United Airlines. It was on time. I guess that’s all I could ask for now and days!

Where’d you stay and what’s your mini-review of the place?
I grew up in Texas and went to college in San Antonio, so I have a lot of friends who live out there. I stayed with a friend, which is always a good time. Plus, the whole city was booked!

What was your best meal on the trip?
The beef ribs at Iron Works are always amazing. Sorry I missed out on Aaron Franklin’s (of Franklin’s BBQ) brisket as they closed shop that week for vacation. I will make sure to stop in next time I’m in ATX!

Did you bring anything back and if so, what?
Yes, a six pack of Shiner Bock and New UT burnt orange caps for me and my twin boys.


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