How 6 Restaurants Use Local Tomatoes

By Megan Giller  |  June 11, 2014

At East Austin’s Springdale Farm, owner Paula Foore focuses on juicy, beautiful tomatoes that she says “make or break the farmer’s year.” Local chefs trek to her farm to nab thousands of pounds of Brandywine, Purple Cherokee, Black Crimson and other varieties. Check out where these ultra-fresh tomatoes pop up before the season ends in July. 

  • Eden East

    Springdale’s first customer? Chef Sonya Cote, back when she headed up East Side Showroom in 2008. Cote’s enchanting outdoor restaurant sits on the farm itself. Head here on the weekends for charming prix-fixe meals with ever-changing menus.

    The Dish: Burrata con crema, with heirloom tomatoes, basil, mint, Castelvetrano olives, Texas olive oil and avocado.

    Find It: 755 Springdale Rd., 512-428-6500.

  • Credit: Spencer Selvidge

    Café Josie

    Chef Brandon Fuller has used Springdale’s tomatoes for the past four years because he likes that they're “allowed to ripen on the vine and are tremendously juicy.” In fact, along with Swift’s Attic, Café Josie has offered a tomato dinner at Springdale for the past three years. (Stay tuned for info on this year’s event.)

    The Dish: Farm tomato salad with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta, marjoram vinaigrette and a black pepper crisp.

    Find It: 1200 W. Sixth St., 512-322-9226.

  • Credit: Spencer Selvidge


    Chef and stand-up comedian Todd Duplechan joked with us that he’s true to Springdale because of some blackmail fodder. He added, they’re “solid on all counts,” especially tomatoes. He also likes that he can head to the farm to pick produce or work with them to grow a particular product.

    The Dish: A take on the Spanish pan a tomate, with charred tomato salad, smoked ricotta, whey-kaffir-lime sorbet, basil seeds, basil, cilantro and mint marigold on toasted everything rye bread with olive oil and garlic.

    Find It: 1807 S. First St., 512-215-9778.

  • Credit: Spencer Selvidge


    Now that the downtown upscale restaurant has started working with Springdale, chef David Bull takes time to visit the farm. He says the dish was inspired by his findings, and “everything is meant to enhance the delicate taste of these perfect tomatoes.”

    The Dish: Sungold tomato salad with whipped ricotta, almonds, garlic chives and garden blooms and bloom-chive-kale jus.

    Find It: 200 Congress Ave., 512-827-2760.

  • Credit: Spencer Selvidge

    Second Bar + Kitchen

    “This is our kitchen’s version of the Springdale story,” said chef David Bull. “This dish represents the garden and the natural aromatics and textures” you find on the farm.

    The Dish: Heirloom tomato salad with fennel, feta, cucumber, mint, pistachio and basil.

    Find It: 200 Congress Ave., 512-827-2750.

  • Driskill Grill

    The tomatoes still star in this dish, but goat cheese bolsters the flavor. Chef de cuisine Skyler Golden says he likes to keep it local and fresh using one of his favorite things about summer: Springdale’s tomatoes (natch).

    The Dish: Tomato terrine with Pure Luck chevre, rainbow chard, red ribbon sorrel, Round Rock honey and Springdale beet caramel.

    Find It: 604 Brazos St., 512-439-1234.