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Soups in Austin

The first time I saw Greg at NeWorlDeli, he was scarfing down some chicken poblano soup he'd just made and talking about how he cooked his roast beef. I like all of their soups and especially like them in their soup&sandwich daily lunch specials.

For my money, the best soup deals in Austin are found inside the two Korean grocery stores at Airport & Lamar. I don't know why these two places are so close together, but they seem to be coexisting. I wish I could tell you more about their menus, but it's hard for me to find anything tastier than kimchi jigae.

Jul 30, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Casino El Camino

Yes, it lives up to its hype. 12oz (3/4 lb) of seasoned ground chuck griddled to medium rare and served on a bun just sturdy enough to hold up to all the juices unless you let it sit too long. All for less than $7, though I don't think it comes with fries. It's an excellent burger, but it wouldn't be so legendary if it cost $10.

The toppings can be hit or miss. I don't care for the Buffalo-style burger, covered with bleu cheese and hot sauce. But I do like the one with pepperjack cheese and a bunch of serranos.

When you go during non-peak hours, there are usually decent drink/beer specials, too.

Jul 29, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Big day for Austin Beer Hounds

I'm good and excited. The founder/owner has been setting this up for months, and I was concerned when things started slowing down around April. Glad to see he's brewing and getting ready to sell.

Jul 11, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Arpeggio Much Nicer

I just finished some pizza and wings I picked up from Arpeggio for dinner.

Our pizza was called "The Arpeggio" - sausage, pepperoni, onions, italian peppers, olives. The crust was great with a thin layer of crispiness and a little garlic salt on the outside. It reminds me of some of the pizzas I've eaten with my family in upstate NY.

And the wings were great. Above average size, crispy skin, moist interior. They are by far the best wings I've ever gotten from an Austin pizza place.

Jun 29, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Dad wants BBQ and TexMex

For BBQ in a local dive joint, you might want to look into The Pit on Burnet Rd near Phoenicia. I haven't been yet, but I hear they have good bbq served family style (by the pound or pint). It's also next to a knife-sharpening place, a lawnmower repair shop, and one of those places that buys your jewelry when you need to pay off your gambling debts or buy a PS3, which makes for good bbq atmosphere.

Pit Barbecue
4707 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756

Jun 25, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Food Trucks/Trailers/Stands that aren't known for Tex-Mex

Papa's Pot sounds interesting. So do the miniburgers.

And to Chub512 - there's a Korean BBQ Sandwich trailer? My roommate is Korean on the inside (One day I'm going to come home and find out that he's traded his Dodge in for a Hyundai), so we'll have to go try it out.

What else, people? Are there any more like Papa's Pot that make quality sandwiches with locally-sourced ingredients?

Jun 25, 2008
KPeff in Austin

An Austin Beer Thread

Just got back from Draught House, which I hadn't been to in a long while. First thing I had there was the Live Oak Pilz, and it was as good as I remember it being at B-Side Lounge.

mkwng, the Pilz is hoppy, but that is what I like about it. It has bite. It's like the difference between Barq's and A&W.

Nice selection of other beers written on their chalkboard menu. I also had the St. Arnold's Divine Reserve #6 which was good, too.

Jun 24, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Food Trucks/Trailers/Stands that aren't known for Tex-Mex

I wouldn't know where to look for a list like this, so I thought we'd create one. Write down some mobile or temporary restaurants that are known for something besides Tex-Mex food. We already have a good thread about taco trailers, but we don't have a thread about all the other food trailers/trucks/stands.

Jun 23, 2008
KPeff in Austin

German food in Austin?

Culbrich, does Taylor really have a 'downtown' or are you mocking them?

I was about to suggest Scholz's Beer Garden, but then I remembered that I haven't eaten there. Their website indicates they only have a few German dishes (Does a bratwurst po'boy count as German? Do you think they'd add currywurst to the menu?), but I remember local food critic Rob Balon enjoying the schnitzels there.

Jun 20, 2008
KPeff in Austin

JalapeƱo Joe's on Airport Boulevard

I had their cheese enchiladas, once. They were as gringo-mex as you can find in Austin with maybe the exception of Dart Bowl Cafe - cheap yellow cheese, salty chili on top, pungent rice, and runny refried beans. I keep meaning to go back and try out the rest of their menu.

Jun 07, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Diners Drive-Ins or Dives in Austin?

Dan's Hamburgers is a dive. Dartbowl Cafe definitely qualifies.

Dunno if a Chinese food place operating out of a old burger shack counts as a potential dive, but that's what Wok'n'Roll is.

Top Notch, Hill-bert's Hamburgers are drive-ins.

May 19, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Delivery Pizza in Austin?

There's a local chain called Austin's Pizza that is good. Their whole wheat crust is a free option. Their ingredients are generally very fresh. The pesto sauce they serve is not strong enough, but the bbq sauce from Stubb's BBQ makes a mean bbq chicken pizza.

Their wings never show up to my place still steaming hot. The wing sauce tastes homemade, though it uses too much butter. And you have to try their homemade "atomic ranch." There's nothing spicy about it, but the flavor is great.

And just the other day my roommate and I had a nice pizza from Texas Pizza, Pasta, and More, which might not deliver to your area (They're on Airport near where it stops at Lamar). They serve nice 18" Jumbo pizzas, and they're as cheap as a national chain.

The internet warned me about them, though. Some guy (I can't find the link) ordered something with seafood and then complained that it was imitation crab meat. So, ask about that before you order any seafood. And their wings weren't great.

Austin's Pizza
2324 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX

Texas Pizza Pasta & More
6929 Airport Blvd # 158, Austin, TX

May 19, 2008
KPeff in Austin

roast beef sandwiches?

I have not seen that PBS piece, but Little Deli on Woodrow Ave in Allandale/Crestview makes the best roast beef sandwich I've had in this city.

And now I'm going to do some thread-jacking - anyone know where to get beef on weck here?

Little Deli
7101 Woodrow Ave, Austin, TX 78757

May 16, 2008
KPeff in Austin

dunkin donuts in north austin?

I just used the 'Link to a place' feature on this post, and it turned up the two locations below.

Don't forget - this Thursday May 15th they're giving away free coffee drinks between 10am and 10pm for some reason.

Dunkin' Donuts
12200 Research Blvd # 100, Austin, TX

Dunkin' Donuts
11200 Research Blvd # 100, Austin, TX

May 11, 2008
KPeff in Austin

What happened to Din Ho?!!

You should take her to Wok'n'Roll on Burnet Rd. and order from the non-American Chinese menu. Warning: The place is a dive on the inside, and you don't want to stay there for long. You should also be careful walking up the rickety steps. Oh, and wear shoes with thick soles - just in case.

W'n'R is basically Cantonese street food, from what I've been told. One day I'll convince the owner to start putting noodles in those paper takeout cups so I can litter my duplex with them and pretend to be an underworked Private Investigator.

I actually want to hear what your sis-in-law says about the place as far as its authenticity and tastiness go. She can be Chowhound's litmus test.

Austin Wok N Roll
5119 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756

May 08, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Seeking Olive Salad

No tapenade at Phoenicia that I could see. They have a homemade tapenade on their muffaletta, though. It has too many shredded carrots in it. To say nothing of the muffaletta.

May 08, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Seeking Olive Salad

My parents in Houston get theirs from Cost Co. I'm actually going to Phoenicia for lunch to get a sandwich, and I'll check around there for some olive spread (I'm sure they have it).

May 08, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Austin-Little Thailand

I just had a really nice lunch at Little Thailand.

My uncle was coming to town from Dallas, and I told him to meet us there. He showed up an hour earlier than we'd scheduled, but I told him to just sit himself down at the bar and wait for me and my friend. We showed up and my uncle looked happy as a clam drinking a Shiner and talking to Dick.

Dick told us about the specials (beef & broccoli on flat rice noodles or Thai shrimp fried rice) which also included a cup of cabbage soup with clear noodles, a Thai spring roll, and some tea. Since we all had drinks, they didn't serve us the tea. The spring roll was great and fresh, and the soup was simple, light on the salt, and very clean.

My friend got the beef & broccoli and ate it happily. My uncle and I got the shrimp fried rice. The first thing I did was try the rice. It was sticky and flavorful and very light on oil. They were judicious with the soy sauce too, but it was still nicely seasoned. Then I tried the shrimp, which were served with the tail on. I figured this was all made fresh and from scratch, and tasting the first shrimp confirmed this. Plump is how I like to describe the texture of nicely cooked shrimp. It sort of bursts like an orange slice when you chomp down on it, and that's what these shrimp were like.

I also tried a bit of Dick's hot sauce, which is nice. It's called "Yes It's Hot." It's made from half habanero and half Thai chilis. I liked it. I need to buy some and experiment with some Buffalo wing sauce. It is very spicy stuff, but my family in Buffalo, NY would get a kick out of it.

And then I had the best thing I've had all week - Dick's Thai Bloody Mary. Of course he sells the mix which contains some of his Yes It's Hot sauce. It's a very spicy bloody mary, much deeper of a spiciness than the black pepper and tabasco in most bloody marys. My friend took a sip and remarked that I must still be too young to fear spicy foods. The cocktail was garnished with a pickled spear of asparagus, which I think is more appropriate than a stalk of celery.

Great little place. I'll be sure to bring my out-of-town friends here regularly. And if you ask Dick about Chowhound, he'll tell you that he refuses to look at this site. "I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing," he said.

God but they need a sign at the turn off of 71. Someone get on that. Just build it and stick it in the ground in the middle of the night, without telling Dick.

May 02, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Good Soup in Austin?

I went there a month ago and had soup and a sandwich. The sandwich was bland and dry, but the bread was good.

And the soup, French onion, tasted like instant ramen was the base.

Apr 17, 2008
KPeff in Austin

An Austin Beer Thread

Flying Saucer, at least the one in Houston, is not without a sense of humor and community, either.

A friend of mine got engaged there. She and her then boyfriend had been sampling beers for a long time trying to get those plaques for hitting 200 - when he got his, his engraving asked her to marry him. And hers says "It's about damn time."

I'll have to go to Draught House some time soon when it's late and see if Flying Saucer is making more room at DH for neighborhood drinkers. Can anyone comment on this already?

Example - Hypothetical guy in town from Houston: "Draught House? That like the theater? Who wants to go there to sit at their bar? No, man. Let's go to Flying Saucer!"

Apr 09, 2008
KPeff in Austin

An Austin Beer Thread

Live Oak Pilz was the first beer I had at B-Side Lounge (Are they gone yet?). I liked it a lot, but it never catches my eye when I'm at a bar for some reason.

And whoa - Real Ale made a double ESB? And I'm just now finding out about it? Is there any place I can buy it still, or is it past the season?

Apr 09, 2008
KPeff in Austin

An Austin Beer Thread

What local brews do you guys like? What beers are hard to find in Austin? Where do you like to have them?

To me nothing beats the Thursday night special at the Draught House, $2.25 for an imperial pint of their housebrews. You can have almost a gallon of beer for less than $16 after tip.

My favorite homebrew of theirs they only make in the winter - the coffee stout. Right now they're serving among others, a homebrew called Red Planet. Be careful with it, though. There's a hangover in every third one.

Apr 07, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Reuben Sandwich anyone?

I know this isn't topical but in case anyone else has something similar happen to them...

Every couple of weeks I get a fast food craving. This past Saturday I found myself at Arby's. I ordered a number seven but they heard "Number eleven" which is their Reuben.

No, you don't need to try it.

For my money, I like the Reuben at NeWorlDeli. The gregariousness of the owner makes all of their food taste better.

Apr 07, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Best "fast" food in Central/South Austin?

My first Hill-Bert Burger experience was great. Grilled quarter pounder with cheese on a very tasty whole wheat bun (better than their regular bun) and a chocolate shake (made with real "butter fat" ice cream). It's a "fine fast food" place - old burger shack, looks a bit decrepit, where you can order burgers, fries, shakes, wings, and a couple other fried things like mozz sticks. I ate at the restaurant and have since discovered their food is best when fresh like this. Good way to start off a the night before going to drink stiff house-brewed beer at the Draught House a few blocks away on Medical.

Also, Koriente is usually very speedy as far as getting your food to you. They serve preposterously clean and healthy pan-Asian food. I think I read once that they even use honey or natural fruit juice in place of white sugar in their recipes. One day I'll start eating here four times a day and quickly become the healthiest man in Austin.

Know before you go - they are not a Korean restaurant. No restaurant that serves a hummus summer roll can claim to be a Korean restaurant. It's a restaurant that borrows from and healthily updates central and eastern Asian recipes.

EDIT: Website wouldn't let me add a second restaurant location, so I'll do it manually.

621 E 7th St., Austin, TX, 78701
(On 7th street between Red River and I-35


Hill-Bert's Burgers
3303 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX

Apr 05, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Tortas in Austin

It's worth it. It's somehow as cheap as cooking.

You can find tastier taquerias. But Arandas #3 is consistent and unbeatably cheap.

Mar 27, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Best Breakfast Place In Town??

The omelets at Omelettry are extremely spotty, which I've said on here before. If you're just going for an a la carte sort of breakfast or a simple ham and cheese omelet, you'll be pleased with the price and the food. Their pancakes are also excellent, and the coffee is strong, too.

Austin Diner is pretty good. Big gringo-mex breakfast specials like enchiladas with eggs on the side, toast, and a pancake. Really kind service and charming atmosphere (Alton Brown would dig the place. There are a bunch of vintage coffee makers and waffle presses everywhere).

I think the best breakfast deals are found at Stallion Grill near North Loop and Airport Blvd. Their cornbeef hash comes out of a can and is too salty. Their hasbrowns are the shredded variety which I've never liked. But their biscuits, home-style potatoes, ham, and eggs are great. I happen to have a menu here so let me quote you my two favorite breakfasts there.

For $4.99 you can get a country ham steak, two eggs (which are huge for some reason), a buttermilk biscuit, and grits/hashbrowns/homefries. They're also one of the few places in town that does red eye gravy (ham drippings and coffee, something Homer Simpson would create).

But their best deal is on biscuits and gravy. For $3.29 you get two biscuits cut in half and covered with delicious homemade gravy with big sausage chunks in it. I made the mistake of ordering this with a single scrambled egg on the side. I barely finished and had to go home to take a nap. A single biscuit halved and covered in gravy is $1.69.

Of course, you could always fight the crowd and spend $13 for breakfast and coffee at Kerby Lane. I only go there when my parents are in town and want gingerbread pancakes. And when they're paying.

Mar 26, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Tortas in Austin

I also had a torta at Arandas #3 the other day. Made me wish I'd gotten a burrito like my friend did.

I got milanesa in my torta, which is a piece of tough meat that has been beaten to death then breaded and pan-fried. It came with a little lettuce in it, a single sliver of avocado, and two small pieces of ugly pink tomato.

Taqueria Vallarta at 35/Riverside and Taqueria de Jalisco (also known as Jesus Maria) at Koenig/Woodrow are better.

Mar 26, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Best Omelets in Town?

You have to be careful at the Omelettry, though. The quality of their omelettes varies greatly depending on the cook. And, besides that, the omelettes are still spotty. The best bets are the cheese or ham and cheese omelettes.

Their Spanish omelette is just a cheese omelette with acidic, raw, garlicy salsa on top for your heartburn.

The broccoli omelette with lemon sour cream sauce is hard to eat because they put huge undercooked spears of broccoli in it.

The mushroom omelette sounded great - mushrooms sauteed with wine. But the mushrooms when I had it were left whole.

And don't let any of your friends order the Chili con Queso omelette. It's just a cheese omelette with movie-theater-like nacho cheese poured on top.

Mar 16, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Schizophrenic buffet now open in the old My Thanh

I tried it this past Sunday after not remembering that Fuego's was closed. I knew it would be bad, but it was worse than I imagined.

1) Smaller buffet than you'd think
2) No labels on food
3) They were half out of stuff for the 40 minutes I was there
4) Incredibly messy buffet (dirty plates some kid left on the buffet sat there the entire time we were at A+)
5) Nothing tasted good; I tried some dark curry, their basmati rice, pizza, white and red pastas, salad bar, naan, and I can't remember what else.

And the poor manager/owner. He was lamenting that the place has never been as busy as when they first opened.

Mar 11, 2008
KPeff in Austin

Kolache Shoppe

I went to the Kolache Shoppe for breakfast this morning. It was hit and miss. I'll definitely go back and try more kolaches, though. They're on Burnett south of W. Anderson, behind the nightclub 'Dallas.'

First one I had was some new 89 cent meatball kolache. It's just what it sounds like. A 1.75-inch diameter meatball, soft and tender and German-tasting, in kolache dough. I liked it. The dough was the same for all the kolaches I had, by the way. Tasted a little sweet, and it was soft and moist like steamed Hawaiian bread.

Second one was a ham and cheddar kolache. When I took it out of my bag, it was remarkably heavy. It had odd layers of kolache dough and cheddar, and the chopped ham I was hoping for. This was the best one. At $1.85 it is kind of expensive, but you can get full off of two of these if you don't have lumberjack breakfasts seven days a week.

Third and last one was "jalepeno, sausage, & cheese". I like the way Shipley's does theirs. They have circular slices of sausage with cheese and jalepeno rings inside a pocket of kolache dough. But Kolache Shoppe decided to do something doofy, instead. This oddity was just a fat 2-inch diameter, almost 4-inch long log of jalepeno cheese sausage with a thin soggy kolache wrapper. It's not for me.

Feb 09, 2008
KPeff in Austin