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Torchon of Foie Gras?

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm only flying in on Christmas eve, so I don't have time to make it myself, since I'm hoping to serve it later that evening. I'll call Clancey's tomorrow and see what they have.

Edit: Clancey's website is awkward and out-of-date, but I was able to access some pages with a little searching: https://www.google.com/search?source=... You have to click "repeat the search with the omitted results included" to see all the indexed pages. It appears they haven't been updated in a few years. This page says they had torchon of foie gras back in February of '09: http://www.clanceysmeats.com/goodfood... It seems likely that they'll be able to help me.

Dec 19, 2011
angusb in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Torchon of Foie Gras?

I'm visiting my in-laws this Christmas, and I was hoping to find a place to buy a ready-made torchon of foie gras near Minneapolis, but I've had no luck. I would settle for a terrine or other preparation if I have to, but I was hoping to find something that was ready to go AND fresh. Any ideas? If not, second-best suggestions would also be appreciated. Thanks!

Dec 19, 2011
angusb in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Artz Rib House or Some place like it?

Patsy's? As in Cowgirl Cafe? I'd stay away. Green Mesquite is tiny. I've never seen music there, so not sure how it works. I think the bands must play outside in the back, or else they'd be on top of you, like mariachis. Most of the places I can think of with this format, such as Stubb's, Jovita's, and Threadgill's are pretty marginal in terms of food. I'm not a huge fan of Artz, but they are definitely better than the three I mentioned. The Broken Spoke is full of local flavor, and I hear they have a good chicken fried steak, but I've never eaten there, so can't vouch for it.

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Threadgill's Restaurant
6416 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78752

Broken Spoke
3201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

May 28, 2011
angusb in Austin

My favorite things from Central Market

I'm pretty sure those pickles are called Sweet Heat pickles. And I love them, too.

I haven't had the pecan cilantro pesto from CM, but I have had the one at Whole Foods and enjoyed it a lot. I've found that it's even better, and far cheaper, to make at home. I just throw two bunches of cilantro, a few garlic cloves, one jalapeno (or two if you want it spicier), some olive oil, salt, parmesan, and walnuts (I can't tell the difference/they're cheaper/they have omega 3s) into the food processor and let it rip for a minute or so. For a change, throw in a poblano. It's all delicious.

Where Central Market lets me down is the desserts such as sliced cake. Whole Foods has them beat by a mile in that department.

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Central Market
4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745

May 28, 2011
angusb in Austin

Truck thoughts: Not Your Mama's; 3 Little Pigs; Honcho's

That other place is called "Head Hancho's". That is not a misspelling. Well, it seems to be, but that's the way they spell it. They used to be next to El Aguacate market a few blocks west of their current location.

I'm definitely going to swing by and try the fried chicken at Not Your Mama's. Thanks for the tip!

Mar 02, 2011
angusb in Austin

Franklin Barbecue going mortar

Somebody told me yesterday that Franklin was going to be moving to that area soon. My first thought was that they would be competing directly with the person who had taken over the Ben's location. I didn't realize he was gone now. I'm glad they are actually moving into the same building and not just setting up next door.

Dec 19, 2010
angusb in Austin

BBQ on Sunday

Yep, Smitty's all the way. Avoid Black's at all costs is my advice.

Nov 27, 2010
angusb in Austin

Free Range Heritage Turkey

I *HATED* the Greenberg turkey. It tasted like kerosene. The entire family was turned off by it, and they're not hard to please by any means.

Nov 18, 2010
angusb in Austin

THEY WANT HOW MUCH? Part 2: Egregious Food Pricing In Austin

Oops! The birthday boy changed his mind after reading a few more reviews, so he chose to go elsewhere. Sorry I can't report back. Maybe somebody else will chime in.

Nov 13, 2010
angusb in Austin

THEY WANT HOW MUCH? Part 2: Egregious Food Pricing In Austin

I'm actually going to Zandunga for a friend's birthday tomorrow, so I'll report back what I find.

Nov 12, 2010
angusb in Austin

THEY WANT HOW LITTLE? Reasonable Beyond Belief Food Pricing In Austin Part 1

I like Taqueria Chapala on East Cesar Chavez for breakfast. All plates are $2.79 if you get there before 11 am, and they include beans, your choice of eggs (huevos rancheros, huevos a la Mexicana, scrambled eggs w/ chorizo, etc.), potatoes, and tortillas. It's not the *best* food you can find, but it's incredibly well priced.

Nov 12, 2010
angusb in Austin

BBQ- Blacks v Smitty's V Salt Lick

Yes, Kreuz has been taking plastic for quite a long time now. I was at Smitty's only about two weeks ago, though, and they definitely weren't taking plastic then. Although if Kreuz started it, I'm sure Smitty's can't be far behind--it seems that when one of them changes something, the other one has to change, too, just to compete!

Nov 03, 2010
angusb in Austin

The Current State of Soul Food in Austin Texas: Summer 2010

I'm not a fan of 11th St. Station. Their menu is a whole mess of fried food, but almost the whole thing is devoted to four items: shrimp, tilapia, catfish, and chicken wings. For chicken, wings is the only option--their chicken and waffles is a waffle and "wing dings". The only entree items they offered other than those four is a fried pork chop and another item I can't recall at the moment. The catfish was good, hand-breaded and fresh, but the oysters were awful--on the way to rotten, I'd say. The fried okra was straight out of a Sysco freezer bag, pre-breaded and bland. Fried corn nuggets were sweet and gooey. The hush puppies were leaden. The service was laughably bad. The music was a mix of crappy light instrumental jazz and a continuously skipping Etta James CD. The soda was flat. I can make some allowances for being so new, but overall, it was only a half step above a complete bomb.

Aug 01, 2010
angusb in Austin

Lockhart in Late Afternoon?

Traveling to Lockhart and eating at Chisolm Trail is like traveling to Italy and eating at the Olive Garden. You may get a big plate of food for your money, but there are many better options. I'll admit that it's been 8 or 9 years since I ate there, but it left enough of an impression that I'll never go back again. I've heard many times that Chisolm Trail is "where the locals eat", but for the life of me, I can't understand why. It appears to be all about the sides, which are nothing special. They had big bins of potato salad and cole slaw and such that tasted like they had come straight out of a Sysco tub, and the meat was not worth mentioning. The worst travesty was the peach cobbler, which was one of those giant mass-produced frozen trays that goes straight from the freezer to the oven. Truly not worth a dime.

I don't like Black's much better. I've been several times, and I won't go back. I used to be a devotee of Kreuz, but they've been supplanted by Smitty's over the last year or so. I have always been a fan of brisket, but the ribs that Smitty's has been turning out lately have been masterful. Perfectly cooked and finger tender, I would say they are definitely the best ribs I've ever eaten. One trip out of the last five was less than stellar. Regarding the ribs on that occasion, I would say they were only very good instead of heavenly. I usually leave just enough room for a $1 scoop of Blue Bell ice cream ($1.50 for two large scoops). The only way that Smitty's has ever disappointed me is by running out of the item I wanted early in the day.

Jul 17, 2010
angusb in Austin

Former NYT food writer wants Bestest TxMx

Please clue us in: what is the real name of Enchanted Grease?

Jun 14, 2010
angusb in Austin

Lockhart, Luling, Gonzales BBQ joints - which take credit cards?

Kreuz Market began taking credit cards a while back. Smitty's still doesn't.

Apr 17, 2010
angusb in Austin

Prime Rib in Austin

I've heard from several people that the Salt Lick has a prime rib dinner only on Sundays. I'm not a fan of their BBQ, but I would definitely like to try the prime rib sometime (the people raving to me about the prime rib were also not fans of their BBQ). I've had it at Houston's and it was good (this would be about 7 years ago). I know they also serve it at Perry's, and I imagine that would be quite good.

Mar 30, 2010
angusb in Austin

Salt Lick BBQ ?

This is a fun place to go with kids, or if you have a huge group, because it is family style, and it's in a cool location with a nice setting. But what people say is true, it's not where you want to go if you want to experience great BBQ.

Mar 26, 2010
angusb in Austin

Good food around Zilker, the zoo, and UT campus?

I agree about skipping the zoo. In Lockhart, you can walk around the old town square. They have one of the nicest looking courthouses in Texas (it's not impressive at all on the inside, by the way). It's been in several movies. Across the street on the northwest corner of the square is the long stairway going up the side of a building that was Corky's apartment in the movie Waiting for Guffman ("We want you to LIVE!"). There's also a little abandoned drive-thru (or maybe drive-up, like Sonic) restaurant across from Smitty's BBQ that was the place where Parker Posey's character worked.

The bats do migrate, but not all of them. A portion of the bat population stays here year-round, so you can probably see some bats, but it won't be as impressive as it is in August.

I think your list is good, as well as some of the suggestions you've already gotten.

Mar 25, 2010
angusb in Austin

How late is too late to get to Snow BBQ?

As everybody's mentioned, many people come to Snow's and pick up meat to take to parties, sporting events, etc. I got there about 9:45 and stood in a short line and they had plenty of meat left, but I did notice that the drunk-before-10:00-am frat types who came in while we were sitting there eating (maybe not actually drunk, but definitely at least tipsy, with beers in hand), bought about 20 pounds of meat. It only takes a few buyers like that to wipe out the supply pretty quickly. On the plus side, if you email or call them by Thursday, they are happy to set aside some meat for you to pick up later. I think they'll hold meat until noon or later if you need them to.

Mar 05, 2010
angusb in Austin

Austin eating with kid in tow - recs needed!

I wholeheartedly agree with mkfoodie's recommendation of Smitty's or Kreuz Market in Lockhart. I would choose Smitty's personally, and it is very kid friendly. Also a bit closer to Austin, (and a BIG step down in quality) is the Salt Lick BBQ. I mention it because the food is served family style, and it's a cool experience in a fun location, and it is very kid friendly. The BBQ is decent (many people love it, actually), but I'm not a huge fan.

In Austin, Chuy's and its sister restaurant, Shady Grove, are both kid-friendly and fun in a kitschy sort of way, although the food and drinks are definitely a mixed bag. You can search either name to find discussions about the merits of each place. Out of the other restaurants mentioned by mkfoodie, the only restaurant I would consider eating at again would be Cisco's, and then only for breakfast (I'm a fan of the biscuits & gravy). Central Market North (near 40th/Lamar) is a great place to visit, and the food in their cafe is pretty good for the most part, and they have a large deck with a playscape, so my sisters always enjoy taking their kids there when they are in town & the weather's nice. The various dining options at the flagship Whole Foods Market also usually offer some good food (including some surprisingly delicious barbeque!), and I'd say that's a pretty kid-friendly place. I'm not a huge fan of Magnolia Cafe or Kerbey Lane (both 24 hour diners), but they are both quintessentially "Austin", and very kid-friendly, so you might want to check them out. I really don't mean to rag on them...they serve mostly decent diner food, for cheap, but it's more about the experience than about eating great food. They would be akin to something like Beth's Cafe in Seattle. Except I think Beth's is better.

For carts, I wholeheartedly recommend Odd Duck Farm to Market and Gourdough's donuts, which share a seating area, and G'raj Mahal (the best saag paneer I've ever eaten). Plus East Side King, which I like a lot. To eat there, you do need to walk through a fun, kind of dive-y bar. They don't open until 7:00 pm. The best bets there are the fried beets and the chicken karaage, I think. I also liked Poor Qui's Buns. Hope you enjoy Austin!

Mar 02, 2010
angusb in Austin

Pepsi or Mountain Dew Throwback (sugar)

I saw some Pepsi Throwback at Costco south 2 days ago.

Feb 23, 2010
angusb in Austin

RIP part III: Austin Restaurant Closings

Sorry that you are losing your favorite, but I have to admit I'm happy to see a mediocre restaurant being replaced by what I hope is an outstanding restaurant.

Feb 23, 2010
angusb in Austin

Brownies

There are a couple of brownie/bar type things at Sugar Mama's that I like (on S. 1st, north of Oltorf). They have a s'mores bar and a pecan bar and a chocolate mint bar. All of them are great. Whole Foods sells a 4 pack of cream cheese brownies that I like. They are nice and moist, kind of fudgy. You can probably also buy them individually. Finally, Walton's has a brownie/butterscotch swirl thing. They have a goofy name for it, but I can't remember what it is at the moment. It's very rich...a bit too much for me, actually, but you might like it. I'm not sure if they offer it every day, but they usually have some type of brownie-like item available.

Feb 10, 2010
angusb in Austin

3 carts

Your first three are my top three, and I have been to all of them at least twice. Odd Duck Farm to Trailer, East Side King, and G'raj Mahal. HOWEVER, I think only Gra'j Mahal is open during the day, and I'm not even sure about that. I'd still cancel my plans for any brick-&-mortar restaurant one evening and head over to East Side King. Get the chicken karaage, the Poor Qui's Buns (pork belly) and the fried beets. My friend also raved about the brussels sprouts salad, but I didn't get a taste of it.

If you want dessert, Gourdoughs's is fun (although I did once get a doughnut there that was still a bit raw in the middle). Avoid Hello Cupcake at all costs.

Feb 07, 2010
angusb in Austin

Mexican Wedding/Russian Tea Cookies in Austin?

Cake and Spoon isn't new exactly, although the name may be. They've been there for about a year or so. It used to be the Sticky Toffee Pudding Company owner, and Melissa (whose name I just learned from that website), sold the quiches and scones and things alongside her. At some point, the Sticky Toffee Pudding people pulled out and the booth was gone for a bit, and then Melissa came back by herself with a larger selection of items. The quiches are great (although the bacon one was a bit too salty). The cinnamon rolls (or Chelsea buns) are delicious. They are made with currants instead of raisins, and they manage to be both moist and crispy at the same time. I've also enjoyed the frangipane tart and the sweet potato tart. All of the tarts have a delicious shortbread-like crust that is actually browned on the bottom, unlike so many pale, mushy flour-and-butter crusts that I come across. What I'm trying to say is, I've liked everything I've tried from them.

Feb 03, 2010
angusb in Austin

run, don't walk

Yes, that is East Side King, and the food was all delicious. I had Poor Qui's Buns (the pork belly one) and the fried beets. I liked the buns and loved the beets. My friend had the chicken karaage, the bits of fried chicken in a tangy/sweet/hot sauce, on what seemed to be a bed of something pickled and shredded, kind of like kim-chee. I LOVED that item and so did he (he only let me have one bite). I'll definitely get that next time, plus the fried beets. Absolutely delicious! http://www.eastsidekingaustin.com/

Jan 31, 2010
angusb in Austin

Mexican Wedding/Russian Tea Cookies in Austin?

I would check with any of the panaderias in town such as Mi Victoria or Chuy Bakery or La Mexicana. Also, I was buying a cinnamon roll this morning at the downtown Farmers Market, and I noticed some cookies the vendor was offering that looked to be very similar (& very enticing). I think her operation changed names recently, or today was the first time I've ever seen their name...it was Spoon & *Something* or *Something* & Spoon. She also sells mini quiches and tarts and other baked goods. I'm not sure if she goes to the Wed. market at the Triangle.

Jan 30, 2010
angusb in Austin

R I P part II

I noticed today that Z Pizza is open again. Apparently they reopened last week.

Jan 28, 2010
angusb in Austin

R I P part II

That is correct about the owner of Mulberry opening a gastro-pub in the Thai Tara building. Apparently they are going to raze the site and build a new building, and they plan to do it very quickly.

Jan 18, 2010
angusb in Austin