Knoblauch's Profile

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Taqueria in La Michoacana

The recently posted map led me to this early post in MPH's series: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/93317

A search here netted me other recent mentions of their chow, including the following.
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32805...
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/44805...
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/46069...

Apr 25, 2008
Knoblauch in Austin

What Happened To My Avatar? And...Others?

Earlier today I could still see avatars except for a couple, but as of a few minutes ago, all the custom ones seem to be gone. I hope when they come back, they will also have the mouse-over to reveal the username working in the foreground again.

Apr 15, 2008
Knoblauch in Site Talk

Seeking sesos (brains)

The one time I tried to order the sesos at Taquería las Chivas, they didn't have any. If anyone finds a day of the week or time of day that they are available, I'd be interested to hear about it.

Apr 07, 2008
Knoblauch in Austin

ST. Patrick's Day recommendations?

I though I'd throw in an actual sighting of corned beef and cabbage at the hot prepared-foods counter of the downtown Whole Foods Market. They were even serving colcannon (potatoes prepared with cabbage), which makes it a bit more true to the Emerald Isle than many presentations.

I wouldn't be surprised if the one near the Arboretum also has the dish, but the trek to 6th & Lamar'd be but a morning stroll for the cousins in County Clare.

Mar 15, 2008
Knoblauch in Austin

cupcakes

Many of us would settle for just one tasty cupcake. Recent conversations on the topic came up in these threads. You might find something described that suits you.

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/490241
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/392696
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/383115

On the other hand, maybe buying a lot of them (particularly with an inspirational wedding-size budget) might get the attention of a baker to really try to make a good one. Personally, I've about given up looking for a decent cupcake.

Mar 10, 2008
Knoblauch in Austin

Hidden, Good Mexican Buffets

My agreement with this economic theory of self-serve eating varies in inverse proportion to cost. While I've never felt shortchanged by a free buffet, and many $6.95 buffets can seem worth the cost, I have not been wowed by FSM, but that has been discussed by many in the past. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/93182

The brunch there is a better deal than dinner, and it would be an amazing $6.95 brunch. For half the price, though, I can get tastier food elsewhere in quantities larger than I could possibly eat.

I'll leave the wisdom of brunching with younger family members to others, but I imagine in this case that a couple of toddlers are more likely to provide something interesting to tell my friends than is the chow at FSM.

When this old thread reappeared, I hoped someone had found a new answer to stellawine's question. I guess the search for undiscovered buffets continues.

Mar 01, 2008
Knoblauch in Austin

Local source for kaffir lime leaf?

The search function can often help in such a quest.

Just over a year ago, there was this conversation: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/370452

One 'hound had luck at Little Thailand: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/90388...

Mar 01, 2008
Knoblauch in Austin

Anybody tried cupcakes at Bountiful Bakery on Bee Caves?

This intrigued me, so I tried an experiment. I cut a BBC cupcake in half. I ate half right away, and put the other half in an airtight container to come to room temperature. While the cake portion did improve with warmth, I agree with all that it was still not really good. I also had to eat the warm half without the frosting. A cold crisco-based frosting is marginally palatable. At room temperature, it started to droop and took on a texture that was a bit slippery for me. The warmth also helped open up its bouquet, but who wants the bouquet of vegetable shortening?

Undeterred, I got a couple of cupcakes from Lucy's, and I tried the same experiment on their chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. This was almost the reverse situation. The cupcakes were again mediocre, but this time the frosting was the less bad of the parts.

The chocolate cupcake had a dry and really flavorless cake. As it warmed, the hints of moisture seemed to evaporate, making it worse over time. The frosting was dense, brown, and with a flavor similar to standard chocolate-flavoring from any corporate production line. It was in the style of buttercream, but I could taste neither butter nor cream.

The vanilla cake had better initial flavor, but it had an odd texture. The surfaces that were against the paper were a little tough and rubbery; the interior was dry and fine-grained, almost mealy. The frosting on this one was lighter, and when I thought of it as a meringue, it seemed not-bad, although it had a chalky aftertaste.

I may be a little biased by home cooking, but what's with the size of these cupcakes? In both places, they seem to be much smaller than normal homemade cupcakes, and they make up for the missing volume with frosting. If they tasted good, I probably wouldn't dwell on that.

Feb 22, 2008
Knoblauch in Austin

Take-Out Dinner That Can Be Served Cold?

Speaking of chicken, cold fried chicken is a picnic favorite, and would likely fit the bill for your dinner. I wonder if a place that makes good fried chicken like Tony's Southern Comfort or Gene's could be convinced to make you up a delicious tray of chicken to go.

If you do go the roasted chicken way, I'd be tempted by El Pollo Regio (Riverside). The grocery store rotisserie chickens (no matter how organic they may be) always seem to congeal in an unappetizing way when allowed to cool.

Feb 16, 2008
Knoblauch in Austin

[DFW] Tortilleria la Original de Zacatecas

So, I'm driving around last night a little west of Fort Worth, looking for a taco truck. I couldn't spot one. (I travel a bit, and in Tucson, Austin, San Antonio, and even once in Providence, RI, at a flea market, some of the most delicious food can be had at such establishments. Any suggestions where they are in the Metroplex?)

What I did find was this little taco and tortilla shop. It's in a shopping center on the south side of Camp Bowie West a bit inside the loop of IH 820. Inside, the leftover equipment suggests that the spot was once a pizzeria, but the area behind the counter is now dominated by a tortilla machine.

I tried some tacos on corn tortillas, which had good flavor but were a touch dry. They were out of lengua. The tripitas were crispy and had a hint of flavor. The barbacoa was entirely lacking in greasiness, much more of a carne deshebrada. The al pastor was spicier than I usually find, but still had some citrus flavor. All in all, it was nice to find some serviceable tacos in an area I was beginning to fear was devoid of anything but national chains.

Judging by the printing on their bags of tortillas to go, this may be a mini-chain in the area, but it's pretty good nonetheless.

As I was leaving, I spotted a San Antonio Taqueria at the other end of the same parking lot. I'll have to try that on my next visit.

Jan 24, 2008
Knoblauch in Texas

Chinese Dumplings

I searched for Chinese dumplings on the Austin board, and ran across a few useful links. The great thing about Chowhound is getting the opinions of many 'hounds. They tend to be a much more reliable guide for a wider audience of palates than anything published in a newspaper or magazine.

I tried to omit the ones that were only negative. You can get bad Chinese dumplings almost anywhere.

Chinese Dumplings (from Feb 2007)
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/366471

Asia Market Cafe (kicked off by sambamaster)
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/326470

The one highlight in a meal at Marco Polo
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/360639

Shanghai Restaurant (mixed reviews
)http://www.chowhound.com/topics/407939

CoCo's (this one's pretty central
)http://www.chowhound.com/topics/38048...

Ming's Café (also pretty central
)http://www.chowhound.com/topics/44385...

Jan 14, 2008
Knoblauch in Austin

New Mex instead of Tex Mex?

In addition to jwynne2000's recommendation, you'll find a lot of recommendations in that area by searching the board. The most exhaustive oeuvre on the topic, especially if you'd like a different taquería each day, maybe MPH's ongoing journey, centered more or less on the intersection you mention, will point you in the right direction. The link does a Chowhound search that brings them up along with a few other related topics.

http://www.chow.com/search?search%5Bq...

Jan 11, 2008
Knoblauch in Austin

Chicago 'Hound Visiting for 30th Birthday

Unfortunately Austin flair and stellar food do not always go hand in hand. In-town and casual, you might check out Tony's Southern Comfort or Sam's Bar-B-Q. I'm assuming you have Mexican food well covered in the Windy City, but southern cuisine and barbecue are probably in short supply.

If you lean towards fine dining, Backstage Steakhouse has never disappointed me, and is a nice drive out of town.

You seem to be adept with searching, but here are a few links to give a variety of views on some of the places that have been mentioned. The opinions of people whose tastes match yours are probably your best guide.

Startlite: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/407115
Lamberts: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/431322
Jezebel: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/317044
Zoot: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/90764... and http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40586...
Tony's Southern Comfort: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/425147
Backstage Steakhouse: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/394844
Sam's: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/371712

I hope you'll favor us with your impressions after your trip.

Jan 09, 2008
Knoblauch in Austin

Does Anyone Frequent El Tacolote and/or La Parrilla Guadalajara on N. Lamar?

I'd be hard pressed to day that I frequent El Tacolote, but I have been there and enjoyed a few of their offerings on the run.

The menu above the counter offers a wide range of tacos and plates (both breakfast and otherwise), along with quesadillas, tortas, and other such things. I've just had a few of their tacos, unadventurously all on flour tortillas. The tortillas are a decent mass-produced thin variety, but hand-griddled back to life and well filled, they are better than just serviceable.

The carne guisada filling has good sized chunks of beef along with cubes of boiled potato. While the meat is tender, it is pretty much unseasoned. That, along with the pure-potato flavor of the cubes suggests that while the meat may be stewed in some fashion, it is not in the same pot as the potatoes, and also not in a way that produces gravy. The flavor of the beef and potato shines, though, and little of their creamy green salsa goes a long way to livening it up.

Their chicharrones are cut into something like one-inch squares, maybe a quarter inch thick. They have a nice chile flavor and a soft-tender texture.

The lengua comes in smaller pieces than the carne guisada, but otherwise seem to be prepared about the same (save the potatoes), with no gravy and little spice, but a good clean flavor of the meat.

All in all, it's a good place to stop for a relatively quick bite, especially compared to the big fast-food chains that abound near the intersection of Rutland and Lamar. The building seems like it may once have been such a place, but it is completely redecorated, and they seem to have built patio seating where a drive-through once was.

Nearly all the signage (including the menu board) is in Spanish, and when I've been there, the whole transaction has happened without using English. It probably wouldn't hurt to be able to answer the "harina o maíz" question about tortilla types, the "cilantro y cebolla" question about whether to add the toppings, and the "aquí" question about whether you plan to dine in and enjoy the TV and jukebox or if you need your plate foil-wrapped in a bag. For all I know they'd happily switch to English if needed, but I haven't tested it.

There's a lot at El Tacolote I have not yet tried, but now I think I need to try La Parilla next time I'm in the area, unless someone beats me to it. (Now that I think about it, Swad is in the same shopping center, and I've been meaning to try that, too.)

Dec 28, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

beef jerky in austin

Google is your friend for such questions. The phone book would probably work, too.

http://www.google.com/search?q=johnny...

Dec 27, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

San Diego CH looking for Austin CH help

It's great that you're getting a number of responses during what is often a vacation period. You're bound to find any number of additional suggestions if you use the "search this board" link at the top of the page.

How specific is your "Austin" when you say "Only in Austin"?

It may be that all the Lockhart suggestions are just what you mean, and barbecue, whether in town at Sam's or Ben's (may it be open again next time I drop by), or further afield at a place like Smitty's in Lockhart, is something that does not seem to exist with the same deliciousness outside of central Texas.

If your scope is a bit wider, then a search for "Tex-Mex" on the board will get you a range of foods that fall into that category, from trailers to markets to restaurants, with offerings from simple tacos and menudo to plates with lots of cheese and sauce. Throw "MPH" into that search for one 'hound's growing atlas of the topic. Chow like those offerings will be found other places in Texas, but not in quite the same form outside the state.

If you'll go for things that are plentiful throughout the south but may not be as common in San Diego, a place like Tony's Southern Comfort might fit the bill. I've enjoyed the chicken fried steak and chicken and waffles there many times.

If you're really looking for an experience that can't be found outside of Austin's city limits, there's not really a cuisine that is a signature of the city. You'll probably need to look for unique atmosphere with delicious food, which can be a hard combination to come by. Austin likes to call itself the live music capital of the world. Your best bet for a uniquely Austin experience may just be to hunt up a performance that appeals to you, and then pour out into the street to find some of the food that scrumptiouschef and others have explored on threads like this: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/454641

Dec 27, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

Holiday Baked Goods?

I've made the rounds of all the supermarkets, so I know what's there, but I am wondering if there are delicious Christmas (or Eid, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or even leftover Hanukkah) seasonal baked goods tucked away in bakeries or restaurants around town. In my experience, nearly every baker has some good solstice-food tucked up his or her sleeve. I'm hoping that some bakery where I have not had luck with the normal fare will have something interesting to entice me in this season.

Dec 20, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

Help! Need to find tortillas like Don Luis used to make!

Sadly, there are no restaurants in town (at least that I have seen) that make the Rio Grande Valley style of flour tortilla that Don Luis turned out. As I mentioned in the discussion that MPH linked above, the Sport Taco trailer at Parmer and Lamar does have a version that is similar. If anyone finds other sources, it would be good to hear.

I can see corn tortillas coming to mind first if the word pops up with no context. On the other hand, the OP asked for tortillas like Don Luis made. Given such a request, I find it behooves me to inform myself of what that means by searching the board before responding.

While cooking in Mexico uses corn tortillas almost exclusively, there is a rich tradition of flour tortillas in Tejano cuisine.

Dec 19, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

Curra's out of tamales!! Where to order??

While they are good, the banana-leaf-wrapped tamales that they turn out are very different from what you might be expecting if you are used to the Tejano corn-husk-wrapped Christmas tradition.

Just this month, there has been a discussion of tamales that can apparently be delivered to your house if you order at least 2 dozen: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/467137

Other recent mentions of local tamale purveyors are in a couple of other conversations:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/461905
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/426855

You might also try a search on the Texas board. San Antonio has more plentiful Mexican food offerings than Austin in general, and for some parties, it might be worth the drive. I ran across a couple of discussions:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/443138
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/361594

On the other hand, a tamalada can be a party unto itself, but that diverges into Home Cooking. For example: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/466977

Dec 16, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

Slow again

I'm having a similar wierd experience. Last night around 8 CST I was reveling in relatively fast (but still too slow) 15-second page loads on a fast hotel internet connection in St Louis. At the moment the self-same iBook is wallowing in free time as both Firefox and Safari are waiting for www.chowhound.com. Meanwhile using T-Mobile's phone-based Internet, I'm getting relatively normal response, so I'm using a phone to make this post. (Not a good reason to become proficient at typing on this tiny keyboard.

)

On the other hand back in Austin this past weekend both the mobile phone network and TWC cable modems were crawling for long periods of time.

In all cases every other Internet site behaves normally while Chowhound bogs down. Is there any chance that chowhound or some of the other domains that it links to for advertising, content, or general user surveillance have bad or unreliable nameserver entries? That could have some relation to regional and ISP variation. Posting in general on the Austin board was way down yesterday from what I saw.

Dec 13, 2007
Knoblauch in Site Talk

Slow again

Does the message that there seems to be something wrong with the server and that I should try to reload in 30 seconds have any relationship to ISP, browser, or operating system on my side? I would imagine not.

That message comes much more frequently when the site seems slow. In the past half hour, the site has responded reasonably well, and I've only got the "There seems to be a problem . . ." message once in that time.

As another point of data, when the site is crawling, the "Post My Reply" button still responds pretty quickly (assuming you wait to navigate to that point), even though loading any full page takes forever.

Dec 10, 2007
Knoblauch in Site Talk

Chocolate

Come now. I'm guessing you didn't ask anyone at WF about Sharffen Berger. They have it in the same aisle with packaged nuts and candy, with the big bars on the bottom shelf. They do make it confusing to find and compare all the chocolate they carry, but they have a fair variety in there somewhere.

Dec 09, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

Slow again

I'm also getting response times ranging from annoyingly to excruciatingly slow. There is also a sprinkling of "Oops, there seems to be a problem with one of our servers," from time to time. I'd say as slow as molasses, but I can get 20 pictures of molasses lickety split by clicking on this link: http://images.google.com/images?q=mol...

It does not improve (much) if I turn off flash or javascript. The longest portion of time seems to be spent waiting on or transferring data from www.chow.com, with www.chowhound.com a distant second, and a little time on various names like mavenapps.net, google-analytics.com, and some other CNET-related domains.

I'd suggest that those of us who complain are just the tip of the iceberg. Chowhounds are used to stoically putting up with all sorts of obstacles to find delicious chow.

Dec 08, 2007
Knoblauch in Site Talk

beef jerky in austin

In case our visitor-to-be does not recognize it, Houston's, McCormick and Schmick, and Ruth's Chris are all chains. That does not necessarily make them bad restaurants, but the request was for non-chain steakhouses.

The best steak I've had in Austin was at Cibo not long after it opened (thanks to MPH's recommendation). I'm not sure I can recommend it now, given the reported changes to the menu since then. Austin Land and Cattle is not a chain and is pretty central, but the preparation of steaks has been hit or miss. I really like the Backstage Steakhouse in Spicewood, but almost always for non-steak items. In fact I've pretty much given up on steaks in Austin. I might encourage a visitor to central Texas to focus more on barbecue than steaks. Steaks can be had most anywhere.

Dec 08, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

Mutton--where to buy it fresh?

A quick search for mutton on the Austin board netted this conversation on butchers, at least one of which is mentioned for mutton. (The search function works pretty well these days.)

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/388755

If the market ever does dry up from lack of retail interest, I'm sure Buck Moore Feed & Supply on North Lamar has what you'll need to raise your own sheep and age it on the hoof. (Sheep not included.)

Dec 08, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

Tex-Mex on Austin's Southeast and East Sides, Part 13

I have to agree with your praise of Taco Ivan. I finally made a visit to the promised land yesterday, but I think I missed out a bit on selection because I got there late in the afternoon. Although the sounds of generators and music were still giving each other good competition, I was disappointed to find that the Mexican hot dog stand and the fruteria seemed to be closed.

On the other hand, I came across Taco Ivan, a distinctive yellow trailer, and I could not resist the sign that politely invited me to try their tasty menudo. I ordered a large serving, which came with three of their thick hand-made corn tortillas. The broth was pleasingly greasy with a reddish hue, but was clear enough to see through (unlike, say, the more opaque version at El Rico), and although it had some dried red chiles in it, it was not very spicy. The tables in front of the trailer had large bottles of pepper flakes, though, to allow you to season to taste. The tripe was well cooked, and had a meatier flavor and texture than usual. There was a large proportion of the honeycomb tripe as well. (One piece of the meat was so large I had to cut it into pieces to eat it, but it was so tender that the task was not difficult, even with plastic utensils.) There was an occasional morsel of posole, as well.

As MPH mentions above, the corn tortillas are thick, not too big around, and very flavorful. They are nicely browned from the cooking process, and I must protest next time that 3 are insufficient to a bowl of menudo. (Oddly, 3 bad tortillas would be more than enough.)

I hope to get there earlier on one of the coming weekends.

Dec 02, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

Downtown? Anything worth it?

For perspective, a number of these places have been discussed, with comments that they have gone downhill since hitting their respective peaks of deliciousness (and gaining a reputation) or sometimes that they never reached an expected peak.

Aquarelle: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40586...
Cafe Josie: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/93112...
Cibo: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/426957
Driskill Grill: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/433738
III Forks: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/33663...
Starlite: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40711...
Trio: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/43862...
Vespaio: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/378902

Of course, nothing's perfect, so you kind of have to pick your poison. Finding and reading the opinions of other 'hounds whose tastes are similar to yours is often the best guide. Local and national writers who make lists are likewise useful only when your tastes match theirs. Luckily the area near downtown has been well covered in response to lots of questions for people who come in for business trips, so there are many viewpoints to choose from.

Dec 02, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

Good eats in Austin

If you have specific preferences, you might want to try a search of the board. This conversation from a couple of months back (and the embedded links) should lead you to a few suggestions, no matter what you may mean by "American grub."

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/438559

If nothing strikes your fancy, you might get results if you post a specific description of what you're looking for and how that's different from what you're seeing. Enjoy the visit.

Nov 19, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

Panchito's at ABIA

Good suggestion. It seems that it is just a name change. I found myself in the airport again today, so I stopped by. The people who work there say that the ownership remains the same and that the rebranding may just be a temporary experiment. In any case, my hopes of increased deliciousness at the airport are on hold again; the sweet potatoes and green beans at Harlon's will have to suffice from time to time.

Nov 12, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin

Panchito's at ABIA

I got off a late flight last night, and as I strolled towards baggage claim, trying to walk slowly enough to get there as the starting buzzer's sound is fading into echoes, I scanned the signs in the food court only to see a Panchito's sign where there always used to be an outpost of Matt's el Rancho. I'm pretty sure the change happened in the last week.

While it would be unusual for an airport to be home to the most delicious chow in town, there are times when by happenstance or poor planning one must eat while waiting for a flight to board. It pays to know what the best bets are in advance. In that spirit, I ask whether anyone has tried the place? Has it changed in more than name? Is it associated with a business on the outside?

The roll-down grating was firmly locked as I passed, but in the interest of research, I may need to try it myself soon. Guidance is, however, always welcome.

Nov 11, 2007
Knoblauch in Austin