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Saturday graduation lunch recommendations?

I would prefer an upscale restaurant, as we'll all be dressed up.

My favorite kind of food is French (to cook and eat), however lunch doesn't have to be French. No pizza or Tex-Mex. High quality food and good service is important to me. A decent bar and wine list would be appreciated (I am celebrating after all :))

Any cost is fine (no budget for this lunch).

Apr 30, 2014
m3lissa in Austin

Saturday graduation lunch recommendations?

I am graduating from St.Edward's on an upcoming Saturday in May and am looking for places for lunch that are open Saturday.

Ceremony ends at 1pm, so it will be a late lunch (looking for 2pm reservations).

Orginally I had planned on Lambert's but they only server brunch till 2pm and are closed until 5 ish.

Our group isn't huge (around 10 people).

Thanks in advance for your ideas.

Apr 25, 2014
m3lissa in Austin

Angel Valley Organic Farmstand, Wednesdays 10am-2pm Northwest Austin

They are steep but the stuff I've purchased from them in the past is near pristine in quality.

Warning to those who have never been before: It's a free for all when 10am hits. Beware of getting elbowed out of they way by retired old lady's or stay at home Mom's who have just spent the last 15 minutes eying up the perfect tomato! and to my next beef...

I really wish they'd open earlier so us working stiff's had an opportunity to buy from them.

Jul 18, 2012
m3lissa in Austin

Cannales de Bourdeux?

Artisan Bistro has them and they are AMAZING, as are most of their pastries.

Sep 07, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Who serves your favorite sweetbreads?

+1 on Haddington's. Chez Nous also used to have decent ones (I haven't been in a couple years).

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Chez Nous
510 Neches St, Austin, TX 78701

Aug 30, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Is it worth driving to Trattoria LisIna??

I've been there half a dozen times in 2009/2010 and I've been satisfied with the food / service. It's not spectacular, but it's good. I haven't been there in 2011.

I would go there over Mandola's in a heartbeat.

Aug 04, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Favorite Austin Desserts?

Truluck's Carrot Cake and/or Mudd Pie. Both are very good.

Jul 28, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

La Condesa

I finally managed to try La Condesa last night using the Groupon I bought a while ago. I though my expectations were moderate based on the review in Fearless Critic (8.9 out of 10 for food).

They seated us at a table for four in the center of the restaurant. The table was very close to a large party seated at the table behind. When one of the other diners leaned back in his chair we were literally an inch apart. After that party left I slide the chair off to the side. A short time later they seated another party of 5 there. In hindsight I wish I'd asked to be moved.

It was very disappointing. Let's start with the cocktail. I had the Spicy Poloma - nothing was spicy about it. It was weak and overpriced ($12 for about 5 ounces). My husbands cocktail was tasty, though a tad sweet and still small/weak. My friend had the watermelon martini - nothing notable about it. I don't mind paying $12 for a cocktail but I'd like to at least taste (and feel) like it has a little booze in it. I felt ripped off.

The three of us shared the Chorizo Nachos. They were good - nice slices of fresh avocado sprinkled with a touch of sea salt. The beans were nicely seasoned. I would order these again if I returned.

I ordered the Spicy Guava glazed pork ribs. They were not very good at all.. covered with a sickly sweet overly clove-y thick sauce. The meat was tender enough to fall off the bone, about the only redeeming quality.

The two men shared the Carne Asada (Rib Eye with compound butter, chimichurrie and roasted garlic). It was a nicely cooked steak but nothing special. Walk across the street to Lambert's and order their Mustard and Brown Sugar Crusted Niman Ranch Ribeye. For the same (or very similar price) it is leaps and bounds better.

For sides we ordered potato poblano gratin. Very little flavor and almost no cheese. Arrived 5 minutes after our meal after we inquired if it was coming.

For me the shining star of the meal was the Mexican style street corn. For $3 this was excellent.

I was bummed. I was really hoping I'd like this place.

Have any Hounds had a good meal here? If yes, what do you recommend?

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La Condesa
400-A W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

Jul 11, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Foreign & Domestic updates?

Same here. For the past year I've been roughly every 6 to 8 weeks and its been great - no change other than a different menu.

Jul 01, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

I want to cook foie gras. Where to get it, though...

I've seen it a Central Market Lamar location - in the meat department, far left end of counter (when you're facing it) next to the chicken.

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

Jun 23, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Best BBQ between here and Killeen?

Its been years since I've been there, but Schoepf's is pretty good. I like how you go right into the pit room and pick out your meat. It's very personal.

I am not blown away by Louie Mueller's in Taylor. I'd go if I was in Taylor or a short drive away and hungry, but its not worth the trek in my opinion.

Jun 17, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Soleil

Went back again this past Monday. In the future I will only go for cocktails and the view and suffer with the poor service.

Waitress asked if we'd like an appetizer when we ordered cocktails. She suggested one order of calamari for 7 of us. When the calamari arrived it was 6 - yes 6, tiny little strips of calamari.. for $12! I don't know how she could have possibly thought it was enough for 7 people.

Shrimp burger wasn't a hit (three of us had it and none of us particularly enjoyed it). Hamburger was better - but medium rare was requested and well done was what arrived at the table.

Daughter ordered linguine with clams. They were out of clams and asked to substitute shrimp.

My husband ordered the chicken and coppa sandwich - instead he got the similar chicken dish. When he pointed out the wrong thing arrived the waitress never offered to get him the sandwich - she just pointed out the only thing different was the bread - and then offered to bring him bread. The bread wasn't the only thing different either.

Jun 08, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Congress

We were there last night too. We were seated in a very private table in the front of the restaurant. I'm not sure how we managed to end up there, but it was perfect.

My husband and I started off with cocktails, he had a corpse reviver, I had one called the Mastizo (or something like that). It was very, very good.

In addition to the first course dishes you had, we had the Hamachi Sashimi, Lobster Salad and Steak Tartare. The sashimi was amazing. The steak tartare, good. Lobster Salad was just ok. Maybe a tad over dressed.

Second courses - we had all the same ones you did. Yum!

We added the Fois Gras and meatball slider supplement. Both were excellent. They brought us a second Fois Gras supplement for the table (for the two of us to share that didn't order a 4th course). I wouldn't recommmend ordering a 4th course in the future - too much food.

Main courses, in addition to the thumbelina carrot ravioli, we had the lamb, veal and soft shell crab. Again, all were excellent.

We had two of the same dessert as you (we skipped the beignets). I loved grapefruit sorbet (I am a grapefruit fan). Desserts are tiny (thankfully after all that food).

With my dessert I had a sweet rose sparkling wine that was outstanding. My father in law had en awesome Sauternes.

All, in all, excellent meal and service.

Jun 05, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Soleil

We went there Memorial Day for a light lunch.

The food and service were between OK and good :) My daughter had a wonderful chicken sandwich (it was the good). My husband and I shared the meatball appetizer and roasted red peppers. They were between OK and good. Friend had spagehtti and meatballs - he said it was OK.

I love the two grapefruit drinks.. one was called the El Jeffe and the other the Sipper. They were very good.

Service was OK. Could have been a bit more attentive. View and atmosphere is great.

We liked it enough that we are taking family visiting from SoCal this weekend.

Jun 02, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Franklins vs Saltlick: can only do one...can't choose on my own

Can you get baby back ribs at the Salt Lick on days other than Sunday? I thought they only had them then (same with the scalloped potatoes and green beans).

Apr 21, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

ideas please

I haven't been lately. Thanks for letting me know.

Apr 05, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Kaffir Lime Leaves

Thank you for posting this. I made it there Saturday and left with two lovely lemongrass plants. I am debating whether or not to plant them in the ground.

Apr 04, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

ideas please

San Antonio:

Tip Top in SA was featured on Diners, Driveins and Dives. They open at 11. Pick out the pie you want when you order. The Lemon Meringue is fantastic!

Jacala is my favorite Mexican. Get the #66 Nacho's with tomato sauce. They also make excellent Puffy Tacos and Enchiladas.

I also like Mi Tierra, though its a bit more on the touristy side. The food and service is solid. Open 24 hours.

Luke on the Riverwalk is excellent.

Il Sogna in the Pearl Brewery complex is one of my favorites. Excellent food and service.

Hill Country:

Cool Mint Cafe in San Marcos is decent.

Uptown Cafe in Blanco is nice and food is ok (not great). Red Bud Cafe is also worth a stop if you want to get in and out quicker/ casual.

Driftwood: Salt Lick is a good choice. If you go Sunday get the baby back ribs. They are excellent. Trattoria Lisina is Driftwood is also very good. All of the food Ive had has been well prepared. Service can occasionally be a bit off.

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Cool Mint Cafe
415 Burleson St, San Marcos, TX 78666

Trattoria Lisina
13308 FM 150 West, Driftwood, TX 78619

Apr 04, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Best Bars and Bartenders (Mixologists?) for Serious cocktails

East Side Showroom or Haddington's.

Mar 30, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

Best Tempura in Austin

I had wonderful tempura at Ryu of Japan a couple of weeks ago. I especially liked the variety of vegetables. This past weekend I had tempura at Origami in Round Rock and was disappointed. Hardly any veggies.

Mar 29, 2011
m3lissa in Austin

I only have 2.5 days and I'm afraid I might just have to eat everything

Of your list, don't miss the Salt Lick SUNDAY for lunch and have their baby back ribs. Its the best thing on the menu and they only have it on sunday (but they sell out and don't have them all day).

Also, for sweets - Mrs.Johnson's donuts on airport - hit them up late evening (after 9pm ish). Get whatever they've just fried.

For drinks I love East Side Showroom and Haddington's. Fino is also good.

Foreign and Domestic is also one of my favorites. Lamberts as well (happy hour is reasonable - 7 days a week)

Mar 24, 2011
m3lissa in Austin