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MyySharona's Profile

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Hard Hat XI

I've seen a new deli or something going in the strip at Braker and N. Lamar, a couple of doors to the left of Pho Dan.
Any info? I keep forgetting to really check out the name, since I'm usually rushing back to work and fighting a pho coma when I'm driving away.

Aug 23, 2014
MyySharona in Austin

Noteworthy HEB/Central Market Products

Yes yes yes. I love this stuff and keep some around at all times. It's good on everything!

Jun 22, 2014
MyySharona in Austin


Me too. I boil the bones down, pick off all the remaining meat, and then save both for gumbo. I keep rendered duck fat in my fridge for the roux, as well. It's easily the best part about thanksgiving leftovers in my house. :)

Nov 27, 2013
MyySharona in Home Cooking

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - November 2013 [Old]

I agree, it was awful. Really, really bad and the broth was just so flavorless. I even added my own Sriracha and lime juice, but nothing was going to help that stuff. Avoid at all costs!

Nov 17, 2013
MyySharona in Chains

Blue Bell king cake ice cream in the area?

Anyone seen it? I'm curious about it.

Jan 15, 2013
MyySharona in Austin

Where are the great salads in Austin?

House Pizzeria on Airport and 52nd has 2 salads and they are wonderful. The Mixed Greens has walnuts, goat cheese and strawberries and the other (my favorite) is made with baby spinach, shaved parmesan, crispy salami, and is tossed with olive oil, salt, and you're given a lemon wedge to complete the dressing. It is by far the simplest, best salad I have ever had. AND they give you a sourdough roll with the salad that is absolutely addictive.

The roasted olives are a nice appetizer as well, especially with the salad. And I highly recommend a lemon-ginger Italian soda to top it all off.

Sep 03, 2012
MyySharona in Austin

Office Lunch Catered in Northwest Austin

I eat at Kiefer's Cafe (on Kramer) for lunch quite often since they're almost next door to where I work, and I know they do catering.
Based on how good their lunch menu is, I'm sure their catering is tasty.

Dec 04, 2010
MyySharona in Austin

Austin Coffee/Drink Hangouts

Bennu on MLK is really great, but everyone there acts like it's a library and they glare at you for speaking. In a coffee shop. But they have 2 sizes of personal French Press and a specialized mocha menu. Don't sit on the porch by yourself late at night, I've gotten approached by more panhandlers than is normal, and one guy got really aggressive with me. Epoch isn't quite as study-intensive. Both are 24-hour, which I really appreciate.

Rio Rita has good coffee, and I appreciate being able to get liquor and coffee in the same spot. Plus, I like playing drunken Scrabble and I like their seating inside.

Green Muse is lovely and I'm fond of their coffee as well.

Green Muse Cafe
519 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704

Dec 01, 2010
MyySharona in Austin

Hard Hat Report Vol 6

Cool, thank you!

Nov 06, 2010
MyySharona in Austin

Hard Hat Report Vol 6

Saw a sign for "Hot Breads" opening soon on McNeil and San Felipe. Anyone know what this is besides a bakery? Anything special about it?

Oct 31, 2010
MyySharona in Austin

"Stuffed" ----Cajun Meat Market

I finally stopped in the other day to pick up a couple of things for dinner. They had hot gumbo, so we decided to try that. The price was a little shocking. A "large" container (less than 2 servings) was $10.99. $2 extra if you don't want any rice in that container.
This is chicken and sausage gumbo, not seafood. It if HAD been seafood, I would almost understand because we're so inland but come on. Really?
And the flavor definitely wasn't worth $13. It wasn't terrible (I've had worse at Sambet's and Evangeline's) but the roux wasn't dark enough---it didn't have that bite, that deepness that I expect from gumbo. I'm better off making it myself.

We also got a deboned chicken stuffed with boudin. It smelled great in the oven, but there was just way too much boudin inside and it overpowered the small bit of chicken left. The boudin was okay, but there was something off about it . . . maybe I just prefer my boudin grilled so I get a crispy skin and mushy boudin wasn't doing it for me.

All in all, I'm not overly impressed yet.

Oh, and a 1 1/2 serving-size of bisque is $14. I'm definitely not paying that.

Aug 11, 2010
MyySharona in Austin

Red Bean Ice Cream

I forgot I had mentioned this, it was so long ago.

I recently found it as Asia Market, both by the carton and in bar form. It's fantastic.

Jul 18, 2010
MyySharona in Austin

New Manny Hattan's menu

Anyone tried it? I was looking at it online and it totally didn't appeal to me. I liked the endless selection of giant sandwiches, and the fact that I could get a chopped liver sandwich with onion rings. It was a deli.

This new iteration? Does not appeal to me at all. Frankly, it looks as though it's trying too hard and I don't equate a Reuben sandwich with "dining."

Maybe I'm wrong, so tell me if you've been and how you liked it.

Jul 10, 2010
MyySharona in Austin

Blackened Shrimp Po' Boy & Fried Pork Chops?

I had a garlic shrimp bahn mi at Tam Deli on N. Lamar and it was just like a shrimp poboy, only . . . garlicky. Which is NEVER bad.
But the bread, oh the bread. It was great. Crumbly on top, you know? So every bite sprayed some crumbs right onto your shirt. Not an attractive look, granted, but it sure felt more like a poboy than a bahn mi.

(I'm from Slidell and would kill for a good roast beef poboy).

Tam Deli & Cafe
8222 N Lamar Blvd Ste D33, Austin, TX 78753

May 22, 2010
MyySharona in Austin

House Pizzeria on Airport Blvd.

I went there a year ago and enjoyed it, but thought the crust needed work (very soggy in places).

Boy, have they improved. It's become the go-to place for my friend (who works in the area) and me to meet for lunch. We always get a half and half pizza (they're more than happy to do this!) and split it along with the salad. 1 pizza, 1 big salad, and 2 Mexican cokes runs us about $10 each (depending on the pizza toppings).

What I love: The spinach salad with shaved parmesan and the salami is wonderful. Simple, great, and big enough for 2 to share.
The rosemary potato pizza with goat cheese is addictive.
The subterranean pizza is good (rosemary potatoes, mushrooms, carmelized onions, and fontina), but the onions are a bit overpowering with their sweetness, and the potatoes get lost in that.
Margarita pizza is awesome and their tomato sauce tastes so simple and fresh.
The other day they had a special: The Noble. Dates, goat cheese, pork belly, and arugula. Holy god, this was amazing. My favorite appetizer to make for parties is dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon, so this immediately appealed to me. It was epic, and I wish they'd make it a more regular offering.

The music is ALWAYS good, and I can't think of a better way to spend the lunch hour than on a screened porch, sipping a Coke, chatting, fighting over the last piece of pizza, and hearing the Pixies.

Also, the crust is good by itself. And the bread that comes with the salad is so good, I'm going to start requesting more of it.

May 01, 2010
MyySharona in Austin

Is there a good philly cheese steak in Austin??

The only one I've ever had is from Capitol City Subs off of N. Lamar. It's really REALLY good. My friend refers to it in hushed, reverent tones as "The Sandwich."

Jan 05, 2010
MyySharona in Austin

Soup for strep

Wish I had seen this earlier!
My new favorite sick soup is the Avgolemono (lemon-scented chicken soup thickened with egg) from El Greco on Guadalupe. A wee pricier than some, but soooo good. Warm, filling, and comes with some good pita.
I'm also partial to any wonton soup from a Thai restaurant (if you can find it) because the wontons are much thinner and lighter than typical Chinese fare. The broth is just a tiny bit spicy and very fragrant. Lots of good veggies included.

I hope you feel better soon!

Oct 22, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

What foods have you introduced your parents to?

All my basic cooking skills came from my dad, and I became a more adventurous eater/cook when I was about 19. Let's see . . . I've introduced them to Greek, Thai, Vietnamese, Sushi, pasta dishes other than spaghetti with meat sauce, and hummus. They loved the hummus so much that one year they bought me a replacement food processor so I could keep making it for them. My mom would call me up and say "I bought some chick peas, if I bring them to you will you PLEASE make hummus for me?!?!"
They're really sad that I moved to another state, but they still go to my favorite Thai place back home. And every time they come visit me in Austin, I try to take them somewhere new.

Oct 10, 2009
MyySharona in General Topics

Must Eats in Cedar Park...

I live in NW Austin (on the cusp of Cedar Park) and these are the places in the area I can't live without:

Thanmak Thai on Buttercup Creek. I love them to death.

If you're willing to come south on 183 just a bit, go to Midori Sushi on Anderson Mill. Their sushi is fantastic and the lunchtime bento boxes are a steal at an average of $10.

Berry Cool on Cypress Creek is a great place for frozen yogurt. They have a great range of flavors and some lovely fresh fruit toppings along with various candies.

Hope this helps! Welcome to Austin.

Sep 30, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

The Texas Cuban Pressed Sandwich Trailer

Went today with a friend to split the Texas Cuban (the big sandwich). The pork was moist, the ham and cheese were delightful, and the bread was great, very garlicky. We got spicy and regular mustard to dip it in, which was great.
I liked the plantain chips a lot, but wish there could have been a little spice on them.

There were a couple of shaded picnic tables outside to sit at. They seemed to be doing a fair bit of business today, so we got to chat with other patrons who were sitting there. The guys running it were really nice and sociable.

Warning: they only take cash, so plan accordingly.
Price: A little steep, considering. One big sandwich and 2 Mexican cokes ran $17. But definitely tasty. I'm not going to go there every week, but when the craving hits for a Cuban sandwich, this is where I'm headed.

Sep 27, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

Torrey Ridge Wine?

I've been hunting for a strawberry-rhubarb wine I once had, and finally determined it's by Torrey Ridge in upstate NY. Problem is, they don't ship to TX.
Before I start hopping around on a hunt, has anyone seen Torrey Ridge wines sold anywhere in Austin??

Thanks a bunch!!

Aug 18, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

Where to find N.O. Brew Iced Coffee?

I only ever saw it at WF, and I can't find Cool Brew (which I prefer) anywhere here.

HOWEVER, because I was tired of spending so much money and time getting it at WF, I started making my own cold-brewed coffee in bulk. It's not as concentrated as N.O. Brew, so not great for adding hot water, but it makes a fantastic iced coffee. Really, really tasty.

Like I said, I make a pitcher at a time and keep it in the fridge. I use a strong, dark roast. Either French Roast or sometimes I mix that with Sumatra for a slightly different flavor.

4 cups coarse-ground coffee, (as if you were using a French Press)
12 cups cold water

Stir together in a large container (I use a large mixing bowl). Cover and set aside for 12 hours. Strain into a pitcher. I use my French press to strain, since it retains all the lovely oils in the coffee. If you don't have that, a coffee filter or cheesecloth set in a fine sieve will do the trick. Put the pitcher in the fridge and use often!! I find this keeps well for about 10 days or so.

Great with chocolate, flavored syrups, milk, over ice . . . however you want it! I've even poured a bit over ice cream for a great treat.

Aug 14, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

Fav at Alamo Drafthouse?

I'm a huge fan of the Bat Wings, I was so happy when they made them a regular item.
At the Lake Creek location (which is a franchise, but still good and with some quite different special events) I love the turkey wrap.
I like the pizza okay, but the crust tends to get very dry and tough as it cools off. I never get to finish the pizza happy.
I've had the steak sandwich both good and bad. When it's good it's AWESOME and when it's bad it is just terrible.
The popcorn as well, when it's good it's GREAT, and when it's bad, with little bits of unpopped/burnt pieces, it's just god awful.
I've been quite pleased with the brunch, especially the scones and the French Toast.
What else . . . the iced coffee (cold brewed) is quite good and I've never been disappointed with that. The burgers are good and I've never been disappointed with the fries.
A note to anyone getting the friend pickles: they're spears, not chips. If that makes a difference to you (and it makes a HUGE difference to me) be warned.

Jul 25, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

Muang Thai

I've really enjoyed the masaman at Titaya's, Thai Kitchen, and Thamnak. The places that start with T, apparently.
Really tasty, mild, but still with enough of a kick to remind you that you ARE eating a curry.
And Muang's version could have been pinkish coconut milk with some onions in it.

Jul 06, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

Muang Thai

I went there for takeout and found it all kind of bland.
Even my masaman curry seemed under seasoned, or maybe there was too much coconut milk in it. But the beef was really tender.
I prefer Thamnak, but I'm willing to give this place one more try.

Jul 05, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

Thin Sliced Fried Pickles

I know exactly what you're talking about. The best fried pickles I've ever had (and serve as my standard) were from Quavis (sp?) Catfish near Picayune, MS. I grew up in Slidell, but at least twice a month we went there. They were very thinly coated, I think in the same cornmeal fishfry that they used otherwise. Super crispy on the outside, melty on the inside. Just fantastic.
When I first moved to Austin and saw fried pickles on a menu I was so excited! That feeling was short lived, though, when 2 overly breaded spears were set down. Gack.

Jun 28, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

Mandola's Redo

A friend went to Mandola's in the Triangle the other day and said the whole menu has been redone. It's not reflected online yet, and I haven't been in a while.
Anyone been with some info on what's changed? My friend was disappointed they no longer offer the Salad Nicoise. It was a favorite.

Jun 11, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

Smothered Steak

I haven't lived here that long!! And I've never been there.
Duly noted.

May 20, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

Smothered Steak

Oh man I used to LOVE when my Dad made that.
You're right, that is totally not a country-fried steak. Closely related, but not at all the same. I also make smothered pork chops the same way.
However, I haven't seen anything like that around here. I have a hard time finding good Southern food and veggies in Austin (Threadgills has horrible collard greens). It got to the point where last week I drove all the way to Round Rock just to get a meat and three at Cracker Barrel.

Just make the smothered steak at home.

May 19, 2009
MyySharona in Austin

meal delivery for Po' Bro'

Last time I was at Central Market, I saw a sign at the checkout saying that they do grocery delivery.

May 17, 2009
MyySharona in Austin