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Seeking downtown office lunch catering

My workplace caters our lunch and breakfast once a week. I am helping compile a list of places to add into the rotation. Requirements:

Feed 60 people
At least 1 vegetarian option
Delivers downtown (or is a reasonably close drive from downtown)

I am trying to get good variety in the list and bonus points to local spots. Here's what I have so far:

Lunch:
Habanero's Cafe
Rudy's
Mandola's
Bombay Bistro
Texadelphia
Tacodeli
Home Slice
Athenian Grill

Breakfast:
Casa Maria
Tacodeli

What I hope to find:
Bagels (I hear Rockstar is really good, but do they deliver/cater)?
Breakfast sandwiches
Donuts (Love me some Round Rock, but not sure if they deliver downtown Austin)
Kolaches
Pancakes/breakfast plates
Other breakfast foods I'm not thinking of?
Thai (Does Titaya cater/deliver?)
Chinese
Sushi (is this just asking too much?)
Cajun (Cypress Grill deliver? Evangeline?)
Comfort/Southern (There is that dedicated catering place that the name skips my mind atm)
Hamburgers (Your Mom's? 5 Guys? P Terry's? Fran's? Sandy's?)
Some other type of lunch food I'm missing?
More Tacos! (Porfirios? Joe's? Can those places handle that size order?)

Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Tacodeli
12001 N Mo Pac Expy, Austin, TX 78758

Casa Maria
4327 S 1st St Ste 101, Austin, TX 78745

Bombay Bistro
10710 Research Blvd Ste 126, Austin, TX 78759

Jul 25, 2011
craveytrain in Austin

Chilaquiles

I actually like them at Polvo's. I usually substitute the Ranchero sauce (just my personal preference) but I think they are reasonable solid, if not a little wet.

Jan 30, 2011
craveytrain in Austin

Downtown Breakfast Tacos

Heh, northwest (on the train). So picking up on the way in isn't very easy. While I would prefer cheap, I'm willing to forgo cheap for good.

Sep 14, 2010
craveytrain in Austin

Downtown Breakfast Tacos

I am hurting for decent breakfast tacos downtown. I'm just looking for some good (preferably cheap) breakfast tacos within a short walking distance of 3rd and Congress. Bacon, chorizo, gringo sausage, egg, potato, any of these will do.

Here's what I have tried:
El Chilito: while tasty, is a little far on a regular basis at 10th and Congress.
Taco Shack: just not a fan. Chorizo is dry and crumbly, bacon is non-existent.
Neuvo Leon (sold in the lobby of 3rd & Congress snack bar): I think these may have been decent fresh, but by the time I get them the ends of the tortillas are hard and the eggs are scary looking.

Any advice is appreciated.

Edit: Grammar is fun.

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El Chilito
918 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Sep 14, 2010
craveytrain in Austin

Jaime’s Spanish Village

Not certain if they sell it or not, but Habanero's habanero salsa (not their regular one) will set you free.

Jul 16, 2010
craveytrain in Austin

Dulce's The Art of Mexican Cuisine... Feedback

Thank you for the heads up on La Tapatia. I have been considering trying that one on 1431 for a while but noted I need to head to the one on Anderson Mill instead.

Mar 29, 2010
craveytrain in Austin

How late is too late to get to Snow BBQ?

We just went on Saturday (3/20). We got in line around 9:45 (short line) and between the group got everything they offered. The brisket was fork tender (with texture more like pot roast) and while it was fresh and hot it was outstanding. The rub is a little salty but good flavor. Not 2 bites in I remembered I was supposed to take my wife some BBQ. A line was starting to form so I decided to get it then rather than run the risk of them running out. In the time it took me to get that to go (about 15 more mins in line) my brisket had dried out and become almost like jerky. Still excellent flavor but just dried out. Everyone in the group noticed that as it sat it got more dried out. I presume just over cooked. One of the guys insisted that the brisket and chicken ship very well.

I will say, when it is hot and fresh I would agree it is some of the best brisket around.

Mar 22, 2010
craveytrain in Austin

Kolache Shoppe

Noted. Will probably try them tomorrow then. Thank you.

Jan 28, 2010
craveytrain in Austin

Kolache Shoppe

I have been looking for something in town like Hruska's in Ellinger. I like a chunk of link sausage in sweet bread. The saussage kolache I had from Kolache Shoppe was more like a little smokey, though they were picked up for me. Would you characterize that way?

Jan 28, 2010
craveytrain in Austin

screaming goat--budget chow

I just got back from lunch there. Tasty, no denying it. Definitely, the Verde sauce is the best, imho. I got the chicken adobado, al pastor and tilapia tacos. I actually thought the al pastor was the best of the 3, but very strong seasoning. Tastes a lot like chorizo, actually.

While tasty, I still feel that Hab's has the best chicken taco in town.

Feb 25, 2009
craveytrain in Austin

screaming goat--budget chow

Excellent, so, how would you compare Hab's chicken fajita ranchero tacos to the goat's?

Feb 21, 2009
craveytrain in Austin

screaming goat--budget chow

If you have not already, I invite you to try Habanero's chicken fajita rancheros. I will throw them in as the best chicken taco in Austin.

You go check it out, I'll go check out screaming goat and we can reconvene in a week or so to compare notes.

Feb 20, 2009
craveytrain in Austin

V-Day Reservation

Normally I avoid eating out on v-day. I just don't feel I get a good dining experience. Having said that, my wife and I have a newborn and this will be our first meal out with just the two of us. I would like to make a reservation somewhere that will give us good food and a nice dining experience without having to feel like we are crammed in the back corner of a restaurant paying too much for a substandard menu. Thoughts/recommendations?

Thank you.

Jan 14, 2009
craveytrain in Austin

Cedar Park Restaurants

Define local... I live in Avery Ranch (which is pretty close) and I really enjoy Z'Tejas (at Avery Ranch) and several places in Round Rock, including tasty, inexpensive Tex-Mex fare: Rio Grande on Mays (not to be confused with the downtown one).

Honestly, I am hoping to find more places out that way...

Jul 28, 2008
craveytrain in Austin

Athenian Grill opening Tuesday July 22nd

One of my coworkers went today and had pretty much the same thing to say: same dishes, same serving sizes, slightly higher price.

Curious, where do you eat downtown regularly for $7?

Jul 22, 2008
craveytrain in Austin

Roux

While I haven't made it during a happy hour, for their normal meal hours, they charge like it is a 3 star meal. I have a soft spot for cajun/creole food, and I just wasn't impressed, though, it has been a while.

I will agree, people watching on 6th can be highly entertaining.

Jul 20, 2008
craveytrain in Austin

Roux

Just to link them up, overall, I was underwhelmed, but here's my more detailed post:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/463833

Jul 18, 2008
craveytrain in Austin

Places to buy Pies

I was really disappointed by the buttermilk pie at Threadgills. It was cold and tasted more like a pudding mix than something homemade. However, I enjoyed the buttermilk pie at Hoovers.

Jul 03, 2008
craveytrain in Austin

Best place to eat foie gras

Ok, this quite literally had me laughing out loud. Awesome advice, made my day.

Jun 28, 2008
craveytrain in Austin

RSS feeds missing author

I agree with this post whole heartedly. As we develop communities we learn who has similar tastes on our local boards and learn to trust their recommendations. I feel this is an important aspect of the chowhound board would like this information to be available to us in our RSS readers.

Dec 11, 2007
craveytrain in Site Talk

Roux

I didn't see a post when I searched for it, so I thought I would put one.

I tried Roux, where Jazz used to be. It seems like they are trying too hard. They are trying to go with some sort of fusion cajun food, but I couldn't figure out what they are fusing it with. I got the jambalaya (a dish I often judge cajun food restaurants by) and was very underwhelmed. It was sorta a cross between paella and jambalaya. It sounded good, but the seafood was rubbery, not fresh. The rice was not seasoned well and the whole thing was almost soupy.

I forget what my dining partner had, but it was less than memorable.

They are quite proud of their food as well.

I wanted to like it, but I just couldn't.

Nov 26, 2007
craveytrain in Austin

downtown -- good (quick) lunch options?

Today I tried Bellisimo (where Noodle-ism used to be). I was pleasantly surprised. I had the gnocchi. It was in a fontina cream sauce. It hit the spot on this slightly cool day. Their prices seemed reasonable for downtown lunch ($7-14/entree). Their serving sizes are reasonable. All in all, tasty vittles.

Also, I second the Kyoto comment. They are craptacular. Nothing worse than sushi that does not taste fresh.

As for downtown sushi for lunch, I like Silhouette. It's not cheap, but it's sushi.

Nov 26, 2007
craveytrain in Austin

Madras Pavillion tips?

though i'm a little late, that's right. That's how I always eat when I go there.

Nov 26, 2007
craveytrain in Austin

Reasonably Priced Steak

Our reservation was for 7:30. It was rather vacant, but honestly, during the week, a place like that in a small town out there, I can understand that. I imagine they do booming business on the weekend. Their marquee says they are now taking holiday reservations.

As for vibe/ambiance, etc... it's somewhat fine dining, except, they are in a small town. So the hostess is wearing a nice dress, the waiters are all in white button downs and black pants, and most of the patrons are in at least business casual, but there is the occasional group that is more casual (jeans & Ts). The decoration is seemingly taken from their days as caterers, lots of music related paraphenalia (I didn't get a good look, but they have a signed guitar up front that looks like it's signed by the Eagles). Each booth's small artwork are small promo hand outs signed by the band members. Our booth had Glass Tiger, Starship and a very complimentary letter from the Oak Ridge Boys.

As for vibe, it's rather quiet and has a formal restaurant vibe, but the establishment's setup is a bit more rudimentary (simple padded benches, etc). It may be louder on a more crowded night.

Hope that helps.

Nov 15, 2007
craveytrain in Austin

Reasonably Priced Steak

Ok, here's the lowdown. First, let me set the stage. We were there for my wife's b-day. I enjoy my steak medium rare, with lots of juice. My wife typically burns her's (I have worked her down to medium well) and smothers it in A-1. Yes, she is sufficiently harassed about that.

First off, the bread is crusty, fresh and warm. The butter is a poblano shallot butter that, well... we ate 3 loaves of bread smothered in the stuff. Awesomeness.

For appetizer, we got the crab cakes. This was possibly the low point in a great meal (which is to say, it was still good). 2 cakes, mostly lump crab with diced onions, very little bread crumb (if any). The crab was fresh, the sauce it was on was very good (a sort of homemade sweet and sour with fresh ginger and some sort of pepper flake). But, for $10, 2 crab cakes was a bit light. They were good, they just didn't move me.

Now, the steak. Considering how my wife orders her steaks, we asked the waiter what cut he would recommend, he recommended the 12oz ribeye for her. That was the perfect cut for that type of cooking. She didn't even ask for A-1. In the 5 years I have been dating her, I have never seen her eat a steak without A-1. Not only did she eat it without A-1, she said it was one of the best steaks she's ever had. This is a huge endorsement.

I got the 20oz bone in ribeye. While pricey, that is a beautiful piece of meat and they cooked it to perfection (med rare). Very tender, slight crust on the outside, but not a crispy char. Lightly sprinkled with salt & pepper. That's it.

For sides, we both got the sauteed mushrooms and agreed these are some of the best we've had. They are sauteed enough to take on the flavors, but so so much that they got mushy. They were on the plate (as opposed to in their juices in a cup). They were light peppered and were sauteed in some sort of red wine reduction (or at least the sauce was deglazed with it).

The mashed potatoes were light, fluffly, supposedly cheddar (I didn't taste any cheese) but good. Not great, but definitely good.

The baked potato was good, simple, well done, not too dried out. Honestly, imho, it's kinda hard to mess it up unless you just really dry it out, but they were done right.

My wife got the jack daniels pecan pie. This is good stuff, very good stuff. Chocolate pecan pie. Get it warmed with ice cream (tasted like bluebell, which is not a complaint).

I got the malted chocolate cake. Good, chocolate cake, but honestly, I was more moved by the pecan pie.

The meal was a really great meal and she loved it (which was the important thing). We ended up going a bit over budget ($98 + tip, it was the bone in ribeye I got, it was way more expensive than just about everything else on the menu) but it was a really great meal, worth every penny, imho.

Nov 15, 2007
craveytrain in Austin

Reasonably Priced Steak

Yeah, that's kinda what I'm thinking. The reservation has been made so I think that's where we'll go.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

Nov 14, 2007
craveytrain in Austin

Reasonably Priced Steak

Neither of us are big drinkers, so when I say whole meal, I suppose I mean, maybe an appetizer, 2 entrees with associated sides, salads & a dessert or 2.

So the question left I suppose is which is more recommended, Mesa Ranch or Backstage? The menus seem to compare pretty well price wise.

Nov 14, 2007
craveytrain in Austin

Reasonably Priced Steak

Oh, I dunno... $70-80 or less for the whole meal would be nice.

Nov 14, 2007
craveytrain in Austin

Reasonably Priced Steak

I forgot about Mesa Ranch. Hmm... now to decide, there or Backstage?

Nov 14, 2007
craveytrain in Austin

Reasonably Priced Steak

The wife and I have tried Texas Roadhouse a couple times and haven't been impressed so far.

Nov 14, 2007
craveytrain in Austin