Joe MacBu's Profile

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Bakery suppliers?

Also, Restaurant Depot carries 50lb bags of non-organic King Arthur Flour. They usually have Sir Galahad (same as their retail "All-Purpose" in red bags) and Special (same as the retail "Bread" in blue bags). About $17/50lb.

You need to set up a business account to gain access, though I've heard they'll sometimes let you in if you show a business card.

Sep 17, 2014
Joe MacBu in Austin

Bakery suppliers?

The Central Milling organic flour from Costco, and whatever Whole Foods might have (they can get you stuff in bulk but you only save 10%) are pretty much the only options in Austin. I've looked hard.

There had been a shortage of organic wheat the last year. The new crop was recently harvested, so now is a good time to buy in bulk. But fresh flour behaves oddly, and you might want to age new crop flour for a month or so before using it.

Now I get organic whole grains from Azure Standard online. They're like a buying club which makes monthly deliveries to a place near the Airport. They have a few organic flours in bulk. Shipping is 8.5% of the order with a minimum order of $50.

I'm about to actually order my organic flour directly from Giusto's in San Francisco. The quality is the best I've tried and it ain't cheap. But it makes the best tasting artisan breads I've ever made. Unfortunately, shipping is on a pallet with a freight carrier, and costs the same whether I get one ten 50lb bag or 50 bags. Send me an email if you want to go in on this.

Sep 17, 2014
Joe MacBu in Austin

Sichuan River

I went there for dinner last night. They said some of the partners of A+A are the owners, but it's not an A+A expansion. The menu is significantly different from A+A's, and the dishes that are common are prepared a bit differently. Anyway, it's fantastic that they have opened up south Austin.

Aug 06, 2014
Joe MacBu in Austin

Sichuan River

I've known the owners of A+A for about 3 years and have been trying to get them to open up a South location. From what they told me, this is not a splintering, but indeed an expansion. They had even contemplated keeping the same name for the new location, but decided against it.

Aug 05, 2014
Joe MacBu in Austin

Squid ink source?

Thanks! And that's a great price.
Also saw it at Central Market, but for around $2/pk for the same size.

Jun 13, 2014
Joe MacBu in Austin

Squid ink source?

Do any of the grocery stores in town have squid ink? Looking for actual sightings, not just guesses of usual places. Thanks.

Jun 12, 2014
Joe MacBu in Austin

Tortilla Talk

The best corn tortillas I've had in Austin were from La Fruta Feliz. Consistently fantastic.

La Flor truck on South 1st has great corn and flour versions.

Jun 04, 2014
Joe MacBu in Austin
1

Best store bought kimchi available in Austin?

Has anyone tried the Oh Kimchi available at some farmer's markets in town (as well as Wheatsville, Whip In, etc.)? It looks like they make mustard greens kimchi, which is probably my favorite type. But I wonder if the flavor is authentic, or tailored more to, ahem, Austin tastebuds.

Jan 14, 2014
Joe MacBu in Austin

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust is bland

I think you should use only 1/3 of the yeast and double the salt - I'm assuming table salt, not kosher. Don't use water that's too warm - you want the final dough temperature to be around 74-76F. Also, only do one rise at room temperature for 1-1.5 hours, until you see some bubbles form. Then put it in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

But if you really want flavor, you have to use a sourdough culture.

Nov 10, 2013
Joe MacBu in Home Cooking
1

"Fresh hot dog buns"

Try asking Easy Tiger Bakeshop if they'll make you some of their New England style hot dog buns. They make them for a wholesale customer for lobster rolls, but I know they've made them for retail customers with advance order.

Aug 28, 2013
Joe MacBu in Austin

Best hamburger rolls in Austin?

Easy Tiger has pretzel buns. Gotta ask for it since it's not on display.

Aug 27, 2013
Joe MacBu in Austin

Sasha's

I was there on their last day in Austin. They still have the location in San Antonio.

Aug 12, 2013
Joe MacBu in Austin

Brown's BBQ trailer - South Lamar

I agree about the ribs; decent brisket too. While I tried them last month in the Genie lot, I thought I recently saw them located more south, by Mary/Lamar.

Jun 06, 2013
Joe MacBu in Austin

Traditional Mexican Tacos

My favorite taco joints in Austin (most are trailers and in the south):

La Fruta Feliz for carne asada, barbacoa de chivo, carnitas and al pastor. All on corn tortillas, which are some of the best in town.

The pulga (flea market) on Elmont west of Pleasant Valley on weekends. There are several killer taco options there. Santa Rosa is a carnitas specialist (it's the only thing they serve) that cooks the meat in a huge vat of fat right outside the trailer. This market also has the highest concentration of goat in Austin; several trailers have goat tacos and consome. I prefer the white van over the others. Morning/afternoon.

Ley's on 2449 Elmont Dr in the parking lot of the Tejano club serves excellent carne asada and al pastor tacos (alas, without pineapple), on handmade corn tortillas. Night/late-night.

La Flor on 4901 S 1st St makes their own corn and flour tortillas, and they're huge and cheap. Everything I've tried has been good to excellent. Mornings/early-afternoon.

Taqueria Maldonado on 525 W Ben White Blvd in the gas station lot is an unsigned trailer. Handmade corn tortillas. Morning/early-afternoon.

Taqueria Hugo is an unsigned trailer in the Tejano club lot at 4702 Burleson Rd. Handmade corn tortillas. Fantastic carne asada and suadero and deep-fried quail. Night/late-night.

Sarita's is a trailer at 2110 S Congress. Handmade corn tortillas. Great barbacoa. El As del Taco used to be at this location and was fantastic, despite using commercial tortillas. I crave their seasoned barbacoa taco, which was deep-fried. Anyone know where they've moved to?

El Mana is a trailer and a store on 5936 Westminster Dr. Birria de chivo on weekends on handmade corn tortillas with very spicy salsas. Great carnitas.

Taqueria Los Canarios is a trailer on 5433 S Congress Ave. The chivo is fantastic and crisped up on the griddle before serving. They claim to have handmade tortillas, but it depends on when you show up - better luck on weekends.

Bomb Tacos trailer inside The White Horse. The al pastor is fantastic. Great fish, shrimp and carne asada as well. Surprisingly good for a joint that's not really visited by Mexicans at all. Night/late-night.

Jan 18, 2013
Joe MacBu in Austin

Best Tres Leches in Austin?

The best I've had is the one at Curra's.

Dec 16, 2012
Joe MacBu in Austin

Festival!

The Loy Kathong festival at the Thai temple in Del Valle is on Saturday December 1 2012.
http://www.facebook.com/austinwat

Nov 04, 2012
Joe MacBu in Austin

New Indian "Superstore" William Cannon and Brodie - Gandhi Bazar

Thanks for the tip. Looks like they've got two other locations: http://www.gandhibazar.com/index.html

Nov 02, 2012
Joe MacBu in Austin

Torta Ahogada

400 Rabbits in the Slaughter Alamo Drafthouse has it for $9.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi...

Aug 09, 2012
Joe MacBu in Austin

Live Crawfish finds and price check for 2012

I saw them at the Fiesta on Stassney last weekend. Didn't pay attention to the price or size.

Mar 21, 2012
Joe MacBu in Austin

Best Croissants?

I find Barrie's croissants to be too chewy (overworked gluten?) and greasy. Buttery is one thing, but it seems like these croissants are leaking the butter from the layers. However, I don't doubt that they could be the best in town, unfortunately.

Easy Tiger's croissants are inconsistent and need work. The ones I've tried have been too dense - they really seem amateurish right now. Their pain au chocolate usually looks better, but I haven't tried one yet.

Village Baking Co. at the Barton Creek Mall farmers market has some good looking croissants.

Almond croissants are pretty hard to screw up. They were created as a way to use up stale croissants, so the structure of the original croissant is less of an issue. You can basically take any croissant from a mediocre bakery and make it into very good almond croissant.

Feb 17, 2012
Joe MacBu in Austin

Oysters (unshucked) near Williamsburg Bridge?

Why are the C. gigas not suitable for eating raw on a half shell? Do you have specific places in Chinatown that carry them? Thanks!

Feb 02, 2012
Joe MacBu in Outer Boroughs

Oysters (unshucked) near Williamsburg Bridge?

I'm desperately trying to find some live, unshucked oysters for a party. I'm in south Williamsburg, with access to the train and a bike, but no car. Is there a market nearby where I can get about 3 dozen oysters (and not pay dearly?). I tried Manhattan Chinatown, but struck out there...but perhaps I missed a place?

Help!

Feb 01, 2012
Joe MacBu in Outer Boroughs

Where I can find purple/black barley?

I found a bag at Hana World Market, but it's a mostly polished version. Does any store carry the hulless/whole version?

Jan 23, 2012
Joe MacBu in Austin

Are there any Asian Markets south of the river?

Man Prasand Indian Grocery 3601 W William Cannon Dr

Fiesta on Stassney/35 has some Asian essentials.

Filipino Asian Mart 615 W Slaughter Ln

Jan 20, 2012
Joe MacBu in Austin

Where to find fancy flour in Paris?

Thank you for the advice.

I agree that the US has good flour available - I regularly use Sir Galahad, Giusto's and Central Milling's flours to make great bread. My interest in trying out the French flour is just due to curiosity.

Dec 30, 2011
Joe MacBu in France

Where to find fancy flour in Paris?

I have a friend visiting Paris for a few more days. She's willing to bring back some French flour for me. Where can she find the following flours?

* Retrodor T55
* Viron Classique Bleu
* Bagatelle T65
* Etc...

Thanks!

Dec 28, 2011
Joe MacBu in France

I'm going to cook a bone-in leg of lamb... where do I get one?

Long Horn Meats on MLK has bone-in leg of lamb for $4.89/lb.

Dec 22, 2011
Joe MacBu in Austin

Goat Tacos In Austin Texas

I got my goat on at Taco More this week. While the goat taco is good, it must be said that the consome de cabrito is spectacular. For $2.50, you get a 12oz cup full of the rich and bold broth. Lurking at the bottom is a generous amount of shredded meat and chickpeas. It's a dish that makes me wish for cold, rainy, blustery days ahead.

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Taco More
9400 Parkfield Dr, Austin, TX 78758

Nov 23, 2011
Joe MacBu in Austin

Loy Kratong festival at Del Valle Thai temple right now

Wikipedia does a better job of describing the Loi Krathong festival than I can: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loi_Krat...

The food at this event at Wat Buddhananachat was incredible. There were close to two dozen vendors serving up the type of fare that one has to travel to Thailand, Laos or Los Angeles for. I'm new to Austin, and if this is representative of the Thai cuisine available in this area, please let me in on the know!

There were a ton of offerings. A partial list: Freshly steamed sticky rice, sour sausage, grilled skewered meats including chicken heart, whole fish, fish cakes, ho mok pla, larb, made-to-order papaya salad, curries, squeezed-to-order sugar cane juice, deep-fried banana, yen tau fu, beef noodle soup, and yes, even pad Thai. And dozens of sweet dishes based on coconut, rice and palm sugar.

I did a CH search and found zero mentions of this temple - what gives? Most Thai temples seem to have two large fests per year (now I'm definitely looking forward to the one in April for Thai New Year). I heard this one has a smaller monthly event with food as well. Anyone have more details?

Nov 22, 2011
Joe MacBu in Austin

Chupacabra Burger - Cat Mountain Grill - Anyone else had this?

I tried it last week. Yes, it's hot, but not overwhelmingly so. I finished it off easily. The waitress was impressed. I guess I better move on to In The Buns.

It should be noted that, past the hype, it was a great burger. Seems like it was smash-griddled. Nice crispy edges, medium in the middle, perfectly buttered-toasted buns, excellent fries.

Nov 20, 2011
Joe MacBu in Austin