bubbleboy79's Profile

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Clark’s Oyster Bar

The crab cake is worthwhile. I can find no other way to say it, an explosion of crab, like eight ounces worth. Also, skip the fries, get the slaw (or something else). And, per Perla's, etc., the high-end wines are not marked up as much as the low.

Jan 04, 2013
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Tatsu-ya...WT#?

Ramen is killing it. Seating=32, avg dining time=15. Hence, 50 people is around 15 minutes. My average wait at Franklin is around an hour, which I don't mind. Austin had no good ramen until now, and that was my least favorite thing to tell to Californians; also at nine bucks a bowl, not a bad deal.

Jan 04, 2013
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Questions about Uchi- table vs sushi bar

No resos for the sushi bar, but, yes, getting there early is the best bet. Ask for Masa.

Jan 04, 2013
bubbleboy79 in Austin

50th Birthday dinner, Uchi, Barley Swine or ?

I know they're under new ownership and chef. Have you been before? Did it update?

Dec 14, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Lavaca Teppan - a review

Super-inexpensive for the location. Lunch a couple of times. Service and atmosphere trump the food,

Dec 14, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Best Chili In Austin

Second, solid.

Dec 14, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Everyone Loves Lists

Not to be horribly obvious, but these are places at which he's dined twice in the past year, 100 out of a possible 600 meals (assuming no breakfast out [breakfast not being a meal at nearly all of the restaurants included], vacation, etc.). This also inherently excludes several new restaurants, others that have changed chefs (try Trace now and find it infinitely better), and probably limits geographically to places nearer the '04.

I'd disagree with 20% and restructure significantly, but that's a caveat in his preface-- this is a personal list. And frankly he goes out more than I do. While I think the Carillon is amazing (and agree about the lack of atmosphere, but love the architecture library from which it takes a few cues), and think Lenoir is merely okay, I've only been to each twice, and could have have had radically different experiences from Mr. Odam, and I tend to weigh food much more heavily than service or atmosphere.

Also, I'd absolutely agree with chrisdds98 that "we're lucky to live in a town with so many great food options."

Oct 29, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Maltose or Maltodextrin Source?

If you have friends who work in (well, some) restaurants, it's pretty easy to get. The restaurant I work at goes through a ton; if you can't find it, I'd be happy to help.

Aug 22, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

best brunch place?

Pappardelle, charcuterie, wine list, brussels, normally one of the rotating salads, the aforementioned fries, an occasional ravioli, Friends like the pizzas; me not so much. I go there to share. Throw in two reliable hits, and two unknowns, and it normally works out well.

Also, the lack of a sweet spot: that's me and La Condesa, though I have a million recs for next time.

Aug 13, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

best brunch place?

Best brunch? Lambert's, Green Pastures (for real), Perla's, Mulberry.

Dinner downtown? Parkside, Uchi, Second.

Just thoughts, and I'm better informed at brunch, having been to almost every brunch in town. The Park and Taverna are horrendous-- imagine the testosterone, estrogen, alcohol, and noise of a Saturday night coupled with the hangover of a Sunday morning.

Aug 12, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

A report from Brooklyn: 3 days in Austin

NBD, but it's like you never left NY. Three of the chefs you visited went to the CIA, and none of their restaurants are that amazing. Next time, check out Snow's and the last NYT frugal traveler Austin article.

Apr 15, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Overall view of dining scene in Austin

Really, EMP charges $195/head for the dinner tasting menu. Masa's $400/head for omakase with no pairings. You can't drop that at any Austin restaurant before wine. The prices in Austin are nothing compared to the coasts for dining. And the Dallas culinary scene has been dead for years, save for Smoke and a few others. The French Room and the Mansion (and Fearing's and the offspring of the that early 90s generation of Southwest Cuisine chefs I grew up with) have always done fine dining well, but there's nothing innovative there. And Congress has a sick wine list by any standard, verticals, first growths, multiple formats; it can hang. I'd also argue that distrubutors don't favor Austin. In Texas, it's a secondary market, populated with patrons who are increasingly wine savvy, but not nearly as likely to buy the big bottles as our fellow Texans in Houston and Dallas. There's little incentive to go bid at auction for bottles that won't move, however interesting they may be. Also, one can bring one's own wine to most of the best restaurants in Austin.

The one positive thing I can say about this conversation is that it opens up the topic of what constitutes fine dining. One could argue for deep wine lists and silver and crystal, or one could argue for the knowledge, experience, and innovation one encounters throughout the restaurant. And it might not always match one's experiences elsewhere, but it continues to evolve and improve.

A corollary and endnote: El Bulli, as a restaurant, was never profitable. A burger joint's margins allowed EMP to halve its covers and double its kitchen staff. DBGB, Barley Swine, and their ilk are the new fine dining. It might be time to re-evaluate.

Mar 13, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Uchi vs Uchiko?

They're just different. Uchi is more feminine, lighter and nuanced, and Uchiko more masculine, assertive and heartier. As they evolve, their menus continue to coalesce. I love both, but if I had to pick, it would be Uchiko.

Mar 04, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

The Spiciest Mexican Dish in Austin

I can seldom find salsas spicy enough for me, let alone dishes, but the Diablo grilled oysters at Lucy's are ridiculous.

Feb 22, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Barbecue Trip Report (Long)

It's been ages, but I really might go back just for the fries (and aioli, as there's nothing approaching that delicious mayonnaise in Austin).

Feb 21, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Fire breathing drink

I'd bet that Cheers could help you out. Or you could take Amaretto, Bacardi 151, and Root Beer Schnapps, and make your own (though most recipes omit the Root Beer Schnapps), light, and drop in some beer. Lord knows I did way dumber things in my frat-brag days.

Feb 20, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Barbecue Trip Report (Long)

Pretty awesome. I know Salt Lick gets a fair amount of flak (except for their BYOB policy), but the sauce is generally recognized as the best around. Also, if you ever get to Barbette in MPLS and feel like sending some frites down . . .

Feb 20, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Best meal in Austin with my wife suggestions please?

It's good, but not great. The wine list is lacking, the service can be mediocre, the dishes are well-executed but nothing new, and I still think it's good (but not great), but not in the same league.

Feb 17, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Best meal in Austin with my wife suggestions please?

I'd agree with the other comments, but add that Congress and Uchi/ko are dramatically different from one another. Congress is much more traditional, intimate, and quiet, with slower pacing. Uchi and Uchiko are both exceptional, and super-creative (and realistically about half the price), but fairly loud and lively with much quicker pacing.

Feb 17, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Veal

Veal sweetbreads at wink are amazing. Although tonight's plate-up included bacon aioli, which is amazing all by itself.

Feb 09, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Opening: Lucy's Fried Chicken

I went recently and really enjoyed it, in part because of reading this thread. I could eat a million orders of the collard greens (equal parts vinegar and pork), and at least three orders of the Austin grilled oysters (smoke, spice, deliciousness, or tequila lime, cotija, chili sauce). Enjoyed the cornbread stuffing, but may just opt for the cornbread muffins next time (w tequila lime butter). The fried deviled eggs were too salty for me, but my friend loved them. The chicken had a nice breading, but seemed to dry out fairly quickly. I'd still order it again. And Fire Eagle by the can is always welcome. Definitely be going back and saving room for pie next time.

Jan 27, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Sunday Brunch/Lunch

A few of my friends are obsessed with F&D's brunch right now. I've enjoyed Haddington's, Green Pastures and Perla's.

Jan 24, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Birthday weekend coming up, Uchiko suggestions please

So glad you had great birthdays and a great meal!

Jan 23, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Birthday weekend coming up, Uchiko suggestions please

Corn sorbet is solid (and I say that not just because Philip Speer occasionally posts here), but I like more traditional dessert flavor profiles. The white snow dessert ca. a year ago, with white chocolate and strawberry and champagne, maybe still my fav.

Jan 19, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Comfy, late, light meal and drinks?

Second. Kitchen open until midnight, normally quiet late. Solid drinks.

Jan 19, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Birthday weekend coming up, Uchiko suggestions please

I'd order what you want. There are a couple of tasting menus (designed for two to share, but I'm sure they can be modified for three), and they're great for not having to decide, but they also might not include any of the dishes discussed on this thread.

Jan 17, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Birthday weekend coming up, Uchiko suggestions please

Second jar jar, hamachili, brussels sprouts, and pork jowl. Add madai sashimi, sake toro, and boquerones, Tobacco cream isn't for everyone; prefer the fried milk.

Jan 17, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

Birthday dinner!

Eastside Cafe would work well, especially for your mother and brother.

Jan 15, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

suggestions for Mom's Night Out Dinner

Haddington's is cool; W 6th is full of thirty-somethings, and it's really a what-you-make-of-it kind of place. Like Fabi + Rosi, but that is a date place to me. Contigo has a tent and heaters should it be too chilly; was there on a cold night recently, and it was cozy and the food was over-salted. Barley Swine's cool, but I hate waiting, also the price point's slightly above what it should be. I'd nominate Second Bar and Kitchen as another possibility. Their wine list (which I think is the point of mom's night out) destroys every other restaurant on this list. And while I think of it as a bit of a date place, Justine's has the best mussels in town right now.

Jan 12, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin

LA Hound coming into town; any help would be greatly appreciated.

One has to get there when Barley Swine opens or closes (5 and 11, respectively, on Saturday). The restaurant seats maybe forty and fills up quickly. I once had to wait for someone for thirty minutes at opening, and then we couldn't be seated for another thirty because it was already full.

Jan 12, 2012
bubbleboy79 in Austin