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Cuban Sandwich Cafe N. Lamar

Love Cuban Sandwich Cafe. Don't skip the bakery/desserts (esp bread pudding). I think they're still honoring the restaurant.com deals as well.

Haven't tried the cubano at Chago's Puerto Rican (?), but their other items, while good, are a little pricey for what/where they are. And a bit of a schlep for me.

Mar 25, 2015
conquer in Austin

HaTe fOod TrAILerS tRaIlORs EtAh

brick-and-mortar.

Mar 03, 2015
conquer in Austin

HaTe fOod TrAILerS tRaIlORs EtAh

What's worse is b&ms are following this trend, too. I think it's just the slackification of millenials - no commitment, everything's 'cool,' 'casual,' coupled w/ an inability to communicate clearly.

Mar 03, 2015
conquer in Austin

Daito on the drag

Sounds good, thanks. I love their soba (udon in gen tends to be a little heavy for me), but based on lixlix's recommend I'm looking forward to trying their specialty apps.

Fond memories of kaiseki's in Japan...

Feb 18, 2015
conquer in Austin

Daito on the drag

So what's the deal now, do you know, if they serve apps/sushi in addition to noodles at lunch, and noodles in addition to apps/sushi at dinner? I've heard conflicting accounts.

Feb 17, 2015
conquer in Austin

Barley Swine vs. Qui

2.5 hours, almost every time on the dot, has been my experience.

Feb 17, 2015
conquer in Austin

Barley Swine vs. Qui

Barley. Superior food. Communal seating notwithstanding. (The only thing in public that should be communal imo is urinals.) The seats are actually far enough apart though for you to cold-shoulder your neighbors (vice versa).

I never understand what people are talking about when they talk about 'atmosphere' at qui. You feel like you're eating at any of the other couple of dozens of dipster places in East Austin, with the inside wavering somewhere between nondescript and kitsch, the music loud and trying too hard, the service substituting over-familiarity for hospitality and grace.

Of course, if that's what you like :)

Feb 16, 2015
conquer in Austin

Communal tables at restaurants - your opinion please?

Communal seating = The restaurant's too cheap to pay for furniture

Feb 11, 2015
conquer in Not About Food

Popping up all over - What are our favorite ethnic restaurants?

Second Little Mama's for Filipino. They have dinuguan/offal stew on Saturdays! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinuguan) Bicol express (coconut/shrimp paste 'pink' curry), pancit (thick rice-style) topped w/ chicharron gravy, fried whole milkfish & atchara (papaya pickle) are solid. And you should see the size of their halo-halo. Looking forward to trying their cassava cake, suman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suman_%2...).

Second Chosun for Korean as well. The DIY BBQ quality is topnotch.

Malay - Anyone been to DFG Noodles? I miss Jenny's Kitchen, esp egg sambal.

Indonesian - Java Noodles, but I think it's gone downhill.

Nepalese - No more Indian Spicy Kitchen :(

Russian House - Decent, rustic, really-existing-communist food, at venture-capitalist prices.

Cuban - Cuban Sandwich Cafe
Peruvian - La Chaparrita
Salvadorean - El Zunzal

Ethiopian - Aster's, Taste of Ethiopia (TOE

)

Scandinavian - ? (IKEA?)

Feb 10, 2015
conquer in Austin

Dai Due, Austin, TX

Ha! I was one of the first in line to try the - grasshoppers (jiminy would be offended) - when Condesa had them, or at least charged for them. (The place has really gone to pot.) 'It's a texture thing.' The closest thing I would compare it to, feel-wise, is dried chile. Papery, crunchy, flaky, disappears as you chew, like popcorn. Perfect for the munchies.

I draw the lines at worms. I also don't care much for okra, morning glories etc. I also don't like getting slimed.

Oh and did you know, apparently, people LOVE lobsters...?

Feb 05, 2015
conquer in Austin

Dai Due, Austin, TX

I raised silkworms when I was little (other kids had dogs, cats). They're more metaculinary than infraculinary for me. Perhaps some other inveterate insectivores (what's pc now, entomophages?) have the backbone to brave the invertebrates?

Feb 05, 2015
conquer in Austin

Dai Due, Austin, TX

Together Korean restaurant at Lamar/Rundberg has been serving stir-fried silkworm pupae.

Crickets? Shock gasp horror. So 2008.

Feb 05, 2015
conquer in Austin

Your Go-to Bakeries

The Asian places I mentioned have a lot of savory goods. I think that has to do w/ the Asian palate for not very sweet sweets as well. Lucky has breads filled with char sui, chicken curry, dried pork, egg salad, ham/cheese, pickled mustard, etc.

Jan 29, 2015
conquer in Austin

Your Go-to Bakeries

What are your favorite bakeries around town? Do you have any must-try items to recommend? I'd love to discover some new places.

Mine (somewhat arbitrarily I'm not including grocers or restaurants):

Asian - Lucky Bakery. Everything. I've not had anything subpar. But the Portuguese egg tarts, especially. Honorable mention - Tous les Jours. Love their tuna and curry croquettes.

French - ? I don't know any Parisian-style patisseries. Seems like most places just do some pains au choc, eclairs, the ubiquitous macarons, maybe the occasional mille-feuilles...

Italian - Mandola's. Best and only option? Get the cannoli cookies (not the cannoli, but the cookies), chocolate-dipped espresso shortbread, zuccotto.

Mexican - Mi Tradicion (I mean, 'Chuy's'). Dulce de leche empanadas. Heat 8 sec in microwave. Molten caramely goodness in golden flaky pastry.

Middle Eastern - Peace? I don't know. What I had was good, particularly the kunafa, but with that and two other smallish cookie things I walked out short $14. Overpriced, I think.

Neighborhood - Quack's. Can't go wrong w/ lemon torte, or sublime key lime tart. Honorable mention - sliver of fragrant, moist lemon coconut cake at River City Market (ok, technically a grocer).

Jan 29, 2015
conquer in Austin

Weekend in Austin

Go for El Naranjo, Barley Swine and Qui (in that order).

Jan 20, 2015
conquer in Austin

NG-BMT food stand - Hong Kong Market

The donuts are fantastic, kind of a cross between beignet and cruller. I can eat tubs of that tofu.

Jan 16, 2015
conquer in Austin

Just got back from Soft Opening of St. Philip

Get the 'polpette' in a sandwich. Contrary to a recent review, they're golf ball, not racquetball, -sized. I was pissed shelling out $10+ for three measly meatballs.

The bakery's really where it's at.

Jan 09, 2015
conquer in Austin

Please help finalize Austin itinerary (researched!)

In a burgeoning burg whose reality is often overshadowed by hype and home pride, it's good to hear a relatively experienced, unvested outsider's take. I tend to agree with most the assessments (except for coffee as I don't drink it). I think the best places for cocktails here are Congress, Half Step and drink.well (in order); the rest don't come close. Give them a stir next time.

Jan 08, 2015
conquer in Austin

Bahn Mi at Dang

There's some serious mojo going on in the Hong Kong Supermarket shopping center: Tatsu-ya, Ng BMT (the tofu - made fresh in house - banh mi is to die), Lucky Bakery (best Asian bakery in town - get the Portuguese egg tarts), Sunflower (five-spice roast chicken lunch special for life), Pho Van (the first Vietnamese place in Austin ALAICR, as well as the first to serve banh mi, for $2 in '93), Din Ho...hell, even CoCo's.

If I lived there I'd never leave the two-block radius.

Jan 05, 2015
conquer in Austin

Golden Corral

Yes, when I was a teenager living with my dad in Round Rock. It was his favorite restaurant. I remember Christmas Eve one year our car broke down and was stuck at the mechanic's. We decided to walk (two-and-a-half miles in thirty-degree weather) from the mechanic's to the nearest Golden Corral to have Christmas Eve dinner while waiting for our car. He was a Chinese Civil War refugee in his teens, and en route of the escape he would have starved to death (many of his classmates did) had he not stolen into a sty in the countryside near Wenzhou, and helped himself to the slop from the trough. For the rest of his life he saw food with the same kind of urgency.

Since college I hadn't been, but I went back in 2011 when he passed. It was awful. Totally ruined my memories. Lesson: don't revisit childhood memories!

Sirloin Stockade has *excellent* rolls, though (especially when they're piping hot, right out of the oven - buttery, soft, yellow, with a nice brown crust).

Dec 17, 2014
conquer in Austin

Gordough's Public House

That does not look appetizing to me.

But I'm personally sick of this high-fat/grease-laden/'retro' food trend. Just because you put bacon in it doesn't mean it has flavor.

While I'm at it, though I appreciate underused body parts (by Western standards anyway) showing up on menus more now, why pretend you're doing something radical and charge - pardon the pun - an arm and a leg, when that Chinese/Mexican/Pakistani/Jewish place down the street is serving exactly the same thing? What does it take just to get a simple, nice cut of well-cooked steak without all the hype/attitude/fanfare around here?

Ok, rant over.

Dec 16, 2014
conquer in Austin
2

Female Sushi Chefs: do they exist?

Like they can't tell if something smells fishy.

Nov 13, 2014
conquer in Not About Food

What turns you off about restaurant restrooms?

Trash can for paper towels by the door. I ain't touching that handle.

We all know it happens, but we never like to think it actually does... [moved from New Jersey board]

Surveillance cameras? Open kitchens?

Oct 21, 2014
conquer in Not About Food

Qui Tasting Room

Has anyone been & would recommend? Does the price include bev pairings? How does it compare to Barley?

Oct 09, 2014
conquer in Austin

Read the whole menu then decide or stop when you see something you want?

What's an appropriate amount of time for browsing (or being let to browse) a menu?

Oct 06, 2014
conquer in Not About Food

Sending food back, what about the rest of the diners?

Answer: Extremely obnoxious.
Next?

Sep 15, 2014
conquer in Not About Food

Sichuan River

'I no speak English' is the most useful English phrase I've learned.

Sep 10, 2014
conquer in Austin

We hit a Top Ten spot

I couldn't agree more. I don't get Sway. Thai food is supposed to have extremely clean flavors, not heavy or saltish or sugary (Americanized). If Thai Kun's like that, count me out.

Aug 22, 2014
conquer in Austin

Dang Bánh Mì

I went when they were giving away free entrees during their soft opening.

$10 banh mi's? Um, no.

Aug 08, 2014
conquer in Austin