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Visiting Austin for 3 1/2 days for my birthday - Dec 3rd -7th

Easy answer for me. Justine's. Its a short trip from the airport and their kitchen is open late (well past midnight). I would just drive there on the way to your hotel though. 24 Diner is a distant 2nd.

Once again, I really hope you get the rental car.

about 14 hours ago
lixlix in Austin

Recent things I've eaten

I only went after finding out about it in the other taco thread.

Oct 15, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Recent things I've eaten

Yes. 8 was about 1.1 pounds.

Oct 14, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Recent things I've eaten

Oh, I forgot a meal.

Wanted some traditional Chinese food so went to Ho Ho.

Crab and asparagus soup - slightly disappointed. White asparagus but likely canned. Remember when this soup used to use fresh green asparagus. Big portion though and still fairly tasty.

Sauteed bamboo shoots, Shitake, and snow peas - Standard.

And now for the splurge. 8 live spot prawns, aka sweet shrimp, aka amaebi. At Ho Ho, these are quickly ran through boiling water then served with a ginger, green onion soy on the side for dipping. But the best part, 6 of these prawns today were teeming with roe! a single prawn probably had enough roe for a nigiri serving. I get some rice in my bowl, then scrape the roe on top, then drizzle with the soy. Thats some good eating! Also, there is a way to peel the head shell off to where the head fat remains on the prawn meat. The meat is sweet and reminicent of langoustine with the texture of lobster. at $38 a pound, its pricy but its so worth it.

Oct 14, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Recent things I've eaten

Fridges are very expensive as I am unfortunately finding out. Probably can cover daily meals at Uchi for 1 for a month.

Besides, for somebody who likes to cook as much as you do, such an act should be unthinkable.

Oct 14, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Recent things I've eaten

My fridge broke so ate out quite a bit recently. It probably would be better to put this in to individual threads by restaurant but just a bit difficult to track everything down.

Balkan Cafe - really liked it. Unfortunately no whole lamb while I was there on a friday. Had salad and mix meat plate. Really liked the cevapi and very delicious Turkish coffee.

Peace Bakery and Cafe - Didn't realize the pitas were self serve until I was 1/2 way through the meal. Portion sizes are so big that even for a big eater like me, don't think could have eaten pita. Very delicious lamb kabob, mahamura dip, and roasted eggplant dish. Great taste and great value.

Ramen Tatsuya - 5th or 6th revisit. Still very solid though pork not as deliciously tender as when they first opened.

Pho Viet in Round Rock - good rendition of Bun Bo Hue, no blood no trotter but plenty of beef tendon and boudin blanc. Pho broth slightly more star anise flavored then other Pho restaurants. Great Nem Nuong spring roll. As good as the Thanh Nhi ones but slightly bigger. Also contains the crunchy wafer cigar. They also have a good Bo Luc Lac (shaken beef) but didn't get it on this trip.

Odaku Sushi - Great Sun dubu Chigae (soft tofu soup) as always. Fresh seafood, great texture on the housemade tofu. Coddled egg is perfect texture. One of the few places which I can get goom tang or oxtail soup. Tastes like a Suluntang except with oxtail replacing brisket. oxtail was cooked to nice texture. Also a great value on the hoitoBap aka sashimi bibimbap at 13.95. A nice pile of tuna, salmon, and snapper chunks with masago and veggies with rice and pepper sauce that you mix in served separately. Decent selection of 7 banchan when me and wife went.

Michoacana Ice Cream - huge selection of flavors. Hard to pick. Very friendly service and welcome to try lots of flavors. Liked the Cajeta. Loved the Guava. Tasted so much of fruit. Having just come back from Bali, it takes me straight back.

Mi Madres - Finally had the touted Carne guisada. It is indeed very good. good balance of spice and stewed richness. The mexican coffee with cinnamon and chocolate also very tasty.

Oct 14, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Visiting Austin for 3 1/2 days for my birthday - Dec 3rd -7th

I agree with many of the suggestions already posted. Some that I haven't seen yet :

Burger : For all the flack it gets, I think Hopdoddy's is really good, especially the Poblano burger. I also like Jackalope's and its an interesting setting.

Ice Cream : My favorite is Dolce Neve Gelato (the ricotta with chocolate chip and candied orange peel is amazing when they have it) but for something a bit more eccentric, Michoacana Natural Ice Cream. You should also not miss out on Snow Monster if you haven't had Taiwanese Mango Ice before.

Fine Dining : Uchi/Uchiko, Barley Swine, Congress. Uchi/Uchiko and Barley Swine will be much rowdier than Congress though. For a romantic dinner, may I suggest you consider a more casual but romantic dinner at say Lenoir.

BBQ : Brisket probably Franklins though I haven't braved the line in a long time. Beef Rib, easily LA BBQ and their brisket is close to Franklins. Sausage, also LA BBQ. If you end up having to go get BBQ in the evening, I would recommend Freedmen's.

Best Gluten Free : No idea, probably BBQ or Pho. If you go for Pho, I like Pho Dan.

Weekend Brunch : I really like Mulberry (get the quail and biscuits) and its in a nice part of town where you can take a shopping stroll afterwards. Fonda San Miguel is an institution but a little pricy and you might be too stuffed that you don't feel excited about dinner. Near where you are living, I would consider Elizabeth Street. Skip the Pho, go for the Breakfast Banh Mi.

Tacos : Veracruz All Natural. Great barbacoa, lots of fruits and juices/smoothies. La Fruta Feliz. Great Goat barbacoa and lots of aqua frescas and juices. For a Mexican restaurant with a nicer setting, I really like Licha's Cantina. The Al Pastor Tacos and Duck Tacos are fantastic and despite the $14 price tag, is enough for 3 nicely sized tacos. Also, don't miss out on the escargot here. A Mexican restaurant serves my favorite snails in Austin. Everything comes with some kind of in house made corn cake or tortilla so even though its not listed as a taco, it can be eaten as a taco.

Quick Breakfasts : Tacos.

Food Trucks : Three Little Pigs Trailer, get a bottle of wine at retail prices from East End Wines and they serve it to you in stemware for a nominal fee. Thai Kun. Via 313. Tapas Bravas.

Oct 14, 2014
lixlix in Austin
1

Time to Line Up for Franklin BBQ?

I would also go to LA BBQ instead. Besides, no beef ribs at Franklin's.

Though if you look at the wait as an experience, its not that bad. Besides, your husband might always have that little voice saying "what if" if you don't go to Franklin's.

Oct 14, 2014
lixlix in Austin

New Middle Eastern food restaurant located near Braker & North Lamar

I mistakenly thought it was the weekend but I believe they've scaled back to only Saturday.

Oct 14, 2014
lixlix in Austin

MT Supermarket Prices

yeah skip that garlic. I think garlic goes bad faster when peeled.

Oct 11, 2014
lixlix in Austin

M. Odom's review of LaV

I really didn't find that to be the case as I only had one of the more affordable wines by the glass.

I find service to be almost impeccable there, granted it was only one trip.

Oct 11, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Sawyer and Company Diner

I thought Jacoby used very good meat for their steak but it wasn't cooked well. There was a very distinct lack of any crust and the steak seemed a bit thin for the cost.

Oct 10, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Visiting Austin for 3 1/2 days for my birthday - Dec 3rd -7th

I would recommend that you rent a car if able. It will likely be much more convenient and economical. Your taxi to and from the airport will probably cover your rental costs alone.

Oct 09, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Visiting Austin for 3 1/2 days for my birthday - Dec 3rd -7th

Now, close to 100% of large ocean fish such as tuna is flash frozen to kill parasites.

Frozen fish actually tastes better than fresh for sushi and sashimi. There is the issue of rigor Mortis for example on fresh fish even ignoring the parasites issue. This can be alleviated on smaller fish with the use of Ike Jime but impossible on larger fish.

I am not sure if anything in that article disagrees with what I posted.

Oct 09, 2014
lixlix in Austin
1

Bahn Mi at Dang

to be fair it is quite a bit bigger than a Tam or Thanh Nhi one but I didn't care for the meat flavor. It was too sweet and "wet" with a lack of char.

I haven't tried the cold sandwich yet though.

Oct 09, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Visiting Austin for 3 1/2 days for my birthday - Dec 3rd -7th

Ignoring the subset of sushi that is based off live ingredients killed at the moment of ordering and focusing just on the frozen, the seafood quality we get in Austin is good but still quite far from other major US cities to say nothing of Japan. Its sometimes not the same distributor and even when it is restaurants with more clout/higher demand often gets first dibs on the choicest fish.

The selection of exotic fish in even the most venerable of Austin restaurants is very limited as there is just limited diner demand in the Austin market. The restauranteur does not want to shell out top dollar for exotic stuff that might not sell.

Its the same reason why its impossible to find actual A5 grade Kobe/Matsuzaka/Kagoshima beef in Austin.

As to the anecdote about Yasuda, I'm pretty sure he actually buys frozen fish then ages it himself, if I remember the episode correctly.

Oct 09, 2014
lixlix in Austin
1

M. Odom's review of LaV

I don't understand the complaint about having the option of ordering a very rare vintage. You aren't pressured to order the more expensive bottles. In terms of the restaurant wine price compared to retail, I actually find LaV to be much more reasonable compared to several other Austin restaurants.

Food wise, I found the meat dishes to be lacking but the Octopus with Tuna sauce was one of the best dishes I've had in Austin.

Sep 30, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Affordable catering for birthday party

Wow that is unfortunate. I really liked Southern's as Steve and his team catered my wedding 4 months ago and food was great, inventive, and very competitive in pricing.

Sep 12, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Sichuan River

I haven't been yet but that looks like the authentic fish with pickled peppers.

Maybe they gringoed the other people.

Sep 05, 2014
lixlix in Austin
1

Round Rock Report

they are typically one day specials.

Sep 04, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Udon...

Your best bet for Udon would probably be Ajishin on Parmer Lane.

Sep 04, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Round Rock Report

Tried the brick and mortar Garbo's last week. Enjoyed it very much. Love the fact that occasionally they have Ipswitch clams.

Sep 04, 2014
lixlix in Austin

You're leaving Austin for good, take one taco with you and tell us why.

In that case I will have to try your first. Do you mean the Mi Madre on Manor?

Sep 03, 2014
lixlix in Austin

You're leaving Austin for good, take one taco with you and tell us why.

Barbacoa de chivo from La Fruta Feliz is probably my top taco.

Sep 03, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Kin and Comfort

yes but you only get radish kimchee and cabbage kimchee.

Sep 03, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Kin and Comfort

I've had the bibimbap. Its very filling. Kind of hard to screw up bibimbap too badly though.

I'm more a fan of the grilled mackerel (mackerel gui) there. Haven't had the pork bone soup there but I usually end up going to Misung 888 if I crave that particular dish.

Sep 03, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Best Bi Bim Bap

I haven't been in a while but if you want ban chan variety, you should head by Osaka Mansun Sushi on Anderson Mill/183. When I used to go, it was 8 different ban chan if you ordered any of the Korean mains even if I was a solo diner.

If you want fusion style bibimbap, the Pork Jowl dish at the Hightower is very good. Pork Jowl pieces, grilled avocado.

Sep 03, 2014
lixlix in Austin
1

Dai Due

Its certainly possible I misordered and I'll definitely give it a second try.

ieat, did you find the meat plate + crudo + queso flameado + 2 desserts to be enough food for 2 people, or did you have a few additional dishes?

Sep 02, 2014
lixlix in Austin

Dai Due

I have to echo your sentiments. Went with wife on Friday. First thing that irks me is the listing for filtered sparkling or still tap water at $3/500ml. This seems a bit steep to me. At least give a liter at this price. At the very least, offer unfiltered tap without prompting as otherwise the customer feels very awkward about having to ask for free water. To be fair, the alchohol prices are normal and we ended up getting some made to order sodas that were pretty good as we weren't in a booze mood that evening ( plum and dry lime I believe).

Got the following dishes

Fried Bluegill - $12
cured meat plate - $16
Roasted Duck Breast -$25
Supper Club Menu (came with a small app, a main, a dessert, and a coffee) - $ 35

On this day the Supper Club Menu/Plat duJour was an appetizer plate of 4 items, Guacamole, grouper escebeche, grouper ceviche, pickled shrimp.

I could have done with more fish as there seemed in total about a tablespoon full of fish. 2 medium sized pickled shrimp, and about a tablespoon of Guacamole along with some in house made totopos. The ceviche was good tasting and clean. I didn't taste enough of the escebeche to form an opinion as there was a total of 1 Starburst sized piece. The pickled shrimp was meh. Guacamole was good but again was only about 4 or 5 chips worth.

Main was a fish soup. Broth was very complex tasting and tasty with hints of being cooked from shellfish shell and fishbones. There were small flakes of whitefish. What kind of fish I couldn't say as again the flakes were about the size of a single piece of Orzo and I couldn't get much texturally. On the other hand, I guess in fear of having their diner go hungry, the soup was filled with large pieces of red potato and a large piece of grilled bread with rouille. I liked the grilled bread with rouille as it reminds me of a good bouiliabaise but having both the bread and what amounted to 2 whole red bliss potatoes makes the dish way too starch heavy. I don't want to sound like the guy in "Big Night" who complains of no seafood in the seafood risotto but in this case the soup could really have been helped with 1 or 2 mussels, 1 or 2 shrimp, a bigger piece of fish, some squid, anything....

Fried Bluegill - I'm always excited when a chef is willing to challenge the diner with something thats not perfectedly filleted/deboned/deskined, which is why I was excited to see a whole fish fried bone and all. It was also good of the waitstaff to explain to eat as much as you can as I'm sure the dish might be a bit intimidating to those not used to very boney fish. The good, very good frying with clean, nicely flavored cornmeal crust. Fish flesh was sweet signifying its freshness. The bad. The fish is a bit too thick to prepare this way as the internal bones don't get enough heat and thus are still very hard and not edible as intended. The fins of the fish at the surface is also way too hard to eat. The plate came with 1 fish and a lot of hashbrowns. Again, the fish to potato ratio is way off. Much rather it came with 2 fish and no potatoes and was charged 3 or 4 dollars more.

cured meat plate. No complaints. Great tasting selection in particular the chicken liver mousse and the Lomo. I like that everything tastes of meat instead of spice, cream, or cognac. I also like that there was a light hand with the salt. Only change would be to serve it with another bread aside from rye to let the meat shine. This isn't a pastrami sandwich where you need the heft of rye to stand up to the mound of meat. When you have something like a liver mousse or a single slice of venison ham to go with each piece of bread, you need a less overpowering bread.

Grilled Duck Breast. Great tasting duck but tough. Preparation was on point as the skin was nicely caramellized and the internals were nicely pink. Problem was, this was likely a wild duck which meant that fat content is low in the meat. The meat while having great flavor which I rarely find in farmed duck, was very very tough and often with a piece of cartilage. The portion of duck was very generous. This dish also came with a ginormous mound of mashed potatoes that was probably equivalent to 1 1/2 to 2 full sized russets.

Dessert was a very tasty Custard with figs which came with the supper club menu. No complaints on this and it was one of the better desserts I've had recently. Seems to be a slight hint of maple in the velvety custard with very fresh tasting figs on top.

Total came to about $105 before tip.

I find that Dai Due has some hits but the overall the restaurant has an inconsistent identity. Either fully embrace the nose to tail, eat with your hands vision along with the more affordable prices that this type of menu should entail or do more to accomodate your diners in order to justify the almost fine dining like prices. After all, would a hunter/butcher/locally driven chef pay for tap water however filtered it may be?

Sep 01, 2014
lixlix in Austin
2

Round Rock Report

It was large pieces but no bone.

Aug 26, 2014
lixlix in Austin