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edberliner's Profile

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Blue Willie's BBQ

I was about 8th or 9th in line this morning for my second pastrami sandwich in 8 days (I was here last week also). I have to say that it was good, but not really stellar like it was last week. I thought the flavor wasn't up to par and my meat was kind of tough unlike last week. I'll be back, just not next week, I'm giving them a few weeks to get back into form. I'm trying Zinger's next. BTW I bought two sandwiches and took one to my son-in-law who liked it, but didn't love it which I think proves my point. If he tried last weeks he would have loved it. Oh well.

Blue Willie's BBQ

Just finished eating my first (certainly not my last!) pastrami sandwich from Blue Willie's. I should say that I just finished eating as much as I could of my sandwich, I'm saving about 1/2 for dinner. My assessment: Absolutely DELICIOUS! I give it a 10 on a pastrami scale of 10. FYI I got to the place about 11:15 and was 7th in a line that stretched to about 40 by the 11:30 opening time. It was quick and painless to be number 7. I ordered mine with slaw, no mustard on an onion roll and added a side of mac and cheese. The total came to about $15.56 which I think/thought was a tad high, but the sandwich was huge, stuffed high with glorious pastrami. The slaw added a sweetness to the meat but didn't interfere with the taste or really add much to the experience. I drove from Las Olas to get my fix and took the sandwich and side back home to eat it. The roll held up fine and the mac and cheese was just as hot at home as it was when they loaded it into the container. The sandwich was hot and juicy and as previously mentioned, stacked a mile high. The meat was extremely flavorful, tender, juicy and delicious. I think it is the best Pastrami sandwich I have had, in fact I know it is. I would recommend it to anyone who asks. I have already emailed my son-in-law, a foodie all the way, and told him to take off work if he has to and get to Blue Willie's next Thursday to taste a little slice of heaven. You should too!

Blue Willie's BBQ

I had to laugh! I read all the posts about how hurt some poor shlub from down south was all bent out of shape because they wouldn't accommodate him and sell him a sample of all their meats. It occurred to me that if he seriously wanted to try them, AND pay for them, he could have gotten two 2 meat plates (if they had 4 meats for sale) or maybe even three 2 meat plates (if they had 6 meats for sale) and so on. But that didn't occur to him I guess. He just decided to leave. Glad he did! If the BBQ is good then eat it, don't whine over being told to order off of the menu. I haven't had an opportunity to try the Q around here yet, I've only been here for 2 months now and I'm still working up the nerve to give it a go. I'm from Austin, and my standards are kind of high so I'll let my palate adjust to South Florida then I'll go. I do love me some LaSpada Hoogies though, they are a real treat! I also can't seem to get enough of the sandwiches at Gran Forno, I assure you there isn't anything like them in Austin! I'll try Blue Willie's soon, but I'm still trying to figure out why exactly Pastrami is classified as BBQ. I guess if Skyline can call their spaghetti "chili" then Blue Willie's can call a pastrami sandwich BBQ. I'll let you know what I think this Thursday if I am lucky enough to get a sandwich.

Best Calamari

I ate at Canyon Café Friday and everything was fabulous! But the standout was the calamari, it was the best I've had, although that isn't really saying much since I don't eat much calamari. Canyon's was sweet, tender, and gone too fast. I'm curious if anyone has had a similar experience? Can you suggest other great calamari dishes in the area? If so, I'll give them a go, I might just have discovered something else I like. Thanks.

Best Meatballs /meatball hero in Ft Lauderdale?

No, I'm a better one, new to the area, here from one of the best food towns in the country, Austin, Tx.

Best Meatballs /meatball hero in Ft Lauderdale?

Ate at Noodles Panini on Tuesday the 16th and had spaghetti and meatballs in order to try the meatballs. I found the dish lacking. The meatballs were what people apparently call "tender", but I would call them mushy. How tough can some ground beef be after all? The sauce was just ok, so I would rate the whole dish fair and the meatballs average at best. We did try the bruchetta which I would call exceptional. The presentation was amazing, the size was phenomenal! I would recommend going before 7, have a 1/2 price glass of wine and 1/2 price bruchetta and you'll be more than happy. That is about the only way they will get me back.

Where I have recently eaten in Austin and what I wish I can get

Had the pleasure of eating at Barlata's last night and it was exceptional. The atmosphere was delightful, the waitress was knowledgeable and extremely helpful, and the food was terrific. Don't miss the lamb chops, pass on the paella, make them tell you about their happy hour if you are there timely, and enjoy, I know we all did.

Rehearsal Dinner in The Woodlands

Help! My son is getting married, we thought it was going to be in Galveston in August, but he just called to say it would be in March in The Woodlands. We need to put on a dinner Friday night for about 40 people. Price isn't necessarily a factor, we need a nice place with a room that can hold 40 to 60. Any suggestions????

Jan 01, 2014
edberliner in Houston

Flour and Vine disappoints

We ate at Flour and Vine last night and to call it mediocre is really giving it too much credit. We started with the lettuce wrap appetizer which was bad. I think the chicken had turned a couple of days ago but they still used her! I had the surf and turf, 3 or 4 lousy shrimp and a filet that was no more than 1/2 inch thick and perhaps 3 oz. It was cooked medium, but apparently had been cooked long before being served. The put a pat of butter on top to melt over the meat, unfortunately there was no heat in the meat and the butter didn't even start to melt. The waitress never inquired about anything, just went about her rounds. I'd call the service fair, and the food lacking. My wife's red fish or red snapper or whatever it was suppose to be was ok, not great, not good, but edible. The décor is fair, but on closer inspection is a little sad a little worn, a little lacking. We used a groupon which could explain the lousy food, maybe they were saving the real stuff for the full paying customers, but hey, if you didn't want me to use my groupon why sell it to me. I expect the same food regardless, apparently I didn't get it, cause I'd hate to think this is how they really cook.

Jul 31, 2013
edberliner in Austin

El Paso - hidden gems? hole in the walls? must haves? anything healthy?

I just got back last week from my trip to El Paso and pulled up your post again. I ate at L & J Cafe and it was excellent, a very pleasant, fun, and flavorful experience. I enjoyed their chile con queso which was vaguely reminiscent of the queso at the old Florida club in Juarez circa 1965. I also ate at H & H, and, as usual, found it to be delicious!!! (juevos rancheros are stellar) But here is one must try place and one ought to try place for you. You MUST try the Chicken Marsala at Pasta Avanti. See my review just posted for further information. the ought to try is Dona Lupe on the east side across the street from what is now a police station but was always Sears when I was growing up. I had the green chile con carne with 2 eggs over medium (fyi they overcooked my eggs slightly), rice and beans which was very good. The others had eggs machada (I'm sure I spelled that wrong) which consisted of two eggs cooked to order over flat enchiladas. It was probably better than mine. The place is nice, the service is excellent, the chef is probably the owner's mom! (or the owner herself). I'd put both of these places on my list for sure, but I'd go to Pasta Avanti when it opens at 12 this Sunday, go early and you can probably make it back for dinner!

Jun 02, 2013
edberliner in Texas

Best Chicken Marsala I've had!

I rarely rave about a restaurant in El Paso (other than H & H carwash of course) but the Chicken Marsala I had at Pasta Avanti off Mesa on the west side of El Paso last weekend was beyond heavenly, it was memorable! I am still upset that I ordered the 1/2 order! The sauce is thin, not thick like most Marsala Sauces I have had. I would call it subtle, flavorful, and most likely habit forming. The restaurant itself is rather pedestrian in décor and layout. I believe that the owner/chef worked at Bella Napoli for years and most of the offerings are probably similar to what she was taught on. I thought the service was A+. The small dinner salad was flavorful and fresh, but really nothing at all special. The star of the show was the main dish. I believe they serve a toasted buttered bun type bread with all meals, but fortunately we ordered another order. To say that I sopped up every drop is to say the truth! My dining partners had eggplant parmesan, a dish that I don't like in general since I don't like eggplant, but they did. None left on either plate. Go, try the Chicken Marsala and let me know what you think......am I right?

Jun 02, 2013
edberliner in Texas

Fun night at the Buenos Aires Cafe

I didn't have time to ask you hounds about where to eat in Bee Caves, it was Sunday, my oldest son was taking my wife and me out to eat for the first time in his life, and we had to meet the middle kid out in Bee Caves where he works. He didn't get off until 8 which is really late for my wife and me, so we decided to meet him when he got off rather than wait until he drove all the way to Central Austin to meet us! Long story short, I chose the Buenos Aires Cafe after researching the restaurant scene in Bee Caves, and I'm really happy that I did. I had a blast! First the place is very inviting, nicely done, intimate, clean, happy! There was a 2 piece band setting up as we walked in which could have spelled disaster. My wife absolutely hates noise. If the place is loud she is miserable and, consequently, so are we. We asked to be seated as far away from the music as possible, and they obliged by seating is in the back which isn't all that far from the front. Our waiter was friendly and knowledgeable and assured us that our cheese plate would come out first, the empenadas when we looked ready, and our entres when the appetizers disappeared. He was right on the mark all night! Drinks were as ordered and generous. The cheese plate was to die for. A fantastic Blue cheese, excellent brie, asiago as well as a bowl of honey, grapes and candied pecans made for a spectacular start. In fact, had I known, I would have ordered another cheese plate as my entre! The empenadas were stellar, mine was spicey meat and the others had spinach with ricota. The chimichuri they served along side was stellar, just amazing. I could have had a shot or two of it by itself. I had the sheppards pie which was good, not great, but certainly a worthy choice. My wife had a mixed green salad with a chicken breast and was very happy with the choice. She hates greasy food and this was not at all! When she's happy we are all happy. The boys food wasn't as noteworty, one had the pork chop which looked great but was a tad overcooked (his fault, he ordered it medium, he should have just left it to the chef's discretion), one had the veal cutlet which was a bit tough but good, and the portion was large enough to take half home. The star of the night, however, was the band. There were two guys, one with a cowboy hat, white snap button shirt, jeans and guitar, the other, a white haired gentleman with a sports coat, slacks and dress shirt and violin. I was intrigued. They finished setting up about the time our drinks arrived then started playing...to say they were fantastic is an understatement. They were accomplished musicians and the crowd at the place appreciated every note. Their name is Flamenco Symphony and they were well worth the listen. Check out their website, flemencosymphony.com. They weren't loud, just fabulous! I would drive to Bee Caves again just to hear them play. All in all we had a wonderful evening at Buenos Aires Cafe and I would recommend it without reservation.

Dec 23, 2012
edberliner in Austin

H & H Car Wash and Coffee Shop, El Paso....simply the best

I can't stop smiling! My kids are on a trip to El Paso to visit their aged grandmother. I suggested they eat at least one breakfast at H & H, and, thankfully, they did! Their review can be summed up in one word....DELICIOUS. Its a dump, no two ways around that, but what a dump. The juevos rancheros are transcendant, as is just about everything they crank out. I quizzed each kid separately and the result was exactly the same, they loved it. My oldest, age 31 fancies himself a chef, and he raved, my youngest, age 27 lives in Florida and is a real foodie, she's actually eaten at Jok's Kitchen in Bangkok, and her review: "Great recommendation, the juevos rancheros were DELISH." My middle son, age 29 is a picky eater, a bacon and eggs man, which is what he ordered, and he loved them. If you aren't impressed by the surroundings, but rather by the food, then please do yourself a favor and go the H & H. Tell Kenneth Haddad I said hello!

Dec 15, 2012
edberliner in Texas

Monty's vs. Joe's

My kids are taking us to eat Stone Crabs at the end of October (we live in Austin, TX). I spent time in Coconut Grove years ago and actually loved Monty's, better than Joe's. I thought the crabs were great, and I loved Monty's Ceasar salad. I'm curious if anyone has a preference or if Monty's is still good (or ever was), or should I let the kids take us to Joe's? Thanks in advance for the advice.

One lunch in Chinatown

San Francisco

One lunch in Chinatown

I'm passing through on the way to the wine country on a Wednesday in late June. My wife and I have but 1 meal which I would like to be in Chinatown, although I could be swayed. My only requirements are that it be reasonably priced and non-chain. I am not much of a seafood lover although my wife is. With those perameters could you steer me in the right direction?

Curious about Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa area

You have never steered me wrong in all my visits to San Francisco so I'll bother you one more time. This time I'm heading up 101 to ultimately end up in Healdsburg for a wedding, but before that I have one evening in Rohnert Park and one in Santa Rosa. I have the wine tastings all set, but I'd like any suggestions you might have for dinner in the Rohnert Park area. I thought we'd eat at Johnny Garlic's in Santa Rosa the second night because I am a major Diners Drive-Ins and Dives fan, but I would listen to reason if something good is close by. Thanks as always.

San Francisco to Healdsburg

I'm a loyal Chowhound from Austin, Tx. I fly to S.F. on the morning of Wednesday, June 20th then have to be in Healdsburg by Friday at 5:00 p.m. for a wedding. Of course my question is where should I go, what should I eat, where should I stay? Should I drive out of San Francisco for a night or stay in your lovely city for 2 nights? I've been there before, but not for 20 years, so I'm guessing its changed a tad. Feed back is appreciated. Thanks.

What a great lunch at Arkie's Grill

I've lived in Austin almost 40 years and just made my first pilgramage to Arkie's Grill way out east on Ceasar Chavez. I loved it. The setting was Austin mid 60's, the food was fantastic diner food. My friend and I both had the chicken fried steak with 3 out of the 4 sides (we skipped the okra which was probably a mistake). 3 sides at Arkies is a nice sized salad, fresh, cool refreshing; a baked potato with butter, and black eyed peas. Do not miss the black eyed peas, they are marvelous. Next time I'm skipping the baked potato and opting for two helpings of the peas. The chicken fried is excellent. Fried to a crispy perfection, beaten till its tender, nice tasting beef and excellent crust. The gravy was also diner delicious. I think it was yellow but who knows. The rolls were first rate. And the service....top notch...A++. I loved our waitress and she seems to enjoy what she does for a living. She was a delight. Come to think of it I enjoyed the food but I'll go back for the waitress. I only wish I remembered her name, she deserves kudos! If you have a friend in town for a day or two and want to do lunch in an old Austin institution that will not dissappoint, do yourself a favor and venture east ot the freeway near the Montopolis bridge and fall in love with Arkie's. For what its worth, this place is cross between a diner and a dive....either way its fun.

Oct 07, 2011
edberliner in Austin

Who makes Empanadas

My son, who is a very very picky eater, recently ate empanadas at an Argentinian restaurant in El Paso. He loved them! (as he generally loves anything we can get him to try, which hasn't been very much until recently). They were stuffed with Roquefort cheese, celery and pecans. Is there anyone in our area that makes such a thing? His birthday is this Sunday and I'd like to take him wherever you come up with to recreate his cullinary experience. Thanks.

Oct 06, 2011
edberliner in Austin

They're back baby!

They have put in a nice new floor, added some blinds for the windows, but otherwise it remains the same old funky Sunflower! It smells as great as I remembered, and the ladies are all glad to see their old customers. I wish I could talk my wife into going back again tonight.

May 10, 2011
edberliner in Austin

They're back baby!

There is a God! My prayers have been answered, Sunflower reopened. They are as good as, or better than ever and just in time, I was in bad need of a basil chicken fix. We ate spring rolls and a crepe as well as lemon grass shrimp and the aforementioned basil chicken. We brought a bottle of cheap merlot that went great with the food and conversation. What a pleasure to see the ladies of Sunflower, and to talk to happy diners at other tables to see what they missed these last few months. If you havent' eaten at Sunflower you owe your stomach a treat. The place looks great and the food tastes marvelous!!!

May 09, 2011
edberliner in Austin

Snow's OMG!

I'm a little late to the party I know, but I finally got to Snow's. My daughter's fiance has been asking to go for the last year so I finally woke the crew up at 7, climbed into the car at 7:45 and made the drive to Lexington. First I have to say that if you lived in Austin on Saturday the 16th of April you were lucky indeed. It was a glorious day. If you were lucky enough to be in Lexington at 8:45 on the same day you were blessed! It was amazing. The place is a little jewel half way between Bryan and here. It is a typical small Texas town. Snow's itself is just like I envisioned. It was quaint is the best way to put it. We were early I guess because there really wasn't a crowd. Inside there was one couple ahead of us and 4 people eating. Outside there were about 10 people chowing down. We ordered the brisket, half lean, half wet, half a rack of ribs, and a link of jalapeno sausage. One of the ladies behind the counter told us we really needed to try the pork shoulder and proceeded to cut off a chunk for us to sample. It was excellent, but I was dying to try the brisket. We got our utensils, out beans, our pickles jalapenos and onions and made it to our table. I tried the lean first. Great, but I wouldn't be writing this if that was as far as I got. Thank God for my soon to be son-in-law, he talked us into the wet brisket. It was transendant...I really need a thesauras to look up a better way to say unbelievable because it was in a completely different league than any brisket I have eaten. Let me just say that I have been to Luling and Lockhart and Taylor and Elgin and I've eaten at all of the best BBQ joints those cities have and this brisket was so far and away better that it wasn't even a contest. Absolutely positively the best I have ever tasted. I forced myself to try the Jalapeno sausage and I was amazed at how good it was. It was in the same league as the Brisket. We weren't sure that we would be able to eat much BBQ for breakfast but we could and did! I loved every morsel. When we finished we got two links of sausage and 1/2 a chicken to go and went outside to take pictures of the pit. Everyone who worked there was as nice as nice can be, and every person who made the drive from Houston or College Station or wherever was as happy as could be. I smiled all the way back to Elgin where my S-I-L to be made us stop at Southside Market to sample the brisket...not even close...good mind you, but like comparing the Round Rock Express to the New York Yankees, different game, different league. Do yourself a giant favor before it gets too hot and go to Snow's, you'll be soooooo thankful.

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Snow's Barbeque
516 Main St, Lexington, TX 78947

Apr 16, 2011
edberliner in Austin

Second Bar & Kitchen / Bar Congress

I don't usually get involved in food fights, but I felt like I had to respond to malarkey and Pmd669 just to defend the honor of those of us who do get Hut's and do enjoy the fries at Hyde Park. First of all, to get Hut's you sort of have to get Austin. Hut's has only been around since 1939...that my friend is staying power. It must be doing something right or it would be history, just like Second Bar and Kitchen will be in five years. I promise you, nobody will remember what was at Second and Congress in 2011 when the calendar strikes 2083, but Austinites are still eating burgers from Hut's 72 years after its founding. It has been under the same ownership for a mere 30 years. By the way malarkey they use fresh ground beef, never frozen, purchased locally from Johnny G's meat market in South Austin. I've only lived here for 47 years so I am a relative newcomer, but I get it. I'm happy there is a new vibe here and I'm thrilled that Second street is vibrant and awash with young upwardly mobile hipsters, but don't knock what you don't understand. As for the fries at Hyde Park, well they only get voted best fries in Austin year after year, but then they have only been working on them for 29 years. I'll go out on a limb here and tell you that they aren't frozen. I'm guessing that if they drizzeled a little motor oil on them and charged you double, and served them at Second Kitchen you'd rave. Maybe not, but maybe so. If you don't get Austin, I feel for you. If you do then rejoice with a burger at Hut's and fries at Hyde Park...and maybe have a soft cone at Sandy's for dessert. Then walk up to Zilker and take a dip, or maybe over to Lady Bird Lake and take a hike, or maybe up to Mount Bonnell and take in the view. Get with the program.

Apr 12, 2011
edberliner in Austin

Second Bar & Kitchen / Bar Congress

What a disapointment! First impression was the design, poor...I was less than impressed, it should have been cutting edge or edgy or at least impressive, but it was the opposite. I did think the waitresses and hostesses were extremely attractive, but even that didn't help. Next impression...who in the hell calls a Lone Star Long Neck beer a Pilsner....and who pays $5 for the pleasure of drinking on? You can buy the brewery for $10. But there it is on the bar menu...oh well, it was the best thing I tried all night. We started by asking what some of the appetizers were, the descriptions were not all that helpful. Our waiter pointed out that we probably wouldn't understand...we'd have to try them. We passed. We opted for the overpriced and poorly described guacamole...they call it something else. The won tons they serve with it were the opposite of crispy...tough and stale, and the dish itself was rather bland, also no hot sauce to go with it. I'm from here, I know guacamole and this stuff was a weak offering. Next up, fried pickles. They were ok, nothing to write home about. There were a bunch of them and we ate them but I wouldn't walk across the street to get a serving. Last appetizer was the fries. I guess the star of the dish was suppose to be the truffle salt, but in my humble opinion they can't hold a candle to the fries at Hyde Park Bar and Grill. The entres were even weaker. I split a pizza, the burrata cheese and short rib variety as well as the bacon and egg small plate with one of our dining partners. We both agreed that the pizza was lousy. It could have used about 3 more minutes in the oven, then it might have rated a 6 on a Mr. Gattis 10 scale...come on guys get your act together. I guess it was a spare rib pizza, but you couldn't tell from the miniscule portion of spare rib meat decorating the pool of runny burrata cheese. Made me wonder...guys could you spare a rib? The bacon and egg plate was just ok. I guess I'm spoiled, I just got back from New Orleans and had probably the most amazing pork belly appetizer ever at Commander's Palace, their Pig and Peach dish. Second Bar's take on the belly was second rate. The only real flavor came from the tomato jam which was fine, but not note worthy. Oh well, live and learn. I sampled the burger which was fair, not as good as a Hut's burger or even one from the Tavern. I tried the chicken which was ok, but tell me, where in the world do they make these little chickens? Maybe it was a chick and not a chicken...who knows. Again I'd rate it a 5 or maybe a 6. The meat balls looked good, but I didn't even ask to try them. And the Brussel Sprout side was demoralizing. It appeared to this observer as if they had taken one sprout and deconstructed it, cooked it, and haphazardly thrown it on a plate. Not only was it miniscule it was unappetizingly presented. One rave so you won't think I'm ragging on the place too much, and that was the gin and jelly drink (don't remember the actual name). It was A+. Take a shot of gin, over ice, and stir in a spoon of Mango jelly and there you have it. Very refreshing and yummy. Would I go back? No. Would I recommend the place? No. Was it overpriced? Yes. Was it overhyped? Yes. Still, its on 2nd street, and that's a plus, because if you aren't into 6th street then there isn't a better avenue in the Americas to walk down on a cool Spring night on the way to a concert at the W!

Mar 27, 2011
edberliner in Austin

Thanks New Orleans!

I happen to be a nut for a vietnamese restaurant in a shopping center at Ohlen and 183 called Sun Flower. Try the crepe (not what you envision a crepe to be), basil chicken or shrimp, fried shrimp over garlic noodles (I forget the name of the dish but it is superb, they will know what you are asking for) then anything else on the menu that catches your fancy, its all good. Franklin's BBQ on east 11th is just opening. It was a trailer venue but was so popular he had to go bricks and mortar to hold the crowd, some say its the best BBQ in Austin, hence the world. For fine dining Olivia's is excellent, but I would prefer Jeffrey's if you want to go with the best. It has consistently been Austin's fine dining option. For a taste of the real heart of austin try Magnolia Cafe on Lake Austin Blvd. Its just a breakfast dive, but you'll see everyone there. I happen to love a new dump for breakfast called Paco's Tacos on 51st street just east of IH35. They have amazing breakfast tacos and delicious green and or red sauce to load on them. For lunch, if you are a Camilia grill fan try Dirty Martin's on Guadalupe around 26th street, its been there forever, and if your restaurant is called Dirty's it has to be doing something funky. If you want to venture out of downtown a little you might try hitting The Oasis for drinks just before sunset but please don't eat there. The view of Lake Travis is intoxicating but the food sucks. Drink there then try one of the new restaurants in the complex, or drive down the road just a little to Steiner's Steakhouse for a great Texas steak (I make better steaks on my grill than anyplace in town, but Steiner's is fun and has a view also.) Actually, if you are out on 2222 anyway one of the best restaurants in the area is just down the highway a tad, called Hudson's on the Bend. It is famous for exotic game and truly an excellent choice. That gives you a few options. I forgot to mention two of my favorites that are downtown or near the Arboretum, Z-Tejas or Eddie V's, can't go wrong with either one of those for a nice dinner. Finally, if you are looking for an Austin Tex-Mex experience go with Maude's but if you want an excellent interior mexican dinner go to Fonda San Miguel on Hancock around 49th street. It is really a nice place, great reviews, consistently top rate. Thats a few of my favorite recommendations, if I left anything out just ask. Ed in Austin

Mar 18, 2011
edberliner in New Orleans

Looking for the best pork belly dish

Try the pork and peach appetizer at Commander's Palace, it could be one of the best things I've eaten that isn't Texas BBQ. If you want a pork belly dish that makes you want to drive 9 hours back to NOLA just to taste it again, then you want to try this one.

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Commander's Palace Restaurant
1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

Mar 15, 2011
edberliner in New Orleans

Thanks New Orleans!

Just back from a whirlwind weekend in New Orleans and all I can say is THANK YOU! My new friends on the New Orleans board steered me right for sure!! We started the weekend at Irene's, a delight. The Veal Marsala was beyond delicious. The appetizers were intoxicating. We had baked oyster's, cheese and spinach ravioli and a crab gratin, one better than the next. The duck was delicious, and the seafood ciapino was gone before my wife let me taste! Probably the best meal we had all weekend, but the rest were none too shabby. No time for breakfast on Saturday, damn! But we did lunch at the new Camilia grill in the quarter. I wouldn't recommend it if you have a good greasy spoon burger dive in your hometown (I'm from Austin, and Dirty's is better), but it was fun, fast and inexpensive. We had beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Mon and Oysters and shrimp at Acme before our dinner at Commander's Palace. Don't tell the Commander, but Irene's was far and away better, but again, our worst meal in NOLA was fantastic, so no complaints. The pork belly and peach appetizer, by the way, was the best of all the great food we had, unfortunately, the entre's were great, not GREAT, so... Finally, we had brunch Sunday at Atchafalaya's which was really fun, really delicious, no wait for our reservations, great service although the coffee could have been hotter. We ate till we popped from Friday night till noon on Sunday, then we piled in the car and drove home. Now its diet time again, but well worth it. Thanks New Orleans and thanks to all you great people on the New Orleans board for all the suggestions. It was a blast! (if you are ever in Austin I'll steer you right, just ask and I'll take you from Franklin's BBQ to Sun Flower, from Paco's Tacos to Vino...we have places too!)

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Commander's Palace Restaurant
1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

Mar 15, 2011
edberliner in New Orleans

Sammy's Seafood Restaurant--is it worth it for lunch with a half off coupon?

We'll be in NOLA this Saturday and need a quick answer...should I buy the 1/2 off coupon on Groupon for Sammy's Seafood Restaurant on Bourbon street. We have dinner plans at Commander's and Brunch on Sunday at Atchafalaya's but I am curious if I should waste my lunch meal on Sammy's? If the price is right and the food is good I'll do it, if not I'll eat elsewhere...please let me know before I by the deal.

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Sammy's Seafood Restaurant
627 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Mar 05, 2011
edberliner in New Orleans

So, I'm moving to Austin...

If I were you, the first place I'd try is Sunflower just off of Ohlen and 183. I've tried Vietnamese around the city and state and its my humble opinion that Sunflower is the best, by a large margin. I can't get enough of about 10 different dishes, for example they make an amazing crepe (at least that's what they call it), they make amazing spring rolls, they make delectible basil chicken, and basil shrimp. They make a dynamite fried shrimp on garlic noodles that trancend the noodle experience. My mouth is watering so much I that my keyboard is getting wet! Sunflower is simple yet complex and simply delicious. (by the way it is a dumpy little place in a shopping center with oodles of good oriental food, not the least of which is an oriental BBQ place that is heavenly but the name escapes me.)

Feb 20, 2011
edberliner in Austin