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El Arbol

We had a mixed experience here when my husband and I went this past Saturday night. Originally we were a group of 7 and decided to call with the off chance that they had a table. Without even telling them how many were in our group, they claimed there were no tables available and wouldn't be all night. My husband and I ended up separating from the other 5, and decided to take our chances that there was a table. When we arrived they did claim they would have a table and it would be ready in about 10 minutes.

When they showed us to our table, we walked by empty table after empty table. It was very offputting to have been told there were no empty seats (or to be made to wait 10 min.) and then to see so many empty tables. It was obvious the restaurant seating was too large for the kitchen or they were grossly understaffed. If it was the latter, it would have been nice they told us this. If it was the former, it seems to me that they should rearrange the seating area so there aren't so many empty tables at a time.

When we got to our table, we felt very uncomfortable. We coudn't hear each other talk, the air conditioner was blowing in our face, and the chairs were quite uncomfortable. We asked the waiter if we could move outside and he very easily accomodated our request. Once outside our evening improved, much due to our great waiter and the quiet ambiance of the patio.

We ordered a bunch of small plates... the meat, cheese, and olive plate, the melon salad, two empanadas, and the gnochi. All was delicious, except for the meat, cheese, and olive plate which was not too impressive. My husband loves olives but couldn't stand the orange (rind) infused olives. They really should state that on the menu that the olives are orange infused. He would not have ordered it if he knew.

We will probably go back (as we live pretty close by), though probably not for some time and only when it is the perfect temperature for patio seating.

Aug 22, 2011
batyaanna in Austin

Non-traditional "Austiny" venue for wedding ceremony and reception

We are getting married at Cedar Street Courtyard and doing our reception at Malaga Tapas and Bar. While, the wedding hasn't happened yet, so far it is looking to work out great logistically and with awesome food. We are looking at 135 people. The nice thing about doing it at a bar or restaurant is that they just require a minimum food+beverage order... so the whole rental cost of the venue goes toward food+drink. You could do the whole thing at Cedar Street and have Peche cater the food... but what you get for the cost goes much further at Malaga than Peche. We are having a few appetizers from Peche during cocktail hour at Cedar Street then moving to Malaga for more appetizers and Tapas for dinner. Our rain plan is to move the whole thing to Malaga.

We wanted to have our wedding downtown. I did a major search of restaurants and venues downtown... and there arent many. While there are a lot of restaurants the bigger ones that can hold a bunch of people tend to be on the more expensive side or not have good food.

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Peche
208 W 4th Street, Austin, TX 07739

Oct 01, 2010
batyaanna in Austin

roaring fork in north austin

We decided to hit up the Roaring Fork in North Austin for Happy Hour this past Friday. We went specifically for the Big Ass Burgers and were quite disappointed to find that they were not on the North Austin HH Menu!!! Since we were only there for the burgers we left immediately and raced to their downtown location. We made it in time and had some delicious burgers... I am very picky when it comes to my thick burger and I have tried a bunch in Austin. So far Roaring Fork wins hands down.

So, don't plan to go to the North Austin location if you want the Big Ass Burger. I would also suggest calling ahead to make sure that your other favorite HH items are on that menu. Hopefully word will get out to Roaring Fork that their Big Ass Burger is very much missed from the menu and they will add it back in (I think it was on the menu originally)... but until then I will continue to head downtown.

Jun 24, 2009
batyaanna in Austin

House Pizzeria on Airport Blvd.

While I can not speak to the in-house dining experience, I can speak to the take-out experience and have to completely disagree with all of the previous replies.

We ordered the Margarita and Pepperoni pizza for take-out last week and were very disappointed. The pizza was soggy and burnt. The margarita was close to in-edible, while the pepperoni on the pepperoni pizza was tasty but did not make-up for the greesy, soggy, burnt mess that composed the rest of the pizza.

I have to admit that the pizza did remind me of the pizza I had in Italy, so in that case it does resemble Italian pizza. However, it reminded me more of the tourist-trapped pizza places that catered to ignorant tourists rather than the more authentic establishments.

Apr 27, 2009
batyaanna in Austin