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professor_ted's Profile

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Steiner Ranch - Am I Missing Something?

Definately a strong second to the Los Pinos - try their melt-in-your-mouth-o-licious carnitas. You're lucky to be so close to that little gem of a place !!

Jan 02, 2008
professor_ted in Austin

Feed Me Feed Me Feed Me Feed Me Feed Me Feed Me

Even though I was there last Sunday while two gentlemen waited no joke 1 hour for an eleven-taco call-in / take-out (they just lost the order and then took 30 min. on the reorder), the Fajitas Guajillo (pork) at Polvo's brought me joy more often than any other dish in town in 2007.

Jan 02, 2008
professor_ted in Austin

Oasis survival tips?

the mushroom enchiladas pass as food but every time I've been there the service basically stunk. I take out of towners to Oasis for cocktails and a couple photos, but prefer the Hill Country view on the deck at BerryHill with a grilled fish taco. Sure, no water, but what looks like a 20 mile view westward.

Dec 23, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

BBQ sleeper? Buffalo Habanero Smoked Sausage at Whole Foods

I've now been to the BBQ stand in the 6th st Whole Foods several times over the last few months and find myself unable to leave without a quarter pound each of the smoked pork (boston butt I assume) and a link of the peppered sausage du jour (6 bucks if that, lasts all day, no carbs). Every time the pork falls apart with a "decent" level of smokiness (not of the depth of any Lockhart joint) and melts in the mouth. No bread, no sauce, it's delicious. But wow, the buffalo habanero sausage rivals what was my favorite until they ruined it with cheese - the Jalapeno Sausage from Black's. I'm not a fan of sausages that leave an Exxon Valdez oil spill on the plate (I'd rather get the fat from the pork or brisket or ribs). It's my new benchmark in Austin proper.

I ordered a bunch of the pork and sausage for a holiday party - and 2 indian "almost vegetarian" chicken eaters couldn't lay off the sausage, and hardly touched the smoked chickens.

Dec 23, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

It's Time To Lard Up

I live so close that the fried crispy pork chop at Din Ho is always my favorite quick high fat offering. The batter isn't thick, or that spicy, but there's a flavor in there that I remain stumped by that just makes those boneless fried morsels of fat lined chops among my favorite of their menu offerings. they're served on a bed of lettuce sprinkled with jalapeno / sauteed red bell peppers. I'd love someone to decipher that spice - I'm stumped. not hot, but fundamental.

Dec 07, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

Anyone been to Mariscos Tampico on N. Lamar?

A native Mexican that works with me recommends Mariscos Tampico for good interior Mexican seafood dishes, any hounds have thoughts / impressions of this place?

Oct 30, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

New Strip Center: Braker @ N. Lamar

There's a place that the same Chinese couple here at work that highly recommended AsiaCafe, say is their new favorite chinese food in Austin for authenticity - it's China BBQ or something akin to that. It's in that North Lamar China Village place you're talking about with the huge Market in the back. I haven't yet been, but it's on my list. I haven't tried the Thai or Viet offerings though.

Aug 04, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

Smitty's Brisket reigns supreme by WSJournal?

Yeah, MPH, as I recall at least. I'm almost sure that's right. You'll go about a mile from the highway, over a river, pass a grocery on your right and it's just next to that also on the right. really good 'cue. I bet when we speak of the holy trinity of BBQ between Llano, Lockhart, and Luling, that most any little town in Texas can probably rival or beat these. But I'm trying City Market for the first time tomorrow, can't wait.

Aug 04, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

Smitty's Brisket reigns supreme by WSJournal?

Absolutely agree MPH . . . chains aren't by definition bad (usually are), it just takes all the romance out of eating, especially when such insane 'cue can be had be most of these dives.

And on that note, I was out in Smithville a few weeks ago and happened to by around for lunch so I searched for 'cue and found Zimmerhanzel's Bar-B-Que downtown (a tiny town) at about 11:30 am on a weekday (a perfect time for getting the best picks). I have to say that it was the best sausage so far I've tried in Texas - really meaty and with a small grain texture but not greasy - and had an excellent smoked and spiced flavor. I love fat brisket but can't seem to stomach a link with 6 TBSP of oil dripping out of it. Their brisket was first rate too, as were the ribs. Definately worth a stop.

Jul 31, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

Hudson's On The Bend Update PLEASE

When the Elk backstrap (espresso and cascabel rub if my memory serves) smoked then grilled is on, it's difficult to find meat that more delicately melts in one's mouth, a touch of crab above, and shiner bock mashed pots below, it can be an amazing dish. I've found no 'gamey' overtones in that dish after 4 tries. Perhaps though, like many intense stimuli tend to be, the first may have been **perceived at least ** the best.

Jul 29, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

happy hour / food recommendations

I haven't been in a while, but my crew and I from UT would go over to the Roaring Fork (Stephen F. Austin Hotel) and mack on a HUGE cheeseburger for 6.95, half price appetizers till 7 or 7:30 pm. Get the scallop app (nice grilled scallops over spiced up cheese grits with a great sauce), the burger, the doctor pepper ribs, or the pork stew. All are great, and the drinks are 1 or 2 bucks off or more, can't recall. The burger and its fries will feed two just fine. It's always packed, but usually we've snagged 3 to 4 seats at the very nice bar. Good lighting too.

Jul 29, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

Smitty's Brisket reigns supreme by WSJournal?

That is amusing Diva. And I'm always just a tad shy of driving the hour to Luling to hit the Market, but from all I've read I hear the ribs there are difficult to top anywhere around austin or Lockhart, and that the brisket's pretty darn good too. The prime rib at Smitty's is awfully special and is a nice contrast to the brisket in texture. Not sure if it's better, but it's great.

Jul 29, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

BEST Lobster Roll

Passadumkeg we've BBQ down here that will make you cry cooked slowly over wood all morning. You must search breakfast tacos, migas, brisket, carnitas, cochinita pibil, tamalies, fajitas for the hounds' favorites down here, and www.hudsonsonthebend.com, vespaio (italian), smitty's in lockhart, polvo's, and www.asiamarket.com for some great restaurants in town and close by. we will have reviews on all that on the austin board. cheers!

Best brats in the area ?

I guess Bratwurst aren't very popular here.

Jul 23, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

Smitty's Brisket reigns supreme by WSJournal?

Hey all, just wanted to alert you that Smitty's brisket in Lockhart came up first in national BBQ tour by a Wall Street Journal writer Raymond Sokolov. He samped pork and beef BBQ around the country and in texas went to Smitty's and Kreuz. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB11831...

Of all, Smitty's came out on top.

I have to agree with his assessment, but Black's, Sam's, and Ben's all put out delicious meat. My favorite brisket has for 3 years been the now sadly defunct after multi attempts John Mueller's in Austin and Bastrop. Sad that guy couldn't keep a business running. And his sausage was first rate too.

Jul 23, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

BEST Lobster Roll

I'm an Austin TX foodie that just spent an idyllic few days going from Portsmouth up to Edgecomb ME and on to Greenville at Moosehead in search of my favorite lobster roll. I'd read about Red's Eats in Wiscasset, so we stopped there first. It was 14 bucks and came undressed on a sort of hoagie bun. They claim it's a pound of meat - it was close. And not just claw. Great lobster, but the roll was better at our next stop in Sprucehead on up the coast at Miller's Lobster Company. Really quaint and surrounded by water on 3 sides. Theirs was maybe 12 bucks, maybe 1/3 lb meat, and came on a Wonder Bread made sort of hot dog roll (is this portuguese roll?) with white not brown crust sides. Bread was Toasted, buttered, and the meat dressed with a bit of mayo. Delicious. THEN, we ventured from there into northern interior and made way through Newport ME and stopped at a the DOG HOUSE DRIVE IN, a little hot dog stand off the west side of RT 7. Bill, the owner, makes the best lobster roll we tried. A good 1/2 lb of meat for 8 bucks, very lightly dressed with a mayo sort of dressing and a pinch of some type of seasoning over the top (maybe celery seed). The roll was again the wonder bread type buttered and toasted, spread along the bottom with mayo, and a dark green single piece of great lettuce held the meat. The flavor was out of this world and the combination just right. They're open 11-4 Mon - Sat. So good I asked for his card. Nothing in Greenville came close. You New Englanders are lucky - we've nothing like that here in Texas - but the brisket is quite special.

Charcuterie in Austin?

A friend of mine here from Sardinia served me that dish a few years back and it's just one of those tearfully simple and brilliant combinations. I too must run to try Enoteca's version! Even just lemon and olive oil makes it perfect since the meat's so salty to begin with.

Jul 14, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

Foodheads-- Why bother

the gypsy grove is the one that keeps me up at night craving. a great combination! everything else there could fail and i'd still go there for that delightfully caloric treat.

Jul 14, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

Charcuterie in Austin?

mmm - I'm hungry for my favorite charcuterie I've not had in a long while - microthin sliced brasaola (beef) laid out on a nice platter drizzled simply with fresh squeezed lemon, olive oil, shaved parmesan, and some crunchy soft bread.

Jul 14, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

Best brats in the area ?

The hot dog thread has gotten me craving Brats. I've been looking for great ones to bring home and grill but have yet to be amazed by central market and whole foods over the standard mass market fare - Johnsonvilles. I'd drive an hour one weekend to get a great version - any recs?

Jul 14, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

crispy fish at asia cafe (asiamarket) rocks

Yet another take on the spicy fish fillet. The take out version seems a LOT more capsaicin loaded and hotter than the in house version. Anyone else notice that?

Still ridiculously good though.

Jul 14, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

First time in Austin.....from NYC.. [Moved from Texas board]

if you have a car take a 30 min. drive for lunch one day to smitty's in Lockhart by going south on highway 183. 7th street due east will hook up with 183, take a right and follow it south. Once in Lockhart you can't miss it on your right once you enter town, its' right on the highway set off the road with a big gravel lot next to the road. Once there, be sure to try the brisket, ribs, and prime rib. This is old school pit barbecue at its finest and I dare say some of the very best in the country. For one person, a quarter pound of each of those meats (and the sausage is pretty fine too) is plenty, and will cost you less than 10 bucks probably - definately not more than 15.

Jul 05, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

crispy fish at asia cafe (asiamarket) rocks

It's actually called spicy fish fillet, item 234 on the menu:

http://www.asiamarketaustin.com/order...

Jul 05, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

crispy fish at asia cafe (asiamarket) rocks

At the recommendations of many here, I have now been twice to asia cafe, and since it's 5 min. from my house, it's going to be a regular.

Last week i tried the crispy fish and greenbeans w/ garlic. The beans are perfectly blistered with a little garlic, and tender (not crunchy) and slightly salted. The fish is outrageously good: very lightly breaded, nicely fried big chunks of catfish fillets immersed in a bowl of red-peppery oil and broth laden with cilantro, bok choy, other greens, bean sprouts, and a nice bit of heat (not overly spicy though). This is one of the best dishes in Austin anywhere. Not sweet, and for me that's a bonus.

I also tried today the pork with flower chive - I think it's garlic chives sliced in 1 1/2 inch straws sauteed with velvety little 1 inch pieces of chopped pork in a slight amount of sauce / starch coating. This is an excellent dish too, but doesn't compare to the intensity of the fish. It's simple, and not too spicy, and not sweet. This became a nice candidate for the pepper/oil on the table to kick it up a notch.

Ma Po Tofu - Outstanding, but again, the fish won. Cubes of Tofu in a very similar sort of red oil / broth mixture as the fish, laced with red pepper, tiny sausage bits, thin slices of the whites green onions, cilantro, maybe some really thin sliced mushroom (not sure). This is a challenge for chopsticks - but my second favorite of the day.

what a lovely restaurant. I work with a Chinese couple down the hall from me here at UT and they prefer Chinese Barbecue (or something like that) in the new N. Lamar sort of Asian Shopping and Dining Mecca to all Austin Chinese places, including Asia Market and Din Ho.

Can't wait to get that pork elbow !!

Thanks for the outstanding recommendations!

Oh, and on saturday mornings get the Tzon Yo Ping (a scallion pancake). That's the phoenetic pronounciation they taught me, and it's close enough to get you by. It's a lovely fried little pancake of dense flour dough lightly salted and laced with the greens of green onions. really a nice little treat. The long doughy fried bread tubes on Saturday morning were at every table in the place - anyone tried that?

happy eating!

Jul 04, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

Foodheads-- Why bother

I have been to foodheads I would guess 20 times in the two years since moving to Austin in 2005 and I rarely fail to order the gypsy grove: spicy & sweet cabbage relish, a medium fried egg, roast pork, roast ham, am I forgetting anything? It's a unique sandwich and if you like egg and meat sandwiches - a must try.

Jun 17, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

BBQ SMOKED PRIME RIB IN LOCKHART

Folks,

I've eaten a lot more bbq in the two years since living in AUstin than I care to admit - certainly more than is likely that healthy. I have been to most of the BBQ joints within 40 miles of here and have made it a personal endeavor to hit every one in Austin - regardless of reputation - to form my own opinions. I have read with great interest and enjoyment the BBQ threads on Chowhound and have occasionally chimed in. This time, I have to comment on a couple recent experiences.

The BAD - I have been enamored with Black's Jalapeno sausage and they recently started adding cheese. Bad call for my taste buds.

The FANTASTIC - The prime rib at Smitty's in Lockhart is worth a day trip - and fortunately is but 30 min. from Austin. Folks, get to Smitty's and fill up on prime rib that's something like 7 or 8 bucks a pound. Ridiculously good, nicely seasoned, smoked top notch beef. Seriously, it's a sublime piece of BBQ from one of our state's best pits. In my opinion, nothing at Kreuz comes even close. My second favorite beef in the area was the brisket from the now closed AUstin's John Mueller's - and better than his relatives in Taylor. Now he's in Bastrop. Good sausage too. But I dream of that prime rib.

I had the JERK smoked pork ribs at Hoover's downtown Austin (Manor) and was very impressed. They were sort of blackened, not charred, not too fatty - and fell tender off the bone with wonderful smoky hints of allspice and a touch of heat (could have been much more habanero laced for my jerk tastes though). Great ribs!

Jan 01, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

AUS blow out dinner

Among my very favorite dishes in the world, the coffee/casabel smoked grilled medium rare backstrap elk topped with blue crab at hudson's is tops. not sure of their seafood offerings - but that's a chef that is very inventive - to disagree with an earlier sentiment. If I had cash to blow on food, I'd run - speed - high tail it to a nice evening at Hudson's.

A close second for me in Austin is the Livorno style seafood stew or the lobster stuffed ribbony pasta pockets (can't recall the type) at Vespaio.

Both these restaurants have superior service and except for spotty occasional tough reviews - in my estimation are both in the top 5 restaurants in town, with Hudson's #1 in my book.

Hope you have a lovely evening!

Jan 01, 2007
professor_ted in Austin

AUS In search of the best steak

In my opinion, the best "red meat" in Austin is the smoked cascabel coffee rubbed grilled elk at Hudson's on the Bend. It's 28 bucks for the entree, and not a huge portion, but if you have 100 bucks per person to blow, I have recommended it to colleagues and friends that travel the world and they all agree, it's one of the best steaks (heck, food of any type) you'll ever eat. But it's elk, so if you're looking for beef exclusively, this may not help.

Sep 27, 2006
professor_ted in Austin

Central Texas BBQ

My first post to this site is a response to another's first post. This is a much appreciated and excellent writeup that has me chomping at the bit to get down to Luling from Austin. I would also highly recommend John Mueller's shop in Bastrop. He had a very loyal following (me included) and in my opinion his "moist" brisket with the peppery black crust has not been equaled in texture, flavor, smokiness, appearance (yes, less important, but remarkable) by any meat I've ever put into my mouth. Absolutely sublime. However, let it sit out for 15-20 min. after being cut, and it's not the same. Fresh cut, hot, and it's simply incredible. I too concur that Black's among Smitty's, Kruez, and Louie Mueller's is the best.

I also rank John's black peppery pork sausages #1 in a tie with Black's jalapeno. Indeed, many of these are matters of taste.

John Mueller lost his Austin shop for financial difficulties, etc. and last I was in Bastrop was a few months ago. Would love it if someone could confirm he's still firin' up the grill down there.

Thanks for the lovely review!

Ted

Sep 24, 2006
professor_ted in Texas