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Looks like Elizabeth St. Cafe is open?

I'm also somewhat Vietnamese-food obsessed and live in the neighborhood. My understanding is that last night was the soft opening, and that it is open to the public today. I normally would stay away from any Austin restaurant on opening day, but I'm intensely curious, and it's good weather for pho.. gonna stop by this afternoon.

Dec 23, 2011
tastegood in Austin

PSA: Avoid the Truly Awful "Truffle" Pizza at Cipollina

I went to Cipollina for the second time this week, apparently forgetting that my first trip (and lamb sandwich) was not a particularly rewarding one.

But I have a friend who lives down the road, who hadn't been there, so we decided to check it out. I ordered a french onion soup to start, which was about as standard of a french onion soup as one could hope to find. You'd be better off at Le Madeleine. My friend ordered the ravioli, I decided to try the pork scallopine. A scallopine weekend for me -- I had the chicken scallopine special at Enoteca the night before, which with polenta and spinach, was excellent. The pork scallopine at Cipollina just tasted off, a mix of conflicting flavors, on a mess of a plate. You had the pork with scattered capers and artichoke heart pieces and undercooked cauliflower and carrot, in an also-too-sweet sauce atop a bed of orzo. The meat was OK and kind of saved the dish but, again, the flavor combination often didn't work, at all.

My friend's ravioli was served in a sauce that seemed eerily similar to my french onion soup. The ravioli were overstuffed with some bacony combination and the pasta seemed undercooked. The sauce was just plain bizarre.

Don't think I'll be returning.

Jan 29, 2008
tastegood in Austin

Madam Mam's Special Beef Panang Curry

Yes! The Kao Soi is delicious. I always forget the name of that dish (a friend turned me onto it one time). The personal irony is that I can't stand mustard (I am repulsed by it as if I were allergic) so I would never have ordered this dish... but pickled mustard is another thing entirely. (Shouldn't it be called pickled mustard greens?)

Anyway, IIRC it's billed as a soup but I think of it more as an egg noodle dish as you can only really eat so much more of the very thick and hearty soup part (it's more like a curry really)... anyway, definitely a winner at Mam's. I'll have to look into Tom Khlong and Special Beef.

Jun 14, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Bagels.

I'm a bit of a bagel fan. Actually, I'm an enormous bagel fan. I'm such a bagel fan that I named my cat "Bagel." I grew up eating bagels on Long Island and cut my teeth eating them in NYC (I lived a block away from the greatest bagels in the universe, produced by Kossar's Bialys) and Montreal (don't let the Quebecois tell you otherwise, their bagels are decidedly inferior to the NYC variety, but somewhat good in their own right. Or rather, I miss them now that I live in this bagel-free part of the world).

Anyway, needless to say, it's a bagel wasteland here. It's like the goddamn bagel apocalypse, it's so bad.

What are the options? Well the four major supermarkets carry "bagels" (HEB, Central Market, Whole Foods, Fiesta) but I think they are all abysmal. A shame given the overall high quality of the Whole Foods bakery, but they clearly don't know what they're doing with regard to bagelry. I think CM sells "Hot Jumbo Bagel", consistency seems more akin to cardboard.

There used to be a barely passable bagelry on Mesa that turned into a cookie shop, so that's no help.

Not sure what Katz's serves but I'm pretty sure I had 'em ages ago and it did little for me.

I only heard of this Texas Hillel Cafe recently so no idea what they've got.

Here are your best options: the absurdly named Manny Hattans flies in frozen H&H Bagels from the big city itself. H&H are decidedly middle of the road bagels in NYC (I'd give them a C+) but when you're bagel-deprived like me, a dozen of these will make do in your freezer for a while. Unfortunately for me, Manny Hattan's isn't really conveniently located for my home or work. (OK, it's not that unfortunate because 183 North is a terrible place to be located).

So as a result, I find myself most frequently (like once a month) going to Texas French Bread on South Congress for my bagels. They only have poppy, sesame, and plain, and they are pretty mediocre (also a C+ by my steadily eroding NYC bagel snob standards) in the scheme of things. Oh, and sometimes they just don't have 'em (this only happened to me once, but that once was yesterday morning). But I can walk or bike there in minutes. I can stop next door at Farm to Market and pick up some lox and head home, close my eyes, and vigorously pretend that I am in New York again. It takes an awful lot of pretending.

Jun 14, 2007
tastegood in Austin

K is for Korean and Koriente

I quite like Koriente. I think it's one of the better reasonably healthy and cheap dining options in the downtown area, and I like to hit it up before being reasonably unhealthy to myself at a nearby bar. But it is hit or miss, big time.

First off, I hesitate to call it a Korean restaurant. Maybe Korean is their primary influence but it is decidedly unlike most Korean restaurants I've eaten at, and though I do not have the explicit experience to back me up, I can say with near certainty that it ain't authentic.

For one, stay away from the miso soup. They put jalapenos in it. OK, I get it, I'm in Texas, but not everything needs jalapenos.

The bi bim bap is quality. Not as robust or flavorful as the bi bim bap at Korea House but I think the veggies might be fresher, and pretty much everything on the menu at Koriente has vegetarian options, which is a good thing.

My other favorite dishes there are the ka re with tofu and the dishes with the glass noodles .. can't remember the names exactly. Definitely go for the noodles. Also, a rule of thumb I apply with Koriente is that vegetarian dishes tend to be better choices than the meat dishes. Their meat has a reheated quality .. as a component of the bi bim bap, the beef does just fine, and their sauce complements it nicely. But they have dishes that more prominently feature the meat, and you might want to stay away from them.

It's got a nice atmosphere, funny chairs, a great tea selection, and a great location. Oh and pretty much everything is well under $10. It's not even close to being a world-class korean dining experience... but it's good for what it is.

Jun 14, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Best Restaraunts in Austin

I'm not into Andiamo, but I'm glad to see Ichiban get a mention. I think it's second best sushi-wise to Uchi in this town (Uchi is in another class) and is quite good for a pretension-free sushi experience. They do have some consistency problems though; I'd like to find out when they get their fish and try only to go there at those times.

Also, I had a really amazing experience at Zoot last week. One experience does not make the short list, but I was very pleased and have wanted to give a more complete report... especially since there's very little useful info on Zoot on this board. Just haven't made the time yet.

May 29, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Leaf

Anybody eat there yet?

http://www.leafsalad.com/

Location is great but hours are NOT. I thought about stopping off for lunch today as it's the only time during the week I'm anywhere near downtown, but balked at the idea of parking without enough time.

There was a really nice article on the place in last week's Chronicle and, from the descriptions of the salads, plus the fact that they buy a lot of their foodstuff from the Farmer's Market downtown, plus their enviro-friendly attitude (compostable plastics, etc) make it sound like an appealing destination for a healthy meal. Just wondering if the salads are as good as advertised.

May 29, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Polvo's made me mad.....

Huh! I wonder how many times I've tipped on top of gratuity then! Can't imagine this policy has been in place for very long. Maybe they're paying for that ridiculous new neon sign with tip money?

Love the restaurant though. While service is sometimes slow, I find that the individual waiters tend to be friendly and helpful most of the time.

May 29, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Best Restaraunts in Austin

Amazing, I posted a response stating my opinion that the Chronicle Reader's Poll should not be taken overly seriously and it got deleted? Who runs this place?? Having my posts censored (this is not the first time) is going to drive me to Yelp. Don't make me do it! I like this place much, much better!

In the spirit of the thread's TITLE, I will say that my favorite restaurants in town include (in rough order):

Enoteca, Uchi, Vespaio, Sunflower, Polvo's, Din Ho, Casino el Camino for burgers

But MPH says it best. Search for the types of cuisine you like.. (even maybe use that Chronicle poll as a starting point).. then look for more detailed information, reviews, user accounts, whatever. What I like about chowhound is that the people who write a lot tend to be pretty serious and critical in their taste. I may not always agree with them personally but know they're not just saying that Place X is their favorite because secretly it's the only place they ever go for Food Type Y.

May 29, 2007
tastegood in Austin

New Restaurants at the Domain

I finally hit The Steeping Room, and as the only non-chain restaurant presently open in the Domain, I found it to be a welcome and refreshing option so close to work.

My friend and I split a pot of green tea -- they have three price tiers for their teas, maxing out (I think) at $5.50 which actually seems pretty reasonable for enough to share during a meal. My friend also tried the "mojteato" (it's made like a mojito, but with matcha green tea instead of booze) and it was refreshing and delicious.

We split the napa rolls with tofu and were very pleased. Quality peanut sauce and chili paste, separated for some reason. The rolls were 'looser' than you'll find in your average vietnamese joint but the ingredients were fresh and good.

For dinner my friend got the ginger tofu sandwich on ciabatta and I had the chicken salad tea sandwiches. The tea sandwiches are small and light (at least this one was) and I sort of think they may have forgotten the dressing but it was still good, and I was pleased that it was not mayo based. The sandwiches all come with a pretty nice and simple side salad of mixed greens with their house vineagrette. I think I preferred the ginger tofu sandwich to my chicken salad sandwich (my first choice, the pork tenderloin, was out that evening). The tofu comes with a fairly unusual hummus on it. I can't remember why exactly I thought it was unusual, but in combination with the tofu and the veggies, it worked nicely.

Overall, a winner, and reasonably affordable compared to the other soul-destroying Domain chains. (Well, given the drinks and the appetizer, I spent a decent amount anyway, but you can definitely have a $10 lunch here). Also, while the atmosphere didn't look too hot from outside, I sort of enjoyed the place once seated. It must be that I'm always peering in during the day to a restaurant filled with Neiman Marcus grannies sipping tea. Not exactly my scene if you know what I'm sayin!!

May 23, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Local and Organic

I'll second the Casa de Luz mention. Check out their website.

Also, the downtown Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings (till 1pm) is quite good and has a wide range of locally grown or raised everything.

May 23, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Jaspers is now open in the Domain

I've been twice and have not been terribly impressed (especially at the cost) but will certainly return due to its walking proximity to my workplace.

First time had the Cajun White Snapper Sandwich with Spicy Fries and both were mediocre. The snapper had this grilled taste that I sometimes detect and strongly dislike, almost like you can taste the lighter fluid. That sounds worse than it actually was. The spicy fries were just plain overspiced, but not really *spicy*. I'd rather get the curly fries at Burger Tex, for example.

The next time I was much better off getting the French Dip, which was quite tasty, with a quality dipping "jus" and a side of regular fries (superior to the spicy).

I'd get more adventurous -- I hear good things about the Maytag Blue Potato Chips, and I'm a big fan of Maytag Blue Cheese, but $9, for *potato chips*?? Outrageous.

The other thing is that the atmosphere sucks. You're in an outdoor mall. Sitting on the patio would be alright, but did they need to put flatscreen TVs out there? Seriously, I can eat a meal without needing to watch Sportscenter. And frankly, at the price, I would think such 'sports bar' like atmosphere would be frowned upon.

Oh, and if you're lucky, the cacophony of Jasper's shitty radio colliding with the sounds of the Domain smooth jazz / subliminal marketing channel on the public speakers will blend together in a pleasant nothingness, allowing you to enjoy your radically overpriced sandwich in peace and harmony.

Did I say I'll probably go back? :)

May 23, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Truth in Advertising? Rudy’s Barbecue Is (Practically) the Worst

I am no BBQ expert (I hail from New York, and I ain't gonna pretend) but I'd put Rudy's (on 183) amongst my favorites in town (with the exception of Salt Lick, I have not had ANY barbeque in Texas outside of Austin, so take my review for what it's worth).

The best item on their menu is their St. Louis Baby Back Ribs. I think the seasoning is delicious. In rib territory, I'd place them just behind Artz. And while I tend to shy away from BBQ sauce in general, I enjoy theirs. I'm into the jalapeno sausage as well, but maybe jalapenos are good in general for covering up mediocre sausage? Whatever the case, I dig it.

I can't blame anybody for staying away as a result of the obnoxious / hokey attitude the restaurants project, but I've mostly gone there with big groups (out-of-town co-workers and such) and the order-by-weight style (and subsequent food-gorging) and the big picnic tables are pretty good for those occasions.

Oh, and quality banana pudding.

I do prefer Artz for baby back and beef ribs, and Manns for sausage, and Whole Foods for brisket, and Ruby's for the chopped beef sandwich. My take on BBQ in Austin is that there is no one place that nails everything. Every place has their highs and lows.

May 23, 2007
tastegood in Chains

Bangkok Cuisine now Thai Passion?

They have an amazingly average buffet, which, amazingly, never seems to change day to day. It's been close enough to where I work the past few years that I go back every once in a while when I want something fast, but it's decidedly unexceptional.

The staff seems to be identical to before the name change, as does the food.

May 23, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Are Iron Works' Beef Ribs still Yummy?

I'm really into the beef ribs at Artz. They can be slightly inconsistent there, but I always get the beef ribs / baby back ribs combo when I go.

May 05, 2007
tastegood in Austin

What to Order at Enoteca Vespaio?

Enoteca is my favorite restaurant in Austin and I'm heading back there tonight with a couple of friends. I've never had a bad meal there (though of course some dishes fare better than others).

What do I like there? I like ordering the antipasti, although it can be hit or miss as the stuff does sit in the display case all day. I'm a big fan of the tortelloni with pesto, the greek salad, the prosciutto pepper shooters, and the roasted tomatoes (and I ain't a big tomato fan, generally speaking).

I've never gone wrong with either the moules frites or the calamari, but I tend to go with the antipasti more often to start as it is less filling ... and I tend to overeat at Enoteca because I'm just generally so pleased with their food (and because the main portions tend to be generous and the meals tend to be hearty).

If there's a special with polenta, I tend to order it. The polenta is just that good. On the standard menu, I do happen to be a fan of many of their pastas. The rigatoni with polpette (I think it's rigatoni) is superb but very hearty; the meatballs are especially noteworthy, and they are distributed generously. I like the papardelle bolognese and the spaghetti carbonara quite a bit as well. I shared a calabrese pizza there once and was very pleased; I often think I should order pizza from Enoteca to pickup instead of bothering with the middling Southside (closer to my house) or the obnoxious Home Slice but for some reason never do. I guess I'd rather dine in, because I am a big fan of the atmosphere and service. (Have had a goofy waiter or two in the ~15 times I've been there but usually the waitstaff is friendly and knowledgeable and never overbearing).

Good wine list too, though I am decidedly not a wine expert, every bottle I've had there has been very pleasing. I would frequently get the excellent nero d'avola but I think it's been off the menu for some time (a seasonal thing perhaps?)

For some reason, I've never been for brunch but have heard good things.

Depending on the specials, I may give the prosciutto pizza a try tonight, given the positive reviews here. I tend to be reticent in ordering a pie for dinner for myself but since I'm going with two others, sharing may be on the agenda.

May 05, 2007
tastegood in Austin

AUS -- Anyone checked out Woodland yet?

Been a couple of times, once for brunch and once for dinner.

The dinner I had was so-so, ordered a broccoli and cheese soup and the chicken pot pie. It was a cream overload. I ordered poorly but did expect a little something more from the pot pie. Too much sauce and not enough substance. The flaky crust was good but overall it was nothing to write home about. At the time they were still BYOB, which was perfect with Farm to Market open right next door. Of course, they've gotten a liquor license since then.

I had brunch there several months ago (I think) and I can't remember what I ordered! (And the online menu isn't giving me brunch, so no help there). It fared better though, and was good for a group of 6. Haven't had to wait either time I've been there. And I think the ambience is reasonably good.

I will probably go back and try their burger. But with Enoteca, Vespaio, Polvo's, Habanero, Curra's, South Congress Cafe and Buenos Aires all within walking distance, it's not likely to make the top of the list very often.

May 05, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Breakfast Burritos vs. Tacos?

Magnolia is just an awful restaurant in general, the breakfast tacos aren't really anything exceptionally bad compared to the rest of their menu! :)

I still think Maria's Taco Xpress has superior breakfast tacos (I tend to go with the exceptional Migas, Chorizo & Egg, and Potato & Cheese) but I don't go there as frequently since they got their new building. I guess I sort of burned out on them over the years -- the forced kitschiness is a little bit annoying (well, not as annoying as the South Lamar location), but goddamn the food is tasty.

The bacon potato and egg at Curra's south is perhaps my favorite single breakfast taco at the moment. I like to back it up with a little veggie chorizo & egg.

Speaking of veggie chorizo, if you're ever looking to eat at the Bouldin Creek coffee shop, go with the veggie chorizo and egg tacos. They are sort of absurdly overstuffed but rather tasty.

The migas tacos at Nueva Onda is rather tasty and a mere 2 minute walk from my house. I like their American sausage and egg as a backup taco. It seems that my breakfast taco ordering patterns usually involve a "primary taco" and a "backup taco." You always need a little variety, I do believe.

On the east side, I haven't explored as much. I sometimes stop at Porfirio's, they're quick and dirty, and I've been reasonably pleased with the bacon potato egg and chorizo egg. I very much enjoyed the chorizo plate the last time I was at Las Cazuelas, so I wouldn't hesitate to try the same chorizo egg combo in a taco next time I stopped by.

One more comment on breakfast tacos, generally speaking. One thing I've learned is that the cheese isn't really always that important of an ingredient. I grew up on breakfast sandwiches in New York, where cheese is an all-critical component, but in the taco, the salsa makes a big difference.

What is this "breakfast burrito" you speak of?

May 03, 2007
tastegood in Austin

The New Mars

Ridiculous. Mars was overpriced in the last location!

I live down the street so I'll probably try it eventually. The patio does look nice.

May 03, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Marco Polo dim sum slipped HUGELY

Marco Polo is wildly inconsistent in general. It's reasonably close to where I live, and the lack of decent Chinese food in this town had me leaning on them for a while as my best local option. But I think I'm done with them after one too many bad meals. I have sometimes enjoyed their Singapore Noodles (which pale in comparison to Din Ho's), their Char Kway Teow (though sometimes it has this funky sausage in it, and sometimes not) their pan fried dumplings and others, but have had up and down experiences with everything.

But the one time I went for Dim Sum it was positively horrible. I had a better experience at Tien Hong which is a horrible restaurant for lunch or dinner but had decent Dim Sum the one time I went for the Sunday cart experience.

I've started going back to Wanfu Too for my dose of cheap Americanized Chinese food. I had for some reason stayed away (perhaps due to the uncoolness of the place itself, plus the relatively inconvenient location, plus the really bad (but ultimately substanceless) review in The Fearless Critic's Guide). I can at least rely on their "Szechuan" Beef and Sesame Chicken and such to be fairly tasty. It may be a million miles from authentic (Chinese people do eat at Marco Polo, which I do consider to be a very good sign) but compared to the variety of totally mediocre inauthentic Chinese joints in South Austin, it's probably my favorite.

We need more good Chinese in this town!! Especially South!

Apr 24, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Andiamo's in Austin Falls Short

"their focus is on DISGUISING the natural taste through aforementioned stuff-stuff with heavy sauce [...] but though crowded, the old-fashioned room seemed to have a moribund air last week when we came for our anniversary dinner; it was a ponderous and joyless place."

I couldn't agree more. Lots of too-heavy cream sauces and the service / atmosphere is atrocious. Nothing worse than a restaurant that acts like it's fancy when it's third-rate.

I greatly prefer the far less pretentious Reale's on 183 for Italian in North Austin. Austin could use more simple, flavorful mid-range Italian joints like Reale's.

Apr 24, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Chowhound Assignment:Your Top 5 Food Carts/Trailers

Where did El Rapido go? They used to be across from Emo's but haven't been there in over a year, so I assumed they were toast. I absolutely love their Al Pastor.

Apr 24, 2007
tastegood in Austin

New Restaurants at the Domain

I work in the Domain (not the new mall / apartment part) so I was curious to see if there was any active discussion about the restaurants therein.

My instinct is to despise the place as a whole, because it's just a corporate high end mall with some apartments. Oh, and they play godawful easy listening and / or smooth jazz over loudspeakers strategically positioned throughout the shopping area. I believe this music is designed to incentivize people to buy, buy, buy. I can offer no other explanation as personally it makes me want to set something on fire.

But anyway, the Domain mall's presence marks the first time I have been able to comfortably walk to lunch (or for a cup of coffee) in almost five years in Austin, working up on the North side of town. (I used to cross 183 from a previous office to hit Whole Foods once in a while, but that walk sucked).

So I intend to try all the places that serve food. I went to California Pizza Kitchen (I had previously only associated that brand with airports and the frozen aisle in the supermarket) and was blown away by just how high their prices are. I paid $15+ for an average pasta dish (don't even remember the name) and my friend paid close to $20 for a pizza with shrimp on it. He seemed pretty pleased with the pizza, but I am a pizza snob from New York and am highly, highly skeptical. (Saccone's is the only A-level pizza in Austin as mentioned elsewhere in this thread). We also had to wait 20 minutes to sit even though there were a ton of open booths. I suppose they just haven't been able to staff up completely yet. I guess it will do in a pinch, but I'm hoping the other options in there are better.

The Steeping Room is interesting because it's the only locally-owned and operated place that serves food in the Domain thus far, as far as I can tell. But I'm turned off from afar by the "serving the old ladies who shop at Neiman Marcus" vibe. The sandwiches on the menu seem to be primarily light / veg friendly and, again, highly overpriced. I'll hit it one of these days. I do enjoy tea.

Kona Grill also baffles me. I thought it was a "Japanese" restaurant but they serve pizza? I already know it's shit, but I will give it a try. Folks at my office have gotten in the habit of heading over there for happy hour. I suppose some $3 California Rolls could come in handy, once in a blue moon, provided they at least match the high standard set by average supermarket sushi (say, HEB).

Nothing else is open yet. I had no idea Jaspers was giving out free shit, I guess I will have to camp them. Word on the street is that Joe DiMaggio passed away a few years ago, so I'm not putting too much stake in the power of his name.

Hopefully in time the Domain will grow and morph and they will find a way to get some LOCAL BUSINESS in there. It would make the entire experience of working up here a whole lot better.

Apr 13, 2007
tastegood in Austin

My local under-represented faves

Thanks for the great tips, AustinNYCer. I am also a NYC transplant, but have lived here for five years. Finding good chinese food is nearly impossible, but I do share your love for Din Ho. I also happen to love half-sour pickles (most people in Austin don't have any idea what they are) so I'm going to have to try your tip on the Russian Market (how would I ever know it was there?) I used to live around the corner from Guss's Pickles on the Lower East Side and there's just nothing remotely comparable in this town.

But I've got to say, you need to go try Sunflower again. I think they are better for lunch for dinner -- well, that's mostly all I know them for, since I've been frequenting the joint ever since I've been in town, working up north. It is easily my favorite restaurant in North Austin and I am surprised you had a disappointing meal there. Interestingly, I sort of had the inverse experience at La Soleil -- I went with a group and got to sample a bunch of stuff, some of which was tasty and other bland, and I went home feeling kind of bloated and heartburny. I'd try them again if North Lamar wasn't a hellhole.

Some recommendations if you try Sunflower again. Try the Lemongrass Chicken or the Shrimp w/ Green Beans for something lighter and tasty. The Clay Pot selection (combination, seafood, or beef) are also reliable favorites for many -- basically meat, onions, mushrooms and spices in a hot pot on top of rice. The Chicken Roll appetizer (just a spring roll with chicken) is also superior to any other spring roll I've had in this town. I'm a big fan of the seafood curry and the five spice chicken but those are probably on the heavier end, so if you're looking to avoid your prior experience, I'd recommend you go elsewhere on the menu.

Apr 13, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Curra's, Habenero, Fran's, Polvo's, Jo's, Baby Greens

I love Polvo's (live down the road and have eaten there dozens of times over the years). But I admit that it can be inconsistent. The first few times I ate there, I was unimpressed, but kept going back because it's a great place to go with a group. Finding the dishes you like there is pretty key.

The best items on their menu are the fajitas (esp. the Ranchero and Cerveza varieties). I'm also a fan of their caldo de pollo. The queso is top notch and I'm into the al pastor tacos once in a while.

Apr 13, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Tex-Mex on Austin’s Southeast and East Sides, Part 8

Mar 24, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Tex-Mex on Austin’s Southeast and East Sides, Part 8

Hey MPH, these reviews are really fantastic. Only problem is, after 15 minutes I was unable to find all of the entries in your series -- I only found #7 and #8. (The search feature on this site isn't the world's best!)

Would it be too much trouble to ask if you could paste in links to all of the entries? I'm looking to do more exploration of these types of hole-in-the-wall Mex joints, there are just so many to explore that trying to do it at random is a very daunting task!

Thanks,
taste

Mar 24, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Review of Austin’s Habeñero Mexican Cafe

Habanero is right around the corner from my house and it's sort of criminal how infrequently I go there. The fact that they aren't open for dinner during the week is a real shame, because they would be perfect for some mid-week pickup. And typically when I have guests I prefer to go to Polvo's, though I think the two are fairly comparable in terms of overall quality. It just comes down to the hours! I mainly think of Habanero as a lunch place, so I only hit it on the very occasional weekend

Anyway, the beef fajitas are a hit, and the barbacoa is also very tasty. I find their red sauce on the table to be fairly exceptional (and quite a bit hotter than most other Mexican joints around town). I also am a big fan of their chuletas rancheras. Tasty, spicy pork chops, maybe 6 bucks? The place is also ridiculously cheap, which is worth mentioning. On the downside I found their breakfast tacos to be sorely lacking several years ago when I last purchased them -- seemed like they kept their chorizo-egg mix in a vat somewhere and served it to me in a decidedly unfresh package. For breakfast in the area, I hit Curra's, or sometimes Nueva Onda.

I think I should try to head there tomorrow for lunch. It's been far too long.

Mar 24, 2007
tastegood in Austin

[Austin] Darn Good Sichuan in Austin!

Finally went back (after my hilariously bad trip a while back) and ordered the Spicy Beef. It was totally delicious, although I feel like my insides are now composed of 85% chili oil.

Anyway, big ups to Samba and the others who continue to write about the restaurant here. I'll be going back, hopefully with a crew, so I can expand my exploration of their menu beyond a couple of dishes.

Mar 23, 2007
tastegood in Austin

Good eats near the Erwin Center?

I'm hitting the UT-A&M b-ball game this evening with a pal and we can't decide on a place to eat. Not really the finest culinary section in town as far as I can tell .. or am I forgetting something? Quick and tasty is the order of the day. Hook me up. Cheers.

Feb 28, 2007
tastegood in Austin