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Sawyer and Company Diner

AND then they have some nice cocktails on 'tap'

beautiful space. good to have a diner-y option on the east side, something that part of town has long lacked. and nola-flavored? even better.

Oct 03, 2014
reina_de_fideo in Austin

Anybody have updates on Rene Ortiz's new Thai place on S.1st?

i heard it's gonna be called 'thai restaurant'. much better than some of the offensively cheesy trailer names popping up around town -- 'coat & thai' or 'trai mai thai' (i seriously just threw up a little in my mouth as i typed that.)

Jul 09, 2012
reina_de_fideo in Austin

Ice Cream / Gelato in downtown Austin?

i also recommend the ice creams at thai fresh on 5th and mary. made from scratch, really interesting flavors.

Jun 19, 2012
reina_de_fideo in Austin

Foodie in Rome - please help!

is there any way you can provide more details so that people travelling to rome can communicate with them and perhaps arrange a meal?

Sep 07, 2011
reina_de_fideo in Italy

first time to italy: rome & sicily (& possibly aeolian islands)

hi there!!!

i'll be flying into rome next week. it's my first time going to italy and i'm SUPER excited.
i've been having a really hard time deciding how best to spend the nine days i'll be there. i'm meeting a friend from tel aviv and we want it to be relaxing -- i think that rules out renting a car (at least for me, the idea of driving in italy would be stressful.) definitely need some eating and neighborhood suggestions in rome but i'm sure there are plenty on the board, so i'll do some digging for those.

my plan is to spend a couple days in rome, and then maybe head down the coast to naples and ferry over to the aeolian islands, and make our way to sicily. probably stay a few nights in ortigia, and fly out of catania back to rome to catch our flights home.

does this sound like an OK itinerary, or am i crazy for skipping over the amazing-sounding florence & venice etc on my first trip? any other parts of sicily that are first-rate, charming, that you'd recommend staying in over ortigia? I want to avoid taormina, i think, b/c it sounds like there are always hordes of tourists there. are my instincts right?

if i do go this route, can anyone recommend favorite eating experiences in these places? i don't really eat pork, but i'm pretty much open to anything else (and i love sweets!)

Sep 07, 2011
reina_de_fideo in Italy

Foodies Coming to Austin

hopefully you have a few hours to wait, or call to put yourself on their call-ahead list, or go super-early or super-late.

there are some great new food trucks. check out rainey street, with a smattering of them -- g'raj mahal, with waiter service, el naranjo, oaxacan food, and an african cart (the most lackluster of this bunch, imho...)

May 14, 2011
reina_de_fideo in Austin

New Peruvian Food restaurant in Austin? Anyone tried it?

ceviche fish was still partially frozen. i was especially incensed given that a food court -- in a mall -- is the last place i'd want to be caught dead eating. never again.

May 11, 2011
reina_de_fideo in Austin

Verti Marte reopening status?

wat is 'all that jazz', anyway? a friend of mine ordered one on opening night when we were there for my whirlwind bday weekend. she asked the guy working there what was in it, and he said: i don't know, i'm about forty minutes into my first shift here ever, and she said, ok, i'll have one. hahahaha the opposite of a high maintenance foodie if i ever saw one! she loved it but never did learn the contents.

Feb 05, 2011
reina_de_fideo in New Orleans

help me plan my 3-day bday whirlwind trip.

thanks again to everyone who helped me plan this amazing trip.
my friends i went with were all foodies and SUPER excited about all the eating that we did.
we ended up going to:

-camellia grill thurs night for a late night burger (fun, we went to the location that wasn't in the quarter, and it definitely felt authentically new orleans-y

-vaughn's thurs night for some kermit ruffins action, wonderful (if a bit smoky)

-cake cafe on fri for lunch... absolutely delicious and so fresh -- the crab and shrimp bisque was drool-worthy, and excellent bread

-cafe du monde, of course, for a beignet & cafe au lait that afternoon for a snack. bummed i didn't get to try the other beignet place but next time.

-cochon for dinner (insanely good food -- the rabbit & dumplings were spectacular, and i loved the spicy fried alligator, amazing desserts...although we had an odd waiter)

-spotted cat for jazz, pretty entertaining

-yuki for a few minutes of dancing off dinner

-loa for a late-night cocktail, could have lived w/o it but it was too convenient since we stayed at international house

-boucherie for lunch the next day -- wonderful! wonderful! zomg! everything there was incredibly tasty. the brisket... mouthwatering.. .the pimm's cup, outrageous! the service, terrific.... overall, this was probably my favorite and i loved the location, great neighborhood to wander around in

-we were too full to eat much after that that day, but very late that eve, after three muses, and a random house party some of us stumbled into, we made it to verti marte (it was the day they reopened after a fire) and got some excellent poboys that took FOREVER but were quite delicious

-acme oyster house -- i historically don't like oysters and i tried and actually loved the char-grilled ones

-mr. b's for BBQ shrimp. i could have just laid down and died happy (i stole that phrase from a NOLA waitress from my first trip down there years ago) after i ate these. thanks for insisting, guys. my friends wanted to bail on me b/c they were satisfied from the oyster fix but i was so glad i stood my ground and we ended up going. these were a highlight of the trip.

that's about all our stomachs could fit. i'm sad to say i didn't make it to green goddess & a few other places i'd hope to check out, but there was basically nothing i put into my mouth this past weekend that wasn't absolutely fantastic. i heart NOLA. now it's back to tacos in TX :)

Jan 31, 2011
reina_de_fideo in New Orleans

help me plan my 3-day bday whirlwind trip.

ufff -- cochon is closed for lunch on the weekend!!! i know some people are adamant about going, but if we go fri night (the only time they have a res available at a decent hour for our size group) that means giving up boucherie!!! is cochon butcher worth it? should we just go there instead and i'll save cochon for another trip? would you say boucherie over cochon or vice versa (and is it worth considering ditching green goddess for cochon?)

Jan 17, 2011
reina_de_fideo in New Orleans

help me plan my 3-day bday whirlwind trip.

zomg, thank you to everyone for your help/recommendations! i think i'm gonna have the best bday ever.

swampsue, i have been to krewe de vieux, about 10 yrs back... my college roomie was living in NOLA and i visited her during it so we got to check it out. amazing! i looked it up on their website and it looks like it's not going down til feb 11. oh well.

i also checked out mimi's bar when i was in town for nye. i didn't like the smokiness. i guess that'll be a problem w/a lot of bars in town.
your other recs were very interesting. i look fwd to checking them out.

i'll report back afterwards.

Jan 14, 2011
reina_de_fideo in New Orleans

help me plan my 3-day bday whirlwind trip.

OK. So do you guys think this is a sound schedule so far?

Thurs night -- either Camellia Grill or Yuki for late-night dinner & drinks
Fri - lunch @ acme or stanley or jacques-imos
Fri - dinner @ Boucherie (have res)
Sat lunch @ cochon
Sat dinner @ Green Goddess (emailed chef to see if they can accomodate a lg group)
Sun brunch @ cake cafe or elizabeth's or EAT (i've heard elizabeth's is skippable, is this y'all's opinion?) OR if group is up for something more festive and expensive, then Commander's Palace

would also love recs on places to drink.
i have so far:
carousel lounge
Loa (i'm staying at the hotel where this is, so it should be rather convenient)
Uncommon bar

(for music)
Pres Hall for jazz
3 muses
spotted cat

AND, if i can drag the group to the saint, i will... but I know this is unlikely.

am i missing anything important? if there is anything above that is not worth checking out, pls help me narrow it down! the group very much wants to check out jazz. and i hate to sound cheesy, but the more authentic the better (i.e. is there a venue that most tourists just don't hear about that's especially awesome?)

Camellia Grill
626 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

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

Green Goddess
307 Exchange Place, New Orleans, LA 70130

8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

820 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Jan 14, 2011
reina_de_fideo in New Orleans

help me plan my 3-day bday whirlwind trip.

If you guys aren't recommending Acme, where would be the best place in town for down-home, cheap, tasty fare including po-boys and oysters and fried seafood, etc?

Jan 13, 2011
reina_de_fideo in New Orleans

help me plan my 3-day bday whirlwind trip.

EC(LOVE your name), i have a reservation already at Boucherie (eek, the group might grow to 10!) i will ask them how they plan to accomodate us.

Texasredtop, the place wasn't really Cajun -- it was called Shuck Shack and it no longer exists, but it was on Chavez at Chicon in a cute house and they specialized in seafood -- oysters, etc --and had poboys. Before Shuck Shack, it was my favorite little cafe in the world, Azul -- lovely menu, lovely decor, total hipster ambience (could get annoying but the great food and decor made up for it.) I once threw myself a bday party there and for $100 i fed my group of friends and that included tip and wine!!! Ah, I miss Azul.

8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Jan 12, 2011
reina_de_fideo in New Orleans

help me plan my 3-day bday whirlwind trip.

Thanks for the info.

I'm staying in the CBD on Camp Street. I definitely want to go to Boucherie though I know it's not walking distance from the hotel. Nor are Elizabeth's or Cake Cafe, but I'm wondering if it's worth the trek (and schlepping my rather large group) to Bywater for the food/ambience at these places. Natives' opinions?

My friend I'll be driving with from Houston (I'm coming from Austin) wants to go to Acme in NOLA. I don't know why she prefers there to stopping on the way but she didn't seem enthusiastic when I suggested doing that in Baton Rouge since I don't want to 'waste' a meal in NOLA on it (i love poboys but there are so many places I want to check out that seem more NOLA-unique, I kinda would rather 'use' that meal in the on-the-way stop. I don't know if we'll be there in time, anyway, as we'll be leaving Houston at around 5 or 6. (which is why I asked about late night places in NOLA -- now I see Camellia being recommended a lot as a late-night place and that sounds tasty.)

Speaking of Mr. B's, what is the big thing w/BBQ shrimp? I tried "BBQ" shrimp at a Cajun-ish place in Austin and I didn't really taste much. If someone tells me why they're raving about 'em, maybe I'll give them a second chance.

8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Jan 12, 2011
reina_de_fideo in New Orleans

The Best Thing You Ever Ate: New Orleans

wait, you don't bake it at all????

Jan 12, 2011
reina_de_fideo in New Orleans

help me plan my 3-day bday whirlwind trip.

hey, yall!

i was just in NOLA for new yrs -- hanging out with a friend who's car-less & not a foodie, so i didn't really get any earth-shattering meals in, thought what i ate actually tasted pretty delicious anyway. (we did ruby slipper for brunch, which was nice ambience, and mandina's for dinner, b/c it's right near where my friend lives.. decent po-boy but expensive for what it was. oh! we also had a meal at rum house on magazine st, which i thought was rather decent (i've had a few daydreams about the scallop taco i ate there.) we went to cafe degas on sunday before i left and as soon as we sat down realized i had to be at the airport about an hour later, so we slurped down some soup and took off (which was delicious, i might add.))

overall, though, i )(*#@$ loved the city. props, NOLA. friendly people, and wonderful bars (we went to the saint new yrs' eve, which, minus the smoke was pretty much heaven; and bacchanal the next day... thought those were both excellent places to be celebrating the beginning of 2011.

now, i'm going back in a few weeks to celebrate my bday w/a group of friends who are flying from all different parts of the country. pretty much everyone who's going is into good eating.
BUT -- i don't want to be anywhere stuffy. i want really tasty food for reasonable prices and nowhere that has a white linen/only-show-up-if-you're-dressed-up vibe. as evidenced by my preference for bars such as the saint i like grunge (however, i also really like great design -- EAT looks like a nice room, for example.) i don't eat pork and i don't like oysters, so keep that in mind. cochon is a must b/c one of the girls who's going has already mandated it. everyone is in their 30s and i have NOTHING whatsoever against babies or senior citizens, but to some extent, i would like places with young-ish ambience. at least for some of the meals.

so this is my idea for now:

thurs night (i get in late w/another friend -- everyone else arrives fri): clover club? any other late-nite eating options? yuki perhaps?

*or* is there anywhere between houston and NOLA we should stop on the way?

fri: most people won't be getting in til dinnertime. i don't do breakfast - can't be bothered to wake up for it while on vacation (or really, mostly anytime).
lunch elizabeth's? or EAT? or ... (fill in the blank, dear chowhounders)

fri: dinner (w/group -- eek, is 9 people having dinner just going to be a big disaster no matter where we go?) cochon? boucherie? jacques-imos?

sat brunch: stanley?

sat dinner: green goddess (i checked out the menu/website and it looks incredibly interesting to me -- i think this is my ideal kinda restaurant -- chefs who are passionate about food and a funky ambience)

sun brunch: cake cafe?
commander's palace? (the jazz brunch looks interesting but i hate eggs and i don't want to make everyone drop 40 bucks -- any other memorable, delicious and interesting brunch spots in NOLA?)
cafe amelie?

i'm scheduled to leave sunday before dinner, but trying to talk my friend into staying through monday.

please let me know what you think of my plans. thanks, NOLA chowhounders!

edited to say: btw, i also love sweets. i know about sucre and plan to go, but is there anywhere else i should go during the weekend for some birthday treats?

Jan 11, 2011
reina_de_fideo in New Orleans

el chilito replacing gypsy!

i know, i know, we really don't need more tacos. but -- i'm not sad to see that el chilito is going to be replacing the mediocre, eh, italian 'bistro' called gypsy. i saw the wall being painted a bright green this morning as i biked to work and thought they were just trying to make it look more exciting, but i was pleased to see an el chilito sign on my way back from work this afternoon.

i am all for authenticity, and i don't think el chilito always delivers in that area, but i like that they offer aguas frescas and paletas and other little treats, and i'm happy that if i don't feel like making tinga one day, i have a place i can get to in seconds and order it! no need to deal with mile-long lines of east-side hipsters!

this location is barton springs and lamar, for those (fortunate souls) unfamiliar with gypsy.


Jul 16, 2009
reina_de_fideo in Austin

New Restaurant Review: Garrido's

great ambience. beautiful view on the patio. feels like you're on vacation (though the piped-in salsa music could use some changing up. i love dancing and listening to salsa, but i don't appreciate restaurants piping in mediocre salsa just for the sake of having latin music.)

i liked the way a lot of the choices on the menu sound. original takes on the usual suspects at mexican joints.

but... where's the chile? this is clearly mexican food for gringos. i had to ask for jalapeños for my ceviche. i guess it's called shrimp cocktail to avoid people thinking it's ceviche and hence expecting spice. also, rather than finding cilantro, as i'm used to, in my shrimp-filled martini glass, there was what seemed to be shredded lettuce. bizarre.

there was also no spice on my (otherwise delicious) fried zucchini taco, though i guess i could have asked for hot salsa.

i will probably go back for cocktails. i really like the patio. i might try the coffee rubbed steak taco next time, too (but ask for spicy salsa.)

Jun 17, 2009
reina_de_fideo in Austin

There Can Be Only One:Your Single Favorite Taco In Austin.

hahhaah! it's la güera.with one r. if you put 2 Rs that means the war. if you put one, it means, the blondie/the white chick.

Apr 05, 2009
reina_de_fideo in Austin

Good Outdoor, Al Fresco, and/or Patio Dining Experiences?

i'm shocked nobody's mentioned blue dahlia, on e. 11th. it's definitely one of the most pleasant outdoor eating experiences in austin.
another is fino. delicious, upscale food, nice outdoor area.
and casa de luz, if you're down with hippie cuisine.

Mar 03, 2009
reina_de_fideo in Austin

What do you all think about Progress?

It's aight. go if you're looking for a light, casual place to have brunch on weekends while surrounded by hipsters... but it's not really a foodie destination, as far as i know. they have some decent sandwiches, and good coffee. it's mostly a coffee place/hipster haven.

Mar 03, 2009
reina_de_fideo in Austin

Korean tacos and use of twitter for taco truck locations

You should invite us over when you make them. MMM, korean tacos.

on the topic of korean food, anyone know a good place to get duk boki in austin?

Mar 02, 2009
reina_de_fideo in Austin

la condesa on 2nd st

my usual bike route to work took me past lambert's last week and i saw, across the street from it, some interesting-looking construction happening... and today i biked by and saw that same construction had come quite a ways, and is going to be a new restaurant called la condesa. i have to say i get excited about interesting decor/interiors almost as much as i do about good food, so i was really happy to see that we're going to have another place to eat that's as pretty to look at as lamberts.

looks like they already had their soft opening (last night?)

despite the annoying review above that doesn't tell us much about the food, i'm excited to check it out. anyone know anything about this? any 'hounders invited to the soft opening and have sneak preview insight?

any 'hounders wanna try to have a small-ish group dinner (or lunch) there sometime?

Feb 19, 2009
reina_de_fideo in Austin

birthday brunch: lambert's or green pastures?

i went to green pastures. here's what i thought:

-i found that the ambience was nice, but as i had predicted, perhaps a bit too 'southern old-school' for my taste.
-i thought the food was good, but nothing blew me away.
-i LOVED the milk punch.
-the piano player was an absolute nutcase and became my birthday stalker. she insisted on me going up to the piano so she could sing to me. (yes, it's the fault of my friend who told her it was my bday, but still.)
-the dessert bar was nice, but again, didn't blow me away.
-i LOVED the milk punch.
-the service was excellent.
-i was excited to see all-white peacocks strutting around. i'd only seen colorful ones before.
-i LOVED the milk punch.
-overall, it was a memorable birthday experience. but food-wise, it left something to be desired. they should offer a milk punch happy hour with some snacks or something. i'd show up once in awhile for that.

Feb 03, 2009
reina_de_fideo in Austin

birthday brunch: lambert's or green pastures?

so, it's 2 am it's my birthday, and in about ten hours (hopefully most of them spent actually dreaming, rather than daydreaming about food, as i am doing at the moment) i'm being taken to brunch by a friend.

what i'm wondering: should i have her take me to lambert's, or green pastures? (we have reservations at both, so that i might prolong my indecision)

i haven't been to sunday brunch at either place. actually, i haven't been to a brunch buffet in austin, period.

both seem very appealing. i love the atmosphere at lambert's. i'm a little wary of the 'republican, octogenarian' atmosphere that green pastures supposedly has. the food sounds terrific at both places.

so, anyone out there been to both and have a strong opinion one way or the other? if i'm equally impressed by good food and good atmostphere(service doesn't really matter when it comes to buffets, right?), which is the right choice?

thanks, guys!


Jan 24, 2009
reina_de_fideo in Austin

Olivia (S. Lamar near Oltorf)

one word: EXCELLENT. I was prepared to love olivia when i went there this past saturday and have to say it met my expectations. gorgeous space, nice buzz (impressed that it already seems to have drawn a crowd --- the wait was about 45 minutes, but none of them painful, as my dinner companion and i sipped a beer outside in their lovely waiting area and chatted with other people who were waiting to be seated.), terrific food, attentive yet not invasive service(even the bartender who served us our beer popped by to see how we liked our food). i couldn't decide between the arctic char and the hanger steak, and our lovely waitress (an uchi refugee) came to the rescue, suggesting the fish. every bite of it was delicious, and the ratatouille, as eyesoftexas78704 says, was a highlight too. our waitress enthusiastically recommended wine pairings for our meals; the wine did not disappoint. and then finally, we shared the lemon ginger cake at the suggestion of our waitress, (who claimed she wanted to get married so that she could have this cake at her wedding -- love imaginative exaggerations like that -- wasn't surprised to find out she's a writer) and once again, it was mouth-watering. i want to go back to try the things i didn't get a chance to, but may have to wait til next paycheck. yum. only negative -- my dining companion was less impressed by her main (the lamb shoulder, which had been pimped out by our waitress as the main attraction -- i don't like lamb so i wasn't even tempted).

Aug 26, 2008
reina_de_fideo in Austin

Best of the Yucatan?

when you're in merida, please do not pass up the opportunity to go to la carreta cubana. it's a bit off the beaten path, so you may just get in a taxi and ask the driver to take you. it's one of those classic places where you order a beer and they bring you a platter of free snacks. a delicious and improbably cheap way to sample the local fare. my old boss is from merida and she pointed me towards this place before my trip last summer, and i felt like i'd died and gone to culinary heaven... for the price of a beer (no more than $2) i'd filled up on yucatecan snacks! i'll try to find the address for you, but i bet you can google it.

Jun 02, 2008
reina_de_fideo in Mexico


i was surprisingly pleased when i tasted the falafel at tom's tabooley for the first time last week.
my dad is israeli and i lived in ny for a long time so have had a chance to sample some decent falafel in my day. i've been pretty disappointed thus far in austin but i think tom's was quite tasty. i also love the vibe in there! so cute.
let us know what you think of your first falafel, regardless of where you get it!

Jun 02, 2008
reina_de_fideo in Austin

Horrible Experience at Austin Java

Yeah.. I've always been underwhelmed by this place. But the other day, i was looking for wi-fi so i could escape the office and take a working lunch, and the Jo's downtown's wi-fi wasn't working ... so I 'camped out' across the street and got connected. I would never eat there with all the other choices around, but sometimes I'll get a not-so-spectacular coffee for the privilege of using their free wi-fi. i also go when I'm hanging out with my friend's 10 and 12 year old girls -- the menu seems to appeal to this age range.

May 03, 2008
reina_de_fideo in Austin