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Peas in AUSTIN TEXAS

Hmm. Mine are producing now, the sugar snaps more than the snow peas this year. I think I planted in late January/early Feb., an inch down, keeping the seedlings moist for a week or two. Do you have them in full sun, supported by a fence or trellis? I've done nothing else special. Are they flowering?

Apr 13, 2014
storefronteats in Austin

Coming to Austin for the first time this weekend

We had pizzas from their original E. 6th location last night, so I guess that's an expansion. Good for them!

Mar 20, 2014
storefronteats in Austin

Franklin's Update

I'm no bbq pro but I definitely approve. My family and I shared a hundred bucks worth of La BBQ last week (some for lunch; more for home). Stood in line for an hour (starting around 11:30) and they were out of a few things when we got to the front of the line. The brisket was divine and the pork ribs great, too. I've only eaten at Franklin once, but the brisket at La Barbecue last week was as good as the brisket I had at Franklin that day.

Enjoy your trip! (You're aware, yes, that everything is starting to be extra busy because of SXSW approaching? You may want to figure on some extra wait times.)

Feb 24, 2014
storefronteats in Austin

Winery Recommendations Close to Austin

I was in Hye last spring, on a Saturday, and there were 3 or 4 winemakers doing tastings in the general store/liquor store there (next to the post office, across from the dance hall). Varying quality, but it sure was fun. There was also a guy serving bbq out back, and some picnic tables where we enjoyed lunch.
http://www.hyemarket.com/

I have two recs if the o.p. is willing to go out as far as Johnson City again (and hasn't been to these): Between Hye and Johnson City is Lewis Wines, currently only open by appointment. Tastings are personal and fun and I liked the wine there. These are young guns trying to improve on the Texas wine reputation. Worth checking out.
http://www.lewiswines.com/

Also near Hye is William Chris winery. They have a nice tasting room and in good weather you can sit on their large deck and order cheese plates and drink their wine.
http://williamchriswines.com/

Have a great time and let us know what you find!

Feb 13, 2014
storefronteats in Austin
1

SFO->AUS: What am I missing

Hi. I think you might want to check out Easy Tiger. Easily the best baguettes in town, and other nice loaves, too. It's a bakery upstairs, with pub food downstairs. Not like Tartine, but it would be in the category of your competition, I think, if you were to open in Austin.

I would love to see a bakery in downtown Austin that has grown-up desserts, tarts, and savories. (No cupcakes and sugar cookies, thanks.) I don't think we have a place like that yet.

Pizza here was nothing to mention until Bufalina opened. It could be compared to your Una Pizza Napoli, but is smaller. Wonderful pies, salads, everything super fresh, lots locally sourced if not home made.

Your list looks great. Enjoy your visit!

Jan 26, 2014
storefronteats in Austin

Best restaurant gift certificate for an Austin newcomer?

I was going to suggest Barley Swine or Odd Duck. (The latter just opened and I haven't tried it yet. Same chef, though.) Both have small plates, communal tables/long bar to eat at, and creative locally-sourced food. Seems ideal for her age and interests. Enjoy your visit!

Jan 10, 2014
storefronteats in Austin

Kaffir Lime Leaves

+1 for putting them in the ground. Mine is on the south side of the house, under an eave, so it's kind of protected and gets extra water dumped right on it when it rains. I love being able to cook with lemongrass without a special trip to the store. Sometimes I cut some to include in a bouquet for the house. There's nothing like that smell!

Jan 06, 2014
storefronteats in Austin

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza in Austin?

Rudeboy, get thee to Bufalina. Beats Backspace by a mile, unless the latter has upped their game significantly (which they may have done; I haven't been in a while). Remarkably consistent pies made with the freshest ingredients (mozz made in house, meats from Salt & Time, etc.)

Oct 15, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

locally milled flour?

Thank you, Rudeboy. I bought a little bag of stone ground flour from a man at Plaza Saltillo's farmers market years ago—the SFC market that failed way before HOPE market started up, so it's been a while. I don't remember where he came from.

Anyway, I can't report on successes or failures with the recipes yet, but the reading is fascinating so far. The American translator has a couple pages of notes in the back and recommends bread flour as a substitute in one of the doughs that calls for Type 0 flour. Apparently Type 00 has less protein and a lower extraction rate. I think you'll like the book. Will report back in a few weeks after making natural yeast and baking some pies!

Oct 09, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

locally milled flour?

Does anyone have a source for locally milled flour (wheat or spelt)? I just got my hands on the new translation of PIZZA by Rome's Gabriele Bonci. My dough making is apparently in need of a makeover, starting with the flour.

Oct 09, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

Top Texas City for 1st timer?

Yes, what are some of your other interests, after food & dining, and what kinds of food do you love? I live in Austin but my first thought was Houston, especially if you like art museums/galleries. If you like twangy music, definitely come to Austin. If you like history & architecture, it's San Antonio. And Dallas ain't bad, either. Each has such a different feel. I'll look forward to following this thread and hearing about your trip.

Sep 29, 2013
storefronteats in Texas

Arro

I went with 2 friends right after it opened, and we really enjoyed it. We were mostly focused on catching up, but I do remember some standouts: grilled asparagus with a perfectly fried egg atop, really nice duck confit (haven't found this classic prep elsewhere in town) served with a handful of greens, fresh fruit, and nuts. A little bowl of simple French lentils was dynamite. I was really happy with the server's wine suggestion; in fact, the service was excellent throughout.

Huge bonus was that it was quiet enough to converse, without feeling stuffy. (Went to No Va last week and quite liked our food but can't imagine returning unless they address acoustics. The server couldn't even hear us, and forget about having a good conversation over dinner.) Actually, not sure why I haven't been back to Arro yet. Will look forward to your reports!

Sep 18, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

Needed: Excellent San Antonio coffee bean store

We like Aaron Brown and Brown Coffee Co. It's fun to go to their hq's on Kings Hwy and see the space where he does the roasting. Cafe on Broadway is simple and nice.
http://browncoffeeco.com/contact

Sep 17, 2013
storefronteats in Texas

Labor Day Trip Report (long!)

Great feedback , Dagoose. Glad you enjoyed your time here.

Sep 09, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

Austin Trip Report: Uchiko Takes the Cake

Great report. Thanks for following up!

Aug 13, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

Advice for first time visitors from NY (researched!!)

Thanks for reporting back. You guys are champion eaters and adventurers!

Aug 04, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

Hi Dallas Hounder, we're dropping kids at SIL house in Austin, and

+1 for Fabi & Rosi. I've celebrated a few milestones with my sweetie there. It's mellow, not sceney, and delicious. It's in a small house, and has some tables in the front yard under lights and willow trees. Nice service, too, with good wine recommendations.

Jul 22, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

Advice for first time visitors from NY (researched!!)

Skipping Franklin and going to Lockhart instead will definitely not suck. In fact, you'll have a lovely couple of hours in the country and see a typical central TX courthouse square. Eat at Smitty's, soak in the smoke, and enjoy the company at their long tables. Do double check hours for July 4.

Franklin is great, people are great, line is exciting and fun (toward opening time), bbq is great. But you have only 3 days in Austin. I wouldn't recommend spending half a day waiting in line in 95-degree weather. (If you do go, bring an umbrella for shade.)

If you have the time and stomach room for it, stop at El Taco Rico on the way to or from Lockhart. Have a great time!

Jun 19, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

Atlanta Foodies in Austin for a Week

For good interior Mexican with house-made everything (tortillas, salsas, moles) try El Naranjo on Rainey Street. It's an overlooked, calm, quality restaurant on a noisy, scene-y street of bars. The back patio can be especially nice, service is good, and owner Iliana de la Vega had a fine restaurant in Oaxaca before setting up here in Austin.

May 24, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

Itinerary Review- Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Maremma

Michaelstl—My husband is an unabashed (third wave) coffee snob. You may like to read his report from our April visit. Have a great trip!
http://www.home-barista.com/cafes/rom...

May 19, 2013
storefronteats in Italy

Atlanta Foodies in Austin for a Week

Great recommendations here. I second Houndstooth for coffee, though Progress may become a contender, as I believe they've handed over the reins to Flat Track roasters who are planning on changing the name of the cafe to Brew & Brew (coffee and beer). Flat Track's espresso at the tiny shop behind Farewell Books (formerly Domy Books) is high quality. Watch this space.

Do get out to Lockhart if you have time. Smitty's is my favorite, for food and atmosphere. You can visit El Taco Rico on the way back, or en route to or from the airport.

Have fun, and let us hear your report when you get back home.

May 19, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

Cape Cod /Boston Chowhound Heading to Austin this Weekend

It's casual/funky to the max, but I think you might enjoy sampling veggie/vegan options at the East SIde Kings locations along E. 6th (Shangri La, Liberty Bar, and The Grackle). They're within a few blocks of each other. I can heartily recommend the brussels sprouts and beet home fries at the Liberty and the grilled romaine at the Grackle. Menus here:
http://eskaustin.com/

May 17, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

7 days in Rome report (long)

My spouse and I spent 6 nights in Rome at the end of April and had some great chow, fairly easily found with a little pre-trip research and lots of help from this board. Thank you!

I studied architecture in Rome 25 years ago and the Mister had never been there, so we covered a lot of ground in one week. Our rented studio was near the Campo since I wanted to tread again the cobblestones of my youth. My Italian is 25 years rusty, recently brushed up with podcasts and books. Hopefully I was able to graciously order food and exchange pleasantries. Romans were mostly very generous and good-humored in correcting my Italian.

We’re not keen on fussy dining but we love good food. Rome is perfect for that! I was glad to experience Roman eating as I recalled it—simple, delicious, not too expensive. Reading this board, it sounded to me as though we’d need reservations everywhere. With a couple of exceptions, we didn’t, and we ate great.

First day
Lunch: We’d lost a whole day to a flight cancellation, so we hit the ground running. First stop: Forno Campo dei Fiori, where the pizza bianca tastes just like it did 25 years ago. How do they do that? Slices of daily pizza with zucchini, and with porcini, were excellent.

Dinner: Trattoria Sergio. We got this recommendation from our apartment host. A decent spot with a few tables of Romans enjoying dinner. Service and atmostphere felt comfortingly simple, and the pasta was good. I found my amatriciana (on spaghetti instead of bucatini) a touch sweet, but the bits of meat were so good. Hubby’s fettucine with porcini mushrooms was delicious. We split an insalata mista and went to bed.

Day 2
Lunch: 00100 Pizza. After strolling up the Aventine hill, we walked down and around into Testaccio to find this spot recommended on Elizabeth Minchilli’s app. A tiny neighborhood spot with owners who fit the artisan description and seemed to care a lot about each order. You stand shoulder-to-shoulder with others and order when you can. There are a few barstools against the wall, but it was a fine day and we ate on a bench right outside. The Mister’s first suppli (classico) had him wondering why everyone doesn’t serve these treats everywhere. We also shared a big piece of potato and pancetta pizza. Delicious. The potatoes were smashed instead of sliced, and draped with slices, not cubes, of pancetta. This changes how I now make this pizza at home. Shy of offal, we ordered the pollo cacciatore trapizzino, a nice combo of crunchy bread and drippy, wine-soaked chicken. Messy and really good. We walked down Viale Aventino to Il Gelato, another of Elizabeth’s recommendations which blew us away. I love savory desserts, and this gelato was the best. I ordered poppy seed and walnut flavors; s.o. had peperone and gorgonzola.The servers helped us with pairings, with outstanding results!

Dinner: Taverna dei Fori Imperiali. We met an old friend for dinner. He happens to live near this spot and had reserved a table. Service was very warm and we enjoyed meeting the family who cook and run the place. (It helped that we were with a regular, of course.) I had a wide pasta with artichokes and delicious sausage; s.o. had what they called a carbonara, but with artichokes and fava beans. A huge and beautiful mixed salad followed, very nice ricotta tart and pear tarts followed. I loved the atmosphere here—dim lighting, festive and family vibe.

Day 3: This was our Vatican day, and rainy. Avoiding the huge lines at S. Pietro, we walked in Prati to find Sciascia Caffe, a real treat for coffee lovers. The room is vintage and charming, the baristas surly, and the house caffé served with chocolate. Just a cup with espresso and perhaps an equal measure of barely-sweetened chocolate. Great on a rainy morning.

Fa•bio. Fresh, healthy food described and served by the friendliest of owners. Green smoothies made to order, and sandwiches with organic meats & veggies on fresh-baked bread. They also had lots of alternative-grain salads, wraps, etc. to offer. Great, tiny place near the Vatican walls.

Dinner: Pizza al talgio joint on Via del Pellegrino just off the NW corner of the Campo. I had low expectations for this place, but we were starving and had little time between the Vatican and the Symphony. But wow, the pizza was great! We had sausage, mushroom, and more potato. The suppli was okay.

The bar at Parco della Musica (architect: Renzo Piano) would be the place to have a snacky dinner, perhaps. We weren’t aware. But they have a large aperetivo table and a stunning, dimly-lit room with comfy chairs and low tables to eat, drink, and visit. We had caffes at the bar and then went to find our seats. Locals, how is the food?

Day 4
Lunch: Enoteca della Provincia provided a calm, modern atmosphere and good lunch after a long morning in the Forum. My pasta with artichokes was good, but my s.o. won the day with sformata filled with broccoli romanesco, topped with pancetta and sitting in a pool of cream. Really delicious. A revelation for me was the Frascati—three cheers for much-improved Lazio wines!

Dinner: Costanza, near the Campo. We chose this place for atmosphere & proximity, and that’s what we got. The rooms are cozy and cave-like (built into the site of the Theater of Pompey) and service was very nice. But the food was just okay. It was a fine place to catch up over dinner with a former professor, but I wouldn’t go back. Asparagus was overcooked to mushy; chickpea & prawn soup tasted like canned chickpeas; etc. Disappointing.

Day 5:
Lunch: La Sibilla in Tivoli. We split town and enjoyed a 2-hour hike in the Aniene gorge, starting at one entrance to Villa Gregoriana and exiting the park on the other side. This left us right at La Sibilla, which 3 Romans had approved for its food as well as the view. Service was aloof, even crabby. But we couldn’t complain, sitting under blooming wisteria, yards from the ancient temple of Venus, overlooking the gorge on a gorgeous afternoon. And the food was great! An amuse of wood-fired pizza bianca topped with the freshest cherry tomatoes took the edge off. The zucchini flower app was one of the best dishes we had all week—fried zucchini blossoms atop slightly melted fresh mozzarella, garnished with anchovies, swirls of beet puree, and a scoop of bright red, hot pepper sorbet. My artichoke ravioli were beautifully handmade and delicious; s.o. liked his calamarata with squid and olives. The pastry cream in the millefoglie was divine and the caffe was good, too. Definitely recommended. Reservations are a good idea, though there were several good tables available when we showed up at 2:00 or so.

Dinner: Da Francesco, near S. Maria della Pace. A fun spot in the crowded area west of Piazza Navona. Street life is vibrant & enjoyable. We had a short wait for a table, and service was slow but pleasant. Fun to watch servers, cooks, and management swirling around this small place. We shared a pizza with mushrooms—thin & delicious, like I remembered them coming out of the wood-fired oven. We also shared a special pasta with fava beans, simple & good.

Day 6:
Lunch: Enoteca Corsi, near S. Maria sopra Minerva. I loved this place & meal. It’s a big, un-redecorated room next to a wine shop. Nice natural light, high ceilings, and friendly service. It felt like being in a relative’s home. The airy, chewy, but hard-crusted bread was the first example all week of how I remembered excellent table bread. We gobbled up gnocchi bolognese and pork scallopine with roasted potatoes quickly, they were so good. Followed by a huge salad with many fresh vegetables. Perfect, in an everyday way.

Dinner: Cesare al Casaletto. This was a bit of a miss for us. We didn’t have a reservation but were seated after about 20 minutes of waiting on their patio. People-watching was great here, families with small kids running around, couples on dates. But the food didn’t meet the high expectations we’d developed from reading about this place. Service from two male servers was so nonexistent that, by the time our main course arrived, a woman who’d been serving the larger tables noticed and kindly took over. We started with fried squid—great, light, perfectly salty—and fried gnocchi, heavy and sitting in a pool of congealed cheese sauce. We shared Roman-style salt cod and a plate of braised chicory. Good but not special. The dessert sampler was fantastic, pastries with the lighest crust, a trio of custardy treats, and some very fine nut brittle. Maybe we ordered wrong or it was an off night, but I wouldn’t return here unless my stay in Rome were much longer than a week.

Day 7
Lunch: Roscioli (Forno). Great for our quick lunch before having to leave for the airport. We had pizza rossa, a panino with smoked mozzarella, prosciutto, and bitter lettuce, and assorted verdure fritti from behind the counter in the back room. It was crazy crowded in there but that was part of the fun. The Mister said the panino was the best thing he’d tasted all week. We found one barstool to share, and left wanting to eat there again.

Photos here if you like: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21519888...

Thanks again for all the help on this board. Steve H., I like your practice of making it an annual trip!

May 14, 2013
storefronteats in Italy
1

Albuquerque to Austin

What a good idea, to stop through Llano at Cooper's!

Apr 10, 2013
storefronteats in Texas

Albuquerque to Austin

I live in Austin and make the Santa Fe>>Austin trip a couple times each year. My preference is to linger in NM and eat as much green chile as possible, but I can not get enough of the stuff. Texas stereotypes, I'm not so good at. Hopefully somebody will help you out.

If you take the route through Clovis and Lubbock, take a slight detour south of Clovis to Portales. El Rancho is your last chance for green chile, and it's good. Throwback atmosphere with a good, local crowd.

In Lubbock, Montelongo is a no-frills Mexican cafe on the north edge of town. Plentiful food and friendly family service. If you're not from this region, it may feel a little like a trip to the border.

With 3 days, you may drive south in NM. Socorro is kind of sweet (visit the sleepy central plaza); El Sombrero (alas, not on the plaza) serves good green chile. Drove through Roswell and Carlsbad once and found them interesting towns. But then you're on the interstate for the long haul to Austin, and we know what interstate food is like.

Enjoy the drive, and check out the Austin board for your time here.

Apr 10, 2013
storefronteats in Texas

San Diegan's First Visit to Austin: Capitol Complex Area

A walk to Blue Dahlia on E. 11th would be nice, and they have several veggie and fish options. It's simple—sandwiches, soups, and light meals. Best for lunch, sitting in the back garden.

Might be far for a walk, but I think you'd be happy with dinner at East Side Cafe on Manor Road. They have a large garden adjacent the house/restaurant. Food is not so inventive, but fresh and consistent. They usually have pasta and salmon on the menu.

Walk down to Easy Tiger (E. 6th, just W of I-35) for fresh baked goods and espresso. (Lunch and dinner are meat-centric.)

Have a good trip!

Mar 24, 2013
storefronteats in Austin
1

R.I.P. VI

We happened into Tuk Tuk Thai by chance before a show across the street at Strange Brew. We were with friends, distracted, and not expecting much so I didn't pay too close attention to the chow. However, I remember it being tasty and the server and owner could not have been more pleasant.

The Tom Kha soup was really good, and I recall some good dumplings, too. I'd definitely try it again if I were in the neighborhood.

Feb 19, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

Tex-mex or Mexican near the missions

We just got back from a similar quick trip and have 2 ideas for you:
• Las Palmas is a block or 2 north of Nicha's on the west side of Roosevelt Road. Small storefront eatery with good, typical Tex-mex, homemade flour and corn tortillas. Clean spot, sweet family feeling. This would be your quick, non-fancy option.
• La Fruteria, 1401 S. Flores, is a newish spot from Johnny Hernandez serving botanos in the evenings. After the missions close at 5, you could go for delicious drinks and a meal of snacks. It's on the ground floor of a converted warehouse. Two of us had nuts and cocktails and then shared 4 plates. This is interior Mexican food. They were out of a couple things but we loved everything we ate and I'd go back in a minute. Fresh and tasty, and only very slightly off your path back to the hotel. Have a great trip!

Feb 07, 2013
storefronteats in Texas

Chitown Foodies need a little help please!

Wonderful reply from tom in austin. You might also consider El Naranjo for Mexican—specifically, Oaxacan—dinner. It's a short walk from your hotel and fits the "modern, authentic" description well. Food is elegant and subtle and the dining rooms are more calm than Bayless's. Lots of bars on the same street (Rainey St.) for after-dinner drinks.

For lunch, a new spot that's good for simple noshing, sipping, and Austin ambiance is Hillside Farmacy. Menu is short and food is very simple but fresh. They have cocktails, a charming vibe, and outdoor tables.

Have a great trip. We'll look forward to hearing what you find.

Jan 22, 2013
storefronteats in Austin

Two California women 30-40 somethings looking for cool Austin ambiance, second to fine food, next week!

I'm in your demographic, and I always enjoy Justine's. I've been a handful of times, with different people, and it's always a good, relaxed time. Great atmosphere, short menu, good, simple food, well prepared. The cooking is not exciting or innovative, as it is at BarleySwine, for example (do go there!) but it's a great place to have some wine & food with friends, enjoy the outdoor space and people watch. The tables are too small and I've had servers both excellent and not. Bartenders are great--if it's crowded, see if you can grab 2 barstools and eat at the bar. You'll have fun.

I agree with topeater about Eastside. If you really want to go, try it for breakfast or lunch. I'd go Parkside (but not on a weekend) over Olivia. And move Blue Dahlia to lunch or when you're in the mood for easy, light dinner. Sit in the garden out back.

Have a great trip, and let us know how your adventures pan out!

Sep 13, 2012
storefronteats in Austin