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Where, in Austin, would you take a vegetarian for a special dinner?

We have had awesome 5-7 course vegetarian tasting menus (omakase) from both Uchi and Uchiko. They are quite reasonably priced for what you get as well.

Mar 31, 2013
ebloom in Austin

The Goodnight is open!

Tarka bland? Maybe we have just ordered well, but I have always enjoyed my meals at Tarka.

That being said, if we venture into that area for a meal, my vote always goes to Korea House.

Nov 16, 2012
ebloom in Austin

Speaking frankly about Frank

Have you tried the hot dog buns from Man Bites Dog? I don't know where he sources them from but they are the best part of the place for me. Reminds me a little of brioche.

Aug 07, 2012
ebloom in Austin

La Fogata on Burnet

I saw it parked a little farther north a couple weeks ago. Still on the east side of the road though.

And I'll second the enchiladas potosinas recommendation... very tasty.

Mar 29, 2012
ebloom in Austin

Uchi vs Uchiko?

We've eaten at both several times and I definitely prefer Uchi. Mostly because I just like the space better. The food is quite similar.

Mar 02, 2012
ebloom in Austin

Vegetarian friend coming to town

We've had multiple tasty vegetarian meals at Foreign & Domestic and they certainly have enough meat based appetizers/entrees on the menu. It's about 10 minutes north of downtown, but worth the drive.

Jan 28, 2012
ebloom in Austin

El Taco Rico trip turned into sandwich discovery

We tried to have tacos over at El Taco Rico for lunch on Tuesday however we pulled up and they were closed. This set off a Twitter search to see where we should eat instead. Ended up at That's Amore, a trailer just west of the AMLI apartments on Riverside/IH 35. Their sandwiches were great: bread with just the right amount of crunch on the outside, chew in the middle. The basil pesto was clearly home made and had the right balance of garlicky goodness similar to the way I make it. Fresh mozzarella included with actual flavor, rather than that tasteless crap that appears on sandwiches. Only tried two sandwiches, but will definitely be back for more. Unfortunately, their menu on the website doesn't work but they have a good mix of Italian panini's and several salads. Although it was an admittedly small sample size, they have the best panini's in town in my opinion.

Since we were there, we tried a veggie taco from Karma Tacos in the same park... when you want a taco from El Taco Rico, it sets a high expectation and Karma Taco didn't come close. Underseasoned, bad corn tortilla, and served without salsa.

The third trailer is some sort of pizza-themed place. While eating our lunch, the owner brought us an order of their dessert. It consisted of 6 plum-sized fried balls with the consistency of a funnel cake. Sprinkled with powder sugar and drizzled with a fruit-based sauce. It made for a tasty dessert that made me want to come back and try some of their pizza.

Eric

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El Taco Rico
810 Vargas Rd, Austin, TX 78741

Nov 02, 2011
ebloom in Austin

A Vegetarian and a Pescatarian- One Night Only!

I've posted about it before, but Uchi does an amazing vegetarian tasting menu (omakase). They are very comfortable creating memorable dishes without fish or other meats. We tried this at Uchiko a couple months ago and enjoyed it as well. My wife like Uchiko better and I am a bigger fan of Uchi. Both were very tasty though.

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Uchi Restaurant
801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

Uchiko
4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

Oct 18, 2011
ebloom in Austin

Fancy vegetarian?

The best vegetarian tasting menus we've had have been at Uchi/Uchiko. Oddly, my wife prefers Uchiko and I prefer Uchi.

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Uchi Restaurant
801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

Uchiko
4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

Jun 23, 2011
ebloom in Austin

Hard Hat Report Vol 8

Just ate at Sushi-a-go-go that moved from Medical Parkway over to Airport and 50th Str. They are apparently remodeling the bright yellow former Mexican restaurant/bar south of the Tamale House and should have their restaurant open in a couple months.

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Tamale House
5003 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

Jun 16, 2011
ebloom in Austin

Gordon's Bringing Kitchen Nightmares To Austin: Here's Who Needs His Help

I agree completely and am not trying to make excuses for their food. We mostly just order pizzas and stay away from anything more complex.

Mar 22, 2011
ebloom in Austin

Gordon's Bringing Kitchen Nightmares To Austin: Here's Who Needs His Help

Did you read the Statesman article by Addie Broyles about spending a day there? It sounds like the volume they have to serve within the time constraint makes it very difficult to control quality.

Mar 22, 2011
ebloom in Austin

Gordon's Bringing Kitchen Nightmares To Austin: Here's Who Needs His Help

I'm surprised to hear this about Cippolina. The pizza has been consistently tasty every time I have eaten there. Only tried a couple pasta dishes over the years but haven't been disappointed with the restaurant yet.

I would vote for Phara's... It surprises me the volume they do, but still seem to have no clue how to run a restaurant.

Mar 22, 2011
ebloom in Austin

What's going on at Sunflower?

Try Le Soleil up Lamar just north of Rutland. Remarkably similar menu (I've heard it is run by Sunflower's ex-husband) but with slight variations. The location is pretty rough, but we have always had good experiences there.

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Le Soleil Restaurant
9616 N Lamar Blvd Ste 156, Austin, TX 78753

Mar 22, 2011
ebloom in Austin

Risotto?

Foreign & Domestic has a really nice roasted mushroom risotto on the menu (at least it was a couple weeks ago). Definitely creamy and a great buttery taste.

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Foreign & Domestic
306 E 53rd St, Austin, TX 78751

Mar 20, 2011
ebloom in Austin

Chilaquiles

The first (and only) time we tried La Casita we had a very unpleasant experience primarily due to some hair in the food. It's hard to go back after that. I've even brought up the restaurant in conversation with my wife on several occasions and she never remembers where it is until I mention our one visit.

Jan 31, 2011
ebloom in Austin

Chilaquiles

I've searched around for recommendations on chilaquiles and have tried quite a few places. Taquerias Arandinas (off I-35 around 290 and on Riverside) serves my current favorite.
-Las Cazuelas on Cesar Chavez was okay, but the sauce just wasn't great.
-Trudy's serves a completely different version than I have had anywhere else and really just tastes like chips w/ a jalapeno sauce.
-Sazon was a favorite of mine several years ago when I lived south, but haven't been back for breakfast in some time.

Who am I missing? I don't really care for the cheese-laden migas served at every restaurant in town.

Jan 30, 2011
ebloom in Austin

help me find shrimp and grits

We tried breakfast when it first opened and haven't returned since. The biscuits & gravy looked and tasted like someone put cat food on top of the saddest little canned biscuits I've ever seen. The egg dish was equally sad with overcooked scrambled eggs and extremely salty homefries. Given that it is still open, maybe we had an unusual experience or they revamped the food completely. Otherwise, they are just staying in business based on tourist traffic.

Dec 28, 2010
ebloom in Austin

Thai Groceries

I've looked all over for fresh kafir lime leaves and have never found any. Instead we just planted one in the backyard although after this current cold weather, it is looking pretty sad.

Dec 27, 2010
ebloom in Austin

Foreign & Domestic revisited

We are there this Wednesday and I'm really surprised to hear your comments about the squash fritters. Seems like a totally different dish was delivered to us. The butternut squash/cheese combo plus the ham on top was very popular with the meat eaters at our table.

On a side note, we tried one of the new desserts (chocolate coconut cake with a toasted almond ice cream) and thought it was awesome. The toasted almond flavor of the ice cream was great on it's own and even better when you combined it with some of the cake.

Dec 11, 2010
ebloom in Austin

Staying in Buda, anything close and delicious?

Surprised to hear this since we've always had very tasty food there. My favorite is the linguine fasano with shitakes, spinach and artichoke hearts.

It is a pretty basic Italian menu, but everything I have tried has been seasoned nicely and tasted great.

Definitely worth a visit if in the area.

Sep 25, 2010
ebloom in Austin

Best store/bar to buy/sample microbrew beers

I completely agree that the make your own six pack is not a good deal, but for someone that just wants to try a variety I think it works. Personally, I prefer to just buy new/different six packs.

Sep 18, 2010
ebloom in Austin

Best store/bar to buy/sample microbrew beers

The convenience store at the intersection of 45th & Duval (I think it is called Sunrise Market) has a ridiculous number of beers. I read somewhere that their idea is to carry every beer any distributor will deliver. In addition, they have a very large make your own 6 pack for a set price selection.

Sep 17, 2010
ebloom in Austin

Foreign & Domestic revisited

We have now eaten at F&D four times since they opened and I'm very happy they are really getting it right. Previous meals have had some issues such as slow/inattentive service and a lack of salt. Our meal this week was excellent from start to finish. It seems they spent the last three months tweaking various things and it has really improved the restaurant.

They now have their version of happy hour with a cheap beer special and a couple appetizers. We had the fried okra/shishito peppers off this new menu. I'm a big fan of fried okra and this was the tastiest version I've had. The batter was light and salted well. The peppers were a new thing for us and they basically taste like small banana peppers. A nice tangy bite.

The black olive popovers definitely have more gruyere flavor, but I still wish there was a bit more olive in them.

For entrees, we tried the ditali & cheddar dish. Great version of mac & cheese with a soft boiled egg added. The addition of celery leaves and I believe some celery salt was nice. Since we don't eat meat, they left the oxtail off without a problem. We ordered the tofu/summer pea/carrot butter entree again and found it to be even better this time. The tofu was better seasoned and crispier on the outside. In addition, the carrot butter/puree tasted brighter and more flavorful. I hope they are using it on some other dishes because people deserve to taste it, even if scared off by a tofu dish.

Our dessert was the pistachio ice cream/fried blueberry pie. Definitely a much better pie than the Ms. Baird's artificial flavor.

As a side note, don't get too fixated on a menu item from the online menu since there have always been additions/deletions on the nightly menu. A good thing in my opinion.

Aug 14, 2010
ebloom in Austin

Gazpacho!

Texas French Bread is serving an awesome one... Their dinner menu changes frequently so I don't know how much longer it will be available. They are using tomatoes from 4 local farms and it tasted remarkably fresh.

Not related to the original question, but their fresh pastas are amazing as well.

Aug 04, 2010
ebloom in Austin

Aeropress in a coffeeshop

Anyone know of a place serving coffee made with an Aeropress here? They have them for sale at Anderson's, but I was hoping someone was brewing with them. I checked at Houndstooth and they were unfamiliar. Before buying one, I would like to see for myself if the hype is true.

Jul 03, 2010
ebloom in Austin

Foreign & Domestic on North Loop

We also ate there on Friday evening. It seemed pretty warm, but we were seated close to the front window. They will definitely need to upgrade the A/C before August or they won't need to use their ovens at all.

As for the food:
We started with an order of the black olive/gruyere popovers. I didn't taste much gruyere, but these were just awesome. If the whole restaurant thing doesn't work, I have a feeling they could turn this into a bakery and do great. I noticed multiple tables ordering them so either the word got out or it soon will.

Next up were two of the salads. A Bibb lettuce salad with avocado, rye croutons, soft-boiled egg and a tomato seed dressing. This was a very fresh twist on a salad that we all loved. Unfortunately, it also had sardines on it which would have been nice to know about given that we are vegetarians. We had specifically asked when ordering about which items didn't have meat so we just took them off. The other salad had greens, peach, rhubarb, and a champagne vinaigrette. It had a nice flavor, particularly the dressing, but the other salad was much more memorable.

For entrees, we had the corn ravioli served over a corn broth with ricotta and herbs. The corn flavor of both the broth and ravioli was very nice and not overpoweringly sweet. The other entree is not on the online menu, but was a squash/zucchini/eggplant mixture with crostini covered with I believe a ricotta mixture and some sort of infused herb oil. My description doesn't do it justice, but if you like squash and zucchini, this was a very tasty dish. When combined with the crostini, it was great. Our only issue with both entrees is that we felt they were definitely undersalted. It surprised all of us since we rarely feel the need to add salt while at a restaurant. One of our tablemates ordered the garlic broth as an appetizer and while I didn't taste it, she also felt it needed some salt to counteract the sweetness of the broth.

We skipped dessert, but will definitely be back to try them. Based on the perfectly baked popovers, we are looking forward to them.

I know it is a brand new restaurant, but they do have some service issues to work out. There seemed to be a longer than expected wait to place orders, but the food arrived quickly and clearly just prepared.

Overall, it was a very good meal and seemed to be a great value. Given the changes to the menu that have already taken place, we are looking forward to trying the new dishes they come up with.

May 23, 2010
ebloom in Austin

Foreign & Domestic on North Loop

Wondering if anyone on here has tried this restaurant yet. They've had preview dinners the last couple nights, but I haven't heard anything about the food yet. The menu looks pretty tasty though.

Eric

May 19, 2010
ebloom in Austin

Cheko's on Koenig Lane

Pretty basic tex-mex food. We eat breakfast there pretty regularly which is similar to the Taqueria Arandas on Burnet. The thing that draws me back is the corn tortillas. Don't know if they are making them fresh in house, but they sure taste much better than the pieces of cardboard most places pass off as corn tortillas.

Feb 16, 2010
ebloom in Austin

24 diner

We had similar problems with execution when we ate breakfast there this morning. One order of skillet fries were way too salty while the other was tasty with a good combination of sauteed onions and jalapenos. I second the waffle comment above as well. If I wanted a Waffle House waffle, I would just go to Waffle House. Another big problem: my wife ordered an egg sandwich and each of the three eggs were cooked to a different degree (runny, gooey, hard).

On the positive side, the scrambled eggs were cooked excellently and their homemade veggie sausage was unique and tasty. It almost seemed the chef spent all his/her time properly cooking the scrambled eggs and everything else was an afterthought.

As I've found with other places, the Yelp reviews are almost uniformly positive. Not sure if others have noticed, but the usefulness of the reviews seems to have dropped off as more and more people use the site.

Dec 06, 2009
ebloom in Austin