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exlnghrn's Profile

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Visiting Austin, looking for steakhouse tips

Ditto on Murphy's.

Mar 17, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

Cajun Pizza Place

The food sounds a lot like the place I ate at last year in Lafayette called Pizza Village. The co-owner mentioned having his eye on opening a place in Austin. Guess it happened.

Feb 07, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

Visiting downtown Austin in March

I'll second the TCP recommendation with two caveats. One, the service can be spotty at best. Two, the meat is more chunky than most chili is. Having said that, though, their chili has among the best flavor I've had in a restaurant's "bowl of red."

Jan 31, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

Places that are Popular to Hate

Agreed. Love Matt's queso and their red sauce that's not quite chili gravy.

Jan 27, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

Places that are Popular to Hate

Virtually any chain.... because if it's popular with the masses, it's no longer good -- or it's become "bland."

And anyplace that serves Tex-Mex. Apparently, chili gravy and yellow cheese are not chow-worthy.

Great topic, by the way.

Jan 25, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

Places that are Popular to Hate

I've seen the tortilla truck too. El Milagro. Which is pretty good as far as a commercial tortilleria goes.

Jan 25, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

Moonie's Burgers Now Open

For what it's worth, I've found the burgers at the Arboretum Five Guys to be dried out as well. The Guadalupe location is significantly better.

Jan 21, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

Visiting Austin next week

Sounds like Ronnie's BBQ in Johnson City, right there on 281.

Jan 13, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

Hard Hat Report Vol. 4

Wondering if it's the same owners as a pizza place I tried in Lafayette called Pizza Village. I was there for a conference last June and the owner mentioned that he might open a location in Austin since he lived there part of the year. The pizza was pretty good, reminding me a lot of a Pizza Hut that was actually run correctly.

Jan 12, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

Restaurants in San Marcos/New Braunfels

For a nicer dinner, you might consider Texas Red's or Grin's. Both are above average and have a variety on their menu.

Jan 08, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

Restaurants in San Marcos/New Braunfels

I went recently and found that the BBQ is not as good as the Llano location. The pork chop was overdone with black pepper and the sauce was slightly thin. Not that atmosphere matters too much to me, but the interior of the restaurant feels industrial at best.

What about Herbert's Taco Hut in San Marcos for Tex-Mex? Greasy spoon/dive.

Jan 08, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

I ate at Texas Monthly’s Top 5 BBQ Pits in One Weekend.

Agreed on Chisholm Trail. The BBQ is equal to Black's in my opinion with sides that are superior to anyone else.

While we're talking about Central Texas, let me throw in a hearty endorsement for the brisket at the City Meat Market in Giddings. You can literally taste the burnt wood. Highly recommended.

Jan 06, 2010
exlnghrn in Austin

I have 2 nights to eat in Austin- where to?

Dang, I miss the Round Rock Cooper's too...

Dec 08, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

I have 2 nights to eat in Austin- where to?

Brisket/BBQ -- the best in the city limits can be found at Texas Rib Kings. The BBQ is good enough, but the counter guys seem to know how to cut it. As for a steak, Austin Land and Cattle (NO connection to the inconsistent chain.) IMHO, Austin doesn't have a phenomenal steakhouse, but this is as close as you'll get.

Tex-Mex -- my suggestions are Matt's El Rancho, El Gallo, El Patio, or El Azteca. All of these represent the best, IMHO, of the classic Tex-Mex. Yellow queso, chili gravy, etc.

Dec 08, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

24 diner

Thanks for the reply -- any chance of bringing jelly and butter as well?

Dec 07, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

Tamales for Christmas Party

The spicy beef ones are simply phenomenal and should be experienced.

Dec 06, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

24 diner

Also wondering if maybe Yelp attracts a different type of reviewer than here.... Yelp seems much more about the social life than this site. While I disagree with a lot of the reviews on this site, this site is much more about the food than about the "vibe" or what's trendy.

Dec 06, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

Tamales for Christmas Party

Have you tried Pedro's tamales? I absolutely love them. They are made in Lubbock and you can order them online at tamale.com. Also, some HEB locations here seem to have them.

Dec 06, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

24 diner

Well, after watching the Texas game last night, some of my family and I went to 24 Diner last night. That's the new Waterloo Ice House diner concept at 6th and Lamar.

The menu is, shall we say, pretentious. Aiolis and cheeses are predominant on the menu as toppings and dressings on the menu. Prices are somewhat high for the restaurant as well. (For example, a burger and fries run 8.95. Certainly not outrageous, but not when the burger can't even compete with a chain like Chili's.)

However, the menu and the prices were not the lowlight of the evening. Rather, it was the execution of the menu which left a bad taste in my mouth. After turning in our order, the waiter returned to tell us that they had run out of bacon. A 24 hour diner running out of bacon at around midnight is pretty unbelievable. Additionally, our iced tea was brought out without lemons and required us to request any sweeteners whatsoever.

I ended up with their cheeseburger, which was served on a challah bun. The bun had as much in common with challah as it did Wonder Bread. The fries, to their credit, were served hot and had a light sprinkling of sea salt. One of my other dining companions had the breakfast plate, sans bacon. She said the toast was poorly toasted, which I could observe as well. The sausage was inconsistent to her as one pattie was fine, but the next was overly seasoned with sage. When she asked for butter and jelly for her bread, she was told that the restaurant did not have any jelly whatsoever. The waiter did return with a small cup of butter, which appeared solid as if it had just been produced from the refrigerator or freezer. The only other option offered for the "toast" was honey, which was just a container of "Clover Honey." My other dining companion had waffles and country ham. The waffles were described as tasting similar to frozen waffles and the country ham was observed to require significant effort from a knife to cut it.

As we were paying out for our underwhelming meal, I overheard the manager discussing with the staff that they were out of Coca-Cola and he was sending an employee somewhere to buy eight pounds of bacon. One can only imagine that the bacon would unlikely be the "applewood bacon" as described on the menu.

Our waiter was pleasant, which was the only saving grace for the restaurant. The food is underwhelming at best and the management is clearly still trying to adjust to being open. With the restaurant being almost exactly halfway between Katz's and Magnolia, neither of those 24 hour restauarants should lose much sleep. For that matter, neither should Whataburger.

Dec 06, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

What's the deal with Five Guys?

I think that Five Guys is "all right." In other words, by no means the worst -- or best -- burger in Austin. Having said that though, the Guadalupe location seems to be better than the Arboretum location which gets orders wrong and which seems to dry their burgers out.

Nov 30, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

Best BBQ?

In town, I've had pretty good luck with Texas Rib Kings at Research and Burnet. Pretty standard looking place that's mainly concerned with catering, but the brisket and (appropriately) the pork ribs were excellent. Their counter guy was excellent. Saw him bring out a new brisket and he didn't automatically cut off the fat.

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Texas Rib Kings
9012 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758

Nov 16, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

People Smack Me When I Say I Don't Like Tacodeli & P. Terry's

P. Terry's struck me as overrated too. I'm still convinced of Mike's Pub's chow-worthiness for burgers.

I can't get the Tacodeli fascination -- or Taco Shack either...

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Tacodeli
12001 N Mo Pac Expy, Austin, TX 78758

Mike's Pub
108 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701

Nov 13, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

Austin Burger Smackdown!

Against my better judgement, I stopped at Mighty Fine last night since I had been running errands in that shopping center. I ordered my standard burger (bacon cheeseburger with ketchup only), fries, and an iced tea. $11.34 for what's maybe $7-$8 at Whataburger.

The fries are excellent, as long as you eat them hot. In fact, they were so good as to not need ketchup. Once they cool off (which is quickly), they lose most of their luster and are surprisingly reminiscient of the Durkee shoestring potatoes out of the can.

The burger was incredibly, remarkably pedestrian. The bun was standard. The meat itself was barely seasoned and had a different, almost shredded texture. Cheese had the flavor of a Kraft Single. And the bacon was disappointing. Neither crip nor flavorful.

If it had been from a fast food joint, I wouldn't mind going back. But for over $10 for a burger, fries, and drink, it had best be remarkable. Sadly, this was average at best.

Mighty Fine is mighty average. Great marketing, though....

What's with the current trend of new burger places anyways....? Mighty Fine, P. Terry's, Hat Creek, etc.... All are somewhat interchangable and none approach the gold standard that is, and will likely remain, Mike's Pub.

Nov 04, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

Five Guys VS. Mooyah

I thought it was just me. I had the exact same thing happen to me.

Feb 08, 2009
exlnghrn in Austin

Mesa Ranch on Mesa

I actually went on Wednesday night with a friend of mine. The service was a bit lax in the evening, forgetting to bring us our steak sauces and not knowing what the kitchen was out of (several desserts and Earl Grey tea). The steak seems to have slid since I last went and the fries were less than memorable. My dining partner commented that the chicken tortilla soup was inedible and had an intense vegetable flavor. For now, I've scratched it off my "go-to" list.

Oct 03, 2008
exlnghrn in Austin

Great Rootbeer at Spec's

Has anyone else tried Abita's rootbeer? I've had it on tap at Gingerman ages ago and occasionally buy a 6-pack at Central Market. It's made with Louisiana spring water and cane sugar (instead of corn syrup).

It's one of my favorite rootbeers, primarily because it tastes strong without having a harsh or artificial taste.

Feb 12, 2008
exlnghrn in Austin

Some places known for their chicken wings

While we all have different tastes, I'm amazed by the hatred for Plucker's. Granted, it's EXCEEDINGLY kitschy at times and often gets confused as to it's identity (bar or restaurant), but I'm in love with their sauces. I am borderline addicted to their spicy BBQ and teriyaki sauces. The service is almost always first-class and really strives to accomodate special requests. (FYI, try asking for them to toss your fries in their fajita seasoning.)

I've never had worse sauces than Wing Stop. Their teriyaki, in particular, tastes especially harsh and artificial.

I realize that in our quest for "intense deliciousness," we often try to find the establishments that are off-the-beaten-path. However, such a search does not mean that we should look at any chain or popular establishment with disdain and disgust. Alas, I see that way too often on this board.

Or maybe I'm just not sophisiticated enough of a food hipster because I love Plucker's, Rudy's, and El Gallo. I've got no problem admitting my love for Velveeta-covered Tex-Mex or Plucker's chicken tenders. Am I less of a hound because my tastes aren't "hip"?

Feb 11, 2008
exlnghrn in Austin

Great Rootbeer at Spec's

What do you like about Henry Weinhard's? I'm not familiar with it, but I've always loved good root beer. Currently, my favorite is Abita, which Central Market carries.

Jan 29, 2008
exlnghrn in Austin

Lockhart for dinner?

I've also had good experiences with Chisholm Trail, which is a more cafeteria-style BBQ restaurant. They have very good brisket and side orders. Everytime I've gone there late, they've had a full selection of meat. Very good place...

Jan 21, 2008
exlnghrn in Austin

Atmosphere+Romantic+Good Food

It's been a while, and it's a bit of a drive from central Austin, but Ciola's makes a great warm dinner in cold weather. Nothing like good red sauce Italian for this weather.

Jan 18, 2008
exlnghrn in Austin