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Hard Hat XII

They have a placeholder web site up here:

"For all of wine’s highfalutin ways, it’s really all just a bunch of rotten grapes. At The Rotten Bunch Wine Bar + Kitchen, we’re all about enjoying wine and food made from simple ingredients and delivered in surprising ways. We summon decades of experience to create a soulful place that we’re proud to share with our community. And we deliver without pretense because, well, we like it that way. And we hope you will, too. Pull up a chair. Join us."

Jul 06, 2015
ccaustin in Austin

favorite sandwiches in austin that are not hot dogs or burgers?

Were you inspired by this article from yesterday? If not, it's worth a read.

Apr 15, 2015
ccaustin in Austin

HEB Pork Butts bone in 1.47 Today's Ads - Nov. 23

Bought an 8.5 pounder from the Braker HEB yesterday. I'm thinking of smoking it on my Weber water smoker. This will be my first pork butt - any tips on time & temperature?

Mar 27, 2015
ccaustin in Austin

Hard Hat XII

Caspian Grill now open in the old Fireoak Grill space at 183 and Oak Knoll. Persian food:

Also, there's a new South Indian place coming soon on Parmer near N. Lamar. I think it's called Mirchi, or something like that.

Feb 19, 2015
ccaustin in Austin

Top Notch - Just an FYI

It can be risky walking up to a stranger and saying, "Pardon me, are you rudeboy?" ;-)

Oct 31, 2014
ccaustin in Austin

New Middle Eastern food restaurant located near Braker & North Lamar

My Serbian neighbor give Balkan Cafe a thumbs-up. He says to go on the weekend for the whole lamb roast.

Oct 14, 2014
ccaustin in Austin

Moooonrise Charcuterie

That patio looks the wrong direction, I believe. It's more appropriate for the sunset.

Sep 09, 2014
ccaustin in Austin

New Middle Eastern food restaurant located near Braker & North Lamar

Hah! Yup, that was me. Thanks for calling me "sir".

My one critique of Peace is that they could use a little more signage or explanation on how the ordering process should work. I'm sure they'll sort that out - they were certainly busy for only being open less than two weeks. Definitely no complaints about the food!

Aug 27, 2014
ccaustin in Austin

New Middle Eastern food restaurant located near Braker & North Lamar

Went there for lunch today and really enjoyed it. Had the falafel plate, which included four freshly made falafels, plus two sides. I had a cold eggplant salad, and a cucumber/tomato/dried pita salad- both excellent. Also includes fresh pita from their in-house bakery.

N. Lamar between Rundberg and Parmer is rapidly becoming a hub for Middle Eastern/Greek restaurants. You have Gyro Greek, Peace Bakery, International Foods, Santorini Cafe, Balkan Cafe and Shahi Cafe, all within about a few miles of each other.

Aug 27, 2014
ccaustin in Austin

Pakistan Food

There are a few reviews in another thread (Hard Hat, maybe?). I had lunch there once, the food was good but the interior decor was pretty sparse. I think it would work better for a crowd at dinner, where you could share a few orders of bread and sides to go with your mains.

It was reviewed in the Austin Chronicle recently, as well:

Jul 22, 2014
ccaustin in Austin

Chapli N IH-35 and W Howard

I had a similar experience there last week. Ordered the Chapli kabob, which was really tasty, but served with just rice and salad (tomatoes & onions). I would have traded a smaller kabob for a side of curry and bread.

Talked to the owner briefly, he said they would be starting a lunch buffet in a month or so. I'll try it again after that.

Jul 02, 2014
ccaustin in Austin

Hard Hat XI

I sat at the bar next to Jack G himself at the RR location last week. He told us that he expected the 360 location to be open between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Jun 17, 2014
ccaustin in Austin

Are we allowed to share inspiring, completely remarkable experiences here?

In the spirit of another thread, I wanted to pass along this story I saw on a friend's Facebook page. We should celebrate the restaurants that are doing great things, right?

" <Our> 7th anniversary is Sunday. Earlier in the week, I made dinner reservations at Olivia's here in Austin. The restaurant called Saturday afternoon to let me know that they are usually closed for the Super Bowl, but that they will open just for us and close when we leave. They did offer to let us reschedule and give us a $50 coupon, but with <husband>'s travel schedule that doesn't work. They are opening just for us tomorrow. So, if you want a great dinner at a non-crowded restaurant, come to Olivia's Sunday night! They will take more customers! "

Feb 02, 2014
ccaustin in Austin

Hard Hat XI

Bullritos has opened in the old Qdoba location in the Arboretum. From the looks of their website, someone said "What happens if we combine Which-Which with Chipotle?"

Jan 28, 2014
ccaustin in Austin

Soto anyone?

For what it's worth, a friend of mine spotted Paul Qui dining at Soto last night.

Oct 29, 2013
ccaustin in Austin


Zed's closing today, per their Facebook page:

Sadly, today Zed's will be closing its doors. Thank you all for your support in helping us to make Zed's such a beloved place. We plan to open the doors again soon, and hope that you all will watch for and join us when that time comes. Best of wishes, until we meet again...

Feb 19, 2013
ccaustin in Austin

3 days in Austin THIS weekend!! Please make food recommendations for rustic/outdoor/farm-to-table style places!

You should check out Contigo. I think that hits all your requirements.

Oct 31, 2012
ccaustin in Austin

Root Beer?

How much do you need? You can find Maine Root Root Beer (made in Austin) in bottles pretty easily.

I'm pretty sure Specs carries, or could get, kegs of St Arnold (Houston) and Abita (Louisiana) Root Beers as well, if you wanted more.

Aug 30, 2012
ccaustin in Austin

Hard Hat Vol IX

What a combo, although I don't think it tops the "Fresh Donuts & Seafood Restaurant" in Giddings.

Mar 05, 2012
ccaustin in Austin

Anyone tried Hank's Garage?

I went by Hank's at lunchtime today. The place was shuttered and there was a plain paper sign in the window stating that they were closed indefinitely.

Dec 27, 2011
ccaustin in Austin

Anniversary Dinner for (out of the loop) foodies

I had a nice meal at Texas French Bread about a month ago. Excellent mussels and a good garlic-y pasta dish with shrimp IIRC. Also, it's BYOB, so you can save some money on the wine if you have a nice bottle sitting around the house.

Apr 18, 2011
ccaustin in Austin

Hard Hat Report Vol 5

Perhaps Cafe Express? It's a Houston-based mini-chain of counter service restaurants.

Cafe Express
321 Fm 2325, Wimberley, TX 78676

Jul 08, 2010
ccaustin in Austin

Live Oak Beer With Your Food

Salvation Pizza offers three or four different types of Live Oak on tap -- half price from 4-6pm. I like the #6 pizza with italian sausage, onion, black olives and jalapenos.

Mar 28, 2009
ccaustin in Austin

Where to eat with young kids? (sick of Chuy's!)

I've eaten with my daughter (2 years old) several times at NXNW. I will say, we've always gone when the weather is nice and we could sit on the back patio. This way she can walk around a little bit, and it's not a huge big if she drops something. They have a standard kids menu, but she normally ends up sharing a pizza with us.

Dec 13, 2008
ccaustin in Austin

Food Trucks/Trailers/Stands that aren't known for Tex-Mex

There's Papa's Pot on Jollyville:

They serve sandwiches, wraps, etc. for lunch. I like that you can get a fresh salad with your meal rather than the chips you find at most sandwich joints.

Jun 24, 2008
ccaustin in Austin

dunkin donuts in north austin?

I believe it's closed for renovations right now -- has been for three weeks or so. You can tell there's work going on, so they should be reopening soon.

May 11, 2008
ccaustin in Austin

New Place to Eat in North Austin-DiMassi's

I went to Dimassi's on Friday for dinner. It's an all-you-can-eat buffet, which surprised me because the versions in Houston were cafeteria style. I believe it was $12 for dinner (they didn't charge for my 2-year-old). The price included drinks (tea/soda/etc.)

There were basically two long buffet tables, one focused on salads and one focused on main dishes. Overall, I thought the food was good, comparable to Tino's but with more variety.

There were two cucumber salads which I didn't try, and one cabbage salad (similar to the stuff you get with pupusas at a Salvadoran restaurant) that I really liked. Hummus and baba gannouj were pretty standard stuff.

My favorite veggie at the Dimassis in Houston was their roasted eggplant, and it didn't disappoint here. Big chunks of eggplant were really soft and flavorful. I also tried a rice with chicken and eggplant in it, which was quite good.

Not surprisingly for a buffet, the meats were a mixed bag. Although I went back several times, there was never any falafel. The roasted chicken parts were really tasty, and had two drumsticks that were fresh and hot, they tasted almost like tandoori chicken. I also had a lamb shank, which was pretty tasty, but dry and overcooked. I ate it along with the aforementioned eggplant.

They had a brick oven where they were making fresh pita, but they just dumped them all into a big plastic serving tray. I grabbed a few with the tongs, but always seemed to get older, cold ones. I need to figure out how to get hot pita next time.

There were a few standard deserts, including a good almond cookie, and a mushy, sweet baklava.

Mar 31, 2008
ccaustin in Austin

Tortas in Austin

I guess I should let you all in on my experiences as well. I live and work in NW Austin, so these places are all out that way.

Taqueria Guadalajara (620, west of 183) -- This is my favorite in Austin so far. The pork had a good flavor, although I think I got a few gristly pieces.

Taqueria la Tapatia (183 and Anderson Mill) -- I used to frequent the one in Houston, but this place seems totally different. Are they even related? I was pleased the last time I went, but not quite as good as Guadalajara.

Tacodeli -- (Mopac & Burnet) Pretty tasty, but not really what I'm looking for. The meat (pastor) wasn't right, and I thought it was weird that it came with a green salad. Good choice for taking your parents or someone who doesn't like taqueria food.

Mar 27, 2008
ccaustin in Austin

Tortas in Austin

Where do Austin Chowhounds go for the best tortas in town? I searched the board, and found a couple of mentions buried in other threads, but thought it would be best to start a new thread on its own.

Here's what I think makes a delicious torta:

1) Good bread - I like the bread fairly soft (more telera than bolillo) but toasted so the outside is crispy, even slightly burnt.
2) Good meat - I like al pastor, but my wife prefers something leaner like pechuga or pierna. In any event, it should be flavorful and not dry.
3) Good condiments/salsa - definitely lettuce, tomato, sour cream/crema and avocado. I like the option of cheese (queso fresco or similar) but can live without it. There should also be both a red and green salsa on the table to add to the sandwich.
4) Good value -- preferably less than $4 for a meal-sized sandwich.

Mar 26, 2008
ccaustin in Austin