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My favorite things from Central Market

Guinness stout gingerbread is back! SO GOOD.

Nov 24, 2012
femmenikita in Austin

Hard Hat Vol IX

Whoops! Forgot to attach menu!

Mar 12, 2012
femmenikita in Austin

Hard Hat Vol IX

Eh, precious, perhaps, but I always prefer to reserve judgment until I've actually tasted the food/drinks. That said, this was my experience at Midnight Cowboy: If you are looking for a bar (not a restaurant/bar) on 6th Street, west of I-35, that serves high-end cocktails, and where you also have no trouble hearing/carrying on a conversation with others in your party, Midnight Cowboy would be a good bet. There was no mood music at all the night I went, so that was a nice change from other bars in that area. It is not a place I would choose over, say, East Side Showroom on far east 6th, or Drink.Well further north, although the drinks are of comparable quality/creativity. I had the Smoke & Mirrors: 12 year single malt scotch, Duque de Carmona sherry, Benedictine, sarsparilla bitters, and flambéed orange peel. It was freaking delicious. Almost too nice a scotch to use in a mixed drink, and a sweet aftertaste without being a "sugary drink." After that I ordered the Beige something-or-other, which was supposed to be coconut/lime/mint, and it was godawful. No trace of coconut, and overpoweringly minty-- think toothpaste. I sent it back and ordered another Smoke/Mirrors. Tried drinks of all of my seat-mates, and the Beige was the only disappointment. The Lindsay's Lament was the favorite of most, with its salted bourbon maple-y-ness. Private room was pretty small, with a large wrap-around booth enclosed on 3 sides, plus thick curtains in lieu of a 4th wall. The bar is done in blacks and golds, and each private room has a red light that you turn on, to signal your server to stop by. No food. Funny/silly/whatever list of rules (no guns, no PDA). Tables in rooms are terribly small-- so small in fact that we broke a glass, with 6 people trying to cram drinks onto this two-foot-wide, antique anvil-looking thing of a table. Booths in common area at front might be a better bet. Attached menu is only one side of menu.

Mar 12, 2012
femmenikita in Austin

Hard Hat Vol IX

I searched the board and hadn't found mention of Midnight Cowboy. The Alamo folks bought this former "massage parlour" and are turning it into a cocktail lounge per this article on Eater:

http://austin.eater.com/archives/2012...

Sounds like all cocktails will be mixed table-side. I am going there tomorrow and will report back. I am really hoping they will have delicious bar snacks in addition to the fancy cocktails...

Mar 08, 2012
femmenikita in Austin

Gusto

I just want to add my enthusiasm for those polenta fries. Tried Gusto last weekend (Friday), was told there would be a 45 minute wait, had one drink at the bar, and was seated within 20 minutes. But back to the fries. They were piping hot and crisp, with that delicious creamy/grainy interior texture that you want from polenta, sprinkled with salt, herbs, and shredded parm, and served with a tasty (creamy pomodoro?) sauce. Happiness. I wanted a vegetarian entree, so I asked my server whether I should go for the spinach/3cheese lasagne or the rigatoni arrabbiatta. I let her know I was pretty hungry. She suggested the rigatoni. My entree was fine (I ate it all), but it was certainly not "arrabbiata," and was definitely something I could have made at home. Chunky marinara sauce, a few cubes of melting buffalo mozz (strangely, these were underneath everything, not mixed it) and a few chunks of roasted eggplant. I loaded it with parm and crushed red pepper from the table and left feeling full, but next time I'm going for something else. My partner was crazy over the braised pork shank, though. Wouldn't shut up about how good it was (and it looked good, swimming in a brown wine-laced gravy on a pile of polenta that looked for all the world like smooth pureed potatoes). Take from that what you will. And remember that you have to *ask* for the free bread/oil; they don't just bring it to you!

Mar 08, 2012
femmenikita in Austin

Birthday weekend coming up, Uchiko suggestions please

Remember seeing the white snow strawberry thing, and never ordered! Thanks bubbleboy; I will now be on the look-out for its return. (Hope Mr. Speer is listening in!)

Jan 20, 2012
femmenikita in Austin

A long overdue review: Maui & Honolulu

Oh, man, I didn't know about the fried rice! Anyway, just wanted to say thanks to you, KaimukiMan, because I do remember seeing your many suggestions on the board when I researched Honolulu. I wish I had had access to a car for more than 2 days while on Oahu, in order to try everything!

I just realized I didn't mention Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar. Not much for me to tell, since I only had a few cocktails there (whiskey-based ones were especially good; I think I had "The Imperfect") but I'd definitely recommend it if you are looking for drinks in the Waialae Ave. area (it's very close to Town, if I recall correctly). It is a cool, modern, long and narrow space, with two levels. Went on a Thursday and had no trouble conversing/hearing even though the place was about half full. The bartender at my hotel recommended their small plates and charcuterie, which I want to try the next time I'm on the island. Worth a mention.

Jan 20, 2012
femmenikita in Hawaii

A long overdue review: Maui & Honolulu

Paia Inn! Loved it there. Talked to the owner at length about food, matter of fact.

Jan 20, 2012
femmenikita in Hawaii

Birthday weekend coming up, Uchiko suggestions please

What, no love for the corn sorbet dessert?! That is my favorite dessert in Austin. The creaminess and the caramelly popcorn salt and the incredible texture can't be beat! Anyway I mainly wanted to chime in to discourage you from doing omakase there on your first visit. The omakase is usually whimsical and the dishes, while fun and unusual, can be hit or miss (such is the nature of improv art!). I have done the omakase there three times, the last being this past NYE. A mix of so-so and oh-my-god delicious. The stuff everyone else mentioned above won't disappoint you. Those Brussels sprouts are killer; I would add the maguro sashimi and goat cheese. Also I always like to do at least one roll. Get the shag roll and tears of joy will run down your face. Avofry is good too, just make sure it's the version from the dinner menu and not the sake social menu. Also the cheap unfiltered sake is actually good! Takara nigori, I believe it is called...

Jan 19, 2012
femmenikita in Austin

A long overdue review: Maui & Honolulu

Hi everyone! I just want to clarify two things: the terrible meals I had in Honolulu were not at establishments recommended by people on this board. These meals were at restaurants that I just happened past, mostly; a couple of the so-so places were recommended by other sites. I had a limited amount of time to write that review and had already procrastinated on it, so it was just easier for me to get it out while focusing on the positive, anyway!

Finally, please note that I qualified my "Anywhere USA" remark by stating that I only spent one day in Lahaina! I absolutely cede that I didn't focus my efforts on researching what Lahaina has to offer, as most of my time was spent on other parts of Maui. I was merely presenting the perspective of someone driving through and glancing around. I'm sure if you visited Austin and did that, you would think we ate quite a lot of Chili's! Which we'd of course get to by horseback, tumbleweeds blowing in the wind :)

I'll conclude by reiterating once more that Hana visitors should check out Café Romantica! One last plug, because I really want them to be in business the next time I make it to Maui. I need that soup!

Jan 19, 2012
femmenikita in Hawaii

A long overdue review: Maui & Honolulu

Aloha, fellow 'hounds,

In late October 2011, I traveled to fair Hawaii on honeymoon. I relied heavily on recommendations from this board as I meticulously planned my food itinerary over the course of many months, and I had some amazing meals! Thus, even though this review is a bit belated, I really wanted to share a few finds and pay the knowledge forward. I am hoping that my food experiences might help others looking for eats on Maui and Oahu. I will mention joints that were decent, and a few places that I thought were outstanding. Will put asterisks next to the outstanding ones, so they'll be easy to jump to.

In Maui, I stayed in Paia town, and visited several eateries, the first being: PAIA FISH MARKET. This is what I would call "dirty food." You can find other reviews of it on this board, so I'll just say that the fish was fresh, service quick, and food was always hot and hearty/filling. I ate there three times in two weeks, and each time I ordered some variety of taco. The filling in these greasy-ish tacos overflows and one was usually plenty. Generous dashes of Tabasco sauce and a coconut porter made for some happy afternoons sitting at the picnic tables at Paia Fish Market. Decent eats for the weary traveler! Avoid paying extra for their blah sides (rice, french fries, or home fries, with or without "cajun seasoning" aka Tony Chachere's) and just order a la carte.

Also in Paia:

ONO GELATO. I tried several flavors over the course of a couple of weeks, and can say with certainty that the Key Lime Pie was the clear winner. They make their own graham cracker crust and crumble it into their very tart and creamy lime flavor.

MANA FOODS: This hippie grocery store reminded me of the co-op grocery in my hometown (Austin, TX). A huge variety of natural foods crammed in a very small space. Was not that impressed by their prepared foods (very small hot bar/bakery) but enjoyed having a store nearby that decent cheeses and french bread. And of course, the ubiquitous and delicious Maui Onion Chips!

ANTHONY'S COFFEE: This place is your average small-town coffee shop (think walls lined with kitschy mugs your grandma would love and flavored non-dairy creamer on the condiment bar). I am mainly mentioning it because, oh my god, the lemon bundt cake! It is neon yellow, the icing drizzle is laden with zest, it is a little too sweet, and it is to die for. Cinnamon rolls were passable as well, but the bundt cake is the thing. They don't have it every day, so strike when the iron is hot.

CAFE DES AMIS: I would go here for happy hour, for apps and cheap drinks. There are other places on the island to have a better meal, but the sangria and Mediterranean platter hit the spot after a long day of beachcombing.

***MAMA'S FISH HOUSE: This place lived up to all of my expectations. It was definitely the best food experience I had on Maui. I wonder if those who have been less than impressed with Mama's went in expecting very creative or innovative preparations of the dishes. That is not what Mama's is about. Most of the dishes are pretty standard, but very well executed. This is mostly due to the high quality of fish and vegetables used. Strangely, my favorite thing at Mama's was an amuse bouche: a pureed asparagus-ginger soup. I liked it so much that on my second visit I asked if it would be possible to order a full bowl, and the kitchen happily obliged. On each of our three visits to Mama's we ordered a sashimi appetizer (served in a martini glass with a wasabi/soy sauce, grape tomatoes, and taro chips). That app was TO DIE FOR. I remember having Ono in a white wine sauce, and and their macadamia nut crusted fish stuffed with crab, and both were tasty, but I will say that the real standouts were always the raw fish dishes for me. On one occasion I ordered a salad and that was my one huge disappointment: finely shredded (could it have been ICEBERG??) lettuce completely soaked in a bland dressing. Other than that: Excellent mai tais (not too sweet!). And you have to try the famous Black Pearl dessert. And admittedly, the ambiance seals the deal. Get an early dinner reservation on the lanai-- say 4:45 or so, and you will be finishing your meal just as the sun sets, and will outsmart the crowds that fight for a table *starting* at sunset.

In Makawao:

***HALI'IMAILE GENERAL STORE (lunch): This odd place is an old pineapple plantation house-- the type with a huge wrap-around porch, set in a strange location that seems a bit in the middle of nowhere. Definitely get your directions straight before you go. I wouldn't exactly call this place fine dining, but it is on the nicer side of mid-range. That said, you MUST order the sashimi napoleon. It was the highlight of the meal, and the presentation was excellent. The server presented the dish and then offered to decompose the dish for us, explaining how it should be eaten. I ordered the brie and grape quesadillas, which I did not enjoy. The pureed pea dip served with these quesadillas just did not marry well with the other flavors. I had a house salad and my husband ordered the Kalua pork enchilada pie. This "pie" was an absolute beast! He enjoyed it, but was very heavy. He ate about 1/3 of it. i saw many other people ordering it though, so that tells you something. This place has lilikoi lemonade! Tart, and so very Hawaii.

In Hana:

***CAFE ROMANTICA:

When I was searching the boards in 2011 for recommendations near Hana, I saw no mention of Cafe Romantica. Hopefully that is no longer the case! But if people aren't talking about this place, they should be. Stumbled upon this vegetarian food trailer which keeps odd hours, and is run by an old German guy named Hans, and his new-agey wife (who is from San Antonio, TX). They will talk to you about their slow-food philosophy and their chakras while serving up some of the best food on the island. Highly recommend the soups and any of the curry dishes. Tried their "chile relleno" which was not at all like what we call "chile rellenos" here in Austin... Their version was more like a Spanish tortilla: eggs and green chiles and other veggies and spices, baked like a frittata. This was a stand-out. We also tried the apple strudel. Everything was good! They use a lot of curry and phyllo dough in their dishes. Wish I would have had room (and courage!) to try their "vegetarian beef wellington" but ran out of time and cash. Which reminds me, CASH ONLY.

In Lahaina:

I only spent one day in Lahaina, and with the abundance of chain restaurants, it really felt like "Anywhere, USA" food-wise. One place I will mention is...

OKAZUYA & DELI HONOKOWAI, which is a "plate lunch" joint. I had read about their mahi & lemon/caper dish, so of course that is what I ordered. I enjoyed this dish very much, mainly due to the abundance of lemony sauce and the tenderness of the fish. I am a sucker for any kind of piping-hot "rice + sauce" so this was perfect for me, and I liked the creamy, glossy sauce laced with white wine. That said, I could see how some people might not like it. Someone on yelp mentioned thinking something was off about the sauce, but I wonder if it isn't just that they probably use cheap wine and then toss some corn starch in there to give the sauce its sheen. The side dishes here (veggies and mac salad) are bland. Husband ordered the Teriyaki Steak, ate all the steak, and lamented that it was tasty but not enough. And then of course he was nipping at my mahi. Would return to this place for the Mahi and maybe to try the chicken katsu, but only if I was already in Lahaina.

----On to Honolulu in Oahu---

I ate at many, many terrible places in Honolulu, so I am going to go ahead and leave out those gorey details. I found a couple of places that I absolutely loved, though... first, a hidden dive, a gem!:

****8 FAT FAT 8: Yep, that's the name of the place. A friend who had traveled to Oahu a month before I did stumbled upon this Korean dive bar, which is complete with pool tables, karaoke (which isn't going all the time, so you can usually eat a meal in peace and quiet) and old men in trucker caps. The reason to go: the oh-so-succulent and crispy Fat Fat Special Chicken with a side order of fried lettuce. My friend is a chicken connoisseur. The atmosphere may be lacking, but the food will not disappoint.

****TOWN: ok, I was only in Honolulu for five days, and I ate at Town twice. I had planned on one dinner at Town and another at Alan Wong's, but the dinner at Town was so amazing that I blew off AW. I should note that part of the appeal of Town for me was its hipness and its modern, stream-lined approach to the food and menu. We are in our early thirties and while the prospect of food at Alan Wong's place seemed exciting (I was so interested in his take on loco-moco, made with scallops!), I pictured a stuffy atmosphere and an older crowd. Of course, I didn't actually go there, so that may not be the case at all! That is just my long-winded way of saying that I felt at home at town. The servers were laid back, yet very knowledgeable about the menu, and seemed passionate about the food. There was background music, but it wasn't loud or annoying. There were a few children here, but they seemed content and well behaved! But enough on atmosphere: The highlight of my meal was the gnocchi. A classic preparation with sage brown butter and squash, but so perfectly executed. Best gnocchi i've had outside of Europe, actually. So light and pillowy! No sign of the gluey, gumminess that so often plagues gnocchi! Everything a little caramelized in the butter-- small bits of char on the squash. They only make a small batch of gnocchi each day, according to the menu, and when they're out, they're out! Steak frites also great: beautiful cut of meat, well-seasoned herb fries. Lemon tart for dessert. Good wine list. Well-mixed drinks (if a little on the stiff side, not that that is a bad thing!), and creative rotating list of house cocktails. Entrees with a cocktail, an app, and a dessert set us back around $130.

***DOWNTOWN by TOWN: I loved Town so much that when i heard they have a lunch joint called "Downtown" set inside of a museum, I made a special trip there on my last day in Honolulu. You can choose counter service or sit at a table to be waited on. Classic bistro fare with fresh farm-to-table ingredients and no mac salad to be found (sorry, just not into the bland mac!). Think: vegetable beef and faro soup, paninis with emmentaler cheese and olive tapenade, fruit tarts and pastry with thick Bavarian cream. very near to the Hawaiian royal palace, so a good place to stop if you are in the area. This place was also hard to find, as there aren't really signs in front of the building to guide you to the proper entrance. Check your directions online first!

There were several local sushi places (not Nobu or any of the big names) recommended by the staff at my hotel (Hotel Renew) in Honolulu, but I can't for the life of me remember the names now. All I know is that all the places they recommended had NO reservations available, and i was a bit heartbroken. So apologies for failing to deliver a good Honolulu sushi report. Went to a few bars in Chinatown, most notably Bar 35 which I'd heard was a good spot for nightlife. There was definitely more of a 20-something hard-drinking group there (not really our crowd anymore), but the space itself is huge and felt empty of life; not good unless you have your own entourage with you. I would have rather gone back to Town for my cocktails. Made a special trip to WAILANA COFFEE HOUSE. Felt like Mel's Diner. Some fried eggs, so-so mac nut pancakes, but nothing to write home about!

Alright, i think that's all my memory can muster a whole 10 weeks or so after the trip. Sorry if it is a bit all over the place. Just really wanted to crank it out... hope it helps some of you!

Jan 11, 2012
femmenikita in Hawaii

Restaurant Jezebel fire

Extrastiver, please let all your Jezebel friends know how much Austin food lovers adore and support that restaurant. I had one of the best birthday dinners of my life there last year. While I already visit Simplicity quite regularly, I will definitely make it a point to visit Braise for the first time this weekend, and I will urge my friends to do the same.

Jul 30, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

Uchiko

Oh.My.God. Went last night around 5:15. Waited an hour for a two-top, but that was to be expected. So, so good. I'll mostly let the photos speak for themselves; wish I remembered the names of everything. Started out with some unfiltered cold sake, moved on to the "Pan-Am," which is a watermelon-rosemary-sake cocktail. Had tempura onions and eggplant to start. The eggplant was accompanied by a chili sauce chock full of sliced garlic and it was outstanding. Moved on to a couple of rolls: Jiiro, which was smoked salmon, preserved lemon, and yogurt, and Avofry, which was a coconut fried onisan roll. Moved on to the Cobia Crudo, which was kingfish with pickled cuke and jalapeno (SPICY). Finished with two desserts: Sweet Corn Sorbet and Fried Milk. The corn dessert is one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth; the polenta custard was so creamy, dense and, well, "corny," and the combination of that with the vanilla bean tasting corn sorbetto and "caramel popcorn salt" on top and the delicious cookie (ok, "tuille") and crumbly bits on the plate were just too much. The other dessert was great too (and was more visually stunning) but the corn really did it for me. It was one of those meals where you just can't stop grinning, and you are so full, maybe in a little pain, but just don't care.

And my bill was THIRTY-ONE DOLLARS plus tip. My god. Run, don't walk!

Jul 01, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

Chestnut puree (chestnut cream) Clement Faugier in Austin?

MMM. Have you tried Central Market on N. Lamar? I just discovered this stuff in France last summer and brought home several tubes; love it! But I remember a few months ago noticing that Central Market had some version of chestnut spread, and I made a mental note of it. I can't remember if it was specifically the Clement Faugier brand, though. I believe it was stocked near the pie fillings around the baking aisle.

-----
Central Market
4001 N Lamar Blvd # 100, Austin, TX

Jun 15, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

Eastside Showroom Review

ESSR is hit or miss for me. The cocktails sound interesting on paper, but often tend to taste like straight booze; I love straight booze (mmm, Glenrothes whiskey...), but when i order a cocktail, I want a blend of flavors. I once had one of the best cocktails of my life there (St. Germaine, Chartreuse, flambeed fresh rosemary) but that experience has not been duplicated. And I can't ask for that exact cocktail again, because I was told "it doesn't have a name," and that there is only one bartender who makes it (irritating).

Go there for curry grits and greens with duck egg, or for the brined/fried chicken. They do butcher some of their own meats (they butchered a goat a week or so ago and were serving all things goat on the menu, including ribs). They are definitely aggressive with the local sourcing, as someone else said. The main problem I have with their food is inconsistency. A couple of times the food has been worth the high price, but more than once (especially when dining at later hours) the food has been dried out, as if sitting in a warmer half the night.The atmosphere is fun, but I have had consistently better dining experiences at the Good Knight a few doors down, and at the Waller food carts.

May 28, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

1063 Lıcensed Food Traılers ın Austın and I Ate at Each One

Addendum: Went back to the Waller food cart area last Saturday night... First stopped by the Liberty bar for some curry buns at East Side King. I paid, and the dude working the register said, "Don't sit down-- if you wait one second, your curry bun will be right out..." I should have been suspicious but I was starved and just thrilled to have my grub out so fast. In a flash, my food appeared. Sat down, took a bite: the buns were thoroughly drenched in oil. As in, they had clearly just been sitting there in the fry oil for god knows how long. I am not one of those people who dabs grease off of pizza or fried food in general, but you couldn't dab the grease off this if you wanted to; it was soaked through. Thanks for wasting my $4 East Side King. Just when I thought we were friends.

Went back to Takorea. Everything was mouthwatering just as described above, so I won't say anymore on the subject. My friends ate sausage on croissants at the cart next door (the name escapes me) and loved them. They put a weird tzatziki-like sauce on the over-sized Texas style (read: big, not terribly flakey) croissant, but it works, particularly as "hangover food." Also: if you're eating in that area: a shout out for the Earl Grey infused Chocolate Mousse/pot de creme thing at the Good Knight Bar. For dessert in the area, it is definitely Old Faithful.

May 24, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

Cheese-obsessed

Finally made it by Antonelli's last Friday and picked up the two currently featured cheeses: a goat's milk gouda, which is outstanding eaten out of hand with some ice-cold, garlicky gherkins, and a "3 milk" cheese, a curdy, soft, spreadable blend which I believe is comprised of goat, sheep, and cow's milk. Wasn't a huge fan of the 3-milk once I got it home; for me, the ricotta-like texture didn't marry well with strong flavour and odor. I like my stinky cheeses to be a bit more firm. But the real winner out of my purchases-- and the real reason I'm posting this-- was some of the best dolce gorgonzola I've tasted. The tang of blue and salt up front, a creamy, lip-smacking middle, and an astonishing sweet (but not cloying) finish. Have you (like myself) ever dreamed about making "Chowhound Joe's Famous Toasted Pistachio/Gorgonzola Dolce Risotto"?? I can't begin to express my excitement at having found the perfect cheese to finally make this dish!:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2889...

Also, the cheesemongers are wicked friendly, and the rumors that they will let you taste pretty much everything in the case are quite true. You give them your name if you like, and they create a cheese profile for you in their database (presumably to record your favorites and not-so-favorites). They even made a point of saying goodbye and using my name when I left, even though I'd given my name quite a few minutes beforehand. Friendly service and GOOD CHEESE. Hightail it on over there.

May 24, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

1063 Lıcensed Food Traılers ın Austın and I Ate at Each One

Finally ate at TaKorea for the first time last night, at their newish evening location at 6th and Waller. Everything was fantastic. I suggest you forego the plain corn tortilla-wrapped tacos (their plain tortillas are a bit dry and nothing to write home about) and get your stuff wrapped in cabbage leaf, or get it on the piping hot fried-to-order tostada round. I asked for everything "extra hot" and the dude (owner?) working the cart chopped up some red chiles and grilled it/mixed into the filling. Between the BF and I, we tried the beef, tofu, and pork. Sesame seeds gave nice depth of flavor, cabbage a nice crunch, everything loaded with garlic. Be warned that if you order your stuff on a tostada, they use a slightly sweeter sauce, but it still retains a spiciness and depth of flavor. The food will give you dragon breath even after brushing twice but you won't care. Oh, and I did not try the hot dog, but my companion did and he said it was his favorite item... Likened it to having his favorite filling from tam deli placed on top of a delicious hot dog on a grilled bun. The tacos are small-ish. I'm 100 lbs and I ate 3. I know some people have complained about the price of the tacos in relation to size, but frankly, I think if you can eat delicious dinner out for under $10, you've gotten a good deal. Oh, and if you ask, they'll give you a bottle of Sriracha to take to your table. Didn't _really_ need it in the end, though-- this is some hot and flavorful food.

All this after I finally discovered some delicious menu items at East Side King. Option paralysis.

May 21, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

RIP part III: Austin Restaurant Closings

Little Woodrow's has been replaced by something called The Local Pub... Anyone been? i ask because a part of me deeply suspects that it's the same owners as the vile Little Woodrows, and perhaps they just changed the name because of all the bad buzz among the former patrons of the Showdown. The Local Pub still has the sign up for "FN Good Burgers" which is a remnant of Little Woodrows... Also, if you have to NAME yourself "Local Pub," umm, my inclination is to not trust you.

May 15, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

Know Your Enemy: Snappy Snacks Villainy Exposed by Local Media

Just a quick thanks to scrumptious for bringing this to light. The rascal Ramsey wants attention, that's what he'll get when we tell everyone we know to avoid his business like proverbial plague. Regardless of how the current trailer movement came about, it's one of the best things that's happened to the food in this town. Not sure why I'm surprised the city council is kowtowing to Ramsey; they do the same to the crooks at capmetro, but that's another matter.

May 15, 2010
femmenikita in Food Media & News

Ruby's Barbecue on 29th Street

Also in the non-meat arena: you can go there and get two huuuuge black bean tacos with cheese, onions, cilantro, tomato, BBQ sauce and pico for $4.95. Plus they have Big Red on tap. Pretty much lived on that meal back in my undergrad days.

Feb 15, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

Recommend a good restaurant that is quiet enough for conversation...

Asti, seconded.

Feb 12, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

This sandwich was amazing.

Oop, sorry. Yes. The name of the deli is Foodheads. (I did state this in my OP, but I can see how one who had never heard of the restaurant might think I was addressing my fellow Chowhounders by referring to them as "foodheads.") The deli is a mom & pop place on W. 34th St.

Apologies!

Feb 08, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

This sandwich was amazing.

I'll get the bad news out of the way first: it was $9. It was also on special this past Saturday 02/06/2010, so not sure if they still have the sandwich today. But I couldn't eat something that made me groan with sandwich ecstasy and not tell others.

Foodheads. I used to eat there often when they first opened, because I was addicted to the house made Zippy Mustard. I felt that quality had slipped over the past couple of years, and did not patronize as often. Have been visiting more over this past year. The sandwich I had Saturday convinced me that they are upping their sandwich game. I hope this was not an aberration.

The sandwich: Wild caught ahi tuna. Toothsome outside. Center bits just melllted in the mouth. Grilled medium rare-- w/a rare center-- just how I like it. Rubbed with hot habañero chili powder blend. Gently laid upon (potato bread?) artisanal bun which I think came from Chuy's Panderia. One side of bun slathered with a thin layer of mayo, topped with crisp chopped green cabbage. Other side of bun had the tiniest hint of their blackberry balsamic. Ripe avocado slices all over. Tuna topped with house made red onion jelly. Excuse my while I wipe the drool from my mouth.

(As you can see from the photo, I also had soup. White bean puréed soup drizzled with rosemary oil. Dear God. One of the best lunches I've had in ages).

Feb 08, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

run, don't walk

Finally went to East Side King early-ish on Friday night. Y'all weren't kidding about those fried beets. They are very good, and would probably have tasted even better if one had a belly full of beer (love fried food after a few drinks). Mine were served with what appeared to be an unflavored mayo, topped with scallions. I mixed the mayo with the Sriracha sauce they have available. I would make a special stop for these. One order is around $5, but you get a LOT of beets.

My companion ordered the pork bun and said the pork was fantastic, but that the sauce was too sweet for his taste. I had the brussel sprouts. It is a bit confusing, because there is an appetizer portion of sprouts, and then an "entree" sprouts which is a half order of app sprouts plus the ginger jasmine rice. The brussel sprouts were good: pan fried, salty and crispy with good charred flavor. Unfortunately for me, the rice was soaked in the same sweet sauce as the Por Qui Bun, and I'm not into sweet sauces much.

Feb 08, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

Tortillas at Central Market -- sad, sad selection

Carter B., I think you may be thinking of Margarita's Tortilla Factory brand. I am addicted to the raw ones; in my opinion they are even better than the raw ones that HEB brand used to make (plus these are non-GMO, TX made)

http://www.margaritastortillafactory....

I buy mine at Wheatsville, but their web site lists all vendors.

Feb 02, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

Simplicity Wine Bar (Owned by Restaurant Jezebel???)

Y'all. I have only been to Simplicity once (I did end up there on Friday night), so I should probably go a few more times before exuberantly declaring my adoration, but I can't help it. Loved loved this place! Caveat: after reading Javeing's helpful review, I went in with somewhat lowered expectations. I went in expecting a dive bar with "meh" chow that just so happened to be in a great location with plenty of parking. Simplicity exceeded my expectations.

The best way I can sum up my experience is to say that I felt I was eating "pretentious" food unpretentiously. Does that make any sense? Decent wine and cheese, but in a relaxed atmosphere with good friends. Think Vino Vino, but with cheaper wine, cheaper (and better) food, and larger portions.

The red wine we had was around $20/bottle. (A lot of their wines are in the $18-25/bottle range. House wine is available more cheaply, served in carafes) The wines we chose were not the greatest I've ever had, but were pretty good. Like a medium-quality bottle I'd pick up on a Tuesday night to have at home with my spaghetti. The food is simple. And as Javeing said, not all of it will knock your socks off, but it is good, and none of it was bad or inedible (a few items being very good: the roasted olives were of Jezebel-caliber scrumptiousness; the whole roasted heads of garlic paired with rosemary-garbanzo puree, an aromatic standout; the croquettes were fried to a golden crisp with soft warm filling).

We were a party of 6. We had 3 bottles of red wine, and around 15 orders of tapas ranging from paté to cheeses to a Spanish tortilla. We spend $122 which came to $20 each plus tip. Considering that we all left completely stuffed, and we had 1/2 bottle of red wine per person, I think that's a great deal for going out on a Friday night. We stayed for about 3 hours, and were never rushed. Definitely recommend going with a group of people: you get to sample a wider variety of items, and the $4/tapa price is distributed among all.

The place definitely reminds me of the casual "cafe-bars" I've visited in Europe. Our young red-haired waitress wore jeans and converse sneakers; she seemed comically harried, but was nevertheless friendly, knowledgeable, and charming, as were all the staff with whom we interacted. Atmosphere: The walls are dark. There are large abstract paintings and mirrors around. The crowd was neither full of frat boys, nor chi-chi suburbanites. The place does get a bit loud with everyone conversing in a big room, but it wasn't so loud that we couldn't hear the conversation at our own table. Wine is served in small stemless glasses; food on small "chinette" style post-consumer paper plates with little bamboo paddles (like the ones that used to come with single serving Blue Bell ice cream). The paper plate thing is apparently part of the owners' commitment to sustainability (which you can read about on their menu).

Anyway, hope I haven't jumped the gun by lavishing praise, but my first experience here was positive. I had such a great time that I forgot to take photos!

Feb 01, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

Simplicity Wine Bar (Owned by Restaurant Jezebel???)

Hey 'Hounds,

Please direct/correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe there is a thread yet for this new wine bar on Burnet Road. Anyone been?

http://www.simplicitywinebar.com/

The web site looks like an awful 1995 reject, but it says it is owned by the Restaurant Jezebel proprietor, and is a "sustainable" restaurant serving 30+ wines, tapas, and beer on tap. I also noticed they have the "Jezebel roasted olives" on the menu-- which I consider to be the best roasted olives in town.

The location is enough to tempt me... Near the Omelettery, on Burnet, with plenty of glorious parking. I think I'm going to check it out tomorrow, but would love recs on the wine and tapas if any of y'all Crestview/Violet Crown 'hood people have scouted it out.

Jan 28, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

1063 Lıcensed Food Traılers ın Austın and I Ate at Each One

Just gonna throw my two cents in here and say that the Sailor Jerry (specifically) at the Gordough's Doughnut trailer (which is clearly the establishment referenced above) is, in my opinion, totally freaking delicious. I love homemade doughnuts, but it's a huge pain to mess with a giant frying pan of oil, and making the batter, when you just want one doughnut. The Sailor Jerry is about as big as my face, is made to order, and is soaked in delicious booze and butter, topped with nice crunchy walnuts, all for $3.25. AND it's big enough to share. I am a native Austinite, born and raised, and yes, I occasionally get disgusted with the some of the trendy, overpriced spots that spring up around town (I'm looking at you Hey, Cupcake & Cake Balls), but if a trailer has good food, I will pay. Anyway, I am happy that now, when I get out of a movie at Alamo South Lamar, I can hop across the street and indulge in a freshly fried snack with a friend.

Jan 17, 2010
femmenikita in Austin

24 diner

Carter B., what was the wait like on a Sunday morning? I used to love going to Counter Cafe for Sat/Sun breakfast, but the last time I was there I waited an hour for a table and haven't been back. Could've run to the store and bought/cooked my own dang eggs in that amount of time. I wonder how large 24 diner is-- I assume they are already busy, but is the wait for a table less unbearable?

Always searching for a mid-range brunch joint without a 2 hour wait. (I'm glaring at you South Congress Cafe/Enoteca)

Dec 19, 2009
femmenikita in Austin