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eliza0124's Profile

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The New Mars

Well I didn't eat exactly much else since we only went for appetizers, as I said. I had the tenderloin satay and my friend got the baba ganoush, which I didn't try, but I did try the toasted pita or naan, I don't remember which, that came with it, and it was delicious. We even found a piece that was still doughy/uncooked inside, which is not great, but does mean that they make it fresh at the time instead of having a fridge full that they toast throughout the day/week for each customer. I did order a drink, one of their signature cocktails, let me remember the name, something like a South Congress... No sorry I can't remember the name exactly. But it was good, anyway. It had pomegranate liqueur, lime juice, and maybe rum? And then we got dessert, some kind of hazelnut chocolate mousse which was decent, but the banana ice cream that came with it was INCREDIBLE.

Apr 29, 2007
eliza0124 in Austin

The New Mars

Yeesss... I mean I don't really go to restaurants looking for "sexy," so I couldn't really say for sure. It was certainly dark with lots of black and red, attractive waitresses (well actually the "busboy" was this sort of unattractive old man), and there were a few couples, but I'd say I saw a lot more groups, inside and outside. Inside there weren't many two-person tables that I could see. The hostess offered us one table by the window and another that was pretty much in the middle of the highest-traffic lane right next to the bathroom.

Not sure what you really mean by hideaway for trysts - are you cheating on your wife or something? ;) I guess the setup inside (pillars, screens, dividers) does leave each table with a little bit more privacy than you'd have in a big one-room dining area.

Apr 28, 2007
eliza0124 in Austin

East Side Pies, other attempts at NY pizza [AUS]

I know this is a really old thread, but FYI on why pizza is only good in New York (I'm a born and raised Manhattan native BTW). It's the water. Not sure exactly like, the chemistry or exact mineral compounds, but it's the water that makes great pizza crust, bagels, and soft pretzels (you know, hot pretzels from the stands?) It's why in Florida (lot's of retired NY Jews) some places will ship in water from New York to make bagels. Note: this could be a total urban legend and I haven't bothered to verify it, but it does make sense, right?

Apr 28, 2007
eliza0124 in Austin

Breakfast Burritos vs. Tacos?

Thanks everyone so far. I do live on the East Side so I'll have to start trying all the ones over here that people recommend. Just to clarify, though, I have no problem with the actual taste of breakfast tacos, and I have no doubt that I'll find some that I like (obvs not at Magnolia, theirs were pretty ridiculous, maybe they ran out of salt and pepper in the kitchen or something). I guess I really was just looking for bigger and more portable, something to pick up on the way to work and eat in the car, and it doesn't seem like I'll find that. Which of course doesn't mean that I'll stop trying breakfast tacos in general. I think I'll definitely try Juan in a Million, I got such an extended kick out of that name, bad/great puns really do it for me.

Apr 28, 2007
eliza0124 in Austin

Breakfast Burritos vs. Tacos?

I am not from Austin, and in fact just moved here (from New York) but I lived in California for a while. One of my favorite things to eat there was breakfast burritos, which was pretty much eggs, potatoes, bacon or whatever wrapped up in a tortilla.

Is there anything like that here? I assumed that breakfast burritos and tacos were the same except for terminology, but apparently they're quite different.

The first time I had a breakfast "taco" was at Magnolia Cafe (SoCo) and granted, I'm sure that is by far not one of the best places to get breakfast tacos, but it was basically a plate of scrambled eggs and potatoes with some soft tacos on the side that I had to sort of stuff myself and there weren't enough tacos and the whole thing was a mess.

This morning I had my second breakfast taco from Austin Java (Parkway-Enfield) and this was a little better -- since I got it to go, it was wrapped up for me, but if I'd wanted to eat it in the car it would have been everywhere. PLUS breakfast tacos are tiny! No wonder you always have the option to get two.

I know that breakfast tacos are an Austin (Texas?) thing, and I should embrace the local cuisine, but I'm just wondering, is there anywhere that serves maybe bigger breakfast tacos, or more eater-friendly/portable ones? Not a huge fan of "wrap yourself!" or whatever, especially if I'm getting it to go. Thanks! (And I don't mean to sound like a whiny b#tch, I'm just a little picky about food!)

Apr 27, 2007
eliza0124 in Austin

Good Panini in Austin?

I had a really great panini at Portabla (or La Portabla), which touts itself as an Italian deli but it really isn't, they have some tiny deli case with like, maybe two types of salad. Anyway, they were having some special, a beef tenderloin portabello panini with blue cheese, because the chef found some kind of deal on the tenderloin. And it was soooo good!! So I feel like, if whoever designs the menu can whip up a great panini with some extra beef tenderloin, I'm sure the other sandwiches should be good.

Apr 27, 2007
eliza0124 in Austin

The New Mars

I just went on Wednesday. I've never been to the other one, I didn't even know there was another one. I've only recently moved to Austin, and my roommate and I were driving around SoCo to find somewhere to eat appetizers. We weren't even sure Mars served food, because all we could see driving by was a lot of people sitting outside on the nice patio with wine glasses. But once we went up, we could smell really good food. I was a little disappointed to find everything (food and decor) is trendily Asian-inspired, and the prices were a little high (not sure how this compares to the original Mars).

Atmosphere-wise: Outside it seemed like a really laid-back coffee shop almost, just tables and people dressed casually sitting around, some people standing and talking with wine glasses. Inside it's totally different, very dark, very red, very hip in a cliche sort of way. This is just the dining area; behind some red "Asian" screen I could see a bar, but didn't get a good look. It was also a little loud, but probably because it's small.

The service was good, I really don't have complaints, except that the hostess was a little... I don't want to say rude, but it was very obvious that she'd had a long night (this was around 9:30-10pm). Our waitress was very nice, very helpful with me trying to find something on the menu that wasn't too spicy.

We only ordered appetizers since we weren't that hungry. I would assume that the menu is the same or pretty similar to the original Mars, and the quality here was excellent, period. My only complaint really was that the beef on my tenderloin satays was pretty rare, but that is just my personal preference for eating hockey-puck-well-done beef.

I probably will only go back for special occasions or dates, because I don't like Asian-fusion food enough to pay $30 for an entree. But if such occasions arise, I will definitely not hesitate to return.

Apr 27, 2007
eliza0124 in Austin