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Everything posted by walternewton

  1. Welcome to the area - my random thoughts - I agree about Central Market, and when there's live music there it's always good - I don't care for their Cafe though. I agree Trudy's is probably better than Chuy's but both are pretty "gringo" - try Sazon on South Lamar, I like their mole...I like the fish "a la plancha" at Polvo's on South First too, it's a more festive sort of atmosphere. Curra's is worth a try, too. Enoteca is Vespaio's lower priced alternative next door, and worth checking out on its own terms (for lunch/brunch etc). For Chinese I'd look through the older posts here and see what Kent Wang recommends. French, I guess your choices are Chez Nous or Aquarelle. If you want to check out the Hill Country wineries I think Becker is best. Sushi - Uchi ($$$) or Musashino ($$). Beer lists - Flying Saucer in the Triangle is probably the widest but has a corporate/chain feel, I'd try Gingerman (haven't been there since they moved though), or the Draught House on Medical for a real local neighborhood pub-type vibe. Hope this helps...
  2. I go there for lunch fairly regularly...not much to look at from the outside, but it's a comfortable place with good food - though overall I probably prefer the dishes at Madam Mam's on the Drag. Be forewarned that when they something is hot/spicy they mean it!
  3. For anyone looking through this old thread for suggestions, note that the BBQ place in the Farmer's Market on Burnet Rd and John Mueller's on Manor Road have both since closed.
  4. Thanks for the reply...we're driving from Austin, and definitely will be checking out Marfa. Any other recommendations out there?
  5. I'm going to be making a trip to Big Bend National Park area around Thanksgiving, looking for any advice about restaurants in Marathon, Alpine, Marfa etc. - thanks in advance.
  6. Austinist story - what restaurants would you guys nominate?
  7. For fresh seafood I'd say Quality Seafood on Airport Blvd or Central Mkt...there's a Farmer's Market right downtown (4th & Guadalupe) on Saturday mornings, but I think the Sunset Valley farmer's market (also Saturday mornings) is larger. MT Supermarket on North Lamar is a huge, relatively new asian market...if you head up there, there's a pretty good Chinese BBQ restaurant in the same shopping center. For one high end meal...Uchi?? For something more affordable I like Enoteca on S. Congress next to Vespaio (Italian). Hope this helps!
  8. The Zagat Guide is now soliciting reviews of Texas Restaurants on their website - I've done these several times now, in exchange for participating they'll send you a free copy of the guide when it's published.
  9. I went to Shanghai with a group of friends yesterday for dim sum and had a great time, terrific food and a much less hectic atmosphere than someplace like T&S - they were serving Salt & Pepper Shrimp as well...
  10. I'd recommend Central Market over Whole Foods as well...if you're feeling adventurous there's also the MT Supermarket on North Lamar, a huge place full of exotic Asian ingredients. As far as restaurants it's tough to make a recommendation without more specifics...I like Vespaio Enoteca for affordable Italian and El Sol y La Luna for "healthier" Mexican, both are on South Congress where there are lots of other shops to explore if you're interested in doing that as well.
  11. There's an article in the Chronicle this week saying Lola is facing eviction from her trailer park due to her RV's purple paintjob.
  12. I do it the same way as phatj, and only use the "professional" method rarely on those times I might want a very fine mince.
  13. I like 219 West, it's something of a default stop for some of my friends and I to get a bite when out on the town...you're right, it's a nice setting but quite unpretentious (they serve corn dogs after all), the dishes I've tried have mostly been pretty good. They have a genrerous Happy Hour - it runs something like 5-9PM weeknights, with all appetizers 1/2 price, drink specials etc. - and I think the servers and bartenders do a consistently good job, unlike at a number of similar places in town.
  14. I have no problems with most of the things mentioned so far - in fact I love sushi, stinky cheeses, raw oysters, mushrooms etc. Grapefruit...yuck. I've never liked the taste of whole wheat bread. I'm not crazy about a lot of bitter greens like arugula. And I doubt it's the sort of thing most foodies would say you're "supposed to find delicious" but I find the lingering, chemical smell of microwave popcorn absolutely revolting, and am amazed that if someone makes it at work or something I'll actually hear people say things like "Mmm...smells good...that's making me hungry"!?!?
  15. Ararat will be closing this weekend, info about big a party they're having on their last night here.
  16. There's an article in today's Statesman about a group of Austinites and their search for the best burger in town...They rank Sullivan's #1, The Tavern #2, and Roaring Fork #3....Houston's came in #5, Jackalope #7, Casino El Camino #10...popular Hut's was in last place at #19. http://www.austin360.com/food_drink/conten.../14burgers.html
  17. I like to stir in some fresh chopped thyme and/or parsley just before serving. If you can get your hands on a copy of Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook try making up a batch of his demiglace as described in one of the introductory chapters, it's time consuming but not difficult - you can store it in ice cube trays in the freezer, a cube or two is a great "secret ingredient" addition to stews, soups, sauces etc.
  18. I have a friend who makes a Habanero infused vodka, just slice one up and toss in the bottle (He uses Tito's, made here in Austin TX). A shot of that is pretty intense!
  19. I haven't been to Gene's yet, have heard it's pretty good though. Another place on the East Side on my list to check out is Nubian Queen Lola's Cajun Kitchen.
  20. I've had mixed experiences with the etouffee at Ruby's BBQ on 29th and Guadalupe - first time I tried it I thought it was great, very rich (buttery?), lots of crawfish meat. Last time I was disappointed though - it had a darker, less delicate flavor and was somewhat greasy. Haven't tried their gumbo yet. I like the etouffee at Quality Seafood, though I think the flavor is a little "tomato soup-y" for my taste. I don't know if the food is any good at the Old Alligator Grill on South Lamar, but I heard the restaurant scenes from "Office Space" were filmed there.... Anyone been to Jazz on 6th St, or Evangeline Cafe on Brodie Lane? I've heard mixed opinions of both...
  21. For pizza in that general part of town (which is where I live) I prefer the wood fired pies at Brick Oven on 35th & Kerby over Milto's (note that this restaurant is, confusingly, not part of the "Brick Oven" Austin chain). Thanks for the tip about Salvation, looking forward to checking it out.
  22. My first post here! A couple of months ago I needed to make a batch of clarified butter for Pommes Anna, I used butter from the freezer but didn't let it thaw completely. After a few minutes it seemed fine, melting nice and slowly, I skimmed some of the foam off the top and put it back on the stove for a bit. A short while later I'm across the kitchen and hear this WHOOSH!, soon followed by molten butter raining down on me...it had erupted, volcano like, literally hitting the ceiling and spattering all over the walls, stove, floor, and pretty much everything else. My theory is some undisturbed, frozen chunk of butter was superheated by the surrounding liquid, instantly forming a big steam bubble and the resulting eruption. Fortunately it didn't happen while my face was over the stove...but talk about a nightmare to clean up, and I even ended up having to repaint the walls.
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