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Not to miss in Austin area and environs


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Dirty's is the same, just cleaner! My Dad ate there in 1957 when a student at UT, I did in 1975, and my daughter had her high school graduation party there in 2005...

Also, very few Austin restaurants remain the same as they were prior to 1980... I can name 50 restaurants that were Austin favorites that existed in 1975, that are no more...

Edited by BigboyDan (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Can someone offer an objective comparison of Hoover's vs. Threadgill's chicken fried steaks? 'Cause mine is not nice:

Hoovers makes the best chicken fried steaks I have had. 1) they are always hot when you get them. They are flaky, but the batter has some substance. The steak is HUGE, yet flavorful and the texture is tender. The gravy is solid (though I am no gravy aficionado- just fried food)

Threadgills: Both times, one on North Lamar, and once south of the river, they were very proud of their reputation, too proud to bother serving us anything like attentively. Cold, smallish, puck like steaks.

Granted, I tend to react overly strongly when people sell themselves highly and then treat me execrably.

Anyone been to Threadgills on a good day and gone back?

Threadgill's is the "You must eat here" spot in town. If you don't, everyone will ask you how you could go to Austin and not eat there.

I like Magnolia Cafe on Congress, a little south of the river. Funky little 24 hour place with good grub.

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But the very things you denegrate, the "Very Austin" things, the things that Austinites love and are so proud of, are what make the town so special.  It's not just the food.  It's a difficult-to-define something, a mood, an atmosphere, a character, a way of life.  If you're only looking for it on the menus and plates of the restaurants there, you'll never find it.

I'm sorry, I thought this thread was about good places to eat in Austin.

Oh no, I'M sorry.

I thought that most people agree with me that dining in this particular restaurant or that is about more than just the food -- things that one should keep in mind when one has been asked for recommendations for something so subjective as "good places to eat." There's also service, ambiance, mood, menu, a sense of place, time, history, etc. Especially with people "on this board, obviously" since they dissect and discuss and argue about such intangible and peripheral and (apparently) superfluous and unimportant things endlessly.

And that traveling and visiting places is about more than just the restaurants. And making an effort to learn about and understand and appreciate a destination, and the people that lived there, and the history and traditions and culture that shaped it, helps one to more fully understand and appreciate the restaurants and foods and individual dishes and preparations that that particular destination offers.

I should not have made those assumptions.

I guess it's not easy for me to so casually separate the great "town IN GENERAL" from the people that live there (and in fact even to be dismissive of them; i.e., "Personally, I am not fond of the 'Austin Institution' restaurants... I know it's so Very Austin to go to these places... I find the city sort of pretentious when it comes to evaluating its own merits...."), the reasons why they find it special, the places they're proud of, the things they do, the common history they share, the restaurants they frequent, and what they order and enjoy when they get there.

And why on earth they'd go to someplace so awful again and again and again.

Yo, that's a lot of words to defend someplace as dreadful as Threadgill's or Chuy's.

Well, I was trying hard to help you understand.

Maybe it's just an age thing.

By 'Very Austin' do you guys mean funky, old, dirty (FILTHY), bad service by hipper than thou ex-grad students? TaKe Magnolia, Kerbey lane (like the new one on the drag that OPENED with a mildew smell), Starseeds (I would need serious sedatives to survive another trip), The old Gaud (sp?) Complex, etc. I am NOT a well dressed yuppie- rather a 33 year old science teacher who loves to cook and get my clothes dirty- but keep my kitchen clean. I have no problem with BBQ joints, diners, and the like- they are the places I like to eat. But why put up with rudeness and dirt when you could go to a place like Hoovers and get cleanliness, laid back, polite (polite! that's not what you find at Magnolia cafe etal..) service and good food carefully made?

Sorry for the rant, but much of this old Austin I keep hearing of is mannerless, ramshackle, half-assed laziness masquerading as some kind of worthy culture.

Sorry, ranted in my apology!

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But the very things you denegrate, the "Very Austin" things, the things that Austinites love and are so proud of, are what make the town so special.  It's not just the food.  It's a difficult-to-define something, a mood, an atmosphere, a character, a way of life.  If you're only looking for it on the menus and plates of the restaurants there, you'll never find it.
I'm sorry, I thought this thread was about good places to eat in Austin.
Oh no, I'M sorry.

I thought that most people agree with me that dining in this particular restaurant or that is about more than just the food -- things that one should keep in mind when one has been asked for recommendations for something so subjective as "good places to eat." There's also service, ambiance, mood, menu, a sense of place, time, history, etc. Especially with people "on this board, obviously" since they dissect and discuss and argue about such intangible and peripheral and (apparently) superfluous and unimportant things endlessly.

And that traveling and visiting places is about more than just the restaurants. And making an effort to learn about and understand and appreciate a destination, and the people that lived there, and the history and traditions and culture that shaped it, helps one to more fully understand and appreciate the restaurants and foods and individual dishes and preparations that that particular destination offers.

I should not have made those assumptions.

I guess it's not easy for me to so casually separate the great "town IN GENERAL" from the people that live there (and in fact even to be dismissive of them; i.e., "Personally, I am not fond of the 'Austin Institution' restaurants... I know it's so Very Austin to go to these places... I find the city sort of pretentious when it comes to evaluating its own merits...."), the reasons why they find it special, the places they're proud of, the things they do, the common history they share, the restaurants they frequent, and what they order and enjoy when they get there.

And why on earth they'd go to someplace so awful again and again and again.

Yo, that's a lot of words to defend someplace as dreadful as Threadgill's or Chuy's.
Well, I was trying very hard to help you understand.

Maybe it's just an age thing.

By 'Very Austin' do you guys mean funky, old, dirty (FILTHY), bad service by hipper than thou ex-grad students? TaKe Magnolia, Kerbey lane (like the new one on the drag that OPENED with a mildew smell), Starseeds (I would need serious sedatives to survive another trip), The old Gaud (sp?) Complex, etc. I am NOT a well dressed yuppie- rather a 33 year old science teacher who loves to cook and get my clothes dirty- but keep my kitchen clean. I have no problem with BBQ joints, diners, and the like- they are the places I like to eat. But why put up with rudeness and dirt when you could go to a place like Hoovers and get cleanliness, laid back, polite (polite! that's not what you find at Magnolia cafe etal..) service and good food carefully made?

Sorry for the rant, but much of this old Austin I keep hearing of is mannerless, ramshackle, half-assed laziness masquerading as some kind of worthy culture.

Sorry, ranted in my apology!

:hmmm: If you're talking about me (and it was my last post that you responded to), um, nowhere have I ever recommended Kerbey Lane or Magnolia. Or, for that matter, Stubbs, or the chicken fried steak at Threadgills, or "Starseeds blah blah blah, or The old Gaud (sp?) Complex."

But frankly, people that avoid things that are "so Very Austin" (in someone else's so Very Condescending words) just because they're "so Very Austin" are pretty obviously, it seems to me, upset about something besides just the food.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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The use of quotes in this thread is giving me the bends...Austin, old or new is best discovered on the odd Tuesday morning at KL, or Cisco's, or El Sol Y Luna, or Y Mas, or Asti, or anywhere else up for argument, for that matter. Amateur hour begins Thursday afternoon and locks up the restaurant scene tight until Monday a.m. So chill, get a sunset cooler at Quack's, then march about Elisabet Ney's front yard 'till you feel better.

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The use of quotes in this thread is giving me the bends...Austin, old or new is best discovered on the odd Tuesday morning at KL, or Cisco's, or El Sol Y Luna, or Y Mas, or Asti, or anywhere else up for argument, for that matter.  Amateur hour begins Thursday afternoon and locks up the restaurant scene tight until Monday a.m.  So chill, get a sunset cooler at Quack's, then march about Elisabet Ney's front yard 'till you feel better.

:laugh: I adore you. As you well know. And I ain't just whistlin' the Eyes of Texas, neither.

Meet you in Elisabet's front yard.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Can someone offer an objective comparison of Hoover's vs. Threadgill's chicken fried steaks? 'Cause mine is not nice:

Hoovers makes the best chicken fried steaks I have had. 1) they are always hot when you get them. They are flaky, but the batter has some substance. The steak is HUGE, yet flavorful and the texture is tender. The gravy is solid (though I am no gravy aficionado- just fried food)

Threadgills: Both times, one on North Lamar, and once south of the river, they were very proud of their reputation, too proud to bother serving us anything like attentively. Cold, smallish, puck like steaks.

Granted, I tend to react overly strongly when people sell themselves highly and then treat me execrably.

Anyone been to Threadgills on a good day and gone back?

I last ate a good meal at Threadgill's about, oh say, 20 years ago. I was nine. 'Nuff said. Avoid the place. If out-of-towners insist on going, go for a drink and eat someplace else. Hoover's is so far superior as to be ridiculous, and not just for chicken fried steak.

Amateur hour begins Thursday afternoon and locks up the restaurant scene tight until Monday a.m. So chill, get a sunset cooler at Quack's, then march about Elisabet Ney's front yard 'till you feel better.

HA! That's beautiful.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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  • 2 months later...

Get thee to Phil's Icehouse on Burnet, dernit... Their baby hamburger sampler basket with the liberal intermingling of sweet potato fries will make your inner carnivore sing the body electric, mis amigos! And the buns are sweet in a way that pairs with grilled cow flesh like nothin' else your dad ever attempted on the backyard Lil' Smokey.

Oh, and it's owned by Amy of Amy's Ice Cream, so there's that, too. I could go every week from now until my future cardiologist says otherwise. :smile:

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For mexican, try Oaxacan Tamaleo. It is located on Anderson lane (just west of Lamar blvd). This is the real deal and pretty inexpensive. The woman who runs it is from Oaxaca mexico. The drinks are tamarind and hibiscus. There are wonderful tamales (wrapped in banana leaves), chicken mole, posole and other dishes, menu changes based on specials of the day! She is also at the downtown farmers market on saturday morning! (best breakfast!!).

Enjoy!

Maddie

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