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[Austin] Which restaurant do you patronize the most?

Mine is Quality Seafood. I've probably been there 50 times over the past two years now.

Second most is T&S Seafood. I used to go really often, like once a week but slowed down because I didn't want to become tired of it. I've probably been there 25 times over the last three years.

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  1. Las Palomas for dinner.

    1. Galaxy Cafe at Brodie/Slaughter. Its close to my home and its easy to go there for a Saturday or Sunday brunch time meal and read the paper.

      1. Jim's, at 183 and Burnet. Breakfast for lunch is a good option. Burgers are good. Prices are good. Pleasant place to stretch out and read the paper.

          1. Our two favorites:

            (1) Flores Mexican Restaurant on the corner of William Cannon and 290/71 (near the 'Y').
            (2) Green Mesquite at corner of 290 and 71 (again at the 'Y').

            Manditory favorite is Gattitown at corner of 290 and 71 because that's where we meet for lunch each Monday for our Rotary Club meeting.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ron L

              Gattitown? Oh, the humanity!

              Chowhounds, what happened to our mission of searching out deliciousness?

            2. i try not to eat out too often but i probably go to Pho Van the most. a few years ago i would be there like 2 or 3 times a week. i have a pho and banh mi problem.

              second most frequented place is probably Taqueria Arandas #3

              1. Great thread idea Kent. You're making me miss Quality seafood though, I'm on strike against them for a customer service disaster a few months ago. Most these days would be Enchiladas y mas, Tam Deli and Whole foods for meal components.

                1. I like to meet my friends a Manuel's (downtown) for happy hour. We like the margaritas and half-price appetizers.

                  Nu Age on Exposition.

                  Dining alone, I'm queer for the burrito bowl (rice, black beans, peppers and onions, carne, pico de gallo, corn salsa, and heavy on the cheese) with a side of chips, from Chipotle Grill on North Lamar. I take it home and microwave it to eat in front of the TV. Absolute heaven for $6. I should confess: I own stock in this company; but that just shows how much I like it.

                  Southside Flying Pizza, on South Congress near Live Oak. The simple artichoke pizza is my favorite.

                  Eastside Cafe on Manor for large groups and out-of-town guest, because they take reservations and have a very wide selection of cuisines (and good tasting food).

                  Star of India on Anderson, because they have an extensive $10 buffet at night.

                  1. I've probably been to Tam's 200+ times in the last 5 years. I'm pretty sure I've had everything on their menu except maybe some pho variations.

                    1. Manuel's or Las Manitas for workday lunch.
                      El Rancho for comfort food tex/mex. (been eating there since 1974 - don't look at the menu - just order the favs. - chile relleno, green enchiladas, Bob Armstrong and margaritas)
                      Tres Amigos on Loop 360 (for easy, fast, cheap with kids.)
                      Huts - (burgers and onion rings)

                      1. For "night-out-with-the-girlfriend" dining, it's gotta be Mushashino for me. We can walk there from my place and the sushi is absolutely outstanding (just a tiny notch below Uchi, in my opinion).

                        For my "daily grind"/lunchtime grub, I do Mekong River probably more than any other place. It's all about the Skirts On Fire!

                        1. I have a mild addiction to the burgers at Casino El Camnio, so that's going to be towards the top the list.

                          1. Polvo's (or Los Pino's)
                            Din Ho
                            Eddie V's
                            Green Mesquite
                            Taj Palace
                            Billy's is starting to be regular take-out for the Shaggy Wings

                            1. I've lost count of how many times I've eaten at Los Altos....one of the few places in town that can fill you up for $2.44[excluding tip].That's the price of the tostada with your choice of meat[the Pastor is tops]

                              1. Over the past three months, probably El Meson, Belladona (sandwiches), Madam Mam's Westgate, Hao Hao South, and Enoteca Vespaio.

                                1. We go to Kerbey Lane on Guadalupe every Saturday morning because we have an 18-month-old son who doesn't dine out well. For the same reasons, we go to Dog Almighty on Burnet almost every Friday night. Our mission right now is to go out and enjoy a meal with minimum screaming.

                                  Our favorites for couples night are Fonda San Miguel and Hyde Park Bar & Grill. Sadly, we've spent more of our date night dinners at Alamo Drafthouse than anywhere else over the past year and a half.

                                  1. Tan-Tan, Midori, Triumph Cafe and Short & Sweet

                                    1. Sagiang
                                      Asia Cafe

                                      1. Over the long haul, Polvo's, but I've been to Uchi four times in the last 30 days.

                                        1. Tres Amigos
                                          Arrandas #3
                                          Chili Parlor
                                          Eddie V's
                                          The Pit BBQ

                                          At least once a month at each. Since I am a working chef, I cook a lot a home.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: BigboyDan

                                            What is the star of the show at the Pit?Why is this restaurant never discussed in the barbecue threads?

                                            1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                              I can't answer your specific question, but I suspect that you're calling out an important fact about this topic. Frequency often bears no relation to deliciousness. Convenience, comfortable surroundings, and familiar foods are often much bigger factors in repeat visits to restaurants.

                                              In any case, here's hoping readers take this entire topic with the recognition that popularity and frequency, while interesting, may not lead to the most delicious chow.

                                              1. re: Knoblauch

                                                Bingo. The places I go the most often are more about proximity, price, and hours of operation. They're not bad, but usually not exactly awesome.

                                          2. Houston's on Burnet. I go there for their grilled salmon and the side veggies, which are good for a chain. they have great fries there too.
                                            Vespaio Enoteca, for their suppli and funghi & talrggio pizza. their pasta specials are good too.

                                            1. Taquiera Arandas #5. I'll never visit Austin without going there. Never.

                                              1. Chez Zee, Jorge's, and PF Changs. I live between Chez Zee and Jorge's, and since there's a dearth of decent Asian in the area, we often stop by Chang's downtown after work and bring it home.

                                                As an aside from another thread, I keep meaning to try the chicken fried steak at Chez Zee, and every time (including last night) I manage to find something else which just jumps out at me. Maybe it's a sign ...

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: TAF

                                                  My girlfriends and I keep finding ourselves at Chez Zee on our Mommy's Nights Out. Something about having a huge hunk of lemon rosemary cake and a frozen mojito at 10pm sans squirmy toddlers is just too wonderful to resist.

                                                2. An all first half of the day list. Dan's (love that breakfast), Pho Van, Elsi's (breakfast, again), T&S Seafood (dim sum).

                                                  1. Breakfast tacos: Mi Victoria or O's to Go.

                                                    Fuse Box
                                                    Din Ho

                                                    1. I'm addicted to the misnamed mom and pop run EVITA'S BOTANITAS on far S. 1st for their complementary and wonderful variety of 5 salsas and perserved vegetables brought to the table with chips, especially now that they have replaced the overly oily chips with more healthy ones (is there such a thing?). I say missnamed because for several years now the restaurant has been owned by someone other than Evita. Anyway, they give me plenty of time to enjoy the salsa and chips before ordering some of the best cheese enchiladas in town. Their Tortilla soup is also outstanding, as other many other offerrings, including some fairly unique interior Mexican ones. But do go in the daytime if possible, as the service takes a bit of a dive when the younger generation takes over in the evenings when mom and pop rest, or whatever they do away from the restaurant.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: avi

                                                        Full review? I want to go back there and get something good. My last two trips have sucked.

                                                        1. re: tom in austin

                                                          Tom, can you discuss what you didn't like about Botanita's, if only because I could write 2,000 words about the place, perhaps without addressing your specific (most likely justified criticism). They have there issues. What time of day did you eat there?

                                                          1. re: avi

                                                            Avi, excellent! I'm glad to hear this. My wife and I want to love this place: I live very nearby, and we love the atmosphere.

                                                            First off, the salsas. They are awesome. No complaints here.

                                                            Second, the queso. This is an unappetizing lump of thick, opaque orange gel. The flavor is mediocre, the consistency is very poor. I've ordered it twice, both times it was this bad. Is this just bad luck, or is this their actual queso style?

                                                            I actually can't remember what we ate any longer. I wish I had taken notes.

                                                            What should I be ordering? I love Mexican food of all stripes, including the American pidgin Mexican cuisines (Tex-Mex, New Mex-Mex, etc.), so feel free to suggest anything as long as you think it is consistently delicious!

                                                            1. re: tom in austin

                                                              I was pretty blown away by their gorditas. In a good way.

                                                      2. For us, hyde park grill, quality seafood, asti, (the first three are in walking distance from our home), along with el chile, z'tejas, and elsi's all fall heavily in rotation.

                                                        1. oh! forgot eastside cafe and moonshine for brunch with family members.

                                                          1. sunflower vietnamese
                                                            swad vegifood
                                                            elsi's for breakfast tacos
                                                            el chilito for breakfast tacos
                                                            eastside cafe

                                                            hmmm....there has to be somewhere else i eat?

                                                            1. Madam Mam's on Guadalupe. The only UT campus area restaurant worth visiting, in my opinion. I love the Panang Curry and Tom Kha.

                                                              Taqueria Arandas #3 -- mmm, quesadillas and al pastor... My mom (who lives in Dallas) says it's worth the drive to eat at Arandas (and it's cheap!)

                                                              Tam Deli -- love the sandwiches, the chicken curry, the fried sweet potato and shrimp fritters, and the sweet people who run it.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: catarata

                                                                In addition to Madam Mam's - those are my favorite dishes as well - a small asian restaurant called Fusebox opened in Dobie Mall. It's really quite a good place.

                                                              2. hey kent, i've been meaning to comment about quality seafood. i was in town a few weeks ago, and stopped by there for a wednesday late lunch. i ordered a 6 piece of fried oysters, a blackened (i think it was catfish) taco with verde cream sauce, a dozen mussels, and a dozen clams.

                                                                (actually, a sidebar about why it was so much food; i thought i ordered clams, but i had really ordered mussels. so, because i'm a glutton for food, i went ahead and ordered clams as well!)

                                                                the fried oysters were huge, and the clams and mussels were very fresh tasting. however, i was totally mystified about the presentation of the clams and mussels; the menu says that they are steamed, and i expected them to be steamed, maybe served with a side of melted butter. but the mussels were covered in a spicy tomato cream sauce, and the clams were covered in cheesy buttery sauce. both sauces were kind of.... gloppy, as in the oil was kinda separating from the sauce. but they tasted good. so was it because i came at 1:30 PM that the sauces had been sitting around so long on the stove or burner?

                                                                the taco also came DRENCHED in the verde cream sauce; tasty and spicy, but really not what i was expecting.

                                                                anyway, despite these surprises, i enjoyed my lunch at quality. (i've attached the pictures below so you can kinda see what the dishes looked like)

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: cervisiam

                                                                  They are steamed, or I would assume so as they had those two items on the menu for over six months without being able to offer it until their steamer was installed. The clam and mussel sauces used to be great but I've also noticed the same problems you mentioned. I think it coincided with the departure of their manager, whose name escapes me at the moment, about six months ago. He formulated those sauces and I believe all the soups. This man knew his sauces and in fact left to start his own gourmet sauce company.

                                                                  I do believe the problem is simply letting the sauces cook for too long. Try going earlier during service, though this is still a rather unacceptable practice on their part.

                                                                  The next time I encounter this problem I will make sure to take notes and contact the owner, Mr. Paul Huntsberger.

                                                                2. I go to Trudy's south location probably once a week. I can't stay away from their green salsa or their stuffed avocado entree.

                                                                  I also go to Saba's happy hour quite a bit, they have really good and generous-sized mojitos. Their appetizers are really good especially the pulled pork and tempura tuna.

                                                                  Mikado for sushi.