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kirelerya Apr 9, 2007 07:07 AM

I have lived in Austin for almost 8 years, but in that time my journeys north of 35th street for food were scant. Now I find myself up north (Scofield Ridge) and need some recs on noteworthy but nearby places to grab grub (specifically those that don't end in ili's or uy's which seem to be plentiful). From Steck to south RR, can you help me find the places I am missing? Any ethnicity, any price range, any type of atmoshpere, I am looking to develop a list of favorite's like I have for the south Austin hoods I used to frequent. Thanks for your help!

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  1. c
    ChrisStein Apr 9, 2007 07:14 AM

    I work and live in North Austin, here are a few of the places we haunt:

    1) Sambet's - cool hole in the wall cajun place. Great po-boys and pretty good gumbo's and etouffee.

    2) Any place in the new Chinatown Shopping Center on North Lamar - First Chinese BBQ is really good, with interesting off the beaten path dishes. Lili's Deli has the incredibly cheap Vietnamese sandwiches.

    3) Taco Deli - on Burnett just before is connects with Mopac - good tacos dishes. The Dona Sauce is awesome and I love the Chicken Mole tacos

    4) Bombay Express - Over on Parmer and Lamar, just north of Parmer in the shopping center by WalMart. This is a vegatarian indian place, great fresh food. Not the usual indian buffet fair.

    I am probably missing a bunch, but those jump to mind.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChrisStein
      c
      cowfish Apr 9, 2007 11:39 AM

      To add to the list above:

      2*) In the Chinatown shopping center, Short n' Sweet makes the best bubble teas and creamy smoothies. The owner says she uses real taro and mango, as opposed to powder, in the smoothies.
      Also Pho Saigon serves decent bowls of pho and vermichelli (bun) noodles.

      Pho:
      a) Hoa My near Parmer and I-35 (in the same shopping center as Bombay Express) is a decent pho place. Their broth is not as flavorful as Tan Tan (Tan My). Their bun bowl with egg rolls has the veggies on top, unlike other places that serve them in the bottom.
      b) Tan-Tan (aka Tan My) on Peyton Gin(?) near research (it's near Din Ho). The best pho on a cold day. I also like their summer rolls because the char-siu in them is more flavorful than in other places I've tried.

      Places we've tried and would not recommend:

      Posadas: Off I-35 in Round Rock. A Chuy's wanna-be. This place is good if you want mountains of food. Literally, the amount of food we ordered (an appetizer and fajitas for two) did not fit in the table with the huge basket of chips, and sopapillas.

      TC Noodle House: The new Chinatown has some great places, this is not one of them. I've been twice, and everything I've tasted tastes the same (beef flat noodle, shrimp fried noodles). But some people do like it, so it's possible I'm ordering the wrong things.

      Other: I've heard good reviews about the Supertaco place off the frontage road on Mopac near Parmer. (Search the board for reviews).

    2. g
      gilintx Apr 9, 2007 11:18 AM

      Din Ho on Research by the Target. Some of the best Chinese you'll find in town. I also like Pho Van in the same shopping center, just two doors down.

      T&S seafood on N. Lamar just north of Rutland. I usually go for Dim Sum, but they're also open late nights. Awesome fresh seafood.

      Good pizza and pretty decent Italian can be got at Reale's on N. 183, near Anderson Mill.

      1. a
        ashes Apr 9, 2007 11:43 AM

        I second the Taco Deli suggestion. Their breakfast tacos are very tasty, especially the "papas" which are closer to tasty mashed potatoes rather than home fries. There is also a Mangia in the same strip that is tasty if you like their pizza.

        I recently mentioned this in another thread but The Hideout, a bar btw Parmer and Burnet/Duvall on the southbound frontage has a pretty tasty burger along with a nice laid back bar atmosphere and outdoor seating.

        Byblos: Mediterranean with excellent falafel, shwarma, and kabob in the strip near Walmart and Parmer and 35.

        Mikado: Sushi that's good and under-rated overall. Very swank atmosphere but never super crowded or pretentious. My second or third pick overall in the city.

        There is also a new(er) Curra's on Parmer at McNeil. While I haven't tried out this location yet, the others are almost always good in my book.

        These are the ones that spring to mind at the moment.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ashes
          k
          kirelerya Apr 9, 2007 11:46 AM

          These are great, thanks! Keep them coming, I haven't been to any of these except T&S.

          1. re: kirelerya
            TAF Apr 9, 2007 12:45 PM

            I'm a fan of Bombay Bistro at 183 and Braker, which has consistently been good Indian food although the kitchen staff do seem to change round a bit. Also Chon Som on Wells Branch is good Thai - in fairness I'll confess that I do know the owners, but the food really is good. There's also a great little Vietnamese sandwich shop up in the Chinatown Center on Lamar. It's called Lily's and the charbroiled pork sandwich is excellent - pho in a bun, essentially.

            [Edited because I remembered the name of the sandwich shop.]

            1. re: TAF
              j
              jwynne2000 Oct 9, 2007 03:23 PM

              Hey TAF, any specific recommendations at Chon Som? I'm probably going to be in the area on Thursday and that sounds like a good lunch choice.

              1. re: jwynne2000
                TAF Oct 10, 2007 07:01 AM

                My favorites are the Tom Ka soup followed by any one of the green, red or yellow curries (the heat varies). That's quite a bit of food, so you might want to skip the soup. They also have quite a few Japanese dishes on the menu, which they cook well, but my preference is to stick with the Thai. Enjoy!

        2. hooliganyouth Apr 9, 2007 01:09 PM

          There are about a million places up and down Burnet from 45th to 183 - I'm unfamiliar with north of 183 myself.

          I agree with everyone with Din Ho. It's practically the only place for good Chinese in this town.

          There's Top Notch on Burnet - burgers & fried chicken.

          Also on Burnet, Arranda's, Billy's, Blue Star Cafeteria, Sampaio, Maru - what? I live in a small neighbourhood with plenty of tasty places to eat.

          edit: oh yeah www.auslunch.com has a large number of reviews of places north.

          1. k
            kalex Apr 9, 2007 01:12 PM

            Don Luis Supertacos at Parmer and Mopac - YUMMY! really good flour tortillas and their green salsa/sauce is spicy and tasty. I've had the barbacoa here and also the menudo is awesome - if you like menudo. Their version is spicy and is served with chopped onions, cilantro and lime wedges on the side so you can dump in/or not however much you'd like. Great breakfast tacos as well.

            Sunflower Restaurant for Vietnamese food - bo luc lac (shaken beef, imperial eggrolls, spring rolls, and five spice chicken are all highly recommended). Din Ho is great for Chinese - bbq pork (char siu) and also the fresh seafood. Tan My for pho/Vietnamese as well. All three of these restaurants are within 2 blocks of each other. Also for Vietnamese, try Tam Deli and Cafe on N. Lamar just north of 183 on the southbound side in a small strip mall.

            Dot's for stick to your ribs and gut home cooking! It's on Windermere up in Pflugerville off 1825. It's not healthy but it's really good and not expensive. She only serves dinner on Thurs and Friday nites I believe.

            oh and i have to mention Asia Cafe in deference to sambamaster...just do a search on the Chowhound boards for loads of information on that restaurant.

            Tino's Greek Cafe is also worth checking out IMHO. Off 183N and Anderson Mill. Great way to sample a lot of different mediterranean dishes/items for not too much.

            1. k
              KPeff Oct 10, 2007 01:08 AM

              First, I have to throw my hat in for Din Ho. I read a review that said they might mess up your order but still serve you something good. And that exact thing happened to me and my parents when we went a few years ago.

              Every time I go there, I hear people interrupt themselves when they're ordering and say, "Nevermind, I'll have what that guy is having." And that's usually pork or duck - so get on that.

              Second, I really enjoy Shalimar on North Austin. Their buffet could be larger, but the staple North Indian / Pakistani dishes are all there. And their takeout meals contain as much food as you might eat at the buffet for only a little more money. For reference - I'm a 2 1/2 to 3 heaping plates kind of buffet diner.

              1. hooliganyouth Oct 10, 2007 01:01 PM

                What about the Chinatown Center on North Lamar? MT Market is a blast just to go and wander around for the better part of a day - maybe that's just me.

                3 Replies
                1. re: hooliganyouth
                  r
                  reina_de_fideo Oct 10, 2007 01:16 PM

                  nobody's mentioned swad! i am enjoying their samosa chat as i type, which s one of my favorite cheap but filling lunches. it's veg. indian street food. closed tues.

                  if you like thai passion downtown, there's one on 183 and braker, fairly new. has a decent lunch buffet (as decent as lunch buffets get).

                  not super north, by lamar and 2222, is an excellent thai place called titaya.

                  and if you want yummy hot dogs, veggie or not, head to almighty dog on burnet (there's one down south, not sure if you have it on your favorites list)

                  1. re: reina_de_fideo
                    h
                    Hsien_Ko Oct 10, 2007 02:57 PM

                    Dog Almighty closed! My DH was in the farmers market a few weeks back and said there was a sign posted to visit their other locations (both of which are not north). I hope they open a north location soon.

                    1. re: Hsien_Ko
                      r
                      Rene Oct 10, 2007 06:06 PM

                      I stopped by Dog Almighty last week, too, and saw the sign. I was hoping it was a seasonal thing but sad to hear it is not. Then I tried Phils Icehouse. It's not at all similar but pretty great, nonetheless.

                2. h
                  Hsien_Ko Oct 10, 2007 07:04 PM

                  These two semi-recent threads also dealt with North/NW Austin restaurant recommendations:
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/436041
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/439019

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Hsien_Ko
                    l
                    lobolady Oct 11, 2007 11:55 AM

                    New place for Ethiopian food just opened on Grand Avenue Parkway east of I-35 in Pflugerville. Addis Ethiopian Cafe. We tried it for lunch today and it was great.

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