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Apr 17, 2007 09:52 AM

austin soul food

i've been to austin many times, & consider the city a hub to explore and soak up the
wonderful bar-b-que in taylor, luling, lockhart, and beyond. austin proper is a mixed
bag of the usual suspects: threadgills, curra's, matts el rancho, etc. safe fare that the wife
would feel comfortable eating. well, this visit she ain't comin', & i'm looking for some
good downhome, soul food. location is not important, altho i'm usually runnin' around
south austin. breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, late night, whatever, i'm looking for
your best ideas. i'm hungry!! please help!!

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  1. This is what I would eat if I were visiting Austin from out of town:
    Hoover's beats Threagills any day of the week. Good chicken fried steak and peach cobbler.
    Sam's BBQ on East 12th (I think) for some serious hole-in-the-wall BBQ. Open really late (I went there at 2 am once).
    Angie's on East 7th has great carnitas
    El Chile on Manor is great interior Mexican. they also own the taco joint a few doors down called El Chilito...their migas tacos are wonderful.
    Don Luis (Parmer and Mopac) for barbacoa
    Uchi for fancy-schmancy sushi
    Kerbey Lane for pancakes

    3 Replies
    1. re: adewaal

      My fave was Dot's Place( it burnt down , but rumored to reopen in Pf-ville).Heaven!
      Ben's Longbranch has great smothered porkchops (think it's on Wed)
      Gene's has great poboy

      1. re: Rustcat

        Oh, how I miss Dot's... That was some good eatin'.

        Did you ever buy any of their cakes? I vaguely remember one of the women who worked there selling cakes on the side -- huge, creamy, coconutty affairs of varying flavors; so loaded with sugar that when consumed they set your whole body rattling. It may or may not have been affiliated with Dot's proper.

        1. re: tom in austin

          Dot's is open again. It is in Pflugerville.

    2. For soul food proper, you can't go wrong with Soul Food Wednesday at Ben's Long Branch (11th just east of I-35). Last time I was there, I had the liver with a side of delicious greens, and was quite satisfied. Any other day of the week, I like their barbecue, especially the ribs, their peach cobbler, and their banana pudding.

      Other good choices for down-home southern cooking are Gene's New Orleans Style further east on 11th and Tony's Southern Comfort on East 6th.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Knoblauch

        A very underrated soul food joint is Galloways Sanwich Shop[they don't serve sandwiches by the way]it's run by a Black cat who is also the chef.He has daily specials that fit the Soul Food bill nicely.Roasted Pork Shoulder,Fried Chicken,Smothered Pork Chops,Green Beans,Broccoli and Cheese Sauce etc.At lunch time the joint fills up with working class folks from the neighborhood.He also serves a damn good breakfast[the man knows what an over medium egg is].Roll in there around noon or so while the pickings are still good.It's just east of the intersection of Chicon and E.12th st.There is a small parking lot just east of the restaurant.Not sure why he never gets mentioned on the board but I've never had a bad plate of food there.

        1. re: scrumptiouschef

          yea, i've heard of galloway's. thanks for the location! i'm sure that's one stop
          feed me some more guys i'm still hungry!

          1. re: scrumptiouschef

            This was a great idea for a thread, phatues. Thanks for starting it.

            Galloway’s probably never gets mentioned on this board because no one knows about it! You really can't judge a place by how often it comes up on the board. Almost everyone has dined at most chains as well as the popular Austin “institutions,” even though the chow is almost invariably underwhelming. That's why so many 'hounds chime in on those threads. The really great holes-in-the-wall, however, are known to just a lucky few. Yet they could really benefit from our financial support, just as we benefit from the deliciousness they add to the Austin dining scene.

            So, thanks for sharing this tip, scrumptious! I think I'll check out the soul food at Galloway's on Thursday or Friday.


            1. re: rudeboy

              Let me first say that I hadn't heard of Galloway's before this, and I'm looking forward to trying it.

              I see your point: you can't count on a restaurant having delicious food just because it is mentioned frequently. A really popular mediocre restaurant will be recommended more often than a relatively unknown great restaurant simply because so many people have tried it. Variations in tastes and selectiveness almost guarantee recommendations for a popular restaurant, and people will work harder to find at least one good dish at restaurants they are dragged to with any regularity.

              That does not mean that great restaurants can't be popular or that unknown restaurants can't be bad, just that being mentioned a lot does not necessarily result in a delicious meal. Gene's, for example, is mentioned quite a bit and has been consistently good to my tastes when I've been there. On the other hand, there are almost certainly delicious dishes out there that have never been mentioned.

              I find that following the recommendations of 'hounds whose tastes I can calibrate with my own leads me to better food than I'd get simply by counting up the most frequently mentioned restaurants. Trying restaurants that have never been mentioned can sometimes be even more rewarding.

              1. re: Knoblauch

                Exactly, Knoblauch. Deliciousness and number of mentions on chowhound are not directly proportional.

        2. Any true soul food lover has to visit Gene's on East 11th for the Thursday lunch special of smothered pork chops. They are absolutely delicious. The rest of the menu is also excellent.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Greg Spence

            And Gene's banana pudding is the stuff of legends. It comes in ridiculously large sizes (the large is probably a pint) and is quite cold which surprisingly adds to the nice experience. I read in a magazine once "There is no shame in good banana pudding" and Gene's lives up to that billing.

            1. re: Greg Spence

              Gene's is incredible. I've had some awesome soul food experiences and Gene's is right up there with the best.

            2. Gene's on East 11th. I just went there for the first time today and nearly slapped my mama it was so freakin' good. It was, hands down, the best catfish I have ever eaten. The filets were substantial--thick, but not too thick to gross me out texture-wise. The coating was light and stuck to the fish perfectly. It was seasoned perfectly with salt and pepper, and I doubt much else.

              Add to that a side of green beans cooked with bacon and other fat as well as jambalaya chock full of sausage and chicken and this was absolutely one of the best "soul food" meals I've had in ages.

              1. Some great suggestions on soul food already. The only one I'd add to the list is Nubian Queen Lola's Cajun Kitchen on Rosewood. She used to have a website, but I couldn't find it on google.

                2 Replies
                1. re: rollledspleen

                  If you really want to see the Queen light up,roll in her front door with a ice cold six pack[perfectly allowed]get a shrimp po boy with hand cut fries and be ready for a this good takes time