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Kitchen Door

On my quest for an amazing cupcake, I tried the Kitchen Door. Very tasty...moist cake, but not too crumbley, good icing. So far, they are my favorite (with Sweetish Hill in 2nd and Texas French Bread in dead last).
However, what I really love about the Kitchen Door is the Meatloaf Sandwich. First, it is huge. One sandwich will easily feed two people. Second, the meat was flavored well and had the right texture. They grilled it right in front of me which made for a nice warm meal, but wilted the lettuce (I would leave it off next time). I recommend it to anyone looking for a little comfort food.
I do love a good sandwich...any others I need to eat? Has anyone had a good Cuban?

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  1. The Kitchen Door has a delicious chicken salad, on a sandwich or stand alone. Actually, I've tried most of the salads without any complaint.

    I first tried the Cuban at Bahama Breeze, which in no longer with us. I was lamenting this and a friend mentioned that she was with a group at the Cheesecake Factory ... and that everyone loved the Cuban there. Heresay, I know...

    1. Habana has a nice Cuban - all the right components, with good crusty smooshed bread...

      1. i just have to vent. first of all, i KNOW i should not have ordered this. but i got the warm veggie sandwich at kitchen door. i have to admit, i was trying to eat somewhat healthy today (after having a xanax-induced munchie binge last night, sigh). the description included mushrooms, grilled onions, tomato and cheese. my husband was smart and got the meatloaf sandwich, which i LOVE, along with the chicken salad sandwich. but i was willing to try something different in the name of eating healthier. when i opened it up, the veggies, aside from the few mushrooms, were the exact same (including quantity) that meatloaf sandwich had - just w/o the yummy meat. no cheese whatsoever =(. i guess i had gotten distracted when selecting our side items, but they had certainly asked my husband which cheese he wanted....why not me, since it was included in the descrip? so there i am with my crappy sandwich that was essentially the same as my husband's but without cheese or meat. utterly disappointing for someone who places so much importance in selecting her dining choices. the sesame green beans were good. deviled egg was good. dill potato salad not bad, although i am not a big fan of potato salad at all. at least i got a few sample pieces of brownie to console me. but that damn sandwich really wrecked my afternoon. i'm going to put some leftover pork chop in the other half for lunch tomorrow so i can at least salvage it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: NirvRush

          I will posit that the best vegetarian "quickie sandwich" in town is to be had at Little Deli in Crestview. Knockout Kaiser Roll, and an olive tapenade so tasty I'd probably eat it if they put it on a brick. Close second: Hog Island Deli's sauteed veg hoagie: order with extra cheese and an extra side of their rosé marinara sauce stuff. Also, I wonder: if you are trying to eat more healthfully, why not just order turkey on whole wheat sans mayo? Just because it's veg doesn't mean it's healthy; often it means slathered in mayo (which is fine by me). FWIW my favorite sandwich at Kitchen Door always used to be tarragon egg salad w/extra capers, but that was circa 1999 in my undergrad days, can't vouch for its deliciousness now, but i wonder if its even on the menu now...

          1. re: femmenikita

            you're absolutely right, i should have opted for that. i just expected something a little more from them - more veggies or something. and i was enticed by the warmth aspect (would they grill a turkey sandwich?).

            i'll just have to consider this a lesson learned.

        2. Just fyi, the meatloaf sandwich is not available at the Far West location

          1 Reply
          1. re: taminator

            I thought the cupcake I got there was pretty okay... the most amusing thing about the trip was how they display comments about their restaurant from Chowhound on what looked like screensavers on various monitors around the store.

          2. Some co-workers and I had lunch recently at the Kitchen Door on Lake Austin Boulevard. This place is like a 1950s bakery that's been frozen in time. At the Lake Austin branch, there's a small freezer-case of the hot specials that are served on-site daily at the Far West location. All the dishes are "classic" Texas favorites that were popularized in an earlier era: King Ranch chicken, chicken spaghetti, along with the meatloaf, of course. Their dessert offerings are similar: Texas spice cake, cinnamon rolls, pound cake, pecan sandies. I can appreciate what they're trying to do, but not all trips down memory lane result in deliciousness.

            The meatloaf sandwich was the best option that we sampled. The sandwich is generously sized, with meatloaf that's mostly dense and moist. A few pieces were dry and crumbly, but I'm guessing they were from the end pieces of the loaf. (There are plenty of end pieces, though, since the meatloaf is baked in something like a 13x9" rectangular pan.) Personally, I found their meatloaf fairly unseasoned—but at least it tasted like ground meat, not a filler such as bread crumbs. Most of the sandwich's flavor seemed to come from the sautéed onions, tomato, and mushrooms that were placed on top of the meatloaf, along with the melted cheese. FYI: They charge extra for cheese—your choice of provolone, Swiss, or cheddar. They also charge extra for the mushrooms, even though I never requested that they add them to the sandwich.

            None of us loved their much-hyped chicken salad, served on untoasted bread, but I can understand the appeal to some. Theirs is the kind of mayonnaise-heavy, otherwise fairly unseasoned, very finely-processed chicken salad that reminds one of what was served in some relatives' homes as well as old-time Texas diners. The "creamy" texture doesn't seem to me to be the result of a "secret ingredient." Instead, I'd guess that the smooth texture comes from blending the hell out of the chicken and mayonnaise in a food processor. To us, the chicken salad sandwich, served on soft, bland white bread, with romaine lettuce and tomato slices, seemed. . . soft and bland.

            Kitchen Door's baked goods also evoke the breads and desserts popular at many small-town Texas bakeries that I remember from the past. Their white bread is a very soft yet springy, doughy, probably milk-based sandwich bread that's baked in a wide loaf. It's sliced almost 3/4" thick for the sandwiches. I preferred the bread's flavor when it was toasted on the oily griddle for the meatloaf sandwich; untoasted, with just a thin smear of chicken salad, it was disagreeably flavorless and doughy. I only sampled a couple of desserts. Their cream-cheese brownie was bad. The bottom "brownie" layer was dry, cakey, with no chocolate flavor whatsoever. It did contain nuts, though. The top cream-cheese layer was cooked, dry, and unappetizing. Usually, cream cheese in a brownie adds moisture, but not in this case. Their Italian cream cake, which I believe was mentioned above, was not dry, though the cake was not particularly flavorful, either. I think they are counting on the soft, sweet frosting, of which there was plenty, to carry the dessert. The cake was inoffensive compared to the brownie, but I wouldn't order either dessert again.

            If I returned, I'd order the meatloaf sandwich, or I might try their other hot sandwich (roast beef with melted cheese and a sweet-mustard-like sauce). Based on this experience, though, I'd have to say that this spot is unlikely to become a regular haunt of mine.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MPH

              Have to agree with the final conclusion. Kitchen Door is a place i have been to a number of times but always for convenience rather than the food.

              i'm still waiting on the trial of Uppercrust's marble cupcake.

              1. re: MPH

                My opinion on the chicken salad has changed over the past year. It did remind me of something my mom would have made in the 70s. I haven't had to go to the Kitchen Door due to office proximity so, when I've chosen to go, I have been a bit more discerning.

                The chicken salad is overpriced, bland and popular only due to the hype ... of which I was guilty of buying in to. Another year participating in Chowhound and understanding more about the recommendations and criticisms has made me much more selective.

              2. The Kitchen Door on Lake Austin has moved to the downtown Chase Bank building. Still great chicken salad, and if not there, then at the Far West location. For the price, and the flavor, this is definitely a two meal sandwich. Rumor has it they are delivering. Chicken Salad in 30 minutes... yumm, love that!