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Dining options - Nutty Brown Cafe area??

whoalilponie Sep 17, 2007 04:43 AM

We are heading out to the Nutty Brown for a show this weekend and would like to do dinner, but not familar with the area at all. Anybody got any ideas?? Thanks for the help.

  1. TroyTempest Sep 17, 2007 09:41 AM

    Well you could eat at the Nutty Brown. It's pretty good for Burgers CFS, catfish, even enchiladas. You probably have to get there early because others will have the same idea, but that's what I'd do.
    Also not too far is the Satellite and Waterloo on escarpment & slaughter. I like the Satellite, but Nutty Brown is better than this Waterloo.

    8 Replies
    1. re: TroyTempest
      bookgrrl72 Sep 17, 2007 01:04 PM

      Ugh. We ate there on Saturday night and I can't remember the last time I had a meal so utterly lacking in flavor. Seriously, it's hard to screw up chicken fried chicken, and yet...it was like eating batter-fried cardboard. And the service was the worst we've had in a while. Avoid. I seem to remember seeing something called the 290 cafe?

      1. re: bookgrrl72
        MPH Sep 17, 2007 01:51 PM

        I haven't tried Cafe 290, but I know that it's nowhere near the Nutty Brown Cafe. Cafe 290 is located in Manor, northeast of Austin. The Nutty Brown Cafe is southwest of town.

        It's been more than a year, but I have had good burgers and onion rings at the Nutty Brown Cafe. Their ribeye was okay, too. (They seem to have a good source for beef.) If I recall correctly, they also used to serve excellent Southern-style green beans with bacon. Pies were supplied by the Wimberley Pie Company, for those who like that bakery.

        Should you decide to stop somewhere along the way (like in Sunset Valley), you'll have many more dining options.

        1. re: MPH
          TroyTempest Sep 17, 2007 03:42 PM

          No I do think there is a cafe close to the Nutty Brown with 290 in the name, possibly 290 diner? Anyway, you're right, this is different than the one in Manor (which lately i've heard referred to as Manor Cafe 290)

          bookgrrl72, that's too bad about your experience at nutty brown. I've been there 3 times, all good, granted it has been almost a year.

          1. re: TroyTempest
            MPH Sep 17, 2007 04:02 PM

            There very well might be a diner close to the Nutty Brown. However, the only thing between the Y in Oak Hill and 281 with "290" in the title, according to various online maps, is a ranch and fence store. Does anyone have a name or location for the non-Manor mystery diner on 290?

            Amended to add: I just found a listing for "Texas 290 Diner" in Johnson City, which is on 290 West, but on the other side of 281.

            1. re: MPH
              jwynne2000 Sep 17, 2007 04:53 PM

              290 West Bar & Grill

              290 West Bar & Grill
              12013 W Highway 290, Austin, TX 78737

              1. re: MPH
                exlnghrn Sep 17, 2007 07:06 PM

                By the way, the Texas 290 Diner in Johnson City has fantastic burgers. Odd hours, though. So it's best to check and see if they're open before driving out there. The burgers remind me of Hill's, back when Hill's actually deserved the title they brag about...

            2. re: MPH
              scrumptiouschef Sep 17, 2007 05:05 PM

              I only wish my dining experience at Nutty Brown was as good as MPH's. I still have foodmares about their Chicken Fried Steak,a leathery,misshapen mess of a dish with gravy that'd spewed forth from some distant factory of horrors.

              Service was comically bad;a waitress on her last legs in the industry,her craggy visage haunted me for days and competence was but a distant memory for this embittered veteran of restaurant service.Howling toddlers in a series of relentless footraces with their parents around and around the patio area completed the dining experience.

              The menu trumpeted the "fact" that their burgers were Kobe beef.Quite a feat to be able to turn a profit on Kobe beef at 7 or 8 bucks a burger when it wholesales at around 45 dollars a pound.

              1. re: scrumptiouschef
                MPH Sep 17, 2007 05:16 PM

                I guess they meant "Kobe-esque" burgers, although even that seems to be a bit of a stretch. Unless the cow was named Kobe. It's been a long time since my last visit, but I do recall that the place was blissfully empty in mid-afternoon.

                And thanks for linking to this location, jwynne. It's practically right next door to NB, so I don't know why my mapping sites didn't show it. After all the research to pinpoint the location, it would be nice if some 'hound could comment on their food!

        2. j
          jwynne2000 Sep 17, 2007 10:38 AM

          Isn't there a diner somewhere right there next to it? The name is escaping me right now. I've never eaten there, so I can't comment on the quality of the food.

          1. j
            jacy Sep 18, 2007 07:59 AM

            I work out here, and we do lunch at Nutty Brown pretty often. They have huge, tasty salads (where I always substitute blackened salmon for whatever meat is suggested to top it), a pretty good veggie burger, and excellent sides. They have the largest amount of options in the area, from healthy to the Cecil de Gullo (a fried chicken breast topped with queso, salsa, taco meat, and more). It's certainly not fancy, but I've never left feeling disappointed.
            The other restaurants around here don't get near the same review. 290 Bar and Grill is grody (it's the only word I can find that fits it perfectly). Stale smoke smelling, greasy bar. I'm not sure if it's still on the menu, as it's been a while since I even thought about going inside, but they used to have a Chicken Fried Cheeseburger on the menu.
            Sunset Canyon Bar and Grill (and Chinese Cuisine) is located a mile or so west, and is actually pretty good for chinese food. But the majority of the menu as bar food, home style chicken fried steaks, burgers, and a few mexican dishes. Smoking is also allowed there, so it's a bit of a shock coming from Austin.
            Stadium Restaurant down the road is also west a mile, and I haven't enjoyed a single thing there. I actually skipped lunch last time the group went there, rather than having another severely disappointing meal - crunchy and dripping with grease tortillas, off-tasting dressings, and even the fries were cold.

            1. c
              cibodivino Sep 18, 2007 02:23 PM

              There's a Cartwright's BBQ right next to Nutty Brown. Average at best, but it serves the purpose in times of BBQ emergencies.

              1. s
                skechada Sep 19, 2007 08:13 AM

                I too work near Nutty Brown Cafe and that's really your best bet within about 8-10 miles, not counting the Salt Lick. Avoid the 290 Cafe. And the Stadium Sports place. Their food is all Sysco, or so it seems. Preservative laden crap.

                But the Nutty Brown is decent enough. The chicken sandwhich and fish tacos are probably the most ordered from the regulars I go there with. Stay away from the meatloaf.

                If I were you, though, I'd hit the Salt Lick. Just go South on Nutty Brown road a couple miles, take a right and drive another 2 or 3 miles.

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