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Jul 15, 2008 04:07 PM

Moving to New Braunfels from SEATTLE - Need PHO and a good farmers market

ok, i am going from real raw pho on every corner made by real vietnamese pplz that dont speak english, to places that cant even make pho as good as the pho in (ugh) HOUSTON?!?

Who ever heard of a CHICKEN NOODLE PHO?!?

I need me some raw beef, some fresh basil, and some sliced jalapenos!

And maybe an awesome side of cool fresh spring rolls, you know the ones with the shrimp, bean sprouts and lettuce??

In addition, im from a kinda cool neighborhood, and we have an awesome premium grocery store like 4 blocks up the way. I mean fresh samosas, salumi salami, exotic cheeses and premium produce... all a 10 minute walk away, plus we have a neighborhood farmer's market every week. Any suggestions?

I get the feeling the place im going is more IGA than whole foods or metro markt

whats a kid from the coast supposed to do??

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  1. Starve :) or eat steak and potatoes often

    I live in the Dallas area and have visited New Braunsfel...not much ethnic food going on down there that I know of. Some chains and the higher end restaurants are steak and american places.

    I would not relocate there if I had a choice. Good luck!

    4 Replies
    1. re: BellaDonna

      New Braunfels is a German town, so there are several German restaurants if you want ethnic food. You are also moving close to some of the best BBQ smokehouse in the country when you look at Luling/Lockhart/Llano all being within reasonable driving distance. Your chances of finding some of the things that you described above are probably slim.

      Keep in mind that Austin is only 45 minutes away and there are plenty more options for you there, including the home of Whole Foods and its megastore downtown on 6th & Lamar. You will be able to buy all the stuff you are looking for there, you will just need to make a sunday afternoon trip to stock up for the week.

      1. re: mac8111

        Why the dig at pho in Houston? East/West Coast snobbery doesn't get you too far in Texas. FYI, there are far more Vietnamese in Houston than in Seattle. I don't know what restaurant(s) you went to, but Houstonians definately know their pho. I wouldn't question the variety and quality of Korean food in Seattle, and you, if you knew anything about Houston, shouldn't question the Vietnamese food available in Houston. All that being said, I can't speak for New Braunfels though.

        1. re: Bhutani

          Korean food in Seattle is terrible. You have to drive north to Lynnwood or south to Federal Way to get anything decent. Viet food is outstanding in Seattle but I wouldn't trash-talk Houston's pho. (I'm from Texas originally - lived in El Paso, Dallas, and Houston, family in Austin and Harper - but now live in Seattle.)

          Anyhow, my advice to the OP is to drop the attitude and enjoy the fact that you're in BBQ and Tex-Mex heaven. Drive to Austin if you need to shop at Whole Paycheck, but you seriously need to adjust your expectations and drop the superiority complex - and then learn to make your own Pho!

          All the ingredients are available to you, including better beef (for cheaper) than you've been eating in your Seattle pho. You might want to grow your own red basil and rau ram if you can't find the former locally and insist on the latter (you definitely won't find it in the HEB). You can stock up on the correct noodles in Austin if you don't feel like mail ordering them.

          1. re: Bhutani

            Word. Houston is a great food city - compared with anywhere, especially for Asian foods.

      2. Happily New Braunfels is about equal distance between Austin & San Antonio, although even in those two places it'll be a change of pace from Seattle.

        I have been to NB on several occasions and not found much there going on that merits serious attention although the Catfish place along towards the airport I have heard good things about and it exudes good vibes in a way certain restaurants do and others don't. Avoid Oma's Haus (a good general rule I find is to avoid ANY place tagged with "Haus") at all costs: very poor. I haven't found good German grub in NB either. But I would be happy to be contradicted and proven wrong.

        As a person who moved from New York (Manhattan) to Bartlesville, Oklahoma (!!!!). . . you are going to require attitude adjustment (either the [strong] alcoholic or philosophical kind) in order to survive. Which as others have said is not to say that you will not find good food, but you will have to abandon (for example) any sort of exotic cheese unless the "rat cheese" (a Texas name for normal medium waxed orange cheddar) qualifies as exotic.

        Just as I severly doubt much BBQ of Memphis or KC or Luling or Lockhart quality exists up near Boeing Field don't be looking for those fresh shucked oysters or lamb samosas in New Braunfels I'm afraid.

        You can happily drown your sorrows tubing or wading the Comal River and Guadalupe rivers which are truly beautiful and feel sooooooo good when the heat index is 105 as it is today.

        Let the board know how things go.

        6 Replies
        1. re: bishopsbitter

          Now bb, that's not fair. Check out the cheese selection at any Whole Foods, or even the HEB, for crying out loud. I admit Houston is short on little cheese shops these days (that wasn't always the case), but that's not to say you can't find anything but rat cheese! The OP should be able to find whatever he needs in Austin, and learn to enjoy the considerable charms of the hill country.

          Incidentally, there is a lovely restaurant in NB called Mesquite Grill.

          1. re: zorra


            Well I can't say HEB's cheese exactly hits me. I mean somewhere where you buy a French soft cheese etc. Not going to happen in my experience (I don't mean the generic brie & camembert which seem to have had the taste somehow removed) and again I was talking about NB, not Austin or San Antone in that context. Hey, in Bartlesville Kraft's Cracker Barrel looked pretty darned good after a while! :-)
            But that was before came along and I would tend to recommend that avenue (although its cheese has gone a little back from what it was, in terms of both quality and generosity/quantity for the price) when it first opened it allows cheeseheads in Nebraska or Wyoming as well as Eagle Lake or New Braunfels) to "have at it" with real artisan cheeses. Yes, Central Market in Houston has some pretty good cheese, but the price is astronomic. After all, it is just slightly old milk!

            No dig at NB or Texas in general as I was clear to point out. It's just one has to 'roll with the geography' was my point to the OP---take the best of what's on offer in the local context and mail order (or wait till you're next back in Seattle) the rest.

            1. re: bishopsbitter

              The HEB in NB is a smaller store, so the cheese section is not anything to marvel at. If they ever get around to building the new one they have planned then it most likely will be one of their newer concepts with a wonderful cheese section along with more gourmet food options.

          2. re: bishopsbitter

            omg!! I just moved from NYC to Bartlesville!!!! I am dying so far! any good food recommendations??

            1. re: jenoats

              Have you found anything good yet? I am moving from Dallas in a couple of months and the visit didn't reveal any gems.

              1. re: jenoats

                Sorry for tardy reply. I did the same thing (NYC-BVO) in 1990. Bartlesville and World-Class Cuisine do not go together in the same sentence very often. You will have driven by what used to be Maries Steak House. The only restaurant that continued in business despite floods up to the ceiling peridically from the Caney River. It used to be a bit of a respite before it closed. That said, Oklahoma in 2008-9 is a heck of a lot better for eats than it was in 1990!

                Do try to drive up one weekend (make reservations, it's popular) to Abilene KS for their family style chicken dinners. And the Eisenhower Library also.

                You will likely know Ponca city Airport (across Osage County on hhy 60, lovely drive) has Enrique's Mexican. Enrique's signature salsa is worth the trip. Be sure to ask for more, then more again. And their pink lemonade is good too. I cna take or leave their puffy-fluffy tortilla chips though although like sopapillas with honey they do provide a good vessel for getting that salsa to your lips in mass quantities.

                The Price Tower place opened after my time so I don't know. India Palace in Tulsa (71st just east of the river) is ALWAYS reliable and say hello to owner Mr Singh for me.

            2. Because the pho in Houston is made by fake vietnamese "pplz" that speak English? Puhleeze.

              Also, don't know what you mean by chicken noodle pho, but pho ga can be a quick and simple alternative to the hours of preparation that go into the beef pho. Create your own broth by simmering a whole chicken with ginger and a whole onion. Tear off dark and white meat and put into a bowl of pho noodles with chopped chives, cilantro and onion. Bring the broth to a boil and pour. Flavor as needed with nuoc mam, siriachi and black pepper. Delicious!

              1. od, sounds like you'll be spending lots of time in either austin or san antonio! i live in nb, and can honestly say you're in for extreme culture shock, unless you're an evangelical ultra-conservative. okay, perhaps that's a BIT extreme, but not far from the truth.

                as for your food issues, give up the local pho, and real vietnamese people as well. expect looks of bewilderment if you ask locals about it. austin can fulfill that need easily. for fresh veggies, there's a farmer's market at a local church parking lot every friday, may through september, and another daily one about 20 minutes north in san marcos.

                there are, are you ready for this? THREE upscale eateries in town; one owned by a chef who once cheffed for ruth's chris steakhouse...melt in your mouth steakage! we also have a fantastic meat market, and the oldest bakery in texas. while the latter doesn't create high-end pastries, they will keep you coming back for more, like a crack addict.

                you'll find whole foods and central markets in both austin and sa. both are quite a drive from town. the local h.e.b. can satisfy a few hard to find items. and you hit the target with the iga comment. this town supports two handy andy markets!

                hope this was helpful, in spite of the cheekiness...

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