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I've Driven By There A Thousand Times

and never stopped to eat at Richard Jones Barbecue on south congress.How is it?

What are some places you've driven by a thousand times and never stopped to eat?

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  1. Keep driving by it another thousand times. It's like Bill Miller barbecue.

    I was driving past No Teeth Barbecue everyday, multiple times per day, and never got the chance to try it (it's now gone). There appears to be another trailer in its spot (gas station at I-35 & Holly St - across the highway from the Holiday Inn) which opened up very recently, but their sign was too small for me to catch what it said.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Nab

      I always loved that name No teeth BBQ and wish I had tried it while it was there.

    2. I drive past Mang Dedoy twice a day and still haven't tried it. Anyone been there?

      1. This is a fun topic. I'll play. I drive by Catfish Parlour on 183 almost every time I leave my house. Also, just down 183, in a strip with a PetsMart, is Hwa Yuan Chinese food. The font on the sign for Hwa Yuan makes Hwa look like Hava, so I jokingly call it "Hava You One". Never been to either one of them, but I'm a little curious. I have a feeling I'd be disappointed if I ever went. The "not knowing" makes them at least mysterious to me.

        5 Replies
        1. re: stephanieh

          A friend and his wife went to Hwa Yuan not too long ago and they said it was probably the worst "Chinese" food they'd ever had. FWIW.

          1. re: jwynne2000

            That's good to know. I guess I'll keep driving by it and making fun of the sign. I figured there must be a reason I'd never heard anyone, live or on CH, ever mention it.

            1. re: jwynne2000

              That's too bad. It used to be an okay buffet. Not great, but at least fresh. Haven't been there since the SUV crashed through the front and killed some guy standing in front of the register.

            2. re: stephanieh

              yes, bypass Hwa Yuan. About 5 years ago the lunch buffet was halfway decent (on a buffet scale). They had something I'll call Jalapeno Fried fish that was pretty ok. I went back about 2 years ago and it was really bad. Lots of "stir fry" with the same gloppy heavy on the cornstarch brown sauce differentiated by only what it was covering.

              1. re: stephanieh

                Catfish Parlour is fun, good for family and has nicely sized portions. The grilled redfish is my favorite, prepared simple with lemon and butter. Sometimes simple is a nice change when many restaurants are over-thinking their fish.

              2. McDonalds. Whataburger. Sonic. Everything on the Drag except the egg roll cart (RIP - the new one isn't nearly as good).

                9 Replies
                1. re: sqwertz

                  Sandy's Hamburgers on Barton Springs. I always drive by it thinking, "I should stop in sometime" but never do.

                  1. re: shan

                    You should stop in for some frozen custard. It is not the usual softserve, but real frozen custard. I've only had the chili burger and it was pretty average drive-in standard.

                    1. re: shan


                      While there's probably a large contingent of people who think you should be forcibly removed from Austin for such a grievous oversight I recommend intense hamburger therapy instead.

                      Stop everything and drive straight to Sandy's.If you're at work just holler "going to Sandy's...never been" as you stroll out.Your boss will be cool with you.

                      While it's true the old Thursday and Saturday meal deal [1/4 pounder,fries,rootbeer ] has steadily risen from $1.79 to something outrageous like $3 plus it's still a very good bargain.

                      Grab your combo and walk around back to to a very fetching patio dining area.There's usually some vagrants idling about behind the nearby Whataburger so entertainment value is high.

                      The food's great.It's the old-timey big,round/thin patty on a soft bun.The Fries are always hot and plentiful.The Rootbeer cold and sweet.They use mayonnaise[not Miracle Whip]the mustard reminds me of Plochmans and the onions are sweet and fresh.

                      I love Sandy's.

                      I grew up near an old A&W Rootbeer stand in the South and my food memories are built around such lovely little establishments.I love that Whataburger squatted down next door a few years back and the line at Sandy's never diminished.If you go at a peak time expect a wait but the crew inside has seen it and done it so it will be a short one.

                      This is one Austin's iconic restaurants.Let's be thankful it's sitting on such a small piece of property or the D-9's would be revving at their door about now

                      1. re: scrumptiouschef

                        lol.. point taken. I'll try to get to it on Thursday this week. I don't have to come into the office so I'll swing over for an early lunch. I love dives, but I suppose I've alway been a bit concerned the custard was the softserve stuff and the food just eh.

                        Speaking of A&W stands, are there any old ones around this area? I used to love the hot dogs and floats, but the newer corporate restaurants don't cut it for me.

                          1. re: shan

                            I also grew up near an old A&W in Biloxi. I know of no existing A&W that bears any resemblance to the old ones. I guess there could be one out there, but not around these parts.

                            1. re: shan

                              I took my own advice and paid a visit to Sandy's last week on Thursday[strictly for research mind you].I always get the combo;Hamburger,Fries and a Rootbeer and the price is now astronomical:$3.60+cents but worth every penny.However they have changed their mayonnnaise purveyor.It is now a very sweet version and not to my liking at all.StephanieH will be pleased to note the fries are at the top of the heap for a commercial offering.Thin,short shoestring style,hot crispy and dusted with salt.Very nice.How was your visit?

                              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                I went over when I said I would, but I wasn't all that impressed so I just didn't post. I did the drive through at lunch. I got a burger, fries and a vanilla custard cone. I thought the cone was quite tasty for what it was and generally better than DQ.

                                I love shoestring fries, but I didn't like these. The grease needed to be changed in the fryer and it made them taste off. Sorta that old tired grease flavor. They also should have cooked longer because they were just barely crisp and some quite limp.

                                The burger was okay, but it wasn't the best I've had in the city. I love thin burgers, but I also like a balanced burger (good meat to veggie ratio) and I thought they threw on too much lettuce and stuff so it was kinda falling apart everywhere.

                                I'll give them another try... eventually.

                                1. re: shan

                                  I went to Sandy's today and my fries weren't that hot or crispy. They were like McDonald's, but drier (less greasy, I guess... so I'm using a euphemism) and needed salt (a serious pet peeve of mine when I go through a drive thru or get them to-go. I swear I'm going to start keeping salt in my purse.) Did I not give the secret handshake? Was I being punk'd? I know scrumptious knows fries, so I can only assume they had an off day. The burger was pretty good and the root beer was tasty. But, the fries didn't live up to the expectation I had for them.

                      2. I agree with Nab about the inadequacy of Richard Jones BBQ, and I'd actually go so far as to rank them below Bill Miller's BBQ for the quality of items I've tried at each, including BBQ chicken, brisket, and turkey.

                        Three places on S. 1st that I drive by all the time en route to mi amor's are Somnio's Cafe (across from La Reyna), "El Primo" taco trailer/cart (near the La Luz parking lot), and Casa Maria. Do any of you recommend these spots?

                        1. To the chagrin of my wife, since at least one weekend a month we trek out to Lockhart for our BBQ fix, I've driven by, but never tried, Mann's BBQ off of 183. It's a short distance from our house, and presumably it has respectable 'que since it was in the Texas Monthly top 50, but I've still haven't eaten there. Thoughts or opinions about the place?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: jackietreehorn

                            Mann's is not Lockhart BBQ but will do in a tight. My favorite is the sausage wrap. They also have sides of vegetables that are quite tasty. Tuesdays and Thursdays they serve these wonderful, gooey, fudge brownies. Try to make it on one of those days.

                            1. re: Meshelle

                              I do like that if the owner is slicing the brisket, he'll ask "do you want it lean or with flavor?" That pretty much sums it up.

                              1. re: Meshelle

                                Mann's serves the brownies every day, but they're free on Tuesday and Thursday. :-) They also have free homemade ice cream on Fridays while it lasts.

                                I agree that the 'cue is good, not great. Try the jalapeno sausage and anything pork (pork loin, ribs, pulled pork). And yes, all the sides are homemade and tasty. Oh, and when they ask if you want cornbread or a roll, get the cornbread!


                                I drive by The Pit BBQ on Burnet all the time, but I've never been. Opinions welcome.

                                1. re: mkwng

                                  I really like the potato salad at Mann's. It's very smooth almost like mashed potatoes and just enough mayo, mustard and pickle to call it potato salad. Nothing is worse than half cooked potatoes dripping with warm mayo.

                            2. It is the worst BBQ I have ever had. Richard Jones, I mean.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: El General

                                Poor guy. But I bet he did taste a little gristly and tough from all those years of running the place.

                              2. Mine is Pho Oanh on Oltorf. In theory it sounds appealing, but I am worried there are no veg broths... Anybody know?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: sunshine6

                                  They do have 'Pho without meat,' but it's not in the vegetarian section of the menu, so I'd guess it's a standard meat-based broth. Then again, they do have a noodle soup with veggies in the veggie section. And then again again, I've only been there once, when someone took me for lunch, and I was not impressed - a substandard pho, not terrible, but not very good. Put it this way: Mekong river's bowl of pho is better, and that ain't sayin' much.

                                2. I'm loving the outcome of this post.

                                  It's turning into a clearinghouse of restaurants we all drive by every day but never eat.

                                  I've stopped in Mann's from time to time for a giant sweet tea for a dollar but never eaten there.It's just too convenient to have any real allure for me.

                                  So,how about the Old Bakery and Emporium due south of the Capital building?I'm right there a good 5 times a week and have never walked inside.What's in there?I picture little old ladies hustling corn cob dolls and vending dry sandwiches.

                                  I love that they feature"hospitality"as one of their offerings on their sign.What's good there?How are their prices?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                    The Old Bakery makes a decent pimento cheese on white sandwich. Haven't been there in 6 years since i no longer work a half block away but it used to be a cheap and convenient occasional lunch stop. Everything there was incredibly basic. Their cookies could be good once in a while. It's not much of a bakery anymore and their offerings are very pedestrian.

                                  2. Ugh, Richard Jones. At least Bill Miller has decent baked potatoes. My driven-by-never-stopped spots are El Borrego de Oro, Art's Rib House and Mars (both in the old spot and the new one).

                                    1. I concur with Nab, stopped in after a haircut with Danny just up the road a tad and couldn't finish my plate of grey brisket that tasted and looked as if it were boiled then baked in an oven.

                                      1. Patsy's Cafe.
                                        5001 E. Ben White Blvd.
                                        Austin, TX 78741

                                        Some standard comfort classics like meatloaf and CFS/CFC, some quirky sandwiches and burgs, etc. They make their own potato chips and mayonnaise (attn: scrumptious) which is curious.

                                        Their menu: http://www.patsyscowgirlcafe.com/menu...

                                        Only found two mentions on the boards:

                                        1) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/401225

                                        2) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/430281

                                        1. This morning I noticed a relatively new taco truck in the Shell gas station's parking lot on Congress--3906 S. Congress to be exact. It's called Tio Rolfi and it looks like they offer your standard taco truck fare: tortas, breakfast tacos and meaty tacos on corn tortillas, etc. A search of the boards doesn't turn up any info on Tio Rolfi, so I thought I might post this link to show some pics of their breakfast tacos:


                                          I couldn't justify the $1.50 expense per taco this A.M. since I was already hurting from grocery shopping and filling up my tank, and judging by the amount of taco innards shown in the pics, I'd likely get a better breakfast value down the street at Habanero. But who's to say? Hopefully, I'll be able to pick up a taco or two over the next week, but please feel free to report on your experience if you get a chance before I do. :)