Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
Sep 14, 2008 01:03 PM

inexpensive, but good duck entree?

My 12 year old wants to try duck for the first time. I'd like to take him out rather than experiment on him with a recipe (don't want to ruin his first opinion :-) ). Any suggestions for a restaurant that won't break the bank?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. i bet you get a lot of Chinese duck recs.

    unfortunately i haven't tried em yet, though i want to!

    4 Replies
    1. re: NirvRush

      When Din Ho is on, their duck is exceptional. It's a nice introduction because you can couple it with other safer things for him to eat.

      I had the smoked duck probably 2-3 years ago at the South Congress cafe (I don't know if its still on the menu) and it was easily the best duck I have had here in Austin.

      1. re: shan

        Here, here! The amazing, perfect, succulent duck at Din Ho (assuming they're on their game) is absolutely delicious.

        I crave their duck "tacos", and constantly. One of the best items I've had in Austin, and definitely in the running for the single bite I desire the most. So moist, with all the beautiful layers of duck represented. A skin layer, sometimes crispy, and that mild smoke taste. The translucent fat layer lightly laced with gamy goodness. The softer, juicier duck meat, perfect to bite, interspersed with slightly tougher duck meat, a shade off the first, only a little work and still so joyous, a non-sweet caramel. The bones and surrounding tissues, worthy of gnawing.

        If there is better duck in Austin, I haven't found it. For Chinese, they're head-and-shoulders over the rest I've tried: not tea-smoked duck at China Town, not crispy duck at Tien Jin, not duck bits at Tien Hong. These places just don't have the BBQ facilities that Din Ho has. (Perhaps I should try First Chinese, which is supposed to have the goods?)

        And I'm not just talking Chinese: the duck at all the upscale places in town you'd think would nail it (Wink et al) is, while at their best very good, a sad and flaccid affair by comparison to Din Ho's Mighty Duck Tacos.

        Pick it up to go with a tray of the char siu pork and make it a jamsational mouth party. Whoever you have along with you will be *so* grateful; however they may just start punching themselves in the spleen with envy for the times you've had it in the past that they haven't.

        1. re: tom in austin

          First Chinese duck compares very well with the best Din Ho duck with one important difference - First Chinese is amazingly consistent. Plus, you can get a combo of the duck and an excellant marinated chicken so as not to overwhelm the kid at his first attempt.
          While I can't remember the exact price, I'm pretty sure it was 8 to 10 bucks for a very generous portion served family style..

          1. re: Alan Sudo

            I would have to second the opinion that First Chinese ducks are more consistent. Din Ho seem to have more off days lately.

    2. braised duck with cherry at stortini. its only like 12 bucks.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ieathereforeiam

        Haven't heard a word about Stortini of late.The building looks a lot better since they stripped off the sickly blue paint job.Did they manage to get things turned around in the kitchen.Is it still the same chef?

        1. re: scrumptiouschef

          I am not too familiar with their inner workings, but as far as i know they have the same head chef. The service there is spotty, but i've found the food to be pretty solid. esp for the price.

      2. You might consider peking duck, too. At Chinatown (the one on Greystone) they offer it on their dim sum menu at somewhere in the 8 to 12 dollar range. I would go on a saturday because their dim sum service is typically not as busy as it can get on Sunday. But call them just before you're headed over and ask if they have the peking duck for, specifically, the dim sum menu.

        I think a kid is more likely going to prefer peking duck over roasted duck, but Din Ho would be an excellent choice, too.

        Chinatown offers peking duck during the week too, if ordered in advance, but that's way too pricey for a 12 year old who may or may not even like it.

        1. Watch the menu at Soup Peddler; they occasionally have dishes with duck in them. I recommend the cassoulet when it comes around!

          1. If he is inclined at all toward Asian food, maybe the Smoked Duck with Leeks and Ginger at Sea Dragon might be of interest. It is a sublime combo of those ingredients with a few jalapeno slices thrown in for some heat. The duck is usually perfectly cooked, not dry, but just moist enough. One of my favorite dishes of all time in Austin. But those roasted ducks at the here mentioned locations are wonderful as well...