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Jun 11, 2009 10:01 AM

Neighborhood Chow Part I: French Place

There are an amazing amount of food sources in French Place,78722.

Southern border:

El Chile

Red House Pizzeria


Hoovers Home Cooking

Eastside Cafe

Mi Madres


Taco Cart in parking lot of Yellow Front Quick Mart

El Chilito

Eastern border:


Northern Border:

Cherrywood Coffee House

Fiesta Mart

Grilled Corn Stand in Fiesta's parking lot

Western Border:

Los Altos

StarSeeds Cafe

I'd like to open a discussion on neighborhood dining.

If French Place isn't your neighborhood start a Part 2,3,4 what have you.Describe your neighborhood,tell everyone about all the options and get out there and do some eating before we have to start updating the R I P post.

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  1. Eff French Place, Chef; its all about Windsor Park! 23, stand up!


    yeah theres not really much here. theres the michoacana and other various mexican markets, pizzeria la boca right next door to the michoacana, the taco cart thats open late nights by the salon/discoteca, the other taco cart next to the major brand thats pretty good, the decent taqueria huentitan (forget the name) off of loyola and springdale, the el regio on berkman/290, doras (great wings) off of berkman and briarcliff, the pretty good el tacorrido just across the street from it, willies (best local restaurant around this area), mr catfish (surprisingly the catfish isnt even the best thing there, the wings and shrimp are), taqueria los jalisciences off of 290 and 35 is a great jalisco diner . then theres the strip of cameron from 35 to 183, which has places like hill-berts, kens, amayas, frans, and i also frequent 51st/airport, as there is a veritable treasure trove there - burgertex, stallion grill, quality seafood, house pizzeria, the yellow taco cart, the late and great el rincon michoacan, plus little deli is five minutes away on 2222 (tho i recently tried their new pizza and wasnt super impressed). the highland mall area close to there has great food as well, such as arpeggio, texas pasta pizza and more, titayas, the korea market, and the gaggle of asian restaurants off of middle fiskville (taj palace, shanghai, shilla, etc) then there's the southeast/airport area - springhill catfish, el centenarios colorful taco cart, lolas, galloways, sams, lewiss bbq, the defunct stand of reggie, and god knows what untold secrets. last but not least, if you take 183 north from here, you will hit the austin mecca known as 'north lamar.' places like tams, fuegos, thanh nhi, first bbq.... i mean seriously, i could go on forever. im pretty sure thats about it as far as my hood goes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: glorpisgod

      Reggie's been opening and rolling some catfish out his window recently. I've spotted him in there on two recent occasions.Here's an old Reggie's review from MPH

      Thanks to the tips here, I enjoyed two great lunches at Reggie’s this week. The place was a little hard to find on my first visit. It’s located on Chicon itself, away from the corner of East 12th, but in the same general area as Sam’s and Galloway’s. [I passed up Galloway’s this week to make a second visit to Reggie’s, but I still mean to try their soul food soon.] As scrumptiouschef noted, Reggie’s red trailer is on the back of a concrete slab. The entire area is surrounded by triangular pennants that go all the way around the top of a surrounding chain-link fence, kind of like a banner. There are also about 4 or 5 picnic tables with umbrellas on them, though I had to get my lunches to go. Reggie’s is open from 11 AM to midnight most days, but they stay open until 4 A.M. on Friday and Saturday nights. There was one person ordering on my first visit, and a couple of folks eating at the tables on my second.

      Like scrumptious, I loved the catfish basket ($6.75). It came with three large pieces of catfish, hush puppies, and fries. Reggie sure knows his way around a fryer. The coating on the catfish was just cornmeal, salt, and pepper, but it was perfectly done, with moist, flavorful catfish and a good crunch to the coating—even 20 minutes later, when I was able to eat my to-go order. The 1/3-inch thick, square-cut fries weren’t soggy, but they’d steamed somewhat in transit. They were still very good. And, I am in love with Reggie’s hush puppies. I hate hush puppies that are over-fried to the point of being almost jawbreaker-like. The ones at Reggie’s had a texturally pleasing contrast between the just-crisp-enough exterior and the fine cornmeal interior, seasoned with salt, pepper, and green onion. I wonder if they use self-rising cornmeal to make the hush puppies so light. They tasted like they were fried in the same oil as the catfish, which made them even better.

      On my next visit I ordered the pork-chop basket (also $6.75), with dirty rice and two slices of buttered toast. The battered and fried 1/2-inch-thick pork chop was chewy but well-fried and tasty, though the unseasoned coating needed a bit of salt. The best part of this meal was the generous side of dirty rice, which was a nice deep-reddish brown color and well spiced without being really spicy. It contained plenty of ground beef and pork, plus chicken giblets. The dirty rice was flavored with the usual mirepoix, salt, and pepper, plus chicken broth. The toast was just standard slices of white bread, toasted and buttered. That day I also ordered a side of fried chicken-gizzards. They used the same batter for these that they’d used for the pork chops, so this dish also needed salt. Chicken gizzards are pretty chewy, and I suppose they’re an acquired taste. I like them generally, and I thought Reggie’s version was very good. They were even better dipped in the Louisiana-style cayenne-pepper-based hot sauce that came on the side.

      All baskets are $6.75 (catfish, pork chops, wings, shrimp, and one other item that I forget), and they come with dirty rice, hush puppies, dirty rice, or toast. The sign makes it sound like you only get one accompanying item, but I got two both times. They also offer “sides” (chicken gizzards or boudin) for $4.00, though these servings are big enough to be a meal in themselves.

      My favorite items were the catfish, hush puppies, fries, and the chicken gizzards. Overall, Reggie’s serves well-executed, satisfying soul food in a friendly atmosphere. Reggie himself was cooking both days. He had someone helping him with the orders, but he personally thanked me for my business each time. I plan to go back soon.

      Reggie's hours are erratic. You have to drive by his trailer and hope that he's there. if you're fortunate enough to find him open you'll have the best catfish and fried hushpuppies in Austin.

      1. re: scrumptiouschef

        Really good to know that Reggie has resurfaced. That man can really fry up some fish!

    2. I am not sure where to post this, so I'm just going to throw it out there: this past Saturday when it was 104F out, and I was on my way to a Bastrop BBQ, stopped by El Chilito and tried their Watermelon Agua Fresca, bigass size (40 oz?), $2.49, and I'll be damned if it wasn't one of the best agua frescas-- nay, one of the best beverages I've ever tasted. It tastes like liquid 4th of July. Drank the first one on site, bought another for the road.

      7 Replies
        1. re: scrumptiouschef

          Hankering for some sushi served up out of a cart parked on some blistering asphalt on a 100 degree day? French Place has got your back in this[small]category.

          Sushi a go go is now vending sushi in the quick mart parking lot directly across the street from Hoover's Home Cooking on Manor Road.

          1. re: scrumptiouschef

            so, have you tried it out yet? i should since im in the area but its so freaking hot outside! my patience for carts/trailers/windows has decreased dramatically.

            1. re: scrumptiouschef

              Well, assuming that they have proper storage and handling techniques, I like sushi as a hot weather food......

              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                I tried them today. Probably one of the best choices for to-go sushi in the area. I tried their 'box sushi,' which is basically nigiri with some crab salad mixed into the rice. I'm no expert, but it was pretty tasty. They had supermarket prices but significantly higher quality than say Central Market, Zen (ugh!), or Kyoto happy hour, which are all in the same price range. They even had some interesting looking rolls. I think I'm going to try the natto roll next time.

                1. re: zom_b

                  I'm going to move my reply to this to the food carts thread.

          2. Just thought I would mention the Breakfast Tacos at Cherrywood Coffee House. I used to be a frequent visitor of Mi Madre's back when I worked on campus, especially because they opened early. I have to say that the Sol taco at Cherrywood Coffeehouse has surpassed Mi Madre's in my opinion. It's huge, has eggs, bacon, black beans, shoestring hashbrowns and sausage. Cheese and green onions on top. My only complaints are that it is often overstuffed so you can't eat it like taco (personal pet peeve), and sometimes the sausage chunks are too big for my taste. The Luna taco is a veggie version. A little pricey at $3.69, but one is more than enough similar to the Don Juan taco at Juan in a Million. I would love to hear what other people think about it.

            1. what about that new place with the chain link fence and barbed wire? i think it's called franklin's bbq right by los altos

              1 Reply
              1. re: laff

                i went a couple of weeks ago and it's some solid bbq. of the places i've been in the austin city limits, it's at the top of the list with mann's. i'd go w/ ribs and brisket and wouldn't waste my time on the pulled pork or sausage, which are serviceable but nothing to wait in line for. the brisket (and everything else for that matter) has a nice black crust and was definitely moist as requested. price wise, you don't get much of a break for it being a trailer and i think you're better off going with a 2 meat plate than ordering by the pound. i'm definitely gonna go back. hopefully sooner than later.