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Oct 1, 2009 06:12 AM

Riverside, Pleasant Valley and Oltorf area; new restaurants? Taco Trucks?

Dear Austin Folks, I booked my airfare yesterday to Austin for Feb. 12 and I am stoked! I love your fair city. It is such a dramatic change from the rural coast of Maine; especially in February. My daughter is have a little Austinite born at Christmas, so I'll be visiting frequently. She lives in the above area and what would I would like to know is what is new and good in that area, so I can start a file and to keep it close and easy w/ a new born. I really look forward to returning to Maria's Taco al Pastor truck, La Fonda San Miguel (opposites?), Sam's BBQ and Lockhart and Lano for BBQ day trips. I lurk a lot on this board and found it immensely valuable on our first visit. If ever up this way, send me an email.
Hook 'em Horns!

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  1. If you make a day trip for BBQ, you must go to Gonzales Food Market in Gonzales. It's only 15 miles past Luling. Best sausage that you will ever have, hand made. They have great brisket and is the only place that I know of in Central Texas that serves BBQ Lamb ribs. It's there 2nd best seller. The place is 50 years young and is in downtown Gonzales. Except for the clod at Smitty's in Lockhart, this is now my favorite BBQ joint.

    14 Replies
    1. re: tuckspop

      That is now on the list. We hike and bird watch during the day. I'm a lamb fan and love the mutton at Sam's.

      1. re: Passadumkeg

        by the way, you have to ask for the shoulder clod at Smitty's, I don't see it on the menu.

        1. re: tuckspop

          I was at Smitty's a month ago. The shoulder clod is listed on their menu.

        2. re: Passadumkeg


          Nice to hear from you again.....if you go N on Pleasant Valley from Riverside, then cut through the HEB parking lot at 7th and Pleasant Valley, you can find a Salvadorean restauraunt called El Zunzial. GO at dinner, not lunch....

          1. re: rudeboy

            Hey Rudeboy! I know the area well. Was there an Indonesian all-you-can-eat buffet there? We used to shoot pool and dance at a Mexican place a block up pleasant valley. Is Reggio Pollio back on Riverside? I think it was your rec that sent us there.

            1. re: Passadumkeg

              pdk - I didn't know about this Indonesian all-you-can-eat place, but that sounds extremely interesting to me. Couldn't find it on the web.

              And I'm not sure about Reggio - haven't been down there because I can get my fix from the Ohlen location (and El Polloron as I'm coming home from work).

              I remember that you had a nice lunch in the park w/your daughter - glad that I could contribute.......

              1. re: rudeboy

                java noodle! they have a little lunch buffet (soup, eggrolls, banana eggrolls) that comes w/ your lunch entree. and then on Sunday, they have a full buffet, with many different dishes plus the above items. the coconut curry soup is so freakin awesome!

                but it's on oltorf, just west of Pleasant Valley.

                1. re: NirvRush

                  Yes, we ate a fine meal at Java Noodle on Oltorf. The Indo. buffet was/is between the HEB on Riverside and Pleasant Valley. Mele lived in the apt right behind it. We never ate there because she said it wasn't very good. Is the Vietnamese bahn mi trailer still right off Oltorf and SoCo(?).

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    Lulu B's is the trailer, it's at S. Lamar and Oltorf. There are other places I'd recommend instead of it. They're all in N. Austin, but worth the drive for food that's cheaper, better, and faster. See here -

                    Rudeboy, I still like Baguette House best, but Cafe de Bella has really grown on me.

                    1. re: brentwood

                      We generally spend some time cruising N Burnett Av. Other good taco al pastor places? We generally hit the County Line BBQ at lunch for vie and relaxation. We also take Mela's dog to McKinney St Park (so beautiful and so near) any recs near or on the way. Isn't there a Scotch distillery out that way?

                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                        Pdk - I noticed a pastor trailer up on N Burnet Rd (between Steck and 183). There's a painting of a trompe (and a fire below it) on the side of the trailer. Not sure if that proves that they actually have a trompe, but..........

                      2. re: brentwood

                        Bretnwood - because of this post, I went to Baguette House today. I reallt liked the "Pate a Chaud," and the bahn mi - those damn jalapenos are extra hot at asian restuaraunts. I love the burn, which I'm still feeling as I write this. We are lucky to have such good options here.....

                      3. re: Passadumkeg

                        Java Garden was across Pleasant Valley from HEB. It's still called Java Garden, but it's pretty much Chinese now, and not owned by the same people (friends and neighbors of mine) that opened the restaurant as Java Garden.

                        If there's another Indo place at that intersection, I haven't heard of it.