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Hard Hat Report Vol. 4

Continuing a great idea, the latest thread on new Austin chow.

At the Mueller retail center today, saw signs for Mr. Bone's Barbecue and Yo So Cool.

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  1. Torchy's Tacos announced on Twitter a Spicewood Springs location. Rejoice! Or not. I know I love them.

    14 Replies
    1. re: NWLarry

      I've never been because I couldn't get myself to stop there when I'd driven clear across town and Polvo's being just a few blocks more. However, this is Great news for the land of the bland, considering how much adoration they get.

      1. re: amysuehere

        They have listed January 14th on their website and Twitter as grand opening. It appears that they are on the Spicewood off of Mopac....I was hoping 183. Still, I'll take it.

        Have spoken to the Moonie's folks a couple of times, and it seems they are enduring a typical Austin permitting experience, but hope to be open soon.

        1. re: NWLarry

          they are where that hot dog place used to be just east of Mesa

          1. re: TroyTempest

            I wish them luck. That spot seems to be death to businesses. I will give them a try once they open.

      2. re: NWLarry

        The "Coming Soon" sign is up and construction is happening in the former Burger House location.

        1. re: NWLarry

          there's a Torchy's coming soon sign on the former Wok N' roll on Burnett.

          1. re: TroyTempest

            Wait - Wok-n-Roll closed? I hadn't noticed. The owner told me weeks ago that they would no longer get the duck that I liked so much, so I haven't really paid attention to the place.

            1. re: TroyTempest

              Bummer. Went by not too long ago and the sign said they were closed for vacation. I didn't know it was permanent! Guess we'll drive over to China Palace on Airport more, now.

            2. re: NWLarry

              This is regarding the store on Spicewood Springs.

              1. re: danny_w

                Why did my review get deleted? I got the green chili pork and the chicken fajita and they would have both been better except that the meat was quite dry on both of them, and the sauce was not enough to make up for it. I will give them another try after they have had a chance to work things out.

                1. re: danny_w

                  I think I am in love. I have had the Brush Fire twice now (once on flour and once on corn) and it has to be one of the best food items I have ever eaten! I will definitely get it on flour next time because the corn fell all apart in my hands and would just not hold together, plus I think the taste just goes better. It's hot, but oh soooooo gooood.

                    1. re: ChristineR

                      It's one of Torchy's Tacos - "Brushfire -Jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapenos, mango, Sour cream, and cilantro served on a flour tortilla with our Diablo sauce."

                      I've never had that one, but am a big fan of The Democrat.

                2. re: NWLarry

                  I went and got the green chili pork on corn, tomatillo, roja and chipotle sauce. Pretty darn good taco. Shredded pork was moist and had a nice charred crust with a kick of roasted green chili. Liked all the sauces I tried. Next one to try is the Democrat everyone to which everyone speaks so highly.

                3. Vivo is set to open on Dec. 11th in the Shopping Center on 620 by Roasters & RC Fowlers

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: amykragan

                    Glad to hear there's a date. I drove through that shopping center a few weeks back and couldn't find where Vivo was coming in.

                    There's a new patisserie that is opening up in there, too. Don't recall if there was a name, just saw the word Patisserie as I was driving by. I'll check them out and report back. Hopefully they plan on serving more than just cupcakes and cookies.

                    1. re: verily

                      Sign says Michelle's Patisserie. Think this is the link for them, but not 100% sure.


                      1. re: ssouth

                        Michelle made my wedding cake! She used to operate out of her house in Cedar Park. I'm glad to hear she's opening up a retail location. Her cakes are excellent.

                  2. Cajun Pizza Place, McNeil and 183 (San Felipe)

                    Small restaurant in old converted house serving breakfast and lunch outside the Hospital on Radam lane. Don't remember the name.

                    Oasis getting a major remodel from the size of the construction documents.

                    The construction plans for Uchiko have been somewhat finalized and available.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: sqwertz

                      sqwertz is referring to Sharkys I believe

                      1. re: sqwertz

                        Cajun Pizza Place is open. They are located off McNeil in the same strip-center with the Firehouse Subs. I tried them last week and was satisfied. They serve pizza with a very crispy crust & lots of cheese. I tend to prefer New York/Connecticut style pizza (anything along the lines of Pepe's in New Haven), and Cajun Pizza certainly isn't that, but it was tasty. Served really hot (so hot I burned my mouth). Wait-staff was friendly. You can order at the counter for to-go, otherwise wait-staff come to your table. Price for a small pizza (enough for 2 people with smaller appetites, though I ate it all) & beverage was around $10, plus tip.

                        Maybe I'm missing something,but I couldn't see anything Cajun about the pepperoni pizza (though I liked it, so I'm not complaining). Menu also had several sandwiches which did sound Cajun, however.

                        1. re: quilter

                          i stopped in a few weeks ago and they were not open yet.
                          you have no idea how curious i have been to find out what "cajun pizza" is like!

                          1. re: dinaofdoom

                            Here's the website: http://cajunpizzaplace.com/menu/

                            Looking at the menu, there's absolutely nothing cajun about the place, except for the so-called po'boys (no fried seafood options? for shame) and muffalettas. I was hoping for at least one pizza option with blackened shrimp, crawfish, or boudin, but nope, all the usual normal toppings.

                            1. re: verily

                              Wondering if it's the same owners as a pizza place I tried in Lafayette called Pizza Village. I was there for a conference last June and the owner mentioned that he might open a location in Austin since he lived there part of the year. The pizza was pretty good, reminding me a lot of a Pizza Hut that was actually run correctly.

                              1. re: verily

                                verily, i am also baffled by the lack of canjun-ness.
                                i'm no cajun, but the po'boy options had me scratching my head.

                                your pizza topping ideas sound great-- maybe you should open your own place ;-)

                                wonder how a muffaletta pizza would taste...
                                i love me some olives, and tapenade.

                            2. re: quilter

                              Quilter, reading your post made me think of John's Best in Norwalk. As a kid that was a great pizza!

                          2. 24 Diner, in the old Waterloo Ice House location, is now open. http://24diner.com/

                            1. Exotic Thai on Braker near Lamar is no more and is now Sushi Den. Exotic Thai about 6 months ago changed owners and menus and was no longer that interesting and now they've really dumbed down the menu (3 standard Thai dishes, some American Chinese Dishes). For lunch at least, they didn't seem to be serving sushi and I doubt I'd even try it there. Definitely one to avoid until they get their act together.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Carter B.

                                Mama's Texas Cheesesteaks on e.12th a couple blocks west of Galloway.

                                It's a big old timey schoolbus parked in a muddy field. They've strung up some chicken wire to evoke a joint straight out of a Steinbeck novel.

                                It's a very appealing scene.

                                Has anyone been?

                                1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                  Smells good too- but when I went by no one came to the window. Lights were on, signs were up...But no one there to feed me!

                              2. Lucky J's Chicken & Waffles has closed on Burnet. According to their webite, they will be moving to MLK & Rio Grande.

                                1. A new bagel place called "Wholy Bagel" is going in, in the strip center on West William Cannon that also houses Cypress grill. There is a coming soon sign, promoting Classic NY style bagels. I hope that's true, given that the best bagels i've found in town (Rockstar) are almost impossible to find fresh in this part of town.

                                  1. Saw a sign for Maggiore's in the old Washington Mutual location at Lakeline & Cypress Creek (same strip as the Randall's) Looks like pizza & wings-maybe the same as the one I saw in Hutto when I Googled it.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: angthefoodie

                                      Bay Seas Seafood Company formerly inside Victory Grill and now in the former Flo's on Chestnut is pouring cement for a wheelchair ramp. They've had a banner up for about 6 months announcing their presence. If any of Flo's old mojo is still lurking in the room they should do just fine.

                                    2. I see an older Hard Hat Report for El Arbol, but it looks like they have a firm opening dat on their website of 2/21

                                      There's a writeup on today's Thrillist Austin that sounds intriguing: http://www.thrillist.com/austin/el-arbol

                                      1. While at the bus stop across Gracy Farms Ln from the shuttered Gabbi's Burgers, I saw signs of life! Coming soon: Maggie's Cafe.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: ret3

                                          Any indication of what it is going to be?

                                          1. re: danny_w

                                            Hard to say; the only indication as to cuisine I could make out from my vantage point was the text at the bottom of the sign, which mentioned free coffee with breakfast. So, there'll breakfast & coffee, at least.

                                            1. re: ret3

                                              Chalmer's Soul Food has their TABC application in the window of the old Ponce's Patio location on Cesar Chavez

                                              1. re: ret3

                                                From Northwest Austin Impact News of April 23rd: "Named for owners Mike and Sara Davis’ family dog, Maggie’s Café will open in late spring or early summer in the location previously occupied by Gabbi’s Burgers n Dogs. The café will be open for breakfast and lunch and will serve Southern comfort classics like waffles and country-fried steak. Call 906-0069."

                                            2. re: ret3

                                              This month's Community Impact says that Maggie's Cafe will be serving Southern comfort-style food (as opposed to Southern Comfort style food) for breakfast and lunch, will a planned opening sometime this spring.

                                            3. Almost started a new post, but then thought about the Hard Hat series.

                                              THe other day I was driving by Waterloo Ice House on Burnet Rd. and I thought: that place is starting to look pretty run down. THey "remodeled" like 10 years ago, but the colors are fading.

                                              Coincidentally, I was searching Austin Buiding Permits for something else and I noticed that Waterloo had submitted a site plan. There's no drawing associated with this link, but it looks like they are going to do restaurant and catering (I also noticed a blank lot nest to the Waterloo lot). So, who knows. Maybe a different type of restaurant? Or the largets playscape in Austin? Anyone know?


                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: rudeboy

                                                Bay Seas Seafood [formerly inside Victory Grill] is now open on Chestnut in East Austin. It's inside the old Flo's Soul Food building.

                                                Hopefully they got rich off selling plates of fried seafood during Lent and can turn this legendary old room into a big success.

                                                1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                                  after hitting up bay seas #7, verdict is: good seafood spot in the hood. had their shrimp fries and fish, it was good but nothing crazy good. some old dude did come in there and ask for the gumbo, so maybe that was the way to go? who knows.

                                                2. re: rudeboy

                                                  Was at the Waterloo Burnet location on Saturday and the waitress told us that they will be remodeling and adding a playscape. She said that it might take a few years though. I remembered your post and thought I'd follow up. I sure would love for it to be the largest playscape, so the kiddo can play. I'm addicted to their weekend special Baked Potato Omelet!

                                                3. There's a sign for NeWorlDeli in the old Kitchen Door location on Far West. No details yet on the NeWorlDeli website.

                                                  The Kitchen Door
                                                  221 W 6th St Ste 1414, Austin, TX 78701

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: zman13

                                                    Supposed to open for lunch only next week

                                                  2. The former Tien Hong (Burnet & Ohlen) has been razed, replaced with a green & white bldg named Shu Shu's Asian Cuisine. Still under construction, no more info available.

                                                    1. The bahn mi place behind Din Ho shut down and now it's "Crazy Cajun." Has the required RB&R, Jamba, Etufee fried seafood, etc. I guess I'll give it a try soon.

                                                      1. They are putting a Qdoba next to the Po Ke Jo's near the Arboretum. It's a burrito chain. I've seen them in other cities, but have never been to one.

                                                        1. Looks like Ski Shores is back open. Noticed that they put up a sign on the corner of 2222 and City Park Rd.

                                                          7 Replies
                                                          1. re: Homero

                                                            Hmmm, the sign is gone today. Maybe it was premature. I'll see if I can drive out to Ski Shores and see whats up.

                                                            1. re: Homero

                                                              Their facebook page says they re-opened this week. The old website is up and says that the current Ski Shores is not affiliated with the old Ski Shores.
                                                              Old website www.skishores.com
                                                              New website www.skishoresaustin.com
                                                              Menu looks much the same as I remembered it, but they added breakfast tacos on Sat and Sun.
                                                              I haven't been since the reopen, so I can't compare yet.

                                                              1. re: stephanieh

                                                                Sounds like a lot of attempting to trade on the good name of a restaurant the new owners had nothing to do with (such as reusing menu names w/o permission), and bad feelings from the original family. It may be good, but I don't like the sounds of it so far.

                                                                1. re: danny_w

                                                                  Wow, I was unaware of any of this. Can you tell us the story, or is there a stroy about it somewhere online? Google, here I come!

                                                                  Edit: I checked out the original ski shores website, and it explains a little, but not why it closed in the first place?

                                                                  1. re: danny_w

                                                                    I'm sad but relieved. We had a HORRIBLE experience there on Friday. I'll post it by itself. I was really heart-broken this weekend about my experience.

                                                            2. The old Village Inn/Dimassi's on west William Cannon is going to be another Kerbey Lane.

                                                              1. I was wondering if the Mr. Bone's ever opened up. It was mentioned in the OP, but I can't find anything about it online.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: stephanieh

                                                                  I was at Mueller on Monday and it's still under construction.

                                                                  1. re: brentwood

                                                                    Thanks! I guess I'm not very patient when I hear some place new I want to try.

                                                                    1. re: stephanieh

                                                                      I started the topic back in November - you're not impatient, they're taking forever!

                                                                2. Buster's BBQ in Lakeway just posted this on facebook "Buster's passed all inspections and received certificate of occupancy. We are legal!!! Opening soon."

                                                                  They will be at 620 and Lohmans Crossing

                                                                  1. At the corner of South Lamar and Lightsey there's a Phil's Ice House/Amy's Ice Cream going up in the spot of a used car dealership. On the other side of the intersection, there's a place called Papalote Taqueria being built next to the Thundercloud Subs. It's owned by Azul Tequila.

                                                                    Azul Tequila
                                                                    4211 S Lamar Blvd Ste A2, Austin, TX 78704