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Hard Hat Report Vol 5

Just drove by what once was Moo-Ya's, then was briefly another name (but same burgers from what was rumored - I didn't manage to make it in in the brief time is was) now has a banner saying something like Caroline's Cafe.

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  1. Hardhat Report [outlining new restaurants that are about to or have actually opened] is now up to volume 5.

    http://www.houndstoothcoffee.com/about/

    In the 4200 block of North Lamar has opened. If you've enjoyed coffee at Caffe Medici then you may want to visit Houndstooth as one of the baristas formerly employed there has landed running with his own joint.

    Expect articulate versions of the mad scientist coffee currently in favor on the west coast. I haven't been yet but these guys are professional baristas and one can expect the attendant attention to detail that that entails.

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    Caffe Medici
    1101 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703

    3 Replies
    1. re: scrumptiouschef

      I'm not a coffee geek, but if you are this place is probably exciting to you. As a layman, the coffee is good. With Tacodeli open next door for lunch and the crews working feverishly to get Uchiko going, Its a pretty good vantage point from which to work on the laptop and get a caffeine fix.

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      Tacodeli
      12001 N Mo Pac Expy, Austin, TX 78758

      1. re: scrumptiouschef

        Houndstooth has the siphon!

        http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/02...

        It's 8.50 for a 4 cup portion. Perfect for a coffee date night.

        Ran by this morning and had an Americano. Roughly on par with Once Over, minus the ambience.

        Nice viscosity, plentiful tones of tobacco and cherry. They're sourcing from Intelligentsia, Cuvee and I believe Counter Culture.

        Nice lads running the joint. If coffee's not your thing, they're doing beer as well but mysteriously no Live Oak. Hopefully that issue will be addressed in the near future.

        Lots of baked goods, free internet, cool looking-small space. I don't get up that way too much [4200 block of N. Lamar] but it's nice to have another source of premium coffee to compliment JP's,Medici and Once Over.

        Austin's rampant growth has a couple upsides and better coffee is definitely one of them.

        1. re: scrumptiouschef

          There is a Gumbo's going in next to Best Buy in the 620/71 area.

          Also a sign for Los Cucos in old El Arroyo space at Bee Caves and 71.

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          El Arroyo
          7023 Wood Hollow Dr, Austin, TX 78701

        2. Foreign and Domestic, a really interesting looking upstart on North Loop by a husband and wife team with a serious pedigree, is about to open next week. Austinist just posted a preview and a link to their menu. Looks like the dominant theme for their menu is "creative uses of pork."

          http://austinist.com/2010/05/12/food_...

          1. How long ago did Sampaio on Burnet Road close?

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            Sampaio's Restaurant and Bar
            4800 Burnet Rd # 200, Austin, TX 78756

            1. Red Robin on 183 North (13301 US 183) is set to reopen again June 3.

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              Red Robin Restaurant
              4809 W Highway 290, Austin, TX 78735

              1. I saw signage in the old Saba blue water cafe that M2 will be opening soon. That seems like a quick turnaround to open a new restaurant. m2atx.com looks tasty!

                1. I was driving around in Round Rock yesterday and saw 2 new places about to open.
                  There was a restaraunt next to Hastings, on the corner of 35 and Hesters Crossing called "home field grill".. they have a facebook page, but it is not informative, it is supposed to open this month..

                  In the same shopping center there is a sign for "Flix Brewhouse". According to their site, it is a new Alamo style theater, with 32 beers on tap, "chef created" food and 6 screens showing new releases. It says "opening summer 2010".

                  http://www.flixbrewhouse.com/

                  It will be cool to have this in RR, as long as it isnt too expensive.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: High_Boost

                    HomeField Grill opens in 2 weeks. It is sports themed with a touch of Dave and Busters as they will have games as well. They are supposed to feature a huge flamethrower that will finish off pizzas in under 2 minutes.

                    Flix is not yet built and is most likely a year away.

                    1. re: douglasbader

                      I wondered about Flix, I looked around a bit and couldnt see where they would be..
                      thanks for the heads up

                  2. The old Kitchen Door on Far West has a sign out front announcing that NeWorlDeli is coming soon.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: agoodbite

                      Yeah, talked to them last month and they said maybe middle of July.

                    2. There is a sign for Morelia Mexican Grill going in the strip at 9900 W Parmer (there's a Baskin Robbins and Bicycle Sport Shop in the same complex) No idea if this is good news. I haven't made it to their RR location yet.

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                      Morelia Mexican Cafe
                      197 Highway 290 E, Elgin, TX 78621

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: stephanieh

                        Morelia's is one of our FAVE restaurants, I'm so glad they are opening one closer to us. They have $3 margaritas all the time that are actually good and not watered down, and live music most nights. I spoke with the owner and he assured me those 2 things would be carried over to the new location. Their fajitas are fabulous as are the stuffed avocados. My fave dessert is the dinner-plate-sized soapapillas that are only $1.25. They are literally busting out of their current location with waits up to 2 hours on the weekends. My only complaint is that their queso is overpriced in my opinion and is just ok, but everything else makes up for it. Make sure to give it a try you won't be disappointed!!

                      2. Does anyone know what's going in to the former La Madeline on North Lamar near 34th Street?

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                        34th Street Cafe
                        1005 W 34th St, Austin, TX 78705

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: chispa_c

                          I asked the guys when I was rolling up to the Dr's next door. They said "it's going to be a ___ Express." I just nodded and said "Oh, great." Not sure of anything other than "express." It's being completely gutted, though.

                          1. re: rudeboy

                            Panda Express? Blech. Hopefully it's something fun. Thanks for asking.

                            1. re: chispa_c

                              It wasn't Panda express - it didn't sound like a common name of a restaurant, but it was a generic sounding name. It's too bad that I can't remember.

                            2. re: rudeboy

                              Perhaps Cafe Express? It's a Houston-based mini-chain of counter service restaurants.

                              -----
                              Cafe Express
                              321 Fm 2325, Wimberley, TX 78676

                              1. re: ccaustin

                                You know, I think that's it. Seems relatively generic. The business model may work well there, at least for lunch and shift workers (they deliver from an online order).

                                1. re: rudeboy

                                  http://www.cafe-express.com/

                                  I remember Robert Del Grande from Cafe Annie's in Houston, in the 90's. That was a great restaurant. Looks like this place would be very cool, if that's indeed it.

                                  1. re: chispa_c

                                    If that's the case, then meh. It's a similar model to La Madeleine without the French theme. In fact, the two of them are across from each other in The Woodlands' outdoor mall, and they more or less substitute for each other in terms of soup & sandwich joints. If one is busy, you walk over to the other.

                                      1. re: chispa_c

                                        When I lived in Dallas, Cafe Express had just opened and I remember loving it for easy lunches. I went back in Houston a few years ago and it was just as good. It's nothing super exciting, but a place with some tasty, healthy options.

                                        -----
                                        Cafe Express
                                        321 Fm 2325, Wimberley, TX 78676

                                  2. re: rudeboy

                                    The wife and I saw a "Newks Express Cafe" a few doors down from William- Sonoma at the Arboretum area. Didn't go in, so nothing to report other than the name

                                    1. re: beercoop

                                      It's a deli. Other than the cool condiment table I really can't say I was very impressed. Sammiches are not quite as good as Jason's and are more expensive. The salad at the other table was huge, but when I got a half sammich/half salad, my ceasar was dripping in dressing.

                            3. Looks like a place called Blue Ribbon BBQ is going into the old WeFuse space in the Frost Bank Building downtown.

                              I wonder where they'll put the pits? ;)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jwynne2000

                                anyone hit up jrs bbq yet? thinking of doing so this week

                                1. re: jwynne2000

                                  Blue Ribbon appears to be run by the Rudy Mikeska's folks in Taylor. They closed the restaurant a little while ago but they've still been doing catering. According to what I read, the meat will be smoked up in Taylor, then brought in to the restaurant.

                                2. Went to a little launch party last night for Zandunga Mexican Bistro, opening Monday in the former Primizie space at 1000 East 11th, and ended up getting pretty excited about the potential of this little spot. It's a new place from the Torres family who have made a name for themselves with Mi Madres on Manor Rd for the last several decades. This time, they are looking at the Mexican interior for their influences instead of the Tex-Mex of Mi Madres.
                                  We were only able to sample a few bites of the food, but had plenty of the drinks. Their signature Guava Margarita was fantastic and just a little sweet. I didn't manage to get the name of my favorite drink - a vodka drink served in a glass rimmed with a sweet chile paste. If you don't like sweet drinks, they have a frozen Mojito - a nice, refreshing take on the classic. The Micheladas last night were very, very spicy - great if you love the heat, otherwise you may want to ask them to go easy on the chile.
                                  I glanced over the menu, described as "interior Mexican with a modern feel ... using fresh traditional Mexican ingredients". We tried a small bite of the chuleta with guava membrillo sauce and chile de arbol spaetzle, a dark, slightly bitter mole, a tender shrimp dripping with an extremely spicy rojas sauce, and a rich seafood risotto. All were well cooked with the shrimp and seafood moist, and the beef and pork tender. The spice levels on the samples I tried were bold instead of subtle - something I loved.
                                  Prices are reasonable - the most expensive entree being a flat iron steak for $23, with most entrees coming in around $12. Officially opens Monday at 11AM.

                                  -----
                                  Primizie
                                  1000 E 11th, Austin, TX 78702

                                  Mi Madre's
                                  2201 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Alan Sudo

                                    Forgot to add that a 2nd new restaurant also opened this week about a 1/2 block further east of Zandunga. 11th Street Station occupies the former Mrs B's space and promises southern food. Haven't had a chance to try it or even look over the menu.

                                  2. Tandori Bistro is opening in the old La Terraza space on the access road next to the La Quinta Inn at Oltorf east of I-35. Don't know when though.

                                    -----
                                    La Terraza
                                    1605 E Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78741

                                    1. I'm hearing rumors of Buenos Aires and Highball in SW Austin. Can anyone confirm or deny, or offer any insight into new things coming to this area? Now that Whole Foods is in, I'm curious if we'll see even more cool eateries come to this area.

                                      -----
                                      Buenos Aires Cafe
                                      2414 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: foodiegal71

                                        I read that Buenos Airies is going to open in Bee Cave

                                        1. re: foodiegal71

                                          An Alamo Drafthouse is opening at Mopac and Slaughter so it wouldn't be a surprise to see a Highball open next door to it.

                                          1. re: The Tres Leches

                                            that sign has been there for 2 years. don't hold your breath.

                                        2. There's going to be a high-end Indian place going in where the Super Salads was on Anderson and Burnet (same shopping mall as Terra Toys and Sparks). However, from what I can tell is a smallish chain originating out of California.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: amysuehere

                                            What's the name of the Indian chain? They could really hurt Star of India if they are good.

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                                            Star of India
                                            2900 W Anderson Ln, Austin, TX 78757

                                            1. re: PappyAustin

                                              Uhm, it was super high end (yes, could very easily kill Star).

                                              All I can remember was it meant "Tree" or something like that...sorry, just briefly saw the bid documents.

                                              It's going to be interesting...the plans didn't indicate (I guess because of parking issue) an outside patio, but it sure looked like they were making room for one to me.

                                              1. re: amysuehere

                                                I thought I saw a sign for what looked like a Vietnamese restaurant too--Pho Thaisson? (sp?)

                                                1. re: stgrove

                                                  That's already there and running. I went and had some pho and was pretty unimpressed (considering I work at 183/Ohlen so I have some very good, cheap choices across the street) with the food, but the service was excellent.

                                                  This place is going to be right next door and is behind the construction fencing. It will be in the corner of the building.

                                          2. Has anyone heard anything else about that Jesse James Cisco Burger Austin location? I saw that in the news recently and wondered if it was actually true.

                                            1. I haven't been by in awhile so they might already be open, but a new restaurant venture by the guys who own 34th street cafe and etc is opening in the old Sampaio's. Anybody know anything more about it? There is no link on their website.

                                              -----
                                              Sampaio's Restaurant and Bar
                                              4800 Burnet Rd # 200, Austin, TX 78756

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: sarahp

                                                The place in there now is called La Sombra. Here's the website:
                                                http://www.lasombra-austin.com/

                                                1. re: sarahp

                                                  Texas Monthly magazine (September issue) has an upbeat review of La Sombra in their "New and Noteworthy" restaurant section. Sorry, can't post a link since the September issue doesn't seem to have made it to their web site yet.

                                                2. With respect to the restaurant opening at the old Mooyah/Geaux Burger in the Crossroads shopping center, It's Cafe Canela. It's the same owner as with Geaux Burger. It has slightly different burger topping choices than before, but now it has similar systems for ordering burritos and fajitas. If you liked Mooyah and Geaux Burger, give it a shot.

                                                  1. lifted from austinist:

                                                    When Uncle Billy's opened in the 78704, it was the rarest of animals: a South Austin brewpub. Seeing a similar opportunity on the shores of Lake Travis, the operation recently announced that they're building a second location on the same grounds as The Oasis off of 620. The new location will seat a whopping 800 patrons and will have an on-site brewing facility. The restaurant is scheduled to open before the end of 2010.

                                                    -----
                                                    Uncle Billy's
                                                    1530 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                      Wow, I'm totally looking forward to this. The beer at Uncle Billy's is excellent. The food notsomuch but it's better than the Oasis alternative.

                                                      1. re: verily

                                                        the location is beautiful so if the food/drink is good they will do very well.

                                                    2. NW corner of 183 & Oak Knoll (strip center w/Subway)-saw a sign over an empty storefront: Yummi Asian Fusion Tacos. Could be interesting. Couldn't find anything on the web yet.

                                                      1. Cedar Parkers are getting a Niki's Pizza in the old Wienerschnitzel building and there's a sign for Los Chilaquiles going in the same strip as Moonies.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: stephanieh

                                                          Saw in the Hill Country News that "El Patron" had opened next to IHOP on 1431. Anybody know about this place from Georgetown

                                                          1. re: beercoop

                                                            We've had two good experiences at El Patron. The service was very good, ambience was strip mall, beer was cold and inexpensive (happy hour until 8:00) and we enjoyed the food. The chips and salsa were very good, I loved the regular crispy taco that I had and hubby really liked the spinach enchiladas (which looked very spinachy). This isn't destination dining, but, if you are in the area, it's a good option.

                                                            Los Chilaquiles, on the other hand, was a GREAT (for Cedar Park) experience. The service was excellent, the strip mall location has been dressed up quite a bit, mariachis sang beautifully and, while I thoroughly enjoyed my taco/enchilada combo, hubby ordered an unusual mustard chicken dish which I found disagreeable but he thought it was OK... he knew he was going out on a limb ordering. We would gladly go again and, if the next expreinece is as positive, I'll call this a good date night - during the week - in Cedar Park place.

                                                        2. The CoolHaus Ice Cream Sandwich Trailer is now in Austin. Monday never felt so good.
                                                          http://eatcoolhaus.com/austin

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: NWLarry

                                                            I tried these at the Ice cream festival and really liked them. The lemon ice with gingerbread cookies was awesome.

                                                            1. re: NWLarry

                                                              last year, i got a groupon for the cupcake bar for our office holiday party.
                                                              wish there was something similar for coolhaus because the choose-your-own ice cream sandwich would be great!

                                                              the ice cream flavors are intriguing (fig and marscarpone? yum)

                                                            2. Not sure if this has been posted before, but Promise Pizza is opening near 183 and Great Hills. Anybody ever been to their RR store? The place looks cool:

                                                              http://promisepizza.com/Promise_Pizza...

                                                              -----
                                                              Promise Pizza
                                                              1500 A.W. Grimes Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78664

                                                              1. Vince Young, the former LOnghorn QB is opening a Steakhouse in the warehouse district. No date set yet.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: amykragan

                                                                  I saw a logo-ed smart car for the Vince Young Steakhouse. Hopefully they are getting closer.

                                                                  1. the polloron trailer at anderson mill and pond springs (which someone had given good reviews for at some point) had an oak tag sign over the painted logo showing a change of ownership.

                                                                    it said something to the effect of tacos el rico, but i doubt it's *that* tacos el rico.
                                                                    more information to follow when i can do some more recon.

                                                                    1. A franchise joint called "Wild About Harry's" opened up on Burnet behind Panda Express and Sonic. It's in the same little strip as McAllister's deli and is right next to the Army recruiting station. The sign out front is a little small. It is a family-friendly joint selling primarily hot dogs and frozen custard. They have other things like italian beef sammiches and the like. I went there on Friday night. Talked with the franchisee. They had a soft opening in early December and are only now looking into getting the word out. They staff was friendly, the food was decent. The place was clean. Slow steady trickle of customer while I waited for my to go order.

                                                                      If you have a hot dog jones and you are near Burnet and Anderson, it is definitely worth checking out. Or, if you have a couple 3 year olds...

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Rice Checks

                                                                        i think they did a daily deal not too long ago.
                                                                        i remember looking at the menu, but it's not really my thing or location.
                                                                        it did, however, look great for families.

                                                                        1. re: Rice Checks

                                                                          A friend of mine in Dallas lives for their custard. I might have to give it a try because she's got pretty good taste.

                                                                        2. It looks like The Upper Decks on Barton Springs and Riverside is now open. I drove by there yesterday and saw a bunch of people inside. Also, a Howdy Donuts is going in at the corner of Congress and Riverside.