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Gordon's Bringing Kitchen Nightmares To Austin: Here's Who Needs His Help

s
scrumptiouschef Mar 22, 2011 08:29 AM

http://www.austin360.com/blogs/conten...

Who should Gordon break down then build back up?

What Austin restaurant is most in need of a makeover?

  1. l
    lixlix Sep 2, 2011 08:46 AM

    personally, I am just not a fan of Gordon Ramsay shows. I also am not sure what qualifies Ramsay to turn around restaurants as he has struggled to keep his own restaurants open and has suffered losses in the millions.

    Besides, the kitchen nightmare solution formula can be summed up with "use fresh ingredients, simplify your menu, cater to local repeat customers, modernize your interior, keep kitchen clean".

    9 Replies
    1. re: lixlix
      amysuehere Sep 3, 2011 07:17 AM

      Such a simple, obvious recipe but so often not followed. We were laughing it's the same fot Supernanny... Why are my children monsters? Fix THEM, Supernanny! Dogs/Ceasar too...

      1. re: lixlix
        r
        ridgeback Sep 3, 2011 10:37 AM

        How many Michelin stars do you have? I'm sure most restauranteurs (and prospectives) will be relieved to know just how easy it is!

        1. re: ridgeback
          l
          lixlix Sep 3, 2011 04:18 PM

          Is this even a serious response? I wasn't aware you needed to have Michelin stars to state that you do not enjoy certain TV shows considering that Michelin judges themselves don't have any Michelin stars.

          I'm not sure what else causes you to be contentious since it seems valid argument that a chef who aims to help flailing restaurants turn around should perhaps not have failed restaurants and unpaid bills.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/17/gordon-ramsays-unpaid-bil_n_578590.html

          http://www.tasteandshare.com/profiles...

          1. re: lixlix
            r
            ridgeback Sep 4, 2011 08:28 AM

            If you're going to defend yourself the least you could do is to stick to the point. You wrote that you're not sure what qualifies Gordon Ramsay to turn around restaurants. The man operates many very well-regarded and successful restaurants around the world. Is there really anything more that need be said on the matter? You point to a couple lawsuits over one restaurant in NY as an effort to discredit the man. Before I was only being flippant. Now, however, I'm being contentious because I take exception to your continuing effort to vilify and discredit him.

            1. re: ridgeback
              l
              lixlix Sep 4, 2011 08:57 AM

              Its not just a few lawsuits. The man is many million pounds in debt. Perhaps if he took better control of his restaurants and actually went back in to the kitchen once in a while instead of resting on the laurels of his celebrity, he wouldn't have creditors everywhere, not just New York. The only well regarded restaurant he has is perhaps the one on Royal Hospital Road, the others have all fallen in grace in recent years.

              http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life...

              I'm not vilifying or discrediting him at all. I'm just reposting articles from fairly reliable and large journalistic sources. If you still enjoy his shows, then go watch it, I am just defending why I am not a fan of his which I have a right to do.

              1. re: lixlix
                r
                ridgeback Sep 4, 2011 01:04 PM

                You're misrepresenting facts and posting links to articles that don't say what you represent them to say. And once again, you are also changing the subject. The point has been your ridiculous claim that Gordon Ramsay is not particularly well-qualified to serve as a short-term coach to help turn around a failing restaurant.

                If you had said what that you're not a fan of his, or that you don't like his tv show, we wouldn't be arguing. Instead what you're clearly doing is vilifying Gordon Ramsay.

                1. re: ridgeback
                  rudeboy Sep 4, 2011 02:43 PM

                  I think that it is kind of funny that he has those problems AND a show where he screams at people who have some problems of their own. More funny that people watch him scream at people. But the dude has a lot more $ than me!

                  1. re: ridgeback
                    l
                    lixlix Sep 4, 2011 02:46 PM

                    I disagree. If I said something like "Gordon Ramsay is not qualified to teach how to cook " then I would be in the wrong since clearly he is an awesome chef.

                    However, his record as a restauranteur is not nearly as successful as he would lead you to believe nor is the record of restaurants that have gone on "Kitchen Nightmares" stellar. I believe the closing rate of restaurants that have gone on "Kitchen Nightmares" is about 50% within 2 years of the airing of the show.

                    I'm also not sure what facts I'm misrepresenting. Do you deny that the Gordon Ramsay corporation owes many millions of dollars? Are the allegations of unpaid debt in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to suppliers from his New York restaurant false? Should a coach for turning around a failed restaurant have these black marks on his own restaurant? Please let me know what is said in the articles and what I am misrepresenting because I have only been restating the articles verbatim.

                    Your argument up to this point has been "at one point, Ramsay opened multiple michelin star restaurants thus he must be qualified to turn an eatery around". I feel that this assertion is more tenuous than my assertion of "restaurant owners who have failing restaurants, large amounts of debt, and 3 closed restaurants perhaps shouldn't be the best candidate of coaching how to turn a restaurant around".

                    Maybe a few years down the line, if he returns his restaurant empire to glory will he be qualified to coach but as of now I see little track record of Ramsay saving a restaurant from failure.

                    1. re: lixlix
                      ghastlyfop Sep 4, 2011 04:58 PM

                      I would suspect Ramsay's failings are due to over-ambition, trying to run a global empire, and all the celebrity stuff. Getting a middling cafe to shape up is probably something he could do in his sleep. Making sure they're still in business in two years time isn't really part of his remit - most of the restaurants I've seen on the show wouldn't have had any chance of surviving anything like that long without intervention.

                      But to bring this back to Austin board specifics - why not go to El Greco and see/taste the results of his handiwork? Isn't that what this thread was about, not the state of Ramsay's accounts?

        2. dinaofdoom Aug 31, 2011 08:52 AM

          the reservation confirmations already went out.
          did anyone make the cut?

          http://austin.eater.com/archives/2011...

          1. dinaofdoom Aug 25, 2011 09:21 AM

            they are also doing groupon now deals this week.
            very very strange...

            1 Reply
            1. re: dinaofdoom
              ghastlyfop Aug 27, 2011 02:55 PM

              Even now (as in right this minute, valid until 10 tonight) there is a Groupon Now deal as equipment is being set up outside. Its not a small unit - the space behind that dry cleaners across the street is completely occupied by trailers and trucks.

              Did have a tasty but not very beefy steak, ale and cheese pie in Boomerang a few hours ago - a great view from the window seats. Not much going on right now, although there were two fellows dropping local chefs' names over cans of Lone Star - either film crew or... a couple of Chowhounds?

            2. dinaofdoom Aug 22, 2011 11:13 AM

              well, we were all wrong.

              "Gordon Ramsay's coming to town with Kitchen Nightmares, and the folks at the Chronicle hear filming will occur at El Greco by campus August 29 - September 1

              Gordon Ramsay's coming to town with Kitchen Nightmares, and the folks at the Chronicle hear filming will occur at El Greco by campus August 29 - September 1.

              So, what's the deal with El Greco? Well, for starters, they're currently hosting a contest on their Facebook page for the best photo of a person in a toga (all the sample photos are of ladies). The lucky winner gets dinner for four (sans alcohol) and the distinct privilege of becoming the restaurant's Facebook avatar. It doesn't look like anyone has entered the contest yet."

              here is the link:
              http://austin.eater.com/archives/2011...

              -----
              El Greco
              3016 Guadalupe, Austin, TX

              22 Replies
              1. re: dinaofdoom
                h
                heyzeus212 Aug 22, 2011 03:12 PM

                El Greco is a good choice. Horrible service, and food is extremely overpriced.

                -----
                El Greco
                3016 Guadalupe, Austin, TX

                1. re: heyzeus212
                  dinaofdoom Aug 22, 2011 04:12 PM

                  interesting they chose a campus-area restaurant.
                  there are sooooo many others to choose from.

                  1. re: dinaofdoom
                    drdelicious Aug 23, 2011 08:09 AM

                    Why campus-area restaurant?!? I avoid that area like the plague. Anytime someone recommends a restaurant over there, I just assume they have some UT memory associated with the place. Typically, the parking is awful (although downtown is getting just as bad), the atmosphere leaves much to be desired, and the service is typically poor. I realize I'm generalizing, but this is why that area is lower on my list of places to go for food. There's no restaurant over there where the food is worth the hassle.

                    1. re: drdelicious
                      v
                      verily Aug 23, 2011 08:20 AM

                      I had no idea where El Greco was... at first, I thought maybe that it had replaced Milto's.

                      Ruby's is the only campus restaurant I can think of that I'm willing to drive to.

                      1. re: drdelicious
                        dinaofdoom Aug 23, 2011 10:13 AM

                        i think it would have been a lot more interesting to choose some place like, say, the oasis, where there's a gorgeous view (and pricey rent) but crappy food.

                        1. re: dinaofdoom
                          l
                          lixlix Aug 23, 2011 02:16 PM

                          Oasis makes a lot of money though so the show would only be negative publicity.

                        2. re: drdelicious
                          c
                          ChrisStein Aug 23, 2011 11:53 AM

                          Parts of Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmare's show involve Gordon interacting with locals about the restaurant, and walking around the neighborhood of the restaurant. El Greco is situated in a much more pedestrian friendly, and photogenic neighborhood than many other Austin restaurants. I would guess that location is as much a factor as the actual restaurant itself.

                          -----
                          El Greco
                          3016 Guadalupe, Austin, TX

                          1. re: ChrisStein
                            dinaofdoom Aug 23, 2011 01:51 PM

                            oh, now that you mention that aspect, it makes more sense...

                            1. re: ChrisStein
                              ghastlyfop Aug 24, 2011 12:12 PM

                              Really? We live just around the corner so we'd better clean up the yard for the cameras. Wonder if they'll interview the bums outside of El Patio?

                              Only been to El Greco's once and it really was restaurant prices for canteen food and service.

                              -----
                              El Greco
                              3016 Guadalupe, Austin, TX

                              El Patio Restaurant
                              2938 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

                              1. re: ghastlyfop
                                amysuehere Aug 25, 2011 07:10 AM

                                I think I'm in for a "reservation" on the filming. Here's hoping I don't get the first nights...

                                1. re: amysuehere
                                  ghastlyfop Aug 25, 2011 09:24 AM

                                  One could watch it all from the safety of Boomerang Pies across the street....

                                  1. re: ghastlyfop
                                    r
                                    rusty_s Aug 25, 2011 10:38 AM

                                    ...great idea, except if I spent too much time in Boomerang's I'd gain 100 pounds.

                                    1. re: rusty_s
                                      v
                                      verily Aug 25, 2011 02:08 PM

                                      What do you recommend at Boomerang's? I've been intrigued. (Who can say no to little meat pies???)

                                      1. re: verily
                                        ghastlyfop Aug 25, 2011 02:38 PM

                                        It's been a while since I've been there. You've got to be in the right mood for a pie. But there are some mouthwatering pictures on the menu...

                                        http://www.boomerangspies.com/Menu/ta...

                                        1. re: verily
                                          m
                                          McEwans_Exported Aug 28, 2011 01:07 PM

                                          I'd recommend staying clear of Boomerangs. Pies are not very good (gressy pastry, rip off filling portion sizes). Also the flavours are kind of strange - wanted a meat pie, got some over herbed protien and veg combo - hardly a meat pie!

                                          It pains me to say this as meat pies in Austin are a hard to come by, but this mob are not the real deal by any stretch of the imagination.

                                          1. re: McEwans_Exported
                                            ghastlyfop Aug 28, 2011 01:38 PM

                                            I agree. Great concept but lacking in most areas of execution. I've never been to Australia so maybe they're truly authentic, but compared to a decent English pub or even Marks & Spencers, they're rather shoddy. I liked the last pie I had there, bug that was because of the gravy if contained. The "steak" tasted like texturized protein and the vegetables were out of a can. Maybe if Ramsey has a few minutes left over he can fix Boomerangs too.

                                            1. re: ghastlyfop
                                              rudeboy Aug 31, 2011 01:14 PM

                                              Well, Vegemite is not the tastiest thing either, so maybe they are authentic for Australia!

                                              1. re: rudeboy
                                                amysuehere Sep 1, 2011 09:45 AM

                                                It's been ages ago, but I remember them (Australian) being more like a mesh of an English meat pie and a Jamaican meat pie. Meat filling was English, while the crust was closer to the Jamaican (but not the yellow dough). Kind of a delicate stramboli; not a pie-pie. I still like Boomarangs though, just don't eat all the crust.

                                                Well, guess I wasn't "good enough" for the show. I emailed for a reservation early Monday morning and they emailed me a questionaire, but nothing since I gave them my answers.

                                                1. re: amysuehere
                                                  dinaofdoom Sep 1, 2011 07:43 PM

                                                  you had to answer a questionnaire? seriously? wow.

                                                  1. re: dinaofdoom
                                                    amysuehere Sep 2, 2011 07:12 AM

                                                    AND...I was apparently rejected. sheesh...

                                                  2. re: amysuehere
                                                    v
                                                    verily Sep 2, 2011 04:45 AM

                                                    I tried Boomerang's several days ago. Had the Traditional and thought it was pretty decent. It was very generously filled with ground meat.

                                                    I wouldn't even consider eating at El Greco for the pre-makeover. I've seen enough Kitchen Nightmares episodes to be leery of the kitchen. Prefer to be ignorant about that stuff instead of seeing it displayed in all its green chicken, rat traps, and rotted vegetables glory on TV.

                                        2. re: ghastlyfop
                                          amysuehere Aug 25, 2011 01:16 PM

                                          Parking's going to be an absolute nightmare...

                          2. a
                            addlepated May 14, 2011 04:38 PM

                            The one and only time we went to The Emerald Restaurant, it was so immensely horrible that we thought we were on Candid Camera. From the cat barfing on the front step as we walked up, to the debris we found in our water glasses (left set on the table between customers) when they poured in the water, to the crazy drunk chef muttering his way through the restaurant, to all the dishes absolutely DROWNING in sauce, we swore that we would never set foot in that particular "fine dining" establishment again. Granted, this was 10 years ago, but we've kept our part of the bargain. Is it even open anymore, and still styling itself the best place to celebrate a special event in town?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: addlepated
                              b
                              brentwood May 14, 2011 07:25 PM

                              The Emerald! Yes, perfect setting for the show! I assume it's still open. I "won" a meal for 2 there a couple of years ago in a work raffle. I traded it to a coworker for $20 and an extra vacation day, pure robbery on my part.

                              1. re: addlepated
                                dinaofdoom May 14, 2011 09:44 PM

                                addlepated, i recall some special $100 groupon for a $300 lobster and steak meal this year.
                                i want to say it was for valentine's day, but i could be mistaken.

                                1. re: dinaofdoom
                                  a
                                  addlepated May 15, 2011 11:45 AM

                                  Ha, highway robbery! ;)

                              2. n
                                NirvRush May 12, 2011 06:09 PM

                                I'm thinking Hickory St Bar & Grill would be a good candidate

                                1. amysuehere Mar 28, 2011 10:07 AM

                                  Mesa Ranch would be a great one. They've just really dropped the ball as of late, but it has such potential.

                                  1. Homero Mar 27, 2011 06:10 PM

                                    Ranch 616. I remember in the late 90's/early 00's the food being pretty good and the concept was always fun and novel. The last two times we went, the food has been outright awful. The second to the last time would have been the last time, except we had a groupon. To be fair, their cocktails have always been pretty good, and their fried oysters are great. They could really use a whipping into shape, because they really fell off the wagon.

                                    -----
                                    Ranch 616
                                    616 Nueces, Austin, TX 78701

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Homero
                                      tom in austin Mar 28, 2011 07:40 AM

                                      Seconded.

                                    2. r
                                      ridgeback Mar 23, 2011 07:47 AM

                                      I think one of the main qualifications the show uses for choosing restaurants is that its fallen on hard times. Its not enough that the food isn't good. Most of the places named in this thread thus far would never be considered for that reason.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: ridgeback
                                        m
                                        manisubra Mar 24, 2011 09:33 PM

                                        Treehouse or Phara's are both great candidates. How about Snack Bar?

                                        1. re: manisubra
                                          cousin dave Mar 26, 2011 08:00 AM

                                          I think Snack Bar would be an ideal candidate -- even if they've brought in a new chef. I live close by and have been astounded at the constant missteps this place has made. It sat dormant for seven months before opening (El Sol y La Luna managed to move to a new building and be up and running in a month). It hired an initial staff that, by most accounts, seemed to deeply dislike interacting with customers. It overcharges for the most basic dishes, which all run on the small side. The one that really sort of shocked me was that all the tableware seemed to have come from Ikea -- anyone who's ever worked in a restaurant KNOWS you can't use household tableware. It lasts maybe three weeks. In summary, I've always gotten the impression that Snack Bar was just some people that decided they wanted to play 'Restaurant', and have no clue what they are doing. Kudos to them for hiring a new chef but yeah, Snack Bar is a good suggestion.

                                          1. re: cousin dave
                                            drdelicious Aug 23, 2011 07:43 AM

                                            Agreed 100%

                                      2. hlk Mar 22, 2011 07:01 PM

                                        The Highball. It has a lot going for it, but the food menu is really struggling. After begging them for a simple hamburger for the last year plus, they finally added one...that costs $15, and has been unanimously reviewed as being "meh" by everyone in my circle of friends who's tried it.

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: hlk
                                          b
                                          brentwood Mar 22, 2011 07:16 PM

                                          Agree 100%, but man, they're printing money over there. I don't think they give a darn at all. Anyway, continuing your theme on a larger scale, the Alamo Drafthouse needs help. I understand from their blog that Tim League took the kitchens back on the non-franchise (Ritz, S Lamar, Anderson) theaters but the food is still awful. Pizza that tastes like it came from a box, dry burgers, under/overcooked fried apps depending on the day, etc.

                                          1. re: brentwood
                                            e
                                            ebloom Mar 22, 2011 07:39 PM

                                            Did you read the Statesman article by Addie Broyles about spending a day there? It sounds like the volume they have to serve within the time constraint makes it very difficult to control quality.

                                            1. re: ebloom
                                              b
                                              brentwood Mar 22, 2011 07:57 PM

                                              I did not, thanks for the tip. The challenges you describe make sense, and despite my frustrations, we're lucky to have such a resource in Austin. Maybe my beef is with staff, whose response to complaints has been mostly "Oh well, where else are you going to go?"

                                              1. re: brentwood
                                                e
                                                ebloom Mar 22, 2011 08:21 PM

                                                I agree completely and am not trying to make excuses for their food. We mostly just order pizzas and stay away from anything more complex.

                                                1. re: ebloom
                                                  dinaofdoom Mar 22, 2011 10:13 PM

                                                  the franchised locations are no better, as i frequent lake creek.
                                                  we even had a thread going at one point.

                                                  one of these locations would be a great idea for this show, but given the volume, i am not sure they would qualify.

                                            2. re: brentwood
                                              TroyTempest Mar 23, 2011 11:10 AM

                                              I had my best Alamo burger (Royale with cheese) and fries ever last week at the S. Lamar location, and i've been going since the beginning. Perfect meat, not dry, fries just out of the grease. Overpriced, but you know that going in.

                                              1. re: brentwood
                                                Homero Mar 23, 2011 09:13 PM

                                                I actually had one of the best pizzas since the old days at the Colorado St. location at the Ritz a couple of weeks ago.

                                                1. re: brentwood
                                                  drdelicious Mar 24, 2011 04:48 AM

                                                  Hmm, I was thinking franchised Drafthouse too after the last thread... but he can't really go in and make it over (overnight with the team) and rework the menu like he does...

                                                  1. re: brentwood
                                                    d
                                                    duncanmcgeachy May 10, 2011 04:10 AM

                                                    The only really good food item at the Alamo is the cookies. Made from scratch, baked to order. The rest is just frozen food cooked improperly by underpaid staff. The menu is alright but the food is only as good as the ingredients. (Which are obviously the worst they can find! Frozen burger meat, chicken and steak, brown lettuce and queso/plastic.) I am surprised the staff still gets health ins., since they can't be healthy eating that food! It would be too much for Ramsey to fix... like McDonald's.

                                                2. NWLarry Mar 22, 2011 12:45 PM

                                                  Justine's. I think it would be high drama, and the food could probably still be saved.
                                                  Plus I want them to make it, but I know I'm not the only one on here who has witnessed a decline.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: NWLarry
                                                    s
                                                    shan Mar 22, 2011 03:05 PM

                                                    Chez Zee (moldy desserts killed them for me), Bakehouse, Sagra, Cippolina are all pretty high on my ugh list....
                                                    If I had to pick one, I'd vote for Cippolina. I really love the location, like what they want to do, but I find the food pretty unacceptable at least 1/2 the times I've gone there. I got a dish there once which was burnt on the top and congealed cold fat on the bottom. Another time, I got a dish full of (undisclosed on the menu) garlic... there were so many sauteed slivers, I thought they were almonds at first. This isn't a problem for most people, but I have a garlic allergy and hedge away from any garlic at restaurants unless it is cooked for hours in a stew, gravy or sauce. Raw or partially cooked garlic makes me feel like I'm catching the stomach flu for about 24 hours.

                                                    Sagra would probably be next on my list to fix. I really like the location, but I've ordered the same dish there 3 times (without a menu change) and gotten a completely different dish each time... one time I got undercooked eggs (raw whites). Sagra has amazing promise but can't seem to get its act together on a consistent basis.

                                                    -----
                                                    Chez Zee
                                                    5406 Balcones Dr., Austin, TX 78731

                                                    1. re: shan
                                                      e
                                                      ebloom Mar 22, 2011 06:09 PM

                                                      I'm surprised to hear this about Cippolina. The pizza has been consistently tasty every time I have eaten there. Only tried a couple pasta dishes over the years but haven't been disappointed with the restaurant yet.

                                                      I would vote for Phara's... It surprises me the volume they do, but still seem to have no clue how to run a restaurant.

                                                      1. re: ebloom
                                                        r
                                                        ridgeback Mar 22, 2011 09:14 PM

                                                        I'm with you - I've eaten at Cipollina many times and have never experienced anything like that.

                                                        1. re: ridgeback
                                                          s
                                                          shan Mar 23, 2011 05:49 AM

                                                          We've gone about 10 times over the last year... Lunch at Cippolina is usually pretty good, but we've thrown up our hands and given up on dinner there.

                                                      2. re: shan
                                                        s
                                                        stellawine Mar 23, 2011 08:35 PM

                                                        I thought Bakehouse was already in the queue of restos to be KN rehabbed?

                                                        1. re: stellawine
                                                          s
                                                          scrumptiouschef Mar 23, 2011 08:47 PM

                                                          There was a rumor that one of the Bakehouse workers was a mite too temperamental to be allowed close proximity to Gordon.

                                                          I figure near the end of the series' run there'll be a pull apart brawl in a snack bar like the Moondogs vs the Assassins or the Road Warriors vs Fabulous Ones.

                                                          It's interesting to see some successful restaurants listed here. The impetus behind the show is that the shop is about to close, go out of business.

                                                          What restaurants in town are hanging by a thread and need all the help they can get to stay open?

                                                          1. re: scrumptiouschef
                                                            a
                                                            achtungpv Mar 24, 2011 06:34 AM

                                                            Katz's would've been a good candidate. If anybody needs a profanity laden dressing down for serving mediocre food in a mismanaged restaurant it's Marc Katz.

                                                        2. re: shan
                                                          v
                                                          verily Mar 24, 2011 10:37 AM

                                                          It would be Chez Zee for me. I hate getting dragged there by friends. Aging decor, mediocre food, disinterested waitstaff... I'm always impressed by how much business they continue to do.

                                                          Antonio's could get a nod. The new 183 location was terrible from the day it opened.

                                                          1. re: verily
                                                            dinaofdoom Mar 24, 2011 10:45 AM

                                                            have never been to antonio's, but have not heard good things from co-workers (our office is nearbyish).

                                                      3. g
                                                        gilintx Mar 22, 2011 09:48 AM

                                                        Carmello's. Phara's. Alborz, Chez Nous. I know it has a lot of fans, but I would also say El Patio.

                                                        -----
                                                        Chez Nous
                                                        510 Neches St, Austin, TX 78701

                                                        El Patio Restaurant
                                                        2938 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: gilintx
                                                          popvulture Mar 22, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                          Chez Nous? Really? I love that place.

                                                          -----
                                                          Chez Nous
                                                          510 Neches St, Austin, TX 78701

                                                          1. re: gilintx
                                                            p
                                                            pikeman Aug 24, 2011 03:46 PM

                                                            El Patio is beyond rescue short of an act of arson. So is Matt's El Ranch and a host of dumps selling slop referred to as "Tex-Mex".
                                                            This has to be someplace _worth_ saving, not past saving!

                                                            -----
                                                            El Patio Restaurant
                                                            2938 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

                                                          2. popvulture Mar 22, 2011 09:37 AM

                                                            Haven't been there personally, but I hear that Treehouse Italian Grill is pretty abysmal. It's right by my house so I drive by all the time... visually it's actually got some nice character. 2.1 in Fearless Critic... yikes.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: popvulture
                                                              ret3 Mar 22, 2011 10:54 AM

                                                              I concur. Back when I was but a mere culinary naïf in college, I loved the Treehouse for its seeming sophistication. After learning and experiencing a great deal more about food, I returned a few years ago and found that it was not as my time-and-wine-hazed memory had it. With some work, it could really be something, though. It has the location; it just needs the food.

                                                              1. re: ret3
                                                                h
                                                                heyzeus212 Mar 23, 2011 07:49 AM

                                                                I'll third this suggestion. I used to live down the street from it, and went once. I've had better pasta from a box.

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