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Hard Hat Report Vol 8

Before Vol 7 spirals out of control let's get a Vol 8 going.

Flat Top Burger Shop over on Manor Road appears to be drawing close to opening.

Rumors continue to fly about yet another new, East Austin barbecue joint opening this summer. Apparently they'll be making their sausages in house which is certainly news of note.

What are y'all excited about that's about to open or has just got going?

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  1. The old Juanita's Taco caboose on W. 5th west of Lamar seems to have finally gone under. In it's place is something called 5th St. Caboose which sounds like more of a deli. There's also a new trailer in the same spot with the word bakery in its name (there was a short lived Italian-American sandwich shop there but it too seems to have disappeared.

    Juanita's Tacos
    1120 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78703

    1. Wings Zup at Hancock Center? It says "Grand Opening" but I could have sworn I saw an equally lamely named wing place there over a month ago. I refuse to patronize a place with such a name. Too gang-bangerish for me.

      Which is no big deal since I refuse to patronize all wing places due to lack of value. Except maybe Waterloo Ice House on Wing Tuesday.

      KOSTA Chaparral and Eatery seems to have it's first 1 or 2 trailers on Slaughter at United Kingdom. I couldn't tell what they were though. Still trying to figure out what "chapparal" means in that context. And KOSTA, for that matter.

      Waterloo Ice House Restaurants
      8600 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757

      2 Replies
      1. Bob & Mike's packed up and moved from their Arbor Walk location to a new location at Cypress Creek & Lakeline Blvd in Cedar Park. Still have not tried them, so don't know if they've improved any, but hopefully it's better than the Jack in the Box that used to be there.

        1. Read on the AAS website, the Olivia's owner will be opening a fried chicken joint in the Nueva Onda location.

          Nueva Onda
          2218 College Ave, Austin, TX 78704

          1 Reply
          1. re: achtungpv

            ooh, i hope they have waffles too (sarcasm intended)

          2. Old School BBQ (currently a bus) is tweeting about opening a restaurant up north: "doing build out on our new restaurant at Parmer and McNeil".

            13 Replies
            1. re: cstrombe

              huh. i haven't seen anything in either plazas, but i'll keep looking.
              the HEB side has a lot of open space because of the defunct blockbuster, etc.
              but, the other side with the whataburger also has some vacancies as well...

              1. re: dinaofdoom

                Maybe in the empty Kahuna's spot?

                1. re: verily

                  Was thinking the same thing. Seems like a likely spot.

                  1. re: verily

                    oh, good call. it was a curra's before that, so hopefully three's a charm.

                    1. re: dinaofdoom

                      We do miss our tiki bar, but some good bbq would be welcome. I need something better than Silver City, Rudy's, Chisholm Trail, and Smokey Mo's, and closer than Mann's, for that occasional beef or pork fix.

                      1. re: verily

                        the kahuna sign was taken down just the other day.
                        so i think you are right, verily.

                        this makes me VERY excited for two reasons:
                        1. bbq in my hood!
                        2. that spot needs love.

                        the other restaurants there have failed so maybe three time's a charm.

                2. re: cstrombe

                  A good friend, a Cajun from Lafayette said "Old school made me the best burger I've ever had in my life".

                  He went on and on using the kind of verbiage he would normally use for a really good boudin link or bag of cracklins.

                  1. re: scrumptiouschef

                    Yes, have heard they have a good burger (website implies fresh ground in-house). Looking forward to giving it a try. Bus too far away for me.

                    1. re: cstrombe

                      seconded about the bus being too far away.
                      will definitely hit up the parmer and mcneil location when it opens, though!

                      1. re: dinaofdoom

                        Anyone have any updates on this place? I've tried going to the website per the Urban spoon link but now I think it's some sort of Asian Porn site.

                        1. re: tdombrow

                          it closed a few months back.
                          i posted a 2 or 3 times about my poor burger experiences and how it just did not live up to any expectations.
                          i think the guy decided to open a different place downtown?

                          1. re: tdombrow

                            ummm - can I have that link, please?

                            1. re: rudeboy

                              not sure what tdombrow was looking at, but the real link is:

                              looks like he opened another location on 6th street.
                              meanwhile, the parmer lane location is empty again, after curra's and kahuna's also failed.

                  2. The Hayashi Sushi & Grill (which closed on April 30th) in 1890 Ranch up in Cedar Park will become Takara Japanese soon.

                    Hayashi Sushi & Grill
                    1019 W University Ave, Georgetown, TX 78628

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: DanielNTX

                      wow, didn't know it had closed! thanks

                      1. re: amykragan

                        Good riddance, I say. It was terrible sushi. Now I haven't tried it yet, but there are a lot of good reviews for a little sushi place called Daichi on Cypress Creek. They apparently serve tako yaki, so my interest is piqued.

                        1. re: verily

                          I've been to Daichi twice for lunch and it was great. You can get the "Happy Lunch" for $9. Comes with an appetizer choice (katsu, edamame, shrimp tempura, veggie tempura and a couple more), miso soup or ginger house salad and a roll. A steal for $9
                          They also have lots of bento boxes and other lunch specials. They open for lunch at 11:30 and then again at 5:30 for dinner. I'll be going back often!

                          1. re: verily

                            Daichi is awesome. They serve very limited Ramen most Saturdays and their lunch specials are very well priced. Some really good and unique rolls. Their facebook page lists what is fresh and they take pictures of the ingredients. Neat to see the pork dumplings you just ate were handmade and a picture was posted to facebook just an hour earlier. I live in Southwest Austin and I drive all the way up north to eat there. Worth the trip.

                        2. re: DanielNTX

                          Just ate at Sushi-a-go-go that moved from Medical Parkway over to Airport and 50th Str. They are apparently remodeling the bright yellow former Mexican restaurant/bar south of the Tamale House and should have their restaurant open in a couple months.

                          Tamale House
                          5003 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

                            1. re: rudeboy

                              I've had Sushi-a-go-go several times. It's good takeout for rolls but not exactly earth-shaking. Think of it as a step up from the Central Market/HEB rolls to go, and priced very reasonably.

                        3. Teuscher Chocolates on 2nd street is no more. It is now Blvd Esspresso and Dessert Bar. It wasn't open when we went past recently but seems to have gelato and pastries in addition to coffee products.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Carter B.

                            man, everytime I tried to go there to get some clover coffee, they were closed or looked closed enough.

                            1. re: Carter B.

                              I am going to miss their Champagne truffles so much. Those things were incredible.

                            2. K&L grocery closed and it's now some sort of Mexican market/restaurant. Now I have no place south of the river to buy kimchi except that one brand they carry at limited HEB's (and even that seems to have disappeared).

                              Why is so hard buying kimchi? It's not illegal yet. And I don't eat it at work!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: sqwertz

                                i second that emotion, and i am northbound.

                                the item at HEB is really expensive and not that tasty.
                                it's a bit of a PITA for me to drive over to chinatown for my kim chi fix.

                                considering the korean fusion trend where they're putting it on tacos and burgers...
                                you'd think it would be more readily available.

                                1. re: dinaofdoom

                                  I may not be understanding your issue, but kimchi is readily available at the Korean markets up north. My wife is Korean and she buys hers at Han Yang Market. They have quite a few choices from fresh to prepackaged in large jars.

                                  1. re: danny_w

                                    i live very far north.
                                    when i want kimchi, it's hard to find in the neighborhood.
                                    the one brand HEB carries is very expensive and not very good at all.

                                    the chinatown markets are often out of what i want during my weekend visits.
                                    i've also had bad experiences buying cucumber kimchi, as it was very rancid.

                              2. Shipley's Do Nuts on Anderson appears to have closed already. They only opened a few months ago, in the old Popeye's location.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Rice Checks

                                  Meanwhile, one is popping up on Anderson Mill Rd...probably looking to destroy the mom & pop one just up the road.

                                  1. re: Rice Checks

                                    I drove by that Shipley on Anderson tonight & it sure looks open to me. Are you sure?

                                    1. re: brentwood

                                      You're right. It's still open. Its hours have changed so that it closes at 2 pm, now. I hadn't realized I was driving by after 2 all the time.
                                      Decent doughnuts.

                                  2. "Pappy's" Bar and Grill - seems to be opening in the old Romeo's/Seafood Apocalypse/Burger stand near the HEB at 2222 and Burnet

                                    1. Eater is reporting that Screaming Goat on 10th near Lamar has closed.


                                      Screaming Goat
                                      900 W 10th St, Austin, TX 78703

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Carter B.

                                        that is very strange.
                                        there was a deal (coupon) on scoutmob over the weekend.
                                        my co-worker, who loves the place, will be very sad.

                                      2. Man Bites Dog storefront (on Burnet next to Sarah's Mediterranean) is open.

                                        1. here are two additions for my northwestern brethren:

                                          1. the red brick pizzeria at 183 and lake creek is no more.
                                          it will be some kind of non-chain italian place, from the looks of the sign.
                                          it's next to the chipotle, near mama fu's and home depot, in the same parking lot as kohl's.

                                          2. the empty store front in the parmer/mcneil HEB plaza is also going to be an italian place.
                                          it also looks non-chain-ish, and the sign proclaims pizza and pasta.
                                          it will occupy the spot that was formerly a cici's, right next to the gymnastics studio.

                                          and speaking of parmer/mcneil...
                                          saw more work being done today on the former kahuna's space.
                                          i am blathering to all my co-workers about the prospect of real bbq nearby.
                                          smokey mo's , pok-e--jo's, and silver grill cafe just don't do it for me.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: dinaofdoom

                                            Ha, we must live in the same neighborhood. Good to know about the old CiCi's, and keeping our fingers crossed for Old School.

                                            1. re: jwynne2000

                                              milwood reprazent! ha.

                                              i'm in the parmer/620 vicinity, and work down the street.

                                              i'm hoping the pizza/pasta place is not as $ as al forno and rome's, but tastier than cici's.

                                              1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                Went to the new italian place yesterday after the little write-up in the community mag.

                                                Their pizza is truly based on NE US styles (I had high expectations seeing stromboli and philly cheesesteak pizza on the menu). Prices are outstanding - lunch deal of $5.95 for two slices and a drink. 14" cheese pie is $7.99, 16" $9.99

                                                Talked to one of the owners - he said they have a small storefront in Killeen that has only take-out, and a place in Gatesville(?) that is only sit-down. Interior is totally leftover Cici's, but their food is worth the drive.

                                                1. re: careyana

                                                  So how was it? You only mentioned good prices and that is NE style. Does that mean the pizza wasn't so good?

                                                  1. re: danny_w

                                                    I did a fuller write-up on one of the six billion pizza threads.Prima Pizza Pasta.
                                                    Didn't get a full pie in house (will probably do that in the next week) but did order a slice from the pre-made pies. Crust was perfect thickness, just the right amount of char, and a slight nose droop. Since the slice was re-heated, it was a bit crispy on the bottom, but these guys know how to make a pie.
                                                    Spouse got a calzone which was huge. He wanted to finish it in one sitting, but he was making himself sick trying.

                                                    Coming from some serious pizza snobs, these guys do it right.

                                                  2. re: careyana

                                                    ooooh thanks for reporting back.
                                                    i have been by many times (and saw the specials pained on the windows) but haven't had the chance to try it yet.

                                            2. After being closed for several months, Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet is open again in NW Austin. It's pretty much the same buffet, but they've seemingly tweaked a few of the recipes.

                                              1. 800 W. 6th Street (new bldg under construction for a tech company's HQ) will include restaurant space for (drumroll please) Restaurant Jezebel! Set to open Summer of 2012 per AAS. Jezebel will reportedly be just one of 3 Parind Vora concepts in the new building. http://www.austin360.com/food-drink/j...

                                                Restaurant Jezebel
                                                914 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. My spies tell me that Hat Creek Burger Co. is going up at the intersection of 360 and Bee Caves (in the former Pots & Plants nursery location) and a P Terry's is opening in the HEB plaza across the street. No ETA.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: nypb

                                                    Huh. Trying to figure out where the PTerry would go. Old bank? That would really heat up that intersection... Existing Hang Town, Hat Creek coming, and a PTerry? Feed those westlake boys some beef, I guess

                                                    1. re: nypb

                                                      Confirmed - site plan review for P. Terry's in the Market center by West Lake building design committee August 3 - http://www.westlakehills.org/BDC/docu.... Not real encouraged about the area being able to support Hat Creek and P. Terry's. I'd guess that P. Terry's would go into the old World Bank location. The old Macaroni Grill seems too big for P. Terry's.

                                                    2. MaggiE's Cafe on Gracy Farms is no more, and construction is rampant in that shopping center. It looks like the insurance office next to MaggiE's is becoming a neighborhood market, while MaggiE's itself is getting a portico and being refittited as something else (the sign was folded over itself when I drove by, and I couldn't quite make it out). Something is also afoot at Tacodeli, which seems to be operating out of a trailer presently.

                                                      12001 N Mo Pac Expy, Austin, TX 78758

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: ret3

                                                        Drove by yesterday... in MaggiE's place will be Moonie's Burger House. Next door will be Gracy Farms Food Mart/C-Store. And next to TacoDeli, in the space formerly occupied by Sodade, is Alonti Catering.

                                                      2. The place on Burnet that used to be Mooyah / Geaux Burger / Cafe Canela, and who knows what else is now Joe's Italian Restaurant... but be warned. They had a Localiter coupon offer on 6/28, the week they opened. I bought it and went tonight. There's a big sign on the door saying "no Restaurant.com coupons" so I asked about our Localiter coupon before being seated. The hostess took it to the back, then came back out and said the owner isn't taking them. There wasn't a single other breathing being to be seen in the restaurant during prime dinner time. Needless to say, I didn't feel like staying. I don't expect this place to be around long.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: stephanieh

                                                          how unfortunate. let localiter know, and they will refund you.

                                                          1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                            Localiter already responded and were extremely nice. This is the first time I've had a coupon denied, and I'm just glad I asked before we were even seated. You know, it's too bad the business made that choice. We went to Reale's instead and spent $40. Whenever we do use coupons, we usually make up for it with a dessert or glass of wine or something.

                                                            1. re: stephanieh

                                                              yes, i try to be a conscientious with the coupons.
                                                              how odd that they rejected the coupons after just offering them.
                                                              with restaurant.com , i can kind of understand, because there is an ongoing volume.
                                                              but localiter, groupon etc. are usually just sold during one day, and there's a set number.

                                                        2. The Westlake Picayune is reporting that there will be a food trailer in the 6400 block of Bee Cave Rd. that will serve Tex-Mex, barbecue, and diner food.


                                                          Sounds like an awful lot of styles to come out of one trailer!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: addlepated

                                                            Place is called Dock and Roll Diner. It was also profiled in the Daily Texan


                                                            1. re: addlepated

                                                              Tried their lobster roll...incredibly tasty! Wish it were a bit bigger, but will definitely be back. Bread was great and plenty of lobster. Plus the guys are supper friendly.

                                                            2. driving around the shops at parmer/mcneil whataburger/chipotle area, i noticed two updates:

                                                              1. old school bbq opened their brick & mortar, but only has a "now open" sign with no name.
                                                              according to their twitter feed, it's "old school grill" and it opened on the 9th.
                                                              hours 11 to 10 sun-thurs and 11 to midnight fri & sat.
                                                              yelp has some idea of the menu items, but i couldn't find anything else on teh interwebz.

                                                              2. ajishin japanese noodes and sushi will open next to the jacuzzi place.
                                                              i'm trying not to get my ramen/udon/soba hopes up, but i'm excited to try it.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                                1. re: jwynne2000

                                                                  there's no bbq?! damn.
                                                                  thought a bbq truck going brick and mortar would mean at least some cue on the menu.
                                                                  this menu is a nice addition to the neighborhood, though, considering how spare it is.

                                                                2. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                  Tried their burger for lunch. They'll cook it the way you ask and it turned out pretty tasty (though not the best burger ever or anything). I did like the fries a lot. They're hot and crispy and covered in some kind of seasoning that is a bit garlicky.

                                                                  The pricing on the burgers is odd. You can get a plain burger for $9 and pay $1 per additional topping. Or you can get their special burger, which has two patties, cheese, jalapenos, sriracha, and an egg for $10. This does not compute. They need to drop the plain burger by $2-3 to be competitive with nearby joints.

                                                                  Place was kinda empty. I hope it picks up soon because this one has an interesting menu compared to some other nearby burger joints.

                                                                  1. re: verily

                                                                    yeah, i don't understand it when burger and pizza joints do that weird thing w/ the pricing of their plan vs. specials.

                                                                    al forno, in the same plaza, does it with their special pizzas.
                                                                    some of them are more expensive than if you got the ingredients separately...

                                                                    riata bar and grill nearby has a $7ish burger lunch w/ a drink and fries.
                                                                    granted, the fries are fries are the pre-frozen variety, but still.

                                                                    that means with drink, tax, and tip, you're gonna roll out of there at the $15 mark.
                                                                    a bit steep for the local lunch crowd.

                                                                3. well, senorita's is open at the parmer end of anderson mill.
                                                                  haven't been yet, but they already have an eversave deal today.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                    I've been there a couple of times. Once for lunch, and then for a couple of happy hours. The lunch deals were pretty good (we had to ask for them, as the specials weren't on the menu). The happy hour situation is kind of weird - it seems like they're going for a faux hooters concept. Prices were decent for drinks, and they had half priced apps (mostly bland, but half priced).

                                                                    1. re: rudeboy

                                                                      "faux hooters concept" conjures so many, scary images...

                                                                      first up on my nabe to try list is old school grill.
                                                                      then, maybe i will make it to this place.
                                                                      the menu doesn't really entice me.
                                                                      except for the knock-off of trudy's fried stuffed avocado.

                                                                  2. http://austinist.com/2011/07/14/james...

                                                                    James Holmes of Olivia to Open Lucy's Fried Chicken on South Congress (in the old Nueva Onda location).

                                                                    Nueva Onda
                                                                    2218 College Ave, Austin, TX 78704

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                      So what's so special about this chicken, other than I fear that it may be overpriced since I see the place is being totally gutted and redesigned by high-priced architect/designer.

                                                                      The two pictures I see of the chikcen look drastically different.

                                                                      1. re: sqwertz

                                                                        no clue; haven't tried it yet but apparently some think it's good.

                                                                        1. re: sqwertz

                                                                          I've had it at brunch at Olivia and it is definitely good. I remember a nicely seasoned crust that was crispy and didn't all come off when you took a bite. The chicken was nice and juicy and the portion was sizeable.

                                                                          I'll be interested to see how it stacks up against others in price. Mainly Popeye's. Seriously. I love me some Popeye's when it comes to fried chicken.

                                                                      2. alrighty, here are my updates from the handy dandy NW edition of community impact:

                                                                        dimassi's was bought out by the original owner, and they reverted to the original menu.

                                                                        FLO grills of austin showroom opening at 13359 research.

                                                                        the aforementioned gracy food market and moonie's opening up ob burnet by the end of july.

                                                                        taj mahal indian opening by august 1st t parmer and mopac, 12407 N mopac.

                                                                        ajishin sushi, which i posted about, opens in the next couple of months at 6301 w. parmer.

                                                                        gold class cinemas as the domain changed their name to ipic, and changed the menu.

                                                                        anabelle's on mesa closed in may, after its september 2010 opening.

                                                                        mgm indian foods will close the 7427 burnet location for the new 9225 w. parmer location.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                          It is important to note ipic did not change the menu for the better...

                                                                        2. Strip center on William Cannon at Brodie, same section with Pho Thai Son and La Familia..."Coming soon - Paksan Indian Cuisine"

                                                                          Pho Thai Son
                                                                          3601 W William Cannon Dr, Austin, TX 78749

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: NirvRush

                                                                            Oh my, I had a good hard laugh with friends who also reside in the 45 about how AWFUL Pho Thai Son is. It's amazingly bad, like they are trying to be the worst. It's dirty in there- if you pour a soda into a cup of ice (they sell it by the can), it will be the worst drink you've ever had. I think the ice is dirty. I ordered two different things, both were horrendous. The grilled chicked I ordered tasted like old gristle from a bbq pit that was trapped in a tire fire. The replacement dish, some vegetarian buddha's delight style thing was horrible too. If you hate someone, recommend that place.

                                                                            Pho Thai Son
                                                                            3601 W William Cannon Dr, Austin, TX 78749

                                                                            1. re: NirvRush

                                                                              Speaking of strip centers at Wm Cannon & Brodie, in the one across Brodie where the blockbuster used to be is now Cafe Malta (actually its been there at tleast 6 months now)
                                                                              I'd like to hear a report if anyone has tried it

                                                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                I've only been once and enjoyed it. The menu items and specials all sounded very appealing. The service was quite friendly and the happy hour wine was quite reasonable. It does seem a little out of place, but it is fun to have such a charming restaurant in my area. Need to go back.

                                                                                I will say though that my one issue, and possibly the reason I haven't gone back, is that the food is very "simple" and flavored with just good ol' salt, pepper, minimal herbs, and citrus. This is not a bad thing as this is the way I cook at home; flavorful, but letting the food speak for itself. However, when I go out to eat I like to try things that are fun, different, and not what I would make at home, especially at Cafe Malta's price point.

                                                                                1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                  I've been once and was less than impressed. Husband's pasta dish was inedible, my roast chicken was fine, but nothing terrible special, friend's Croque Monsieur bread was too tough to eat, service wasn't great, booth was cramped, and there's one stall in the ladies' room that's just simply too small to be usable.

                                                                              2. A new How Do You Roll is opening in the Triangle! I'll admit that I am looking forward to having sushi there again, even if it is a chain.

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Optimista

                                                                                  it's not traditional by any means, but it's fun and fast and relatively inexpensive.
                                                                                  i just hate hate hate the arbor walk shopping center traffic so rarely go any more.
                                                                                  they have a punch card (or at least used to have one) so you can eventually get a free roll.

                                                                                  1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                                    Yeah, the traffic flow design in that Arbor Walk is horrendous! And they are cramming more businesses in there still (just opened BJ's Brewpub or whatever, and there's something going in behind Mimi's now).

                                                                                    1. re: cstrombe

                                                                                      The sign next to Mimi's says that's going to be a Firestone Tire store. Yes, traffic flow is just awful... not to go off-topic, but have you ever tried to navigate that place at Christmas? Nightmare!

                                                                                      1. re: AustinPieHole

                                                                                        re: Firestone.
                                                                                        Oh great, that's just what we need.....

                                                                                      2. re: cstrombe

                                                                                        Spec's and Marshall's were the only 2 reasons I had to go in there. Now that there's a small Spec's on 620 between Anderson Mill Rd & Four Points I just avoid Arbor Walk entirely.

                                                                                  2. Aquarelle is closing! Boo! To make way for a "Latin-inspired" place. How many of those do we really need???

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: NirvRush

                                                                                      saw that on eater. i thought it was the same chef, though, so at least it's not getting bought out etc.

                                                                                      1. re: NirvRush

                                                                                        An alarming trend in Texas to be sure. Is the current Babel effect for food diversity driving out French cuisine?

                                                                                        I wish MPH was still around. As a San Antonio hound, I'd love to hear his opinion about Il Sogno (replaced La Reve, same chef).

                                                                                      2. the jack in the box on Brodie, north of Slaughter is going to be a Bush's chicken.

                                                                                        1. In the W building facing 2nd St, a CoalVines pizza is opening. Seems to be yet-another-Dallas chain opening downtown.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Carter B.

                                                                                            Is CoalVines taking the place of Trace?

                                                                                            I dined at the one in Dallas when my husband lived up there when we were dating. The pizza was pretty good, thin crust and fresh toppings, but probably won't be the top pizza in town. What we really enjoyed was the wine list. Extensive and reasonably priced.

                                                                                            1. re: Royale

                                                                                              No, it is around the corner from Trace--facing 2nd St. We ate there shortly after opening and were pleasantly surprised by our pizza. The cost for a large was a good deal for downtown as well.

                                                                                              1. re: Royale

                                                                                                I tried CoalVines once and frankly, I think Cru just a couple of blocks east is better. There is something about trying to make pizza fancy that gravels me. The non-pizza menu is not very good. I tried a glass of the malbec at CoalVines, and it was so heavily loaded with sulfites that I had a bad reaction to it. It made me feel overheated and made my skin itch, and I normally have no problem with sulfites.

                                                                                            2. Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers chain set to open soon on Wm Cannon near Costco. Anyone tried this chain? I'm looking forward to the "concrete" custards.

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: knightro98

                                                                                                years ago, we used to have freddy's custard days at our work.
                                                                                                they are pretty good, and this was stuff that was transported to our office.
                                                                                                can't comment on any of their other food, though.

                                                                                                1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                                                  tried some things from their soft opening on Saturday. cheeseburger (ok for a fast food burger), chili cheese and regular fries (skinny little fries, i'm a thick fry kind of girl, chili was good, cheese was crappy canned cheese sauce kind of thing) butterfinger shake or concrete that was good since it consisted of both ice cream ("custard") and butterfingers. idk...seems like the same thing as Culver's with a more limited menu. Culver's is 2 mins away and isn't in the parking lot of gym, so kinda scratching my head a little...

                                                                                                  1. re: NirvRush

                                                                                                    yeah, it is culver's-esque now that you mention it.

                                                                                                2. re: knightro98

                                                                                                  I tried one of their concrete's the other day. Pretty good! I was unaware of the Culvers, I'll give that a go soon. I'm kind of a custard fanatic. Hard to find good custard away from the midwest and northeast.

                                                                                                  Also, there's no reason to eat the food at Freddy's as there's a P. Terry's across the street!

                                                                                                  1. re: knightro98

                                                                                                    Culver's > Freddy's bcs they offer cheddar. Otherwise burgers are pretty similar--smashed patty thin griddle burger. Last time I went to Freddy's, the fries were coated in so much seasoning salt I could not eat them. Also, the faux-fifties feel of Freddy's is offputting. They have photos up that make you think Freddy's has been around forever, but it started in the 2002 I think.

                                                                                                3. Longhorn Steakhouse in Southpark Meadows (in front of the soon to be Sam's Club).


                                                                                                  1. Noticed this morning that the site next to the freshly Gordonized El Greco on 31st and Guadalupe, which was previously Mangia Pizza, is going to be a breakfast, brunch and lunch place called Another Broken Egg.

                                                                                                    It's a southern chain, judging by the website. I've never heard or been to one but the prominence of souvenir mugs, egg-based puns and Hormel logo makes it look like a upscale Denny's. There's one in Dallas that gets mixed reviews on Yelp. Don't want to prejudge but when some of the top reviews say things like "better than IHOP" I can't get too excited.

                                                                                                    Anyone know more?

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: ghastlyfop

                                                                                                      Ate at one in Atlanta last month. Big variety of creative omelets and others. Marked contrast to Magnolia, Kerbey Lane, etc. Not saying better or worse, just different - a little more commercial, synthetic kitsch kind of way. Food will give those two a run for their money - biggest problem might be a slightly higher price point. Definitely much better than IHOP or Denny's.

                                                                                                    2. Not exactly new, but it looks like Daily Juice has finally split into two businesses. I've been hearing rumors about a split for a long time. The Barton Springs and Deep Eddy locations are now JuiceLand. The Hyde Park location is still Daily Juice, and their website says there will be two new locations under that name opening Fall 2011. Downtown and Westlake.

                                                                                                      Daily Juice
                                                                                                      1625 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

                                                                                                      1. Drove past the Arboretum yesterday morning and saw a new Estancia Churrascari going up on the corner of Great Hills and 183. In the building behind where Kenobi used to be (I think in the space that Dan McClusky's used to occupy?). There was also a lot of traffic going in to the space Kenobi used to occupy, perhaps just making a larger building for Estancia or another restaurant altogether, not sure.

                                                                                                        10000 Research Blvd Ste 138A, Austin, TX 78759

                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: chowin

                                                                                                          That's GREAT news... I hate watching the Arboretum fade away and new restaurants will surely perk things up a bit.

                                                                                                          I've only tried Estancia once and it was shortly after they opened. I was not blown away but I know my opinion was influenced by how chaotic the service was. Now that they have been around for several years, I'll bet that's all changed but back then I determined that the extra cost of Fogo DC was worth it.

                                                                                                          What's the current pricing like? Do they do "salad bar only"? Anyone been lately?

                                                                                                          1. re: Rene

                                                                                                            I've been several times, but not recently. I think the meats were great, and since it was less expensive than Fogo de Chao, was a pretty good value when you consider it's an all you can eat meat coma. Salad/veggie options were more limited, so if that's the reason you're going, Fogo is gonna have Estancia beat. If they have lunch hours, I could see hitting up the Arboretum location occasionally.

                                                                                                            1. re: willtryanythingonce

                                                                                                              given the arboretum crowd, it would be silly for them to not offer lunch service, even if it's more limited than the dinner menu.

                                                                                                              looking forward to trying it out.

                                                                                                              1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                                                                I have been to Fogo de Chao once, and found most of the meat so overcooked as to be just food; edible, but not something to pay for. I went just at opening time, so I am not sure if that affected my experience.

                                                                                                                My questions are:
                                                                                                                When going to a Churrascaria, do you need to go at the busiest time, or can I expect the meat to be consistent throughout the service?

                                                                                                                Is the meat typically cooked between medium well and well done (specifically pork tenderloin and ribeye steak which I never like done better than medium and believe should err on under-done) or did I have a bad experience?

                                                                                                                Other than complaining (I won't, I just don't go back), what can I do to have a better chance of my meat being cooked "right", i.e. not overcooked for the tender cuts?

                                                                                                                1. re: BruceE

                                                                                                                  Simply tell them what degree of doneness you prefer. I've found them accommodating.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Rene

                                                                                                                    Once they open, I will go in, try your recommendation and report back.

                                                                                                                  2. re: BruceE

                                                                                                                    At Fogo you can always ask for your desired level of doneness. I do it in direct response to the question "would you like _______?" My response is: "yes, rare please." They have always been super-accomodating, even offering to return with another side of beef if there is no rare portion left on the one in their hands. I've been more than 20 times and I found no appreciable difference in the time of the day that I go. I actual prefer it when it is less busy because the lines are more subdued and the service is generally more attentive.
                                                                                                                    I would guess that you just caught Fogo on an off night and would recommend that you give them another shot.

                                                                                                                    1. re: BruceE

                                                                                                                      I'd definitely try again. I got some shockingly rare bits (to others, I loved them) when I went and everyone was very accommodating. I did find the chicken to be dry, but I suppose after a few slices of rare ribeye my scale would be a bit skewed!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Lixer

                                                                                                                        I just ate lunch at the Arboreteum Estancia Churrascaria, and was very impressed. The service was excellent, all the meat I ate was very good to excellent, the salad bar seemed fine to me and the sides were good. I ate by myself, and was made very comfortable. Many places seem to resent the single diner, but here I was treated as well as the big tables. All the meat I got was done the way I wanted. I did ask about the pork tenderloin, which the server said they only serve well done, so I skipped that, but loved everything I had. My favorites were the lamb, both chops and the slice of the leg, and the filet mignon, but I loved everything I tried. I wasn't able to sample all the varieties of meat as I got too full, but I'll definitely be back many times and try the rest.

                                                                                                                        One note, not a complaint, but others may want to know. If you order a Coke, it comes in small bottles that are $2.85 each. To me, that is fine, I far prefer carbonated beverages from a bottle instead of a soda fountain, and realize you have to pay for quality, but it might be a suprise to some.

                                                                                                            2. Blue Baker and Masala Wok Coming to Arboretum Area

                                                                                                              It looks like Blue Baker (http://bluebaker.com/) is coming in next to where Estancia Churrasqueria will be in the Arboretum and Masala Wok will be a new addition at the Shops at Arbor Walk. New life for the Arboretum, more craziness for the Arbor Walk center!

                                                                                                              Masala Wok
                                                                                                              1100 Center Ridge Dr Ste 300, Austin, TX 78753

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: texasgirly

                                                                                                                If you've never eaten at the College Station locations, you're in for a treat with Blue Baker. Seriously good bread and sandwiches.

                                                                                                                1. re: jwynne2000

                                                                                                                  Anyone know what is going in at the former Fuddruckers location on Anderson Lane? There is construction activity there.

                                                                                                              2. Eleven Plates just opened sunday in Davenport Village near Westlake and 360. This area needs some good restaurants, so I hope the food is good and it does well. If anyone tries it feel free to start a thread...

                                                                                                                1. So, did the Flat Top Burger Shop close before it opened? I drove by this weekend and it definitely looked abandoned.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: achtungpv

                                                                                                                    This place STILL hasn't opened, but there's visible progress inside with setting up tables and so on.

                                                                                                                  2. Anyone been to the YaYa Cafe & Shaved Ice at Guadalupe and 38th? Driven by a thousand times and half-noticed it, but only just realized it's actually open and has been for two months now. Vietnamese, Chinese and shaved ice....

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: ghastlyfop

                                                                                                                      I stopped by for lunch a few weeks ago. I had their Bun Tom Thit w/ Cha Gio (Pork and egg rolls)

                                                                                                                      It was ok, but nothing so spectacular that I would go there over Pho Van, Pho Huang, Sunflower, Tan My, or Tam Deli. The pork was flavorful, but the egg rolls were mediocre. They spent some time julienning the veggies for the bun, which was nice, but unfortunately, the pieces were a little long which made it awkward to eat with chopsticks.

                                                                                                                      It was too hot for pho, so I didn't try that. The owner was very nice, and if I was in the area and had a craving for Vietnamese, I might stop in again. Then again, when I have a craving for Vietnamese, my body subconsciously steers me towards 183 and Ohlin.

                                                                                                                    2. News from the owner of the old World Beat Cafe:

                                                                                                                      "Subject: WASOTA AFRICAN CUISINE (FORMALY WORLD BEAT CAFE)

                                                                                                                      Dear Former World Beat Customers,

                                                                                                                      I want to thank everyone for his or her email messages and phone calls inquiring about my health after my cancer treatment. I am pleased to say that I am in remission, and have been for the last 3 years and doing very well. Many of you have inquired on whether I will re-open World Beat Café again. I miss my customers dearly but unfortunately I do not have the resources to re-open a full restaurant at the present time. However, I am very happy to inform everyone that I have secured a trailer spot at Bouldin Creek Food Court located at 1209 South First Street in Central Austin. I want to try it out but I will need everyone’s support. My new business name is Wasota African Cuisine and my projected start date is October 17, 2011. I will prepare fresh, healthy cuisine with delicious West African flavor and I will be vegan friendly as usual. Please spread the word and Thanks in advance for your support.

                                                                                                                      Lawrence Osas Eguakun"

                                                                                                                      I'm curious to see the menu!

                                                                                                                      1. Upgrades at Alamo Drafthouse Village, new place called The Goodnight, and footnotes about openings of Jezebel, Bar Ziño, and Cafe Ziño:


                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: hlk

                                                                                                                          The Goodnight sounds interesting, especially since it's really close to me. However, I had to laugh at this:

                                                                                                                          "The Goodnight will be a one-of-a-kind hot spot, perfect for everything from happy-hour cocktails to the late-night party scene," general manager Stan Smith said.

                                                                                                                          A "boutique" bowling alley, bar and restaurant near an Alamo Drafthouse? I think The Highball got there first, Stan.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ret3

                                                                                                                            Yeah, it really does sound like a Highball 2.0, but without the karaoke and theater space.

                                                                                                                        2. There's a sign up for Cover 2 at the old Hooters location on 183 near Lake Creek. Looks to be a more casual version of Cover 3.


                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: ssouth

                                                                                                                            thanks for posting! i live and work neaby-ish, so any new non-chain restaurant is always interesting.
                                                                                                                            my co-workers really like going to cover 3 for our team after-hours stuff, so something more casual and closer is great.

                                                                                                                            1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                                                                              Speaking of which, I sure wish they'd add more sandwiches at Cover 3...

                                                                                                                              1. re: amysuehere

                                                                                                                                well, cover 2 seems to be your thing, then.
                                                                                                                                it's supposed to be more "pub" food, with a lower price point.
                                                                                                                                sandwiches would definitely fit that to a T.

                                                                                                                            2. re: ssouth

                                                                                                                              I saw the Cover 2 sign and wondered if the two were somehow related, or if there was going to be an interesting legal showdown in the near future.

                                                                                                                            3. hana world market is coming to 1700 w. parmer lane at the end of december.

                                                                                                                              it's the former location of hong kong market, that apparently opened and closed when we all blinked.

                                                                                                                              they will have grocery items AND a food court with chinese, korean, japanese and vietnamese cuisine.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                                                                                I'm just reading this now. Did that ever pan out, or did it open and close and I missed it again? I miss the "food court" at the 99 Ranch 99's in the West.

                                                                                                                                1. re: sqwertz

                                                                                                                                  not sure-- i haven't been by there recently.
                                                                                                                                  but, i mean to check it out this weekend.
                                                                                                                                  food court, mmmmm.

                                                                                                                              2. Update photo of the Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew restaurant construction just south of Justin and Lamar on the west side of the street. The pig on the sign makes me hopeful for some more solid pork offerings here in cow country. There's an update on the controversy mentioned on the 'chef's site between the pitmaster Kirkpatrick and the Mueller family over at eater.com.


                                                                                                                                1. Your Mom's Burger Bar looks like they are adding a location on Airport Blvd. The sign went up yesterday at the old market next door to Tamale House, Airport and 51st St.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Alan Sudo

                                                                                                                                    I saw this too, very exciting. There's also a trailer out front that says Madeline's Creamery.

                                                                                                                                  2. Another How Do You Roll is opening up next to Torchy's in the Volente Plaza at 620 and Anderson Mill.

                                                                                                                                    Nice to see so many Austin chains and locally owned businesses coming up our way.
                                                                                                                                    With the Trails of 620 already under construction, I'm expecting to see a few more pop up in the upcoming months. Noble Pig had the Food Network filming them last weekend (presumably for Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives).

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: verily

                                                                                                                                      happy to hear the noble pig is getting some face time.
                                                                                                                                      they are good people, with a great thing going.

                                                                                                                                    2. Pastor Fred and his wife had a packed house at the new Southern Hospitality location on Middle Fiskville last Friday (June 1). They've expanded their offerings to include a few soups (gumbo and chicken and dumplings) and more veggies (black eyed peas, etc.). The catfish and fried chicken were just as stellar but they just couldn't keep up with the crowd with the meats and mac / cheese. I waited with plenty of others 10 minutes standing at the buffet line twice. At the little place waiting was common but short. They'll have to fix that. Fresh offerings are great, but standing at the line for 10 minutes for the main entrees will piss people off. Actually it caused some tables to have sentinals go and grab massive platefuls for the table. But for a day 1 it was typically delicious and I'm sure they'll get their timing going.

                                                                                                                                      1. new ice cream trailer on 620, near-ish to the noble pig.
                                                                                                                                        looks like i'm gonna have to start eating only half my sandwich to make room for dessert:


                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                                                                                          They're positioned next to a Stonehouse Wood Grill trailer that also looks interesting. Looks like 620 is starting up its own little trailer park. It's just past Anderson Mill Rd as you head towards the lake.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                                                                                            tried this place tonight. YUM!!! i had my scoop of toasted coconut chocolate dipped in butterscotch on a pretzel cone. sooo good. will have to go back to try more of their delicious offerings. apparently they do an ice cream social on sunday evenings starting at 5:00pm to promote a community atmosphere with games and music. go check them out, i say!!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: yum72

                                                                                                                                              the community social night sounds great. thanks for mentioning that.

                                                                                                                                              here's the link i found for the stonehouse wood grill trailer:

                                                                                                                                          2. Cane's Chicken (fast food chicken fingers) and Dos Salsas (Georgetown Tex-Mex) under construction 1431 across from 1890 Ranch.

                                                                                                                                            Qdoba looks open at 1890 Ranch in Cedar Park.

                                                                                                                                            VooDoo BBQ under construction north of La Frontera, I think in Home Depot shopping center. "Cajun" BBQ franchise from Louisianna.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. Something called Hill's BBQ is opening in the new strip mall next to Lowe's off Steck. Sign says coming soon.