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Hard Hat Vol IX

Vol 8 was getting unwieldily on my mobil...

Saw the beer and wine application in the window on for Pinthouse Pizza on Burnet across from Apothecary and next to Simplicity. Didn't look like much going on inside yet. The poster said it is a brewpub too.


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  1. For the downtown lunch crew, Wholly Cow Burgers is going in at 7th and Congress Ave where Pita Pit just vacated last week.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LakeLBJ

      Didn't Pita Pit move in next to Jimmy Johns at 6th and Brazos? I wish Wendy's would have moved back in. Or better yet, TEDS! :-)


      1. re: sqwertz

        You're probably thinking of Extreme Pita, which is right next to JJ's at 6th and Congress.

    2. Stopped by for a quick look at the Hillside Farmacy on e. 11th (old Gene's po-boys). Designed and owned by the folks that own the East Side Showroom.

      The inside is beautiful. Lots of reclaimed furniture and antiques from old pharmacies, white tiled interior and and a private dining room. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Menu will include oysters, peel'n'eat shrimp, charcuterie and sandwiches with a bar and stumptown coffee. Mostly locally sourced food stuff, ice cream and locally baked goods. Looks like they will be ready to open in a few weeks.

      I'm excited about this joint. Looks like it will be a cool community hub for the local food crowd.

      1. Another Verts is going into the same shopping center as the new Hopdoddy on Anderson. they just signed a lease. not sure which space that is.

        1. Olive and June (in the old Arbol space) is in Soft Opening

          1. spin modern thai is opening in the plaza with the lakeline mall target.
            it's the old spicy pickle location, so it will be a smaller restaurant.
            they are waiting for a beer & wine license from TABC.
            given the chaotic interior, it will be a little while.

            that will make 3 thai places in this little corner of northwest austin:
            thai cuisine, muang thai, and spin.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dinaofdoom

              spin is pretty tasty, although i am over the precious "tapas" trend.
              went there a few weeks ago, and enjoyed my meal.
              loved how they wrapped the pad thai in a thin omelette.
              they also did an interesting larb, with salmon sashimi.

              there is a living social deal today: $15 for $30.
              i totally snatched one up.

            2. Elaine's Pork & Pie could be interesting.
              According to a sign onsite, it's taking over the Pitchforks and Tablespoons shop in the parking lot of East Side Cafe. The sign promises pulled pork and homemade pie to eat there or take with you.

              A quick internet search comes up with a notice in the Austin Chronicle that offers more detail:
              "The menu for Elaine's will include pulled-pork sandwiches, sticky buns, and a rotating selection of sweet and savory whole pies, pie by the slice, fried pies, handheld pies, and quiches."

              Elaine has become well known for roasting whole pigs for charity events over the years, and she knows her pork. Fingers crossed on this one.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Alan Sudo

                Is Elaine the owner of East Side Cafe?

                Sounds yummy...

                1. re: Optimista

                  @Optimista - Yes, Elaine Martin and Dorsey Barger are the co-owners of East Side Cafe

              2. Chine Express at 35th and Guadalupe (or thereabouts - a few block south of Good Luck Mart). It's the old, sad, little, dirty, unreliable Quickie Mart that is being remodeled to be able to sell Quickie Food as well. It looks like it will still be part Quickie Mart.

                It better be under new ownership because the place sucked as Quickie Mart. I wouldn't trust them to cook food.


                1 Reply
                1. re: sqwertz

                  Make that "Wok 'n Express. C-Store and Take out". Looks like it may be open, or else just very busy with finish out activity. It wasn't all pickup trucks (sub/contractors).

                2. "donut taco palace #3" on the 6200 block of Lamar. i don't know if they will have donut tacos or tacos and donuts. didn't look like buildout was underway yet.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: ieathereforeiam

                    What a combo, although I don't think it tops the "Fresh Donuts & Seafood Restaurant" in Giddings.

                    1. re: ccaustin

                      ugh, though I guess that could be some sort of deconstructed pistolette concept.

                      a little google search turns up that a lot of people seem to dig donut taco palaces #1&2 so I can only hope #3 lives up to its good name.

                    2. re: ieathereforeiam

                      I saw a "Tacos" sign at River City Donuts at Manchaca and William Cannon. I did not inquire within.

                      1. re: sqwertz

                        My new job is just down the block. I surely don't know this area one...little...bit. Suggestions?

                        1. re: amysuehere

                          Hey AmySue that's not a bad area for food. While I haven't spent as much time there lately as I used to, you can see if these places are still up to par.

                          (The famous and hound-worthy) Mi Ranchito is in the convenience store at the corner of William Cannon and Pleasant Valley;
                          Some of the best catfish in town can be found at Cherry Creek Catfish on Manchaca and Stassney, and just north of that is the Bakehouse with an extensive and eclectic lunch menu.
                          Casa Garcia's is old school Tex-Mex with homemade tortillas at the southeast corner of William Cannon and Manchaca;
                          Chuy's Panderia has good tortas and baked goods on William Cannon between South Congress and I-35 (in the Gold's Gym shopping center);
                          That same shopping center has good Thai at Thai Kitchen, and the sub shop used to be pretty good, but it's been years since I ate there.
                          You might also check out D.K. Seoul Restaurant and Sushi on S. 1st between William Cannon and Stassney. Umi Sushi in the Fiesta shopping center (I-35 and Stassney) used to have a good happy hour with cheap Kirin on tap.
                          Hope that helps...

                          1. re: amysuehere

                            I really don't eat at restaurants in that area even though it's my second most traveled major intersection in Austin. Well, I do, but there's just nothing stands out. If I had to name the best dish within 2 miles, I would pick the chow fun at China on the Hill. It's as good as Din Ho or First China.

                            Hao Hao, at that intersection, has a good beef and scallop dish, but the portions have been kinda whimpy each time I've gone there.

                            Hunan, nyeh.

                            Bil Millers fried chicken is now at Slaughter and Congress rather than W.C. and Manchaca, but that is worthwhile. Jersey Mikes is across the street in Southpark Meadows for good sandwiches.

                            I actually like Taco Cabana. Best fast-food-style food in Austin, IMO. Manchaca just before Slaughter.

                            Popeye's across the street and Church's at William Cannon for cheap chicken on Tuesdays.

                            Is the Vietnamese restaurant still there at William Cannon and Westgate? If not, then there's Dong Nai at Ben White and Lamar. Souper Salad and Azul Tequila as well.

                            Ate at Hyde Park Grill this afternoon. Westgate and Ben White. Even asking for fries *well done* didn't work for me. The food mediocre. I don't get it. But Central Market Cafe is decent. And for you Anchovy Stuffed Olive fans - the ones from the bulk bar here are SERIOUSLY HARDCORE ASO's. - you gotta try at least 3 of them to decide (it took me about a pound to decide that YES - I need to replenish my supply!)

                            Sunflower/Newflower - pre made salads, some sandwiches, and rotisserie chickens/ribs. Not a prepared food destination, IMO, only good in emergencies.

                            Those are the places I eat, that I can think of as I mentally travel the streets here.
                            OK, so I guess I DO eat at restaurants in this area :-)


                            1. re: sqwertz

                              There's a Popeye's there?! Sorry, but what a guilty pleasure. If I could get it on my way home to go....

                              1. re: amysuehere

                                Right after Sonic as you head into the HEB. Last time I ate there I'm pretty sure they were serving Cornish game hens instead of chicken.


                        2. re: ieathereforeiam

                          Donut Taco Palace #1 has good donuts, and surprisingly good tacos. It's in Oak Hill on 290 feeder road, before the "Y".

                        3. a juanitas tacos going in somewhere near Wan Fu on airport.

                          1. I searched the board and hadn't found mention of Midnight Cowboy. The Alamo folks bought this former "massage parlour" and are turning it into a cocktail lounge per this article on Eater:


                            Sounds like all cocktails will be mixed table-side. I am going there tomorrow and will report back. I am really hoping they will have delicious bar snacks in addition to the fancy cocktails...

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: femmenikita

                              Wow. Real, hand cut ice? After all these years drinking cocktails with ice cubes in it, I'm finally freed of this burden.

                              1. re: The Tres Leches

                                when i had read that article, i found that part a bit too precious for me too...

                              2. re: femmenikita

                                Eh, precious, perhaps, but I always prefer to reserve judgment until I've actually tasted the food/drinks. That said, this was my experience at Midnight Cowboy: If you are looking for a bar (not a restaurant/bar) on 6th Street, west of I-35, that serves high-end cocktails, and where you also have no trouble hearing/carrying on a conversation with others in your party, Midnight Cowboy would be a good bet. There was no mood music at all the night I went, so that was a nice change from other bars in that area. It is not a place I would choose over, say, East Side Showroom on far east 6th, or Drink.Well further north, although the drinks are of comparable quality/creativity. I had the Smoke & Mirrors: 12 year single malt scotch, Duque de Carmona sherry, Benedictine, sarsparilla bitters, and flambéed orange peel. It was freaking delicious. Almost too nice a scotch to use in a mixed drink, and a sweet aftertaste without being a "sugary drink." After that I ordered the Beige something-or-other, which was supposed to be coconut/lime/mint, and it was godawful. No trace of coconut, and overpoweringly minty-- think toothpaste. I sent it back and ordered another Smoke/Mirrors. Tried drinks of all of my seat-mates, and the Beige was the only disappointment. The Lindsay's Lament was the favorite of most, with its salted bourbon maple-y-ness. Private room was pretty small, with a large wrap-around booth enclosed on 3 sides, plus thick curtains in lieu of a 4th wall. The bar is done in blacks and golds, and each private room has a red light that you turn on, to signal your server to stop by. No food. Funny/silly/whatever list of rules (no guns, no PDA). Tables in rooms are terribly small-- so small in fact that we broke a glass, with 6 people trying to cram drinks onto this two-foot-wide, antique anvil-looking thing of a table. Booths in common area at front might be a better bet. Attached menu is only one side of menu.

                                1. Might've already come up on here, but I haven't noticed... has anybody heard what the new place right across Elizabeth from Eliz St. Cafe is going to be? It was a vacant, grungy looking used car lot type of place for years, but it looks like they've either built on top of the original structure or have totally leveled it. Can't tell. It looks really cool though...

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: popvulture

                                    Thai place from La Condessa people is what I recall our Elizabeth St. waitress telling us.

                                    1. re: Carter B.

                                      That's great! Same slightly annoying problem as Eliz St - overpriced, fancified asian food - but I'm still psyched to have something Thai in the area, since we have absolutely nothing else.

                                      ...except for that Thai trailer... been meaning to check it out.

                                      1. re: popvulture

                                        The Thai trailer you mention is actually pretty decent, and the prices are right. The curries and the basil fried rice are my favorites.

                                        1. re: jwynne2000

                                          is it touch of fire on s. congress?
                                          if so, there is a deal today.


                                  2. Corner Bakery has a sign up on Great Hills where Fresh Choice used to be (and where the other half is a Noodles and Company). I thought it was open since the sign was up, but I drove by and they were still working on it.

                                    1. Noticed that Cover 2 has opened, but not for lunch. Anyone been yet? Any idea when they will be open for lunch?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: PappyAustin

                                        We went Thursday night for some hoops. Ordered the sausage and pancetta flatbread, which was okay. Beer selection is decent (on par with say, Little Woodrows, if you're familiar with that), better actually than their older sister, Cover 3. The shuffleboard table is a nice touch. As you can imagine, it was loud and packed, but I'm glad we have a new option up in the hood.

                                      2. Saw a liquor application sign up in the old Macaroni Grill location on Bee Caves (across from that HEB shopping center). I think this restaurant location is a dead zone but who knows? No details about what's going in there, but this area needs more restaurants. The P Terrys across the street is near completion so I'll gain 50 pounds of chicken burger lunches soon.

                                        1. Villarina (http://villarinas.com/) has opened in Kyle. Apparently they are a chain in the NYC area selling frozen pasta. Had some the other night and it was surprisingly tasty and an excellent value as well.

                                          1. Alamo Drafthouse is opening up a location at Pecan Park and Lakeline Blvd in NW Austin/Cedar Park. It appears to be part of the main chain and not a franchise. They'll be including a bar with a lot of taps. Hopefully it will also include better food... ;)

                                            Rumor is that the Lake Creek location is remaining open.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: verily

                                              wow, that is really close to the lakeline one.
                                              do you know of an ETA?

                                              1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                They gave November 2012 as the ETA for the HEB going in that center. Hopefully the Drafthouse will be built and therefore opening at the same time.

                                                1. re: verily

                                                  another heb! wow. guess they are doing well despite the economy...

                                            2. Con'olio or however the olive oil store is spelled is opening a new shop downtown on Lavaca between 2nd and 3rd in "Spring 2012"

                                              1. Southern Hospitality is going to be moving into the closed Souper Salad location on Middle Fiskville Rd. He's going to significantly expand his operation and staff and buffet menu but try and keep prices the same. I've tried to find better catfish in town and go back to his every time as the clear best this town has to offer. Doors planned to open sometime in May of this year.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: slowcoooked

                                                  Wonderful news, slowcooked. This is at Middle Fiskville Rd & I35 for those that don't know.

                                                  1. re: Carter B.

                                                    They have a loyal regular following but will need significantly more traffic to keep up with the financial demands of the new situation. I worry about establishments (well, the ones I like) on the one way feeder sides of highways - but maybe that's just my suspicion that it's harder to survive in those locales. They are also easily accessed from Airport on Highland Blvd.

                                                    1. re: slowcoooked

                                                      I am happy about this as I live right across the highway. I'll be happy to support them as much as my waistband will allow.

                                                2. A Verts is going into the same shopping center as the new hopdoddy, on the other side of the chiropractor. Read somewhere (here?) that a Tarka is going in across the street at Northcross somewhere.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: ieathereforeiam

                                                    Heard the Hopdoddy sign is up. Anyone know the opening date?

                                                    1. re: PappyAustin

                                                      FWIW, I KNOW I recently read that next Monday is opening day, but now I can't find the article.

                                                      1. re: ampeg66

                                                        Called the original location and they said Tuesday

                                                    2. re: ieathereforeiam

                                                      Yeah, the Tarka is going up behind Elevation Burger in the Northcross shopping center. They were wheeling in the vent hoods, stoves, and food coolers today.

                                                    3. Heard that a Morelia Grill is going into Stone Hill Center in Pflugerville. I don't have any details but it would be the first non fast food restaurant in the center.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: raisncains

                                                        i just realized there is one a short drive from my house.
                                                        but, since i hadn't read anything about it on the boards, i was hesitant to try it.

                                                        1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                          It's just your normal tex-mex restaurant, so I am not recommending it, but I will try the new one.

                                                          On the east side of Round Rock, I enjoy Juarez Bakery at lunch.

                                                      2. A new sign at the former South Austin Grill / former Vinny's Italian, on Barton Springs...

                                                        "Peso & Bucks - 24/7 Border Cafe -- Coming Soon!"

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: jwynne2000

                                                          That sounds odd but intriguingly frightening.....

                                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                                            Can't be any more frightening than the last place that was there.

                                                        2. Not sure if this has been noted yet, but I saw a temporary sign for Bob's Steak & Chop House downtown walking back from lunch today. Best I can remember it was at 3rd and Lavaca, in the vacant building next to the Ginger Man. I googled it and didn't find any related news, but I assume it's the newest location for the Dallas institution of the same name?

                                                          1. Saw a sign for Royal Indian (I think!) that said North and South Cuisine at the old Estancia location close to Brodie.

                                                            1. Last time I was at Pho Saigon in Chinatown Village, I asked the lady who is always there (owner? manager?) if they'd be opening a South location any time soon. She said it was already in the works, but didn't indicate where. I think she said spring/summer.

                                                              1. rita's ice custard happiness opened up in the HEB plaza at parmer and mcneil.
                                                                they're doing free regular-sized ices until monday.
                                                                tuesday is half-off, then regular-priced after.

                                                                i got a pear-flavored. it was very sweet, and refreshing.
                                                                they also had some sugar-free flavors, for anyone wanting that.
                                                                it's a chain, so don't expect artisan blah blah blah, but it's good for what it is.

                                                                1. Dim sum place going in the strip mall by IKEA. Didn't get a look at the whole name and cannot find anything online. It is going in the strip with Mighty Fine, Which Wich and Razoos. The sign is up but it looked like construction was going on inside.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: missmitzi

                                                                    Just drove by and the Dim Sum place is open near IKEA. Will try to go there soon!

                                                                    1. re: raisncains

                                                                      Googled and came up with Ivy's Deli. It's a second restaurant opened up by the folks on Spicewood Springs:


                                                                  2. according to face book, michi opens tomorrow.
                                                                    they are a tonkotsu ramen trailer.
                                                                    the intro menu sounds intriguing!
                                                                    it's in the newish north austin trailer yard.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                      Thanks for your interest in Michi Ramen!

                                                                      We had our opening this weekend and, starting tomorrow, will be open regularly for lunch and dinner. Please check our FB, Yelp or website for times.

                                                                      We are located in The NATY (I initially thought you wrote "Jewish" haha) located near 183 and Lamar in the same lot as Planet Fitness and Hobby Lobby.

                                                                    2. Southern Hospitality has set a date for the grand opening of their new location, and it's just 2 weeks away. According to their website, they will be open June 1st.

                                                                      With the new location come new operating hours - 11AM to 9PM. That's right, we can soon enjoy Southern Hospitality for dinner as well as lunch.

                                                                      From the website: "This spot is formerly 'Souper Salad' in Just off (I35) near Highland Mall and Galaxy 10 Movie Theater Behind The Burlington Coat Factory"

                                                                      1. I saw today where Elevation burger is going in where the old Terra burger on the 183 feeder road and Braker was. Though i liked Elevation better than Terra, i think they cater to about the same target customer group. It will be interesting to see if it does any better.
                                                                        wonder if the other one on Jollyville will stay.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                          I hope the Jollyville one stays. That Terra burger location is dreadful; the parking lot is too small and I doubt a model like Elevation's can pump out burgers fast enough to keep the drive-thru line off the feeder.

                                                                          1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                            Although I never liked either one, I actually thought Terra Burger was somewhat better. I won't be going to the new or the old location.

                                                                            1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                              i never understood why they tried to squeeze a restaurant into that lot.
                                                                              is there a lot of traffic on the 183 surface road? yes.
                                                                              can people get in and out of there? h*ll, no.

                                                                            2. How Do You Roll is now open in the Plaza Volente shopping center at 620 and Anderson Mill. It's next to the Torchy's. They've apparently become quite the little franchise judging by their website.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: verily

                                                                                Went for lunch yesterday... edamame and a roll made my way... under $10... loved it.

                                                                                1. re: Rene

                                                                                  Ate there today and tried out their new rice bowls. Not bad but seemed less chirashi and more like a deconstructed sushi roll...meaning they used the same amount of filling but with more rice.

                                                                                  I notched there's another restaurant going inbetween called Verts. It's described as Berlin-inspired kebaps. Sounds intriguing.

                                                                                  1. re: verily

                                                                                    I realize now Verts has a few joints downtown. I wonder what's leading all these local chains to the hinterlands...

                                                                                    1. re: verily

                                                                                      Well, probably all of us hungry folks up here in the hinterlands. I hear they are opening up a Torchy's somewhere near 1890 Ranch as well.