Aug 222010
 

I have finally wrapped up all of my mini-reviews of Austin, TX.  Yay! As much as I love Austin and the wonderful restaurants they have there, I am happy to be back in the Twin Cities Area and look forward to posting new, local reviews this upcoming week. Thanks for your patience and understanding that I only posted reviews from Austin, TX, while I worked there this summer.
Here is a recap of all the restaurants I reviewed in Austin 2009-10

2010

2009

Aug 222010
 

**This is a Mini Review while working in Austin, TX this summer**

Cuisine: Burgers, Shakes

Addresses:

10515 North Mo-Pac Expressway, Austin, TX‎ –       (512) 524-2400‎

201 University Oaks Blvd #1380  Round Rock, TX 78665       (512) 381-3310

5601 Brodie Ln #1300 Sunset Valley, TX 78745      (512) 735-2800

Links: MIghty Fine Burgers Website

MIghty Fine Burgers ~ Austin, TXMIghty Fine Burgers ~ Austin, TX

Atmosphere: Mighty Fine offers counter-service so the restaurant is designed to lead you to the ordering line upon entering.

Counter Service @ Mighty Fine Burgers ~ Austin, TX
Counter Service @ Mighty Fine Burgers ~ Austin, TX

The large space is open, with long picnic tables arranged in rows for family-style seating.

Inside Mighty Fine ~ Austin, TX
Inside Mighty Fine ~ Austin, TX

There is also a covered outdoor eating area, adjacent to the entrance.

Outdoor Eating Area @ Mighty Fine ~ Austin, TX
Outdoor Eating Area @ Mighty Fine ~ Austin, TX

What I ordered: I had the 1/4 lb Burger, Fresh Cut Crinkle Fries and a Strawberry Shake.  Mighty Fine prides itself upon their fresh, ground on-site beef that is formed into patties by hand.  The burger was very good, its freshness apparent (juicy but not greasy).  The 1/4lb burger was just the right amount for me when combined with the fries and shake, otherwise I would’ve ordered the 1/2lb.  The fries were awesome; fresh, crinkle cut and fried in peanut oil.  The strawberry shake was made with Blue Bell ice cream and strawberry puree sauce.  It was very good however I would love for a Malt option.  I love strawberry malts and couldn’t find any place in Austin that served them.  (I didn’t look real hard though)

Burger, Fries and Shake @ Mighty Fine Burgers ~ Austin, TX
Burger, Fries and Shake @ Mighty Fine Burgers ~ Austin, TX

Overall Impression: These are some Mighty Fine Burgers!

Mighty Fine Burgers on Urbanspoon

Aug 212010
 

**This is a Mini Review while working in Austin, TX this summer**

Cuisine: American, Steak

Addresses:

1101 South Mo-Pac   AUSTIN   TX, 78746   (512 ) 330-0030

6007 North IH 35    AUSTIN   TX, 78723   (512 ) 451-6555

5510 S. IH 35 Building C   AUSTIN   TX, 78745  (512 ) 442-6448

14010 N. US Hwy 183, Bldng. B    AUSTIN   TX, 78717  ( 512) 258-3733

Links: Texas Land & Cattle Website

Outside Texas Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX
Outside Texas Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX

What we ate: We started with the complimentary loaf of bread, served hot from the oven.  It was soft and warm inside with a beautiful golden brown crust.

Bread & Butter @ Texas Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX
Bread & Butter @ Texas Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX

I also grabbed a Frozen Margarita at the Bar during Happy Hour (happy hour specials are good only at the bar).  This was a pretty big drink, served in a tall, frosted glass.  Very tart and strong, took me awhile to drink it all.

Margarita @ Texas Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX
Margarita @ Texas Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX

We ordered the Fried Jalapenos appetizer, which were thick slices of jalapenos battered and fried then topped with bacon pieces and melted cheddar cheese. These reminded me a lot of potato skins but with jalapeno instead of potato.  These were tasty and crispy and only slightly spicy, especially when dipped in the ranch that is served with them.  Excellent choice!

Fried Jalapenos @ Texas Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX
Fried Jalapenos @ Texas Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX

There was no doubt that I would get my usual steak, the Ribeye.  I ordered the smaller 12 oz, medium.  Very good steak!  It was char-grilled, tender and juicy.  I never eat the fat on a steak but love the flavor it gives it.  I also eat horseradish with my steak because I love the spicy sinus-clearing sensation that it gives me and think it really goes well with beef.  I had my choice of potato and got the loaded baked.  Oh, I love steak and potatoes!

Ribeye and Loaded Baked Potato @ TX Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX
Ribeye and Loaded Baked Potato @ TX Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX

I also got this little cup of chili that didn’t excite me very much.

Chili @ Texas Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX
Chili @ Texas Land & Cattle ~ Austin, TX

Two of my companions ordered the Smoked Sirloin wrapped with Bacon ,one with Baked Potato and one with Sweet Potato.  I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I had never seen a baked sweet potato until this moment.  It was slit open and loaded with butter and brown sugar.  One bite had me wishing I had ordered it too, I loved the sweetness of it.

Bacon Wrapped Sirloin @ TX Land & Cattle
Bacon Wrapped Sirloin @ TX Land & Cattle

Overall Impression: We had really good service and our steaks were also very good and  reasonably priced.  I don’t think you could go wrong at Texas Land and Cattle (Unless you;re a vegetarian!)

Texas Land & Cattle Company on Urbanspoon

Aug 212010
 

**This is a Mini Review while working in Austin, TX this summer**

Cuisine: American, Mexican,

Address: 3825 Lake Austin Blvd Austin, TX 78703  (512) 476-4852

Links: Hula Hut Website

Atmosphere: Hula Hut is located on Lake Austin, just west of downtown.  Great views of the lake and the dam!  Very fun outdoor seating as well as seating indoors.

Neon Sign @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX

Neon Sign @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX

Pier @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX
Pier @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX

Hula Hut Deck ~ Austin, TX
Hula Hut Deck ~ Austin, TXKristi Sauer

Outside Seating @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX
Outside Seating @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX

What we ordered: My companion and I helped ourself to the complimentary Chips & Salsa bar.  Hula Hut (owned by Chuy’s) has fresh homemade salsa that is so good! Chunky, fresh and definitely spicy.  They also have the same wonderful Jalapeno ranch dip that Chuy’s has.  I love it!

Chips & Salsa @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TXpsd
Chips & Salsa @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX

It was a very hot night and we could only get immediate seating at the back outdoor bar, so I ordered a frozen margarita to help me keep cool ;)   My selection tonight was a combo of frozen lime/frozen mango.  I don’t know if there was even any tequila in this drink, but it sure was a sweet treat!

Mango & Lime Frozen Margarita @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX
Mango & Lime Frozen Margarita @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX

My companion ordered a Bloody Mary which also looked very refreshing.

Bloody Mary @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX
Bloody Mary @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX

I had such a great experience with the fish tacos when I visited the Hula Hut last summer, so I ordered the same thing again.  The fish was still a grilled white fish (tilapia?) and just as good as last year, however there was only half a fillet in each taco, rather than a full fillet like it used to be.  Extra delicious and flavorful with creamy jalapeno dip and fresh salsa

Fish Tacos @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX
Fish Tacos @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX

My companion ordered the Fried Mahi Mahi, served with salad and Mango Salsa.  I thought the plate looked wonderful.  My companion said the fish was good but had obviously been frozen, instead of fresh.

Mahi Mahi @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX
Mahi Mahi @ Hula Hut ~ Austin, TX

Overall Impression: Hula Hut is such a fun place to visit! Great place for a family dinner, get together with friends, or a place to hang by yourself.  Be prepared to wait awhile, Hula Hut is always busy! Yummy frozen margaritas!
Hula Hut on Urbanspoon

Aug 212010
 

**This is a Mini Review while working in Austin, TX this summer**

Cuisine: Italian, Pizza

Addresses:

1209 Red River St  Austin, TX  78701     (512) 477-7006

10710 Research Blvd   Austin, TX 78759     (512)345-6181

9911 Brodie Ln   Austin, TX 78748    (512) 292-3939

Links: Brick Oven Website

Brick Oven ~ Austin, TX
Brick Oven ~ Austin, TX

Atmosphere: The Research Blvd location is located at the far end of a strip mall, with a large open space inside.  There are many tables throughout the space, as well as a few booths along the wall of windows.  The smell of the Brick Oven is very inviting, hope you bring your appetite!

Inside Brick Oven ~ Austin, TX
Inside Brick Oven ~ Austin, TX
The Research Blvd location also has a really cute patio area….

Terrace @ Brick Oven ~ Austin, TX
Terrace @ Brick Oven ~ Austin, TX

What we ordered: My companion and I started with the Artichoke Spinach Dip.  This heaping, creamy concoction is Alfredo based, with pieces of spinach and artichoke, and other cheeses blended in.  So yummy! It was served with three large slices of thick, toasted garlic bread for dipping.  I had to show restraint or I would’ve eaten the whole thing to myself!

Spinach Artichoke Dip @ Brick Oven ~ Austion, TX
Spinach Artichoke Dip @ Brick Oven ~ Austion, TX

I really wanted Pizza and had many options to choose from, but my eye caught the Cook’s Spicy Special.  I was really hungry so I ordered the 11″ pizza instead of the 8″ individual size, thinking I could eat it all.  The Spicy Special was covered with mozzarella and Romano cheeses, then loaded with Pepperoni, Canadian Bacon, Spiced Beef, Onion, Green Peppers, Fresh Garlic, Jalapenos and Roma tomatoes.  The pizza was very good, definitely nothing boring about it!  I enjoyed the crispy bottom of the pizza with all the spicy ingredients but  I prefer my pizza well-done on top and it wasn’t as crispy as I like it.  Regardless, I still liked it a lot.  The medium pizza was too much for me and once again, my eyes were bigger than my stomach.  After eating the appetizer, I was only able to eat two pieces of this fabulous pizza.

Spicy Pizza @ Brick Oven ~ Austin, TX
Spicy Pizza @ Brick Oven ~ Austin, TX

My companion ordered the Fettuccine in Creamy Pesto Sauce with Chicken.  This was a large order of pasta tossed in a hefty amount of the delicious creamy pesto sauce and served with garlic toast.

Creamy Pesto Fettuccine @ Brick Oven ~ Austin, TX

Creamy Pesto Fettuccine @ Brick Oven ~ Austin, TX

Overall Impression: The food at Brick Oven Restaurant is very good and reasonably priced for the amount of food you get.  Our service was great as well.  Would definitely go back!
Brick Oven on Urbanspoon

Aug 212010
 

**This is a Mini Review while working in Austin, TX this summer**

Cuisine: Deli

Addresses:

259 West 3rd Street, Austin – (512) 472-9424

2348 Guadalupe Street, Austin – (512) 478-9424

1201 Barbara Jordan Boulevard, Austin – (512) 482-9424

4700 W Guadalupe St, Austin, Texas‎ – (512) 533-9424‎

1701 West Parmer Lane, Austin, TX‎ – (512) 339-9424

5000 W Slaughter Ln # 205, Austin, TX‎ -(512) 282-4300‎

13450 North Highway 183, Austin, TX‎ – (512) 250-9424

201 University Oaks Boulevard, Round Rock, TX‎ -(512) 238-9424‎

15424 FM 1825, Pflugerville, TX‎ -(512) 252-9424‎

Links: Which Wich? Website

Atmosphere: Which Wich is a sub shop that can be found at locations in many different states.  Since there are no locations in MN, I decided I would give it a try for lunch one day.  (My policy when I travel is that I will only try restaurants I can’t find at home). Unlike other sandwich chains, at Which Wich, you grab an empty brown bag and mark your order on the bag, then pay, then grab your sandwich bag when your order is ready and you can be on your way!

How to Order at Which Wich ~ Austin, TX

How to Order at Which Wich ~ Austin, TX

Sanwich Makers @ Which Wich ~ Austin, TX

Sanwich Makers @ Which Wich ~ Austin, TX

What we ordered: I saw that there was a Cuban Sandwich option, advertised with ham & pork.  I love Cuban sandwiches and wanted to give this one a try.  I wasn’t expecting anything fancy being that this was a chain restaurant and all, so it is a good thing I had lowered my expectations.  My Cuban sandwich consisted of deli ham and turkey.  Not sure why I received Turkey when Pork was advertised, but I was hungry so I ate it.  The sandwich was good, about what I expected.  I had ordered mine with spicy mayo and jalapenos in addition to mustard and pickle, so it had plenty of flavor and some kick to it as well.

Cuban @ Which Wich ~ Austin, TX

Cuban @ Which Wich ~ Austin, TX

My companion ordered the Turkey and Bacon sandwich, which was everything it claimed to be.

Turkey Bacon @ Which Wich ~ Austin, TX

Turkey Bacon @ Which Wich ~ Austin, TX

Overall Impression: I liked the ordering process because it was different than other sub shops, but I also think it takes more time to go through the line and get your sandwich this way.  Nothing too fancy but I liked the sandwich better than Subway and think it would be nice to have more sandwich shops like this in Minnesota.
Which Wich on Urbanspoon

Aug 202010
 

**This is a Mini Review while working in Austin, TX this summer**

Cuisine: Southwestern, Mexican

Address: 1110 W. 6th Street Austin, Texas 78703 (512) 478-5355

Links: Z Tejas Website

Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX

Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX

What we ordered: I started with a Frozen Margarita, which was both tart and sweet.  Very yummy.

Frozen Margarita @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX
Frozen Margarita @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX

I was disappointed to find out that Chips & Salsa are not complimentary at Z Tejas but I got over my disappointment minutes later when our server brought out two pans of complimentary Corn Bread, hot from the oven.  It was soft on the inside yet slightly crusty around the edges, baked to a golden brown.  Slightly sweet and even better with a small amount of soft butter.
Cornbread @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX
Cornbread @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX

I knew I wanted Enchiladas, but I couldn’t choose between the Barbacoa, Smoked Chicken or Seafood. The server said that the Barbacoa was by the far the best enchiladas, so I went with her suggestion.  I thought the enchiladas were really good.  The barbacoa was tender and seasoned, wrapped in corn tortillas and topped with a green chile sauce, queso fresco and shredded lettuce.  They were served with black beans and green chile rice.  The rice was very flavorful and had some smaller veggies mixed in; I thought it was a nice change from traditional Mexican rice.Barbicoa Enchiladas @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX

Barbacoa Enchiladas @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX

One of my companions ordered the Catfish Beignets.  These long “fingers” of catfish filet were seasoned and battered, then fried to a thick, crispy golden brown.  Served with a jalapeno tartar sauce.  Just add salsa and tortillas and you have yourself one awesome fish taco!

Catfish Beignets @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX
Catfish Beignets @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX

Another companion ordered the Grilled Shrimp Tostada Bites.  There were four tostadas topped with black beans, marinated grilled shrimp, fresh veggies (carrot, onion, avocado, peppers, cilantro) and queso fresco. These were delicious! They were slightly messy but had a lot of flavors and textures that went great together.

Shrimp Tostadas @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX
Shrimp Tostadas @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TXKristi Sauer

Another companion ordered the Tortilla Soup, which didn’t resemble most other Tortilla Soups that I have had.  It was thick and made with roasted chicken, avocado, tomato, onions, and cheeses.  Topped with blue corn tortilla strips.  Thick and zesty!

Tortilla Soup @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX

Tortilla Soup @ Z Tejas ~ Austin, TX

Overall Impression: Our service at Z Tejas was outstanding.  Our server was excellent and so was the food.  The Austin location is the original Z Tejas location, with sister restaurants in other Texas cities as well as Arizona.
Brick Oven on Urbanspoon

Aug 172010
 

**This is a Mini Review while working in Austin, TX this summer**

Cuisine: American

Address: 111 W. Crockett St.  San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 224-7625

Links: Hard Rock Cafe San Antonio Website

Atmosphere: The Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio is a three story restaurant located on the Riverwalk, with entrances at both Street Level (Crockett St) and from the Riverwalk.

Hard Rock Cafe ~ San Antonio, TX

Hard Rock Cafe ~ San Antonio, TX

The lower level is partially open to the second story, giving patrons from above a nice view of the dining area below.

Inside Hard Rock Cafe ~ San Antonio, TX

Inside Hard Rock Cafe ~ San Antonio, TX

As you walk down the stairs to the lower level, you can see this car (that appears to be straight out of a movie set) suspended from the ceiling.

Ceiling @ Hard Rock Cafe ~ San Antonio, TX

Ceiling @ Hard Rock Cafe ~ San Antonio, TX

What we ordered: One of my companions and I were really in the mood for a good burger and we knew we would find a good one at Hard Rock.  At $13.95 for a burger, we opted to share the Local Legendary Burger and upgrade to onion rings for an additional $3.  We were disappointed to see that our burger came with just five onion rings….. all for $17 before tax & tip!  As I was taking a photo of the burger for this review, the regional manager happened to walk by and ask if everything was alright.  I was honest and told him the burger looked magnificent but that I was expecting more onion rings for the upcharge.  He promptly returned with a heaping pile of hot onion rings to make things right.

The Local Legendary Burger is unique to each Hard Rock location.  In San Antonio it is topped with fried jalapenos and a jalapeno cream cheese.  Very good! It is spicy but not unbearable by any means.  I actually would have liked it even spicier, but then again I have a high spice tolerance.  The burger was at least 1/2lb of Angus beef and just big enough to comfortably share between two of us.

Local Legendary Burger @ Hard Rock Cafe ~ San Antonio, TX copy

Local Legendary Burger @ Hard Rock Cafe ~ San Antonio, TX

Another companion ordered the California Chicken Club Sandwich.  This was a large breast of chicken marinated and grilled, then topped with bacon, avocado, and tomato.  It was served with coleslaw and french fries.  Delicious, juicy, seasoned chicken with crispy thick bacon and fresh avocado? Yum!!  Hard Rock also toasts their buns which I love.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich @ Hard Rock Cafe ~ San Antonio, TX copy

Grilled Chicken Sandwich @ Hard Rock Cafe ~ San Antonio, TX

Overall Impression: The service at the San Antonio Hard Rock was excellent.There is no doubt that Hard Rock Cafe has very good food and that it is more expensive than many other comparable restaurants, but you’re paying for the atmosphere.  There is also a patio area overlooking the Riverwalk.
Hard Rock Cafe on Urbanspoon