Well Houston Chowhounds, the move is complete and I'm both missing Houston food and loving the new food in the Austin area.
The Vietnamese food in Austin is awful. I've been to almost every Vietnameseplace in Austin, including the Vietnamese restaurant everyone in Austin thinks is the best - Sunflower. None of them can hold a candle to almost any Vietnamese restaurant in Houston. Many of them do not serve Bac Luc Lac. Sunflower offers it, but with some kind of sauce on it and, God forbid, no watercress. Austin Chowhounds, do yourself a favor - head to Houston for the Vietnamese recs on this board. You will thank me.
The BBQ in the Hill Country is awesome. I ate BBQ for years in every known place in the greater Houston area. I will never eat BBQ in Houston again. I've had so much good BBQ here tht I feel like I'm on an Adkins diet. Smitty's in Lockhart, Luling City BBQ, and even Ironworks in Austin have all been top-notch. I think Art's Rib House is a little overrated and you have to endure some awful music at close range to enjoy the ribs. The Saltlick in Driftwood is the only place I have had substandard BBQ, but the place is in a nice setting.
If any of you Chowhounds from Houston want to try a unique place when in Austin, try that Macedonian restaurant on Rundberg (it's called Kebab House or something). Their goulash is incredible and they have dolmas with cabbage leaves instead of grape leaves. Wierd, but tasty, fusion of Greek and Eastern European. And it is a unique cultural experience.
Let me know if there are any more outlings in Houston this summer, or if I can tag along on an Austin outing to get to know you folks.
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