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recent Austin eats

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Restaurants & Bars 4

recent Austin eats

Greg Spence | Oct 28, 2002 05:11 PM

Today, Carter's mention of Gene's created a craving that had to be filled. I'm happy to report that my hot roast beef poboy was it's same old sloppy delicious self. It's roast beef with gravy, mayo, lettuce, tomato and pickle. The gravy is what draws me in. It has that vaguely chemical pre-fabricated taste that reminds me of school cafeteria gravy. Don't be put off by this; it's comforting in a way you never thought gravy could be. Just so you know I'm not insane, mine seems to be a widely shared opinion.

A recent dinner at Kenichi was very interesting. The sushui pieces were very fresh and well prepared but the selection was quite small and the fish available was nothing exciting. Definitely not the place for a broad sushi experience. What was very compelling was a miso marinated cod. The fish is marinated in miso for 72 hours and then broiled. The result is beautifully caramelized, perfectly moist and flaky and has a mouth filling succulence I have never experienced in a white fish. I'll be back for more of this.

A Saturday night dinner at Lambert's disappointed despite the high praise I've heard given to the place. An appetizer of fried calamari had absolutely perfect texture and a clean, greaseless, oceanic flavor. Then, we dipped into the accompanying mayonaise, which was incredibly, inedibly oversalted. The same was true of a "pan seared" garbanzo bean appetizer. It was well presented on plenty of pita wedges and had the tantilizing aroma of a mixture of indian spices, but it was inedibly over salted. A third appetizer of seasonal green chile con queso had little of the promised chile and was equivalent to the queso served in most Tex-Mex restaurants in town. Three fish entrees were overcooked; my salmon cured with smoked pecans was uncured but cooked to dry. The pecan topping was very good and the sides of whipped potato and haricot verts were good, certainly not special. A special of halibut was marred by overcooking and a grilled tuna, ordered medium rare was delivered medium well. One companion's lamb chops were perfect, certainly something I'd order in the future, grilled exactly to order in a generous portion and of distinct, not gamey, lamb flavor. One other companion had a pumkin sage soup which promised great things but delivered mostly garlic, to the point of overwhelming the subtle pumkin and sage flavors promised by the menu.

At the prices charged and with a long wait for a table, I'm not headed back to Lambert's soon.

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