It seems like this board has gone pretty silent in the last month or so. Maybe we have all been busy, maybe we haven't been eating out, or maybe we haven't been writing up the places to which we've been. Myself, I belong in the last category.
Anyway below are my takes on a couple of (Austin) places I've been in the last month or two, plus some places I've been wanting to try. Where/what has everyone else been eating? Any comments on the places I've been or want to go?
One pretty Saturday morning recently, I was out and about on North Lamar and I saw the Ba Le had 4-5 cars outside of it. The Ba Le is one of those places I've seen before but never ventured inside. This time, however, I just had to stop in and see what why the place had such a crowd for 10 am. It's a small Vietnamese place in the middle of a parking lot. The inside had about 10 tables and it appeared that you order at the counter. The menu seemed to have you typical pho, bun, and bahn (I think I've got the right spelling, I mean the sandwich). I ordered a pork bahn to go for $2. I ate it about 10 minutes later and it was good, but not great. The French bread was a little tough. I prefer the sandwiches at Tam Deli & Cafe better. Their French bread always seem really fresh to me.
Speaking of Tam's, I'm getting to the point where I eat there 2 to 3 times a month. It may be my favorite restaurant in Austin currently, I love their sandwhiches, appetizers, and desserts especially. One further Vietnamese note, I finally visited Sunflower Cafe on Travis L.'s highly recommended advice. I was there for lunch and I think the lunch menu is more limited than the dinner menu. Anyway, I had an excellent bowl of noodles with pork. Defintely good stuff-- great advice from this board.
I'm falling for Satay again. It's one of those places that I frequent regularly, tire of, and then start going to again. I think I tire of it because it seems like most of the dishes begin to taste too similar. Perhaps it's because they seem to use the same 3-4 dominant sauces (available for sale in bottles) in many of their dishes. Still, the place has some really great entrees and soups, and if you are the mood for SW Asia, it's the place to go in Austin. My favorite dish is their catfish with the spicy green sauce grilled in the bannana leaf. Yummy.
Across the way from Satay, is a new Perisan place called Alaborz. I've only been there once for their lunch buffet, but I liked what I had. Persian food is a new experience, so I can't vouch for it's authenticity but I enjoyed most of the items tried-- especially the eggplant stew. My next visit will hopefully be for dinner to eat some of their specials.
One final note is about Madam Mam's-- yes, another Asian place, I guess that has been my mood of late. It's a Thai place on the Drag and the guy in the Chronicle absolutely raves about it. It is quite good, but unfortunately the hassle of finding parking down by UT usually overtakes my desire of their excellent curries.
Here are a couple of places I've been wanting to try. Has anyone been to any of these places?
Mr. Earl's BBQ, down south on William Cannon. There was a brief mention of it somewhere that it has "Kansas City style" 'cue. I've never been to KC, so I thought I'd give it a shot.
Ms B. at Spicewood Springs and Mesa. I live within walking distant of this Cajun/Creole place but for a while I didn't even know it existed. I'll probably be trying it out sometime in the next week or so, and would appreciate any advice on what to eat.
Dona Emilias E 7th St. (I think). A Columbian place that I've seen advertisements for in the Chronicle. It sounds intriguing and I hope to check it out soon.
That's it for now. Hopefully we can get a thread started discussing Austin restaurants that have been barely mentioned on this board...