Archive for February, 2011

The first issue that needs to be addressed is price. Minetta Tavern’s “Black Label Burger” costs $26. So let me start by saying this: Not unreasonable.


It has occurred to me that I write about New York restaurants more than anything else on this blog. “Then why not move to New York?” you ask. Well, friends, burgers cost $26 in New York and that’s ridiculous.

You see, I love burgers. I eat them a lot. And if I moved to New York, there would be no money left for the rent. That’s why I’ve chosen not to live there. (Not just because of the burgers, but you get my point.) Still, when visiting New York, you go for it. You order the $15 cocktail for crying out loud. And next to the $15 cocktail, what’s $26 for a burger? You can’t live on cocktails, as far as I can tell.

Anyway, the more significant cost of eating at Minetta Tavern is elbowing your way to the bar. I recently found my way to a seat with my friends Rob and Peri. Here was the view from our perch amid the mêlée.



Here, I catch Peri making a classic Peri face.


We started off with a truckload of bone marrow.


And look at this magnificent burger.


I’d been looking forward to this burger for quite a while. Jeff can’t stop yammering about it, so I figured there must be something to it. And was it good? Yes, it was great. Was it worth the stress of warring for a seat at the bar? Absolutely.

But was it one of the best burgers I’ve ever had? Not quite. Here’s the deal, folks: I like cheap burgers. I’ve tried plenty of the fancy ones, and apart from this one, I always seem to prefer the little guys. I’m not opposed to the idea of a $26 burger. It’s just that if given the choice, I’d probably for go for a double from P Terry’sDan’s, or Billy’s over anything from a proper restaurant.

So, having experienced the $26 burger, I’m feeling even better about heading back to Austin and eating a week’s worth of burgers for the price of just that one.


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And Here Is A Photo of…

…an empty pool in New York at night.

NYC empty pool

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Taco More

When we walked into Taco More, the phrase “stranger in a strange land” popped into my head. Located in a nondescript stretch of North Austin, Taco More is just what it sounds like: a basic taco joint. But it’s also the kind of place where English might not get you very far. Luckily, the staff there couldn’t have been friendlier.

This was the only place we’ve ever been to where the staff asked us (in a kind, curious sort of way) why we were taking pictures. Maybe they don’t get that too often, which is too bad because the tacos are bona fide.

We got a few different ones to share. With tacos, I’ve found that the difference between good and great is subtle. Whatever the difference is–fresh ingredients, just the right amount of onion and cilantro–these guys have got it. I can’t remember what each of the ones below is, but I can tell you that there was some beef tongue involved, and it was every bit as tasty as tongue should be.

The chicken taco, which is something that would usually bore or depress me, actually had some taste to it. I guess chicken doesn’t have to be dry and awful.

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That seems to be the recurring question we get asked by people who visit us from out of town or come over for dinner. I believe it was thrown out there when we served some friends this apple pie a few weeks ago, another gem from Southern Pies.


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Surprise Tacos!

As if by magic, a taco truck appeared in front of our house yesterday. I’m not going to try to explain it. I’m just going to assume that I have magical powers and whenever I will it, I can make tacos appear.

Actually, it was two tacos and two fried taco-like things. Not sure what you call them, but they hit the spot.

This one was filled with spicy pork.

Barbacoa and chicharron (fried pork skin).

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