Behind the Scenes at L’Oca d’Oro

Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

Chef Fiore Tedesco of L’Oca d’Oro You don’t often find an Exec chef and co-owner of an Italian restaurant who started college on a tennis scholarship at Hofstra. Nor does he list a three-year stint at Franklin BBQ on his resume. But Fiore Tedesco had always wanted to have an Italian restaurant, and after a […]

The Oasis Celebrates 35th Anniversary on October 6th

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

Hard to believe that 35 years (actually more) have gone by since Beau Theriot found a tract of land overlooking Lake Travis and fell in love with it. He opened the first Oasis there in 1982. The rest of the story is the stuff of local restaurant legend. And on October 6th the restaurant is […]

A First Look at Desano Pizzeria Napoletana

Posted by on Sep 16, 2017 in Italian, Pizza, Reviews, Rob's Blog

You wouldn’t expect a guy named Jimmy Fitzgerald to be running one of the hottest new pizza joints in town. But after a tasting at his new Desano Pizzeria Napoletana on Burnet, I must admit he’s on to something. In fact, the first moment I walked in I could tell by the smells wafting out […]

Ronald Cheng Restaurant Group to Donate 100% of Dining Sales to Rockport

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

Ronald Cheng of Chinatown and Street restaurants When most restaurants pitch in to help people after a tragedy or natural disaster they usually donate 10% of sales for a day. Very generous to be sure. But it pales in comparison to the three Chinatown restaurants and Street restaurant owned by the legendary Ronald Cheng. On […]

Jobell Cafe & Bistro in Wimberley Celebrates 3rd Anniversary

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

Jobell Cafe & Bistro is hosting their 3rd year anniversary celebration with a sneak preview of their upcoming Fall & Winter 2017 menu! Join them at the private event on September 18th for a tasting of their new fall/winter 2017 menu before its launch to the public. Executive Chef Mike Massaro and Sous Chef Tomas […]

Juliet Italian Kitchen Review

Posted by on Sep 4, 2017 in Reviews

We wrote in an earlier post the process by which Juliet Ristorante became Juliet Italian Kitchen. Today we’re going to dive a little deeper into the new dishes that resulted from that transition. A big step in the makeover was to steer the cuisine toward more traditional Italian fare. For the most part Chef Jacob […]

The Story Behind Big Cat BBQ

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in Barbecue, Rob's Blog

Sometimes the story behind a restaurant is as interesting or more so than the food itself. Such may be the case with Big Cat BBQ in Cedar Park and its founder James Jones. I first met James about a month ago when we joined KEYE meteorologist Chikage Windler and her family at Big Cat for […]

Austin Restaurants Catch a Break from Hurricane Harvey

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

I am appalled by the pictures of Houston and the unprecedented chaos and destruction that is going on there, not to mention LaGrange, Smithville and Bastrop closer to home. My heart goes out to those who have been rendered temporarily, or worse, permanently displaced by the ravages of Hurricane Harvey. In times like these heroes […]

Eldorado Cafe Opens at the former site of Alborz

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in News, Openings

We have a new Latin restaurant that just opened off Anderson Lane at the site of long-time Middle Eastern spot Alborz. Eldorado Cafe is the brainchild of Joel Fried and his wife Joanna. Fried has deep roots in the Austin food community that go back to Jean Pierre’s Upstairs (Jean now runs a pizza joint […]

Cisco’s is Back Under New Ownership

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in News, Openings, Rob's Blog

Rudy Cisneros, my old pal, would be happy to see that his beloved Tex-Mex joint on E 6th is now in good hands. Grandson Matt Cisneros is now the new owner with a team of partners and they have big plans: for the first time in the history of this iconic spot they’re going to […]

Homespun Kitchen and Bar in Dripping Springs Continues Tuesday Tradition with Chinese

Posted by on Aug 20, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

Some time ago Homespun Kitchen and Bar in Dripping Springs began handing out survey forms to its customers asking them about their favorite styles of cuisine. The idea was to take the results and create a series of Tuesday menus reflecting those choices. This is an ambitious task for a restaurant that primarily does New […]

Austin Pizza Wars 2017 Coming Soon

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

Dining Out with Rob Balon pioneered Pizza Wars 17 years ago when Austin had relatively few really decent pizza joints. But all that has changed. We now are blessed with a number of Upper East Coast (CT, NYC, JERSEY) and Italian spots, not to mention za from Detroit. So much so that our cup is […]

Rob Reviews Lunch at Jobell Café and Bistro

Posted by on Aug 13, 2017 in Reviews

After having had several memorable dinners at Jobell Café & Bistro on Highway 12 in Wimberley over the past year, I recently had a chance to finally try their lunch. Big question: what the hell took me so long? Jobell takes on an inviting glow as shafts of light from the noonday sun illuminate the […]

Juliet Italian Kitchen: The Dynamics of a Restaurant’s Mid Course Correction

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

  The restaurant business is enormously competitive. Typically, restaurants that are successful over the long haul face a variety of challenges, not the least of which is the challenge to realistically assess one’s own concept/operational plan and the decision to either change or augment that plan as necessary. Owner Dan Wilkins and Exec chef Jacob […]

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