One Saving Grace for Napa Valley in the Midst of the Wildfires

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

As the unprecedented wildfire roared through Napa Valley destroying many wineries and generations of history, there is some good news. Roughly 90% of this season’s grapes had been harvested at the time of the fire. While this glimpse of hope must be taken into context with the horrible loss of life and carnage, still it’s […]

In Memorium: We Mourn for the Victims in Las Vegas

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

Many Austin foodies have celebrated many great dinners at restaurants in Las Vegas. But last night’s horrific shootings cast a terrible pall over this normally vibrant city. Speaking for myself and all our readers, we offer our condolences to the families of the victims of this senseless act of violence and wish them Godspeed in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Burgerville To Open in Dripping Springs

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in News, Openings

Miles Frost, a long time player on the Austin restaurant scene is opening Burgerville in the Pig Pen Trailer Court on 290 in Dripping Springs. Miles had a great restaurant in Westlake with his Redbud Grille and he almost singlehandedly saved Smoke’n Hops on 290 when he took over as GM and started serving his […]

Big Cat BBQ in Cedar Park Celebrates 2nd Anniversary on August 12

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

Lunch at Big Cat BBQ with KEYE-TV’s Chikage Windler and family. One thing that is critical to new restaurants is anniversaries. Each one, particularly the first three, is cause for celebration in the arduous restaurant biz. So Big Cat BBQ on 401 W Whitestone in Cedar Park is understandably pretty buzzed about their 2nd anniversary […]

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