Valentine’s Day Dining 2015

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in News, Restaurant Events

Welcome to the Dining Out with Rob Balon’s special Valentine’s Day page. This is, without question, the most popular dining out day of the year for couples. We post all special menus sent to us, and continue to post updates as we receive them. But be sure to book early. The night’s going to be […]

Podcast: Michael Freid and Noah Polk of East Side Pies

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Podcasts

  Michael Freid and Noah Polk had a fortuitous meeting some years ago at a local coffee shop, became friends, and in 2006 opened their first East Side Pies location on Rosewood. Today, they have three stores, and a bunch of specialty pies including one of my favorites, the Little Piggy. They pioneered the downtown/East […]

Another Austin Original: Margarito Maldonado

Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Cuisine, Fascinating People, News, Rob On Cuisine

Think about how many restaurants in Austin have opened within the past 10 years. Then, regrettably think about all of those that have closed in the same time span (way more than you might think). So when you reach the point when your place is celebrating a 10th anniversary, you have really accomplished something. Margarito […]

Podcast: Elmar Prambs

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Podcasts

  Elmar Prambs, the only Exec Chef the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin has known since it opened in 1986 joins us for this week’s podcast. Prambs began his career with a three-year apprenticeship at a hotel in Germany. He moved on to resorts in London and Montreal, and then had a stint in Vancouver […]

An Austin Original: Freda Cheng

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Cuisine, Fascinating People, News, Rob On Cuisine

I was having lunch at Chinatown Bee Caves the other day when I ran into an elegantly dressed elderly Asian woman with a friendly yet dignified air about her. We shook hands and I asked for her daughter. “What else new?” she said. “She working.” The woman was Freda Cheng’s mother, matriarch of the Cheng […]

An old Austin Food Year Passes, and a New One Awaits!

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Cuisine, News, Rob On Cuisine

It is hard to put the enormous changes in the Austin food scene over the past year into perspective; and harder still to anticipate what impact the 2015 openings will bring. Bottom line, we are as on point food-wise as I’ve ever seen us. And it makes my job all the more pleasurable. While we […]

Podcast: John Cho of Cho Sushi

Posted by on Dec 23, 2014 in Podcasts

  John and David Cho have given the foodies of the Lakeway and Steiner Ranch communities some genuine options with regard to great sushi and sashimi. David is the back of the house while John handles the front. They make a great team. John was comfortably settled in NYC working for a tech firm when […]

Rob’s Christmas and New Year’s Dining Options 2014

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Cuisine, News, Restaurant Events, Rob On Cuisine

For your convenience, we’ll be compiling many recommended restaurants’ hours of operation for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Enjoy, and don’t forget to generously tip your servers over the holiday season. We’ll be updating this list as we approach the holidays, so check back with us daily for more […]

Podcast: Steve Adler

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 in Podcasts

  Mayor-Elect Steve Adler joins us this week to discuss the permitting, licensing, and other infrastructure issues that confront and often cripple the hospitality industry (restaurants, bars, hotels, clubs, et al.) that comprise the LARGEST number of workers in central Texas (far larger than IT). Unbeknownst to many, the city is actually protected by a […]

Hollywood Comes to Austin for Opening of Fat Sal’s

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in News, Restaurant Events

I must admit to being a huge fan of Entourage, the long-running HBO comedy about a band of buddies playing or trying to play the Hollywood game. But when Jerry “Turtle” Ferrara and his former East Coast pal Sal Capik (who turned out to be my High Pointe neighbor) decided that LA needed some decent […]

Rob’s Favorite Tex Mex Places

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Cuisine, News, Rob On Cuisine

When I first came to Austin over 30 years ago, I had never heard of Tex Mex. But I was a fast learner, and soon we had become addicted to the unique flavors of true Tex Mex. Your cardiologist may not approve, but I look at this as a guilty pleasure more than worthy of […]

Podcast: Freda Cheng of Freda’s Seafood Grille

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Podcasts

  Freda Cheng is a proud member of one of Austin’s family restaurant dynasties. As proprietor of Freda’s Seafood Grille, she has teamed with brother Ronald Cheng (Chinatown) to bring the River city a diverse array of excellent food. It’s hard not to like Freda. Her bubbling and energetic personality have endeared her to many […]

Thanksgiving 2014 Dining Recommendations

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Cuisine, News, Restaurant Events, Rob On Cuisine

Next to Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving is Austin’s other favorite dining out day. And as always, we’re posting a list of restaurants that will be open for Thanksgiving and contact information for those restaurants. We’ll also be updating our list with Thanksgiving menus as they come in. Book your reservations early: whether it’s for a higher […]

Big Reds and Bubbles: What You Missed

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Cuisine, News, Wine & Spirits

The Driskill was buzzing last Thursday night as the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas staged their 12th annual fundraiser Big Reds and Bubbles. Guests were noshing and sipping a variety of restaurant food offerings, and of course some wonderful Big Reds. A particular favorite was from Angelo Sassetti Pertimali: a 2008 Brunello di Montalcino […]

Podcast: Mitch Ellengold of Rudy’s Bar-B-Q

Posted by on Nov 8, 2014 in Podcasts

  Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the first Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q on Research opened its doors. Three friends from the insurance business, including Ken Schiller and our guest for today Mitch Ellengold, were behind the initial collaboration with Phil Romano and the acquisition of the greater Austin territory. The rest, […]

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