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 […]

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 […]

Hamachi Crudo at Homespun Kitchen and Bar

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

We had some excellent crudo last night as a course at a William Chris wine dinner at Homespun Kitchen and Bar. Unlike a preparation of fish for sashimi, crudo uses different spices and olive oil to actually create a layer that coats the fish. I’m not suggesting that crudo can approach the texture of a […]

Homespun Kitchen and Bar Tries Menu by Ballot

Posted by on Jul 25, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

Many restaurants try to come up with interesting promotions to attract customers. But Homespun Kitchen and Bar in Dripping Springs has a new one that’s worth looking at. Owners Jennifer and Randy decided to let customers vote on the top five dinners they’d like to see at the restaurant. Ballots were given to all patrons […]

The French Boulangerie: an Endangered Species?

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

Nowhere in the world is the art of making and consuming various styles of bread more indigenous to local culture than in France. The epicenter of this are the thousands of boulangeries or local bakeries that spread across the country. They make everything from traditional baguettes to the indispensable croissant. They have a history that […]

The Wise Guy Kitchen has Closed

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in Closings, News, Rob's Blog

The Wise Guy Kitchen, the 5th St. food truck with the usual dishes named after organized crime guys, has gone dark. I tried it once and found it to be OK. I grew up not far from NYC and had the opportunity to sample the grinders and hoagies from Brooklyn to Queens that Wise Guy […]

Austin Restaurant Manager Darryl Wittle Leaves Austin for Galveston

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

Perhaps the best restaurant general manager in the Austin area, Darryl Wittle is taking his inestimable talents to Galveston and helming a new steakhouse for foodie kingpin Paco Vargas. Wittle began his career in Austin as a server at the famous Basil’s and reached his peak during his stunning tenure with Fleming’s Steakhouse, first downtown […]

Man Vs. Food on the 4th of July

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in News, Rob's Blog

Somewhere a long time ago the first competitive eating contest was held. Maybe it was a bunch of kids eating cherry pies or watermelons. But however murky the origins of this “sport” may be, one of the more bizarre events is the Nathan’s Hot Dog Challenge held at Coney Island every forth of July. The […]

Is the Owner Operated Restaurant an Endangered Species?

Posted by on Apr 17, 2017 in Rob's Blog

We went to Dallas over the Easter holiday weekend to have brunch with our daughter. She lives near Plano in a lovely area called The Colony. We ate at a smallish chain restaurant near her apartment called Hash House a Go Go. The wait was well over an hour. The food was decent but the […]

Jackets Required? On Dressing Up and Dining Out in Laid Back Austin

Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Rob's Blog

Austin is the kind of town where the concept of “laid back” is ingrained into the daily fabric of life. The sartorial casualness that kind of flows from the campuses, tech firms and home offices resonates outward and has created a minimalist style of dining attire here – even at the fine dining establishments – […]

Why Restaurants Should Avoid Grand Openings

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in Rob's Blog

We’ve had over 100 new restaurants open in the past year in the greater Austin area. And in keeping with what many restaurants see as an obligation most had some kind of grand opening. And most of those, in all likelihood, did not go well. Opening a new restaurant and making sure all cylinders are […]

Jew Boy Burger Truck Moving from Burnet to the E 6th Food Trailer Court.

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 in Rob's Blog

Mo Pittle announced today that he is about to move his iconic Jew Boy Burgers truck from Burnet to the trailer court at 1606 E 6th. Hours will be 11-2 and 5-8 Tuesday thru Saturday. The El Paso native turned Austinite is a gregarious sort and has already developed a following. We’ll keep you posted […]

Load More