Celebrity Sightings

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Rob's Blog

I was really into writing about celebrity sightings at Austin restaurants for some time, Then I guess ennui set in [probably due to the same celebs being sighted over and over] around 2012 and that part of our site kinda went dark. But it’s back and here are some of the latest sightings with some […]

Last minute Mother’s Day choices.

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Rob's Blog

It’s still not too late to choose a dining option for Mother’s Day. Here’s a quick list, many of which include members of our new Top 25. Trio Always the best brunch in Austin. Fonda San Miguel Consistently the best Mexican brunch in Austin. Dine at the Radisson. David Garrido and exec chef Mario work […]

Austin Wine and Food Festival Cancellation

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in Rob's Blog

For the first time in the 30-year history of the event the Austin Wine and Food Festival was cancelled this past weekend. That’s sad but sadder still to see how far this has strayed from its original roots. Ed and Susan Auler, founders of Fall Creek Winery had begun the Texas Hill Country Wine and […]

Whole Foods Cake Allegation

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Rob's Blog

It was Marie Antoinette that said: “let them eat cake!” Well an openly gay Austin pastor ordered a cake from the Lamar store several days ago. He wanted “Love Wins” written on it. The story goes that he was in a hurry, picked up and paid for the cake, and later noticed a three-letter homophobic […]

Austin Restaurants I Miss

Posted by on Apr 7, 2016 in Rob's Blog

I often ruminate on restaurants that have come and unfortunately gone in the 35 years I’ve lived in Austin. While I’ve only officially been talking and writing about restaurants since 1998 I’ve always been a foodie. So some of these go way back. La Vista at the Hyatt. Absolutely the best fajitas ever. Most nights […]

The Return of the Gonzo Gourmet Club

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Rob's Blog

During the earlier years of Dining Out with Rob Balon.com, I used to go out regularly for dinner with three of my guys friends: Auggie Garrido, Mike Konderla, and Hugh Lewis. One night on about our third bottle of Caymus Special Selection, one of us came up with the idea that our little group should […]

Austin: The Best City for…

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in Rob's Blog

Lately, it seems that Austin has won just about every national accolade possible for livability, business environment, music and lifestyle, entrepreneurship, housing, food trucks, and well, the list just goes on. Problem is, the more the country hears about how affordable housing is around here, the less affordable it actually becomes! Then I noticed that […]

Are Austinites Average Tippers?

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in Rob's Blog

According to an informal poll of local restaurant servers, Austin dinners are about average (20%) to somewhat below average on the tipping front. The poll was in no way scientific, but did bring up some interesting points. First, some of Austin’s best known and wealthiest business moguls are apparently basically crappy tippers. Again, this is […]

Not All Hospital Food Sucks

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Rob's Blog

I have viewed many a hospital meal over the years as I have accompanied my wife (many times) and other family members through a few somewhat longer stays. And I must admit that I was underwhelmed (to put it mildly) by the appearance and presentation of the food. The reviews from the patients who actually […]

Local DJs converge on Spec’s Deli at Arbor Walk for Colossal Burger Challenge

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Rob's Blog

I’ve hosted a lot of food and wine related events for charity over the years. But none were wilder than having to MC the challenge of 20 local DJs taking on the Spec’s Deli Colossal Burger at the Arbor Walk in support of the Food Bank. The competition was simple. Be the first to eat […]

Kirk Watson Wants to Blow the Lid off Lobbyist Wining and Dining of Legislators

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Rob's Blog

I’ve known many downtown restaurateurs who literally planned their budgets around each legislative session. Why? Because they could count on a jump in sales as lobbyists wined and dined all too willing legislators. And the beauty of the system was that the $114 spending cap per lobbyist before names of legislators had to be reported […]

Inside the Mind of Elmar Prambs

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Rob's Blog

I’m delighted that we began our Podcasts this year. It’s given our readers a chance to get a more in-depth look at interesting people in the Austin restaurant community. And I’ve learned a lot as well. Consider this week’s Podcast with Elmar Prambs, the Executive Chef of Trio at the Four Seasons Hotel. With 37 […]

Building a Podcast: Adventures in Technology

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in Rob's Blog

I’d always wanted to have a podcast on our website. A place where we could have complete control to conduct in-depth interviews with fascinating people in the central Texas hospitality/restaurant community. Be careful what you wish for. After some serious searching, I purchased the PRO FX8 board from a company in Oregon. It had four […]

Rob Commits a Take Out Faux Pas

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Rob's Blog

In my line of work, something like this is bound to happen. In fact, it’s happened more than once. Tried out a newish pizza joint the other night: 360 Pizza at 2222 and 360.. The pizzas were excellent, especially the Pennybacker with artisan pepperoni. It was a very well made pie. Of course we couldn’t […]

Ronald Cheng’s Impressive Comeback

Posted by on Jun 2, 2014 in Rob's Blog

I’ve known Ronald Cheng and admired his work for over thirty years, since he and former wife Linda began the original Chinatown on Bee Caves Road in Rollingwood. Ronald almost single-handedly raised the bar for Chinese cuisine in Austin. No more #6 with egg rolls and fried rice on his menu. You could sample food […]

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