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 […]

Austin Restaurant Attire

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Rob's Blog

Austin has a reputation as a city where if a guy puts on a long sleeved shirt for dinner, he’s said to be dressing up. Only one restaurant in the city (Restaurant Jezebel) has a formal dress code and they’ve only got eight tables. I don’t care to wear a jacket and tie when I […]

Tipping on Wine: The Argument Rages On

Posted by on Mar 3, 2014 in Rob's Blog

I have been writing for this web site for 12 years and one constant thread of disagreement among area foodies is whether or not or how much to tip on wine when wine represents a larger part of the total bill than the food. It’s been simple for me. I’ll tip 20% on the total […]

Dressing Sexy for Valentine’s Day???

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in Rob's Blog

Among all the important things we need to worry about, 1,000 women were asked about how they planned to dress for Valentine’s dinner. The issue seemed to be sexy vs. demure. Women were asked how much cleavage they planned to expose, and 53% said at least 4-5 inches. 22% said 2-4 inches, while 21% said […]

A Memorable New England Christmas Dinner

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Rob's Blog

Yes, even restaurant critics dine at home occasionally, and one of the special days for our family has been Christmas. Since we were brought up in CT, we carried many New England traditions with us for Christmas dining. Stuffing made with oysters instead of cornbread, baked or steamed Maine lobsters instead of turkey, and of […]

Smoke’n Hops BBQ on 290 Offers Up Some Creative Dishes

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Rob's Blog

Most BBQ joints, when they deviate from the norm, usually do so by adding a whole lot more sides like, say, Pok-e-Jo’s. (And their sides are terrific.) But the new place out on 290 just north of Dripping Springs called Smoke’n Hops has taken ‘cue creativity a step farther. First you have to try the […]

Unmitigated Extravagance and Big Bucks for Austin at F1 Weekend

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Rob's Blog

I’m not and have never been a fan of any kind of auto racing, be it Nascar, The Indy 500, Formula 1 or Demolition Derby. Hence, I was not excited when the breathless announcement was made several years ago that Austin would play host to a Formula 1 race. But the sheer glut of excess […]

Why Most Chefs Start So Young

Posted by on Nov 4, 2013 in Rob's Blog

I was watching some food talk show the other night while drifting off to sleep. Last thing I remember was hearing Bobby Flay, nationally known restaurateur, Iron Chef, and host of about 39 shows on the Food Channel acknowledge that he had dropped out of school in 10th grade. Was I surprised that the multimillionaire […]

Could We Have Reached the Saturation Point in Austin Fine Dining?

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Rob's Blog

I can’t remember a time in the past 12 years when I’ve heard so many fine dining owners complain about a slow summer that didn’t immediately turn around when schools got back in session. Could it be that we’ve reached Austin’s limit to accommodate more fine dining places? The first thing that restaurateurs have to […]

Groupon Copywriters Push the Envelope of Mediocrity

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Rob's Blog

As I rule, I don’t pay much attention to the accompanying verbiage on Groupon restaurant deals. In fact I don’t pay much attention to the popular discount offers at all. But my wife called my attention to one last week that was simply too good to ignore. (The restaurant is a good one but for […]

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