Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Franklin Barbecue Burns

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

We take you away from Hurricane Harvey footage to bring you important Austin food news: Franklin’s Barbecue has suffered a fire.

One of the state’s most popular barbecue joints suffered a massive fire early Saturday morning, according to reports.

Franklin Barbecue, located in downtown Austin, has been a barbecue staple in Texas for years now and the destination for smoked meat lovers across the country.

Austin fire officials tweeted just before 6 a.m. Saturday that they had officials on the scene fighting a blaze at the location in the 900 block of East 11th. Within half an hour they reported that the situation at the two-story building had been controlled.

Here’s footage of the fire and firetrucks arriving:

Franklin is currently closed:

No reopening date estimate yet…

Austin Restaurant Notes

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

The Logbook of the Saturday Dining Conspiracy, the redheaded stepchild of the Dwight and Lawrence blogging empire, has shambled back to life this months with two bits of news:

  • Hudson’s on the Bend has closed.
  • A variety of other Austin restaurant openings and closings.
  • You might want to take a look if you like dining in Austin.

    Korean Girls Try American BBQ

    Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

    Here’s the sort of cross-cultural appreciation I can get behind:

    A tad long, but worth watching. Especially since they save the brisket and pork ribs until the end…

    The Salt Lick Sues The Salt Lick

    Friday, August 28th, 2015

    Dispatch from the BBQ Wars:

    Salt Lick BBQ is picking a legal fight with a Georgia company it claims is infringing on its name and reputation.

    In a lawsuit filed in Texas’ Western District U.S. Court, the Driftwood restaurant chain claims that the Salt Lick Sausage Co. of Cordele, Georgia, is violating the Central Texas company’s trademark by offering barbecue products for sale via its website, which is similar in nature to

    Salt Lick claims the Georgia company is using marks and iconography that are similar to its own, and that Salt Lick Sausage stands to benefit from the international reputation and publicity enjoyed by Salt Lick.

    The ironic thing, of course, is that the sausage is far and away the least impressive of the Driftwood Salt Lick’s signature meats.

    But here’s a revealing tidbit:

    “The Austin-area company generated more than $25 million in revenue and served more than 650,000 customers at its main restaurant in Driftwood.”

    Having been there fairly recently, I can believe it…

    Restaurant Review: Hill’s Cafe

    Monday, August 10th, 2015

    Hill’s Cafe
    700 S Congress Ave (Austin, 78745)
    (512) 851-9300

    Eaten at: July 25, 2015

    Restroom Rating: 1.5 (Guys, when one soap dispenser is broken, and the other is off the wall and lying on the sinktop, your men’s room needs attention….)

    Hill’s is one of those “Austin institutions” that has been around forever. We’ve eaten there before, and always thought they had good hamburgers and chicken fried steak.

    Since Armadillocon was over in the Omni Southpark this year, and since Hill’s Cafe is evidently under new management, we decided to give them a revisit. This time around we had…hamburgers and chicken-fried steak. And I thought my chicken-fried steak was very tasty indeed, probably top 5 in Austin tasty, and I heard no complaints from the hamburger contingent. I also thought the onion rings were pretty good. (You’ll have to check with Dwight on the BBQ.)

    They were out of banana pudding, and offered us some complimentary banana bread pudding instead. While I appreciate the gesture, the bread pudding just wasn’t very good, so you should probably avoid that.

    Our waiter was pretty attentive, and pretty much kept up with our refills and other requests.

    Overall the meal was more than satisfactory, offering up well-executed renditions of classic hearty Texas fare in filing portions at a fair price. Which makes me wonder why the place was half-deserted when we ate there.

    Hill’s is never going to be a favorite with the “3 small pieces of seared fish artfully arranged with sculpted garnishes on a drizzle glazed plate for $30” crowd. But if you’re looking for good down home Texas food, Hill’s Cafe amply fits the bill.

    Our Short Regional Nightmare May Be Approaching An End

    Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

    Blue Bell ice cream to begin test production this week.

    Hip hip, hooray! If all goes well, they expect to have product back on store shelves by Labor Day. Also, billionaire Sid Bass has made a “significant investment” in Blue Bell, which should help them survive until production is up and running again.

    Don’t Order the Chong Chin Chicken at Asia Cafe

    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

    For twenty years worth of the Saturday Dining Conspiracy, I’ve had good dishes and bad, but never before until this past Saturday had I just sent a dish back as completely inedible.

    The Chong Chin Chicken was described as seasoned with lots of hot peppers and peppercorns. I didn’t really see the peppercorns, but I definitely saw the hot peppers; it looked like they dumped a giant fistful into the dish. Though a chilehead, I’ve never had that many dry hot peppers in any dish before.

    That’s not why I sent the dish back.

    The first few bites of the dish seemed incredibly dry to me, and it tasted like they hadn’t used any sauce whatsoever, which was an odd choice.

    That’s not why I sent the dish back.

    After a few bites, my tongue’s taste receptors just seemed to shut off, ruining the taste of the dumplings Dwight and Andrew had ordered. Shortly thereafter I realized what the big problem was: it was the most salty dish I’d ever tasted in my life.

    An image of the chef preparing the dish.
    Normally my tolerance for salt in my meal is higher than most, but this was beyond the pale. I had my co-conspirators try it, and they all agreed it was inedible salty, even Andrew, who loves salt more than I do.

    A dish too salty for Andrew and too hot for me; it was like some sort of anti-miracle.

    So I sent it back and got some orange peel chicken instead, which was far more edible.

    I wouldn’t discourage you from going to Asia Cafe, but unless you look like this:

    The only diner who might enjoy the Chong Chin Chicken at Asia Cafe.
    I would strongly urge you not to order the Chong Chin Chicken…

    (Cross-posted to The Logbook of the Saturday Dining Conspiracy.)

    Blue Bell Recalls ALL Products

    Monday, April 20th, 2015

    “Brenham-based Blue Bell Creameries is pulling all of its products from the shelves after more ice cream samples tested positive for a life-threatening bacterial infection.”

    The voluntary decision, announced Monday, is the latest and most sweeping development to plague the Texas business icon since a recall last month, the first in the company’s 108-year history.

    It came after an “enhanced sampling program” that found half-gallon containers of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream produced on March 17 and March 27 contained the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, company officials said.

    Plus this:

    “The latest tests mean the company had several positive tests for Listeria in different plants.”

    Pretty hard to fathom a wide-spread outbreak in multiple plants. The only explanations I can think of:

  • A hardy new strain of Listeria is running wild in Texas cow herds
  • A mutant Listeria has evolved to survive pasteurization (a pretty scary thought)
  • There’s a problem somewhere in their additive supply chain
  • Sabotage/Eco-terrorism (PETA hates dairies).
  • Anyway, if you have any Blue Bell in your freezer, it’s probably safest to throw it out…

    Blue Bell Ice Cream Recall Notice

    Saturday, April 4th, 2015

    Well, this sucks if you were planning to buy or eat any Blue Bell ice cream today:

    Blue Bell Ice Cream has voluntarily suspended operations at an Oklahoma production facility that officials had previously connected to a foodborne illness linked to the deaths of three people, the company announced Friday.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people throw away any Blue Bell products made at the company’s plant in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, even if some has been eaten without becoming sick.

    Products made at the facility will have the letters “O,” “P,” “Q,” “R,” “S,” or “T” following the “code date” printed on the bottom of the package, according to the CDC.

    “We are taking this step out of an abundance of caution to ensure that we are doing everything possible to provide our consumers with safe products and to preserve the trust we have built with them and their families for more than a century,” the company said in a statement.

    Last month, the company and health officials said a 3-ounce cup of ice cream contaminated with listeriosis was traced to a plant in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The ice cream product — cups of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla — is not sold in retail locations and is shipped in bulk to “institutional accounts” such as hospitals in 23 states that comprise less than 5 percent of the company’s sales.

    Ten products recalled earlier in March were from a production line at a plant in Brenham, Texas, the company’s headquarters.

    The recall, the first in the company’s 108-year history, began when five patients at Via Christi St. Francis hospital in Wichita, Kansas, became ill with listeriosis while hospitalized at some point from December 2013 to January 2015. Officials determined at least four drank milkshakes that contained Blue Bell ice cream. Three of the patients later died.

    I hear that HEB has pulled all Blue Bell off their shelves.

    Check those labels…

    Junk Food Review: Salted Caramel Moon Pies

    Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

    This is part of Things I Shouldn’t Be Eating: A Continuing Series.

    I found this at an HEB:

    A Salted Caramel Moon Pie.

    Obviously I had to pick it up.

    How does it taste?

    I wouldn’t waste your money. It tastes like a Banana Moon Pie without the banana, so it still has that faint artificial petrochemical tang, a faint hint of caramel, and a tiny bit of salt.

    That’s not good enough.

    The Banana Moon Pie is a nostalgic taste from childhood I occasionally indulge in. By comparison, the Salted Caramel Moon Pie is just a disappointment.

    When I want a subtle dessert, I’m not reaching for a Moon Pie. I want the the sweet junk food rush of caramel to hit my tongue like jackhammer. The Salted Caramel Moon Pie doesn’t deliver.