Being an astute, sophisticated and selective reader, I was browsing the best seller aisle at Target today when something caught my eye – a new novel by author Maya Banks.
According to Wikipedia, Banks ‘is an American bestselling author of erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and Scottish historical romance’. Imagine my surprise (and pride!) to see one of Bank’s newest offerings on the bestseller list – ‘BURO‘!
I snatched up my copy right away and I can’t wait to start reading what promises to be an inspiring Burnet Road saga. I’ll report back with my thoughts once I’ve finished reading ‘BURO‘!
Karen and I had lunch today at a very small and quaint little restaurant called La Cocina de Consuelo. It’s not very big – there are only seven tables inside and a few more on a small enclosed patio. What is big is the quality of Consuelo’s food!
What caught my eye on the menu was a dish called ‘Torta de Milanese’, which this gringo had never heard of. Consuelo’s version is listed on the menu as ‘A thin slice of breaded steak served on bolillo bread and topped with beans, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeño and sour cream’. I ordered it sight (and taste) unseen.
What arrived at my table can only be described as the first ‘trick on my taste buds’ I’ve had in some time. What a delightful combination of ingredients, spices and flavors. The bolillo bread is kind of like a very old fashioned hamburger bun, but thinner, with a very light crust, and more ‘Mexicanish’. The steak was tender and perfectly seasoned, and had a consistency that reminded me of my mother’s veal cutlets. The breading was very light indeed and had a great texture. The beans, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeño and sour cream were not over done – just the right amounts to complete the flavor roundup.
My meal also came with a cup of Sopa de Fideo. I asked the waitress what fideo was and she said ‘it’s like a soup version of Mexican rice, with noodles instead of rice’. She was spot-on and my Fideo was great! Karen (an El Paso native) had the stuffed burrito – complete with home made flour tortilla. Her review – ‘Perfect!’
There’s some standard Tex-Mex fare on the menu, but I have a feeling that when I come back and order some, it won’t have a standard taste.
I recently posted an article about an empty restaurant building on Burnet Road (see ‘Junior Soprano on Burnet Road?‘). BURO fan ‘julie’ commented that a new Thai restaurant would occupy that space this fall. Her comment included a link to a short blurb on restaurant critic Rob Balon’s site.
The name of the restaurant is Sap’s Fine Thai Cuisine, and it already has a location in South Austin. Balon says the new Burnet Road location will open in late fall.
Let’s hope that Sap’s breaks the curse on this Burnet Road restaurant space.
The recent opening of the new Lucy’s Fried Chicken at 5408 Burnet Road has stirred an ancient memory in me of another venerable fried chicken joint on Burnet.
Anybody out there remember Kirschner’s Cafe? It was located approximately across the street (on the east side) of Burnet from the new Lucy’s (which is in the old Austin Diner spot, which is now in North Loop Village). Kirschner’s Cafe was a small building constructed of white limestone blocks. There was a small dining room (which I never ate in that I can recall) and a drive up, to-go window.
On afternoons when my mom was getting her hair done and after I’d finished prowling the aisles of Shopper’s World lusting after all things Captain Action, we’d head over to Kirschner’s for some hot, greasy and delicious fried chicken to go for our Friday night dinner.
Kirschner’s was a great little family owned place that is long since gone but they served a lot of great fried chicken in their day.
By the way, has anyone eaten at Lucy’s on Burnet? BURO needs a new restaurant review from a reader who has dined there.
SMACK-DAB in the middle of Allandale Village on Burnet Road you can find one of the largest selections of quality antiques in Austin. I stopped in today and talked with owner Ben Hardin:
BURO: How long has the Antique Marketplace been on Burnet Road?
BEN: We started in 1989 at 5350 Burnet Road in an old Safeway grocery building and we were there for 18 years. We then moved to our current location at 5806 in March of 2008 – that makes 24 years.
BEN: As a kid in Bosque county, Texas I found an old iris-patterned candlestick holder in a trash pile (I still have that!) I just like old things!
BURO: What’s your background?
BEN: I’m a native Texan, born in Waco and raised in Bosque county. In college I earned a B.B.A. and a Masters in Education. In my earlier life I was an assistant superintendent in the San Marcos ISD.
BURO:Who shops at the Antique Marketplace?
BEN: We have a wide range of customers, ranging from folks looking for that perfect piece to put in their living room, to Hollywood set designers searching for Texas period pieces for their next movie. One of our favorite customers is a very famous actress who has called Austin her home (I’m not naming any names!).
Antique Marketplace has a wide selection of quality glassware, clocks, jewelry, pottery, silver, art, collectibles, and china.
BURO editor’s note: This is the first antique mall I’ve ever been in that is fully air-conditioned and fully carpeted!
When my husband and I first moved to this area 30 years ago we were so excited. So many of our favorite stores were within walking distance of each other. During the week, we would eat supper at Pancho’s. We would then walk over to the small HEB to grab some groceries. Then we would head next door to Blockbuster to grab a video for the upcoming weekend.
Now Saturday mornings were a bit different. First thing Saturday morning, I would head to the strip center at the SW corner of Burnet and North Loop. I would get out of my car and go straight to Winns, in the middle of the strip center. There was always something I needed: fabric, toys for a birthday present, a turtle or fish in a fishbowl, underwear, cherry Icee . . Yep, always something I needed. After buying my necessities, I would go next door to Paul’s Interiors to look at the fancy bed linens and towels. Sometimes I would get a new shower curtain or some nice smelling soap. Now the dilemma! Did I want to walk across North Loop and eat mexican food at La Margaritas? Or did I want to walk behind the strip center and eat at Lubys Cafeteria? Both places were great and we got to know most of the regular employees. I would make a decision, eat, and as I walked back to my car I would make one stop. I would stop at the corner grocery store (where Savers is now) and get anything that I forgot earlier in the week.
Some Saturday afternoons took me in the opposite direction on Burnet Road. I would drop off my car at the car wash at Burnet Road and Greenlawn. I would cross Burnet Road and go straight to Tuesday Morning. After TM, I would browse the strip center because there was always some kind of purse or jewelry store to visit. Hours seemed to fly by and I would stop by Taco Bell for take-home food. Sometimes, I would walk south to Justin Lane, to Thundercloud Subs, for a sandwich. I would go back to get my car and drive home.
When my 23 year old was young, my husband and I biked around the neighborhood on a tandem bike with a child seat attached. The three of us would bike to The Omletry and eat a late breakfast. We would then go across the street to Sound Warehouse. That was the best place to buy Disney videos. We would hang out in that store for hours, until nap-time. We got back on our bike and headed home.
I recently did a Google search on the phrase ‘burnet road austin’. The very first result was a yelp listing titled ‘Burnet Rd. has a lot to offer‘.
Naturally I clicked on the link and landed at a yelp list of Burnet Road restaurant reviews by Ashley S. I read through the reviews and found them to be helpful as well as nicely written. I also noticed that Ashley S. is a serious reviewer – she’s posted 285 reviews as of this writing!
So here’s a big BURO shout out to yelp author Ashley S!
I was doing some Burnet Road searches on YouTube and came across this video posted 5 years ago by wisegeorge365. According to wisegeorge365 “The Poodle Dog Lounge was established in 1964 and the same people drinking there then are drinking there now. Plus their kids and anyone else brave enough to go in. If I’m brave enough it doesn’t take much, so go on in and check it out yourself.” Enjoy!
Why doesn’t someone develop the land where the old Putt-Putt mini golf resided? Better yet, someone needs to reopen the classic course. What’s more mid century Americana than Putt-Putt?
I bet if you opened a bar and invited local, unknown musicians to perform, along with offering mini golf, it would be popular with the hipster crowd. Each night a new fedora would be given to the lucky hipster with the low score. I had fun for many years displaying uncanny putting accuracy at Putt-Putt. BURO staff writer Frank Campbell once commented that I could have been the next Ricky “Ace Machine” Smith.
Maybe someone can start a Putt-Putt senior tour with the newly refurbished Buro Putt-Putt as the season ending tour championship venue. All of us fifty-somethings could show the hipsters what mini golf is all about.