I’ve eaten at Noble Sandwiches Central on Burnet Road twice this week – and had to tell you about some of the incredible food I’ve tasted.
This morning for breakfast, I had the ginger/apple waffle with some scrambled eggs cooked with green onions. The ginger was a nice addition and the cooked apple on top added a more natural sugar – letting you decide how sweet, based on the syrup you added. The eggs were light and a little bit buttery – I’m guessing the green onions were sauteed before the eggs were added…yum. If that wasn’t enough, I ordered the Biscuits and Gravy on the side – it sounded too good to pass up – and really was out of this world. The biscuit and gravy, the sausage and gravy, the gravy – these might be the best biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had. Did I mention the gravy?
I love sandwiches and seek out a good unique sandwich now and then. I had the chance to try the Mushroom Reuben – a few days ago – which is one of the best Ruebens I’ve had in a long time. The fact that it’s a vegetarian offering, just makes it a bigger plus – I never noticed the meat was missing. The grilled bread loaded with mushrooms, melted cheese, and this wonderfully fresh sauerkraut was one of the best new sandwiches I’ve had in a really long time.
Can’t wait to try more. Another BURO establishment I’ll be eating at again soon!
I stopped by Tiny Pies this morning and, oh, what a treat! I had a tiny cherry pie (really the perfect size and not so tiny at all) with cherries that had just the right combination of sweet and tart. I tried to eat only half – but that idea only lasted for about 14 seconds after I finished chewing my second bite. It was truly more than everything you’d hope for in a classic cherry pie.
Later in the day, I had a blueberry pop tart with lemon icing…I think exquisite is the word I first used to describe it when I stopped moaning. The crust was light and flaky and the incredibly fresh blueberries – the most perfect filling. The lemon icing on top added a creamy tart sweetness that made the pop tart melt (literally) in your mouth – it was amazing.
How great is it that we can walk into a store on Burnet Road now and buy these little treasures in small quantities? Oh, I forgot to mention, I still have a tiny key lime pie in the fridge I’m saving for after dinner. I’ll report back later!
Wear Art Thou: Austin’s Finest Boutique
By Julie Tereshchuk – Austin Writer & Magazine Editor http://www.jtword.com/
(click images for larger view)
What are the three things that make Wear Art Thou one of Austin’s most successful independent clothing stores? Naturally, there are an extensive range of stylish eclectic clothes and accessories unique to Austin. Then there’s the fact that the store’s convenient location (close to the Burnet and 45th Street intersection) offers not just store-front parking but also a parking lot in back. However, the secret sauce has to be the customer service offered by owner Andrea Sher-Leff and her experienced staff of three. That’s what makes this one of Burnet Road’s must-visit businesses, and one of the finest boutiques in the country. “Our clothing, beautiful jewelry and comfortable atmosphere allows each shopper to feel like they are spending time with old friends,” says Andrea.
The intimate setting of Wear Art Thou, in one of the character-filled, single-story converted homes that are becoming an increasing rarity in Austin, only adds to the store’s appeal. Do not be deceived though: once you step through those doors and onto the richly polished wooden floor, you’ll be amazed at the range and quantity of items on offer. Each inch of space has been well used and clothes from vendors including Lior, Eli, Niche and Babette (the San Francisco-based designer who manufactures all her garments in the United States) are displayed across four showrooms.
An artist in her own right, Andrea has been bringing her creativity to the clothing selection on offer since opening Wear Art Thou in 2008. Success brought change, and in March 2012 she relocated to the current Burnet Road location. Her customer service ethos is simple, and one that every woman will identify with: “I want to help my customers feel more confident about their wardrobe when they leave the shop.”
Opening times are 10-6 Tuesday through Saturday. “Come during the week for the individual experience, and Saturdays for the salon experience,” says Andrea.
Heard on the grapevine: The famous food trailer, The Peached Tortilla, is planning on opening a brick-and-mortar location at 5520 Burnet Road.
When I heard about this the first thing I did was check to see if BURO fan and food blogger Michelle Cheng had written anything about the Peached Tortilla on her most excellent blog – Foodie is the New Forty. Sure enough, Michelle had a detailed and insightful post about the Peached Tortilla trailer location. If their new location on BURO comes even close to Michelle’s review I’ll be the first in line!
I contacted Michelle and she graciously gave permission to reprint her entire original article from February 2011. THANKS MICHELLE! Note: Michelle’s blog is a fantastic resource for Austin food lovers – I encourage all BURO fans to visit Foodie is the New Forty! Original post follows:
Monday, February 7, 2011 Getting Peached at The Peached Tortilla
By Michelle Cheng
It used to be that the American Dream was defined by the small business owner who became successful by virtue of hard work and clean living. For later generations who were fortunate enough to benefit from their parents’ and grandparents’ pursuit of that dream, another element was added to the mix: the desire to succeed at something they were passionate about.
It is obvious to anyone who’s spent a few minutes talking to Eric Silverstein that he is on track to achieving the new version of the American dream. He quit a lucrative job as a lawyer in Missouri to launch The Peached Tortilla, a mobile food truck business that has spent the last four months winning the hearts of food lovers in Austin. Not only is the food being turned out of this truck outstanding, but Eric’s passion is infectious, and his humble, friendly demeanor means that every visit to The Peached Tortilla is not just a food run, but a visit to a friend.
The Peached Tortilla open for business.
As anyone who knows me knows, I tend to be a little suspicious of Asian fusion. I’m not sure whether I’m a traditionalist or just protective of the flavors I grew up with, but I typically cast a wary eye upon perceived attempts to evolve Asian flavors into something different. But Eric and his chef, Louis (who has worked the kitchens at Maria Maria and Imperia), have done this right. They’ve captured influences from Asian, Mexican, and Southern cooking and have married them in a way that makes the finished product into something altogether new, and definitely delightful. Everything I’ve tasted here was busting at the seams with bright, crisp, fresh flavors. This is Asian fusion I can get behind. Their menu tops out at $3.50, so it’s very affordable for upscale-restaurant-quality food. And with gluten-free and vegetarian options available, there’s a little something here for everyone.
Top: crunchy catfish taco (Southern spiced, cornmeal-encrusted catfish with creamy slaw, spicy mayo, and purple cabbage);
Bottom: banh mi taco (Vietnamese-braised pork belly topped with pickled daikon and carrot salad, sriracha mayo, and cilantro).
Want to get peached? These guys are on the move, so check the truck schedule on their website to find them. You’ll be glad you did.
BURO Editor’s note: We contacted The Peached Tortilla to see if they would like to give us some information about their new Burnet Road location. We haven’t heard back yet but we’ll keep you posted!
One of my favorite BURO businesses for over 50 years has been Home Lumber Company located across the street from Allandale Shopping Center. It has been owned by Frank Bomar and his family since the 40’s, I think. It has to be one of the oldest businesses on Burnet Road.
This is an old fashioned business. If you like cooky cutter hardware/lumber stores with no personality, Home Lumber is not your place. When you walk in the door you can feel the nostalgia. If you think this must be what a store looked like 50 years ago, you are right. Believe me Frank’s place hasn’t changed. There are no computers and modern cash registers. Frank still writes up my ticket in long hand and mails me a bill at the end of the month.
Frank was a friend of my dad and I tagged along with him many times to buy lumber and other supplies. They were both children of the depression and both could be cranky. My dad would ask how much something costs, then always gripe about the price. Dad would pick out lumber in the yard out back like he was searching through diamonds. And Frank would complain that he didn’t have time to wait around for him to find the perfect board because he had a business to run. It was all good natured fun and Dad always found what he needed.
I recently added on to my backyard deck and I purchased the lumber from Frank. Ken delivered it to my house at no charge just like he had countless times before for my dad.
If you need a specialty item for an old house you are restoring or live in, stop by Home Lumber. If Frank doesn’t have it in the back he will call around to his suppliers and find it.
There aren’t many mom and pop stores left and sadly Home Lumber won’t be around forever so stop by the next time you have a do-it-yourself project and you need lumber and nails. You can probably pick out your own lumber just like my dad.
Home Lumber Company
5705 Burnet Road
Austin, Texas 78756
I like to get my Christmas shopping out of the way early and I’ve always liked to give books. I stopped in at Blue Awning Books on Burnet Road to do some browsing and while I was there I asked owner Marshall Hamilton a few questions:
BURO: How did Blue Awning Books get started?
HAMILTON: I worked in publishing for many years until the early 2000’s. My wife and I then started in the used book store business by opening a store in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, a tourist town about an hour from Washington D.C., where a lot of historic events took place. There’s a national park there and most of our customers tended to be park visitors. We were very busy for 7 months of the year but there was nothing happening the other 5 months so we decided we’d move some place where we could have a 12 month business – also a place without snow! We looked for a city that was big, growing, and had a major university and after much research Austin went to the top of our list. We moved here and opened Blue Awning Books in January 2012.
BURO: Why Burnet Road?
HAMILTON: We knew nothing about Austin so our realtor gave us a list of around 25 potential locations – we drove around and looked at every one of them. We saw some interesting spaces on Lamar and on Congress, but then we got to Northwest Center on Burnet Road – the one with the blue awnings. We liked the space, the feeling of the center, and the presence of other stores that would bring people to the center. I was surprised to know that Northwest Center dates back to the 1940’s.
BURO: What sets Blue Awning Books apart from other book stores??
HAMILTON: We deal in quality used books. If you’re looking for the latest John Grisham novel we’re not for you. In the chain stores about 70% of the inventory is fiction. We’re the opposite – with 70% non-fiction. Most of our books are hard cover and they tend to be books that have persistent value. We’ve got a lot of books on history and politics, and a large selection of books on WWII. Some of our books are very old, including an 1836 copy of ‘The Life of George Washington’ by M.L. Weems. We’ve sold books that were published as far back as 1520.
BURO: Where do you get your books?
HAMILTON: We get most of our books from auctions. We recently bought about two thousand books from an auction held by Larry McMurtry. Larry owns a used book store in Archer City, Texas (the fictional town of Anarene in The Last Picture Show was based on Archer City). We actually attended a showing of The Last Picture Show at the theater in Archer City that was the inspiration for the movie.
BURO: Who shops at Blue Awning Books?
HAMILTON: People who like the printed page – we sell ink, not pixels! With the holidays coming, books make terrific gifts. Some people may hesitate to give a used book as a gift, but I would say that if you can find a book that is right down the alley of the person you’re buying for, it would be better to give a 12 year old book that’s in good condition, and is right on topic, than something new that you chose from a stack of hundreds at a chain store.
Blue Awning Books
6009 Burnet Road
Northwest Center (look for the blue awnings!)
Austin, TX 78757
I was window shopping on Burnet Road and I wandered in to a very unique art and frames store – Images of Austin.
In addition to their full service custom framing services, Images of Austin features original artwork and prints of the Southwest, Central Texas, and Austin’s favorite places.
Images was founded 29 years ago by Austin artist Mary Doerr, and today Mary’s daughter Robin, an accomplished artist herself as well as a native Austinite, is at the helm. Robin’s co-pilot is Austin native Bud Soto, whose father Ishmael Soto is a renowned artist and potter.
Images of Austin has a huge number of customers who appreciate both the artwork in the shop and the professional custom framing services offered. In addition to many individual customers, Images of Austin has provided art and framing services for the University of Texas, the State of Texas, the City of Austin, and numerous corporations.
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.
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!
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!