Had to hit up some more local food before we leave. We stopped by Rudy’s BBQ on the way to the airport. This place, serves in the style of many of the local joints. Pick your bottled beverage out of the ice coolers, order at the counter and help yourself to the condiments. The burger is served on a paper tray. My friends went for the hunk of prime rib and they cut and ate it on wax paper. Finger lickin’ good.
I usually don’t like to eat too much before a flight, but this time, oh well. The slices of pork loin were cut thick, done well, but still remarkably tender. The rub had a strong flavor of salt, pepper and spices. The “sissy sause” poured like ketchup and tasted more like vinegar than sweet. Texas BBQ, I will miss you, but my waistline won’t.
We stayed in a vacation home near the town of Burnet. Looking for lunch one day, we chose a random Mexican restaurant. El Ranchero is a family run diner, serving Tex Mex style food. I thought the food was decent, for a small town. I had the taco salad with chicken fajita. I also sampled the chicken tamale. It had a nice taste of corn husk. The deep fried ice cream (it’s really deep fried and not rolled in cornflakes) was good.
Eager to try another classic, the Texas BBQ. We headed over to Goode Company Barbeque to see what we could find. I ordered up some pork ribs and chicken. It’s hard to see that under the “Texas Toast” sized slice of bread. The bread was very good; soft, homemade cheddar and jalapeno. The sides were good too. The BBQ sauce was zippy. In Texas style BBQ, the meat is done dry with sauce, if any, added afterwards.
You can order meat by the pound and have it just like that, if you wanted, no sides.
We were looking for some lunch at the Galleria. This was a pretty random selection, “Let’s have Mexican, oh look there’s a restaurant”. I’m not sure what’s up with the bad reviews because I enjoyed my meal. I had a chicken chimichanga covered with a vegetable gravy, beans and rice. The chimichanga was good. I found the beans were a bit on the bland side and I suspect the rice was from a package. Ok, well I can see how this would get a mediocre review. It is what it is, a sit down restaurant in a food court.
My first meal in Texas; we decided on Cajun. I’ve never had real Cajun food before. Admittedly, this is a chain, but that’s ok. I’m not a discriminating foodie. I’ve always wondered what crawfish tasted like. They taste less of shrimp and slightly like lobster. There’s a lot of shell so great if you like fiddling with your food. The broth they were cooked in had kick. I also had a small bowl of shrimp and crab gumbo. I must be a wimp because the spice really kicked. I dumped a few packages of saltines just so I could eat it. No wonder, they have a large pot prominently on display where they must stew this stuff all day. The flavors were bold and concentrated.
I love Houston restaurants. This would be the first of a few restaurants where counter service and serve yourself condiments are the norm. All the tableware is disposable too.
On our way out to Hill Country, we stopped in Austin for lunch. This was a less random pick than some of our other choices, as we had the use of Yelp and Urbanspoon. Komé Sushi Kitchen is nestled on a street with a bunch of older shops. Most of the street has a gritty feel, complete with the graffiti on the buildings. It’s not much to look at from the outside but inside it’s a nice Japanese style bistro. Their awards line the entryway. The hostesses are friendly, greeting customers in Japanese as they walk in the door. Finally, a place that uses real chopsticks, not the splintering wooden kind.
The scallop sushi with mango and avocado was just the perfect bite. Good way to freshen the appetite.
The mackerel came with a small dish of Japanese pickle, miso soup and rice in addition to what was on the plate. A very tasty and affordable lunch for $8.50. The fish was tender and perfectly cooked. Reminds me of the fried mackerel my Mom used to make when I was little. The service was friendly and they handled their lunch rush well. After heavy Texas BBQ, Mexican and Cajun; this is a refreshing treat.