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nsmith84

  • Location: Temple, TX
  • Favorite foods: 1. pizza
    2. Pizza
    3. PIZZA!

First Look: White Tablecloth Tex-Mex at Benji's Cantina in Austin, TX

Correction: She recommended the shrimp diablo, not the tacos al carbon.

First Look: White Tablecloth Tex-Mex at Benji's Cantina in Austin, TX

Based on this article, we decided to check this place out Saturday night. It's $8 to valet (Z'Tejas down the road is complimentary+tip). We had a reservation, but for some reason the host staff was not very friendly.

Our server was friendly though. She promptly served us chips, salsa, and another cream based spicy sauce that I would liken to a milder version of the habanero sauce served at Taco Deli. Having read this article, we asked our server if we should go with the fajitas, and she advised us that the fajitas were your standard far you could get anywhere, and suggested we explore the menu. The "taco plates" section of the dinner menu on the website, which is what we were also interested in prior to our visit, was not included in the menu we were given.

I asked the server whether she would recommend the Shrimp Diablo or the Tacos Al Carbon. She advised that the tacos were pretty generic to what you could get at other Mexican food restaurants, and recommended the Tacos Al Carbon. This dish is described on the menu as "Gulf shrimp stuffed with goat cheese and chiles, wrapped in pecan-smoked bacon. Served with a poblano vinaigrette". What I received was four petite (one-bite) shrimp. To say "stuffed with goat cheese" is outrageous as none of the cheese found itself inside the bacon casing of the shrimp. A more accurate description would be "very lightly springkled with goat cheese". While I did see a small chile sliver in a couple of the shrimp, I can't say for sure if all four had this as it did nothing for the flavor.

My fiancé ordered the chicken enchiladas with have verde sauce, half mole sauce. The enchiladas are served "stacked" style, with multiple layers of corn tortilla stacked on each other. She struggled to find much chicken or cheese between the layers. As for the layers of corn tortilla, they were very thick and hard to eat.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a "white tablecloth" tex-mex experience, I would recommend one of the many other places that Austin has to offer, including Z'Tejas just down the street. Their pork nachos are to-die for, and I have never been disappointed by any dish I have ordered there!

Less content lately?

Definitely less. There used to be a "daily slice" feature. Now we're lucky to see a new place/slice reviewed once a week.

Pizza Hut Strikes Again, Unveiling 'Firebaked Style Flatbread Pizzas'

If this really is a play for health-conscious fast-food customers, they should probably put the nutritional information for these somewhere on their website!

Father's Day Giveaway: Win a Baking Steel!

His mother filled him with Totino's frozen pizzas in his youth, so we'll go with that!

Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese

could you use a creme brulee torch on the jalapeños?

My Pie Monday: BBQ Chicken Pie, Boardwalk-Style, Deep Dish, and More!

Ditto C. Mac. I don't see a slideshow!

Win Two Tickets to the Smoke Experiment at SXSW in Austin

brisket. this is Texas after all.

Serious Holiday Giveaway: The Baking Steel

Pepperoni, feta cheese, & red onion

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Baking Steel

pepperoni, feta cheese, and red onions make a tasty combination!

Dallas: More Attitude Than Flavor At Twisted Root Burger Company

I agree with the attitude, but disagree with the assessment of the food. To go into a restaurant with 23 add-ons and order a basic hamburger with cheese is never giving this place a proper chance. They have put time into developing add-ons and combinations that are pleasing to the palate (and I've found many to be enjoyable). To shirk all of those combinations and order a basic cheeseburger is saying "I know these things are your strength, but I'm going to completely ignore those and judge you accordingly".

Dear Slice: Texas Pizza Summit at The Garage

I live an hour north of Austin...how do I get in on this next year? In my last visit to Houston I drove around with the windows rolled down hoping to sniff out my way to Craig's garage, but the exhaust fumes negated my attempt.

Complete Idiot's Guide to Pizzamaking

@dmcavanagh, I totally would if I didn't worry that having white powder shipped to me in a self addressed envelope would put me on the no-fly list! :-)

Complete Idiot's Guide to Pizzamaking

thanks y'all!
@dmcavanagh I appreciate the pep talk!

Poll: Which Pizza/Bread Hybrid is Best?

We use biscuits out of a can that make a great bite-sized pizza! I found this recipe that uses the pillbury grands to make a slightly larger version of what I'm talking about...
http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/grands-mini-pizzas/b1b517eb-1178-4662-80e4-b157c97c4752/

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

Little Bigs in Houston, TX! My friends can't stop talking about it.

A Whole New Serious Eats

Reading through the comments I see complaints that the font size is too small. I'm guessing there was an overcorrection this weekend, because now the font is so huge I find it difficult to read.

Daily Slice: Pie-ology, Fullerton, CA

I've heard good things about the Fort Worth based Pie Five...
www.piefivepizza.com

Photo of the Day: Thattsalotta Pizza!

Can someone please explain the 1 large peperoni, sausage, and meatball pizza that cost $221?!

Rome Report: The Greenwich at 00100 Pizzeria

Looking forward to more contributions from the motherland!

The Pizza Lab: Sfincione, the No-Knead, No-Roll New Year's Eve Sicilian Pizza

@tupper "If you can't find caciocavallo, a good Pecorino Romano, sharp aged Provolone, or even Parmigiano-Reggiano will do."

Pizza Delivery and the Economics of Reputation

I think most customers are making a conscious choice of convenience over quality when they choose delivery, and don't expect it to be the same pizza experience as when they have the time to go enjoy pizza in its best habitat.

Complete Idiot's Guide to Pizzamaking

I have been a daily visitor to Slice for over a year now, and I am continually amazed at all of the beautiful pies that show up on My Pie Monday, only to find the next week that someone was able to decode the cryptic percentages from the previous week's post to recreate the same masterpiece. I would love to join your ranks, but I have found all of the guides go way above my head.

Even with the most basic recipes, here are the challenges I find myself facing:

1) Even the most basic how-to guides seem to skip crucial steps about what it looks like to spread out "a little flour" for the base when you are stretching out the dough, how to stretch the dough, how to transfer the raw pizza to the oven if you don't have one of those big wooden things, etc.
2) The ingredients. I live in rural Texas (I may or may not have found myself driving around Houston with the windowns rolled down hoping to sniff my way to TXCraig's garage) and don't have access to a high-end store with an abundant selection of artisnal cheeses and flours. While I can see a recipe calls for something called 00 flour and some mozzarella, I have no clue what brand names to look for at the supermarket or if that's even possible to find (think Super Walmart or Target).

I would love to see a Slice article on the "Slice'ers' Guide to the Supermarket" that breaks down the best widely distributed flours, cheeses, canned tomatoes, etc. to use, but any help you are able to offer on my concerns would be greatly appreciated!