Profile

scrumptiouschef

Professional chef living and working in Austin, Texas

  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Favorite foods: Kofte, Fried Catfish, Kaymak, Ribeyes, Northern Beans, Eggplant, King Ranch, Yom Nua
  • Last bite on earth: Outside slice barbecue from Archibald's in Northport Alabama.

Awesome Pizza in Kentucky?

Not sure how a lady from Spain ended up opening an Italian restaurant in the [ former] Dixie Dog Cafeteria on Main St. in Corbin but she did.

The restaurant scene in Corbin is not real strong but Vittorino's puts out an estimable slice. Nice char, scant sauce, bubbly edges on the crust.

It won't make you recalibrate your view of pizza but for a town of 7000 in the Appalachians it is good.

Best Handmade Tortillas in Austin Texas

La Fruta Feliz has ceased their housemade flour tortilla production.

The corn are still made by hand and just as good as ever.

La Fogata deserves a mention in this category as well. They are located at 8513 Burnet Road in North Austin

Road Trip: My Life Measured in Muffulettas from Central Grocery in New Orleans

http://chowpapi.com/?p=660

It appears as though hard times have come to the legendary Central Grocery

Eat for Eight Bucks: Tortilla Soup

Out here in Austin Texas we eat a lot of Tortilla Soup.

It's a menu staple at restaurants around town with some joints doing a pretty fair job and others failing miserably.

If you want the really good stuff I hope you're friends with a chef because, while I can name 20 places off the top of my head that serve it, I can't think of one that does a superlative job.

The formula below is superb. It's a melange of a few different recipes but the backbone comes from my [former] giant Mexican sous chef Angel Castillo, the pride of Monterrey Mexico.

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2010/8/31/Authentic-Tex-Mex-Part-4-How-to-Make-Chicken-Tortilla-Soup

In Season: Black-Eyed Peas

Fuel City: The Best Taco in Texas?

I can't tell you the best but I gave myself the assignment of eating 7 carnitas tacos from 7 different Mexican joints in 7 days.

http://chowpapi.com/?p=352

I start off at the mothership: Fiesta Mart and begin circulating from there

Austin Taco All-Stars: Tacos La Flor

Love La Flor.

3 years ago when Christian and his mom Angela moved their tiny cart from Congress over to S. 1st it almost gave me a heart attack.

For a minute I thought they'd retired from the scene.

Angela puts out the best hand-patted corn tortillas in town but for the best over-all corn you have to go to Montopolis and visit Tacos el Rico.

http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2010/06/best-handmade-tortillas-in-austin-texas.html

Yolanda's are a thinner, finer variety. Not as rustic. Her tostadas are a thing of beauty.

John T. Edge was kind enough to mention La Flor awhile back: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/dining/10united.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1

Best Handmade Tortillas in Austin Texas

An old article I penned about Tacos El Rico:

The Divine Food of El Tacos Rico

Business is slow today for the discount funeral wreath man who sets up shop on a grassy knob alongside Montopolis on the weekends.I wonder if he sits there fretting "go ahead and die already, I gotta eat" ? Who knows?

El Tacos Rico is my favorite Mexican restaurant in Austin.I've referred to it as such inspite of the fact that it's a tiny,timeworn trailer with a folding table under the overhang of a grizzled laundry mat for seating.

I eat lots of tacos in Austin each week and this is my primary source of intense deliciousness.

Montopolis feels so good.The air smells flowery,the streets are all abustle and the Autumn light is starting to get that orange-y glow that makes Ray Bradbury reading this time of year essential.

Walking up to the window my timing is perfect as a beefy Mexican cat is being served a steaming bowl of Menudo.The aroma of this delicious dish combined with some very aromatic bar soap the man has used in the shower this morning makes for a powerful combination.

I stay focused by looking at the menu which I know by heart.Enchiladas,Flautas,Quesadillas,Tostadas,Sopes....all the Mexican you could ever dream of wanting and yet I almost always get the tacos.

Yolanda and Araceli flat bring their A-game when it comes to this simple dish.Barbacoa is the finest meat on the menu, on par with La Monita for finest in town.The Al Pastor is not from the Trompo but is juicely roasted and the Bistec is Yolanda's version of the classic.While it's not going to make you forget Habanero's it is solid.

The corn tortillas are as good as any you will ever put in your mouth.My guess is love is the main ingredient.These tiny Latin girls are putting their heart in their food[perhaps a topic for another post:"Who's cooking with their heart in this old town?"]

I ride all over town sampling tacos from as diverse a set as I can find.Tacos el Rico is the best I've found.

I'd love to hear about your favorite source.

What Inspired You to Start Your Own Food Website?

I had a sense that the Serious Eats group is a creative lot who love to share their food knowledge both on this site as well as through their own creative endeavors. Lots of good reading on y'alls websites. Keep 'em coming.

How To Make Coffee More 'Local'

Out here in Austin Texas we're blessed with one of the great roasting houses: Cuvee.

If you're out this way make sure you stop by Once Over Coffee bar where they're dead serious about their espresso

http://chowpapi.com/?cat=9

Cook the Book: Classic Wedge Salad

Love the wedge, especially with a big, charred ribeye. Here's my take on bleu cheese dressing

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/Salad-Dressing

First time making ribs...help!

Love the smokering. Out here in Austin we're dead serious about our barbecue. A chance conversation with a stranger might result in a two hour breakdown of techniques and methods that would make a normal person shudder.

Please report back after your rib party and let us know how it went.

Sick of Website Promoters, Shills and Trolls!

dmcavanagh writes:@scrumptiouschef-I've looked at your profile page and you've linked to your website in just about every response. That is blatantly against the policies of the site.

Just dug up what I reckon to be the policies of which you speak: They follow:

* Do not post threatening, harassing, defamatory, or libelous material.
* Do not intentionally make false or misleading statements.
* Do not offer to sell or buy any product or service.
* Do not post material that infringes copyright.
* Do not post information that you know to be confidential or sensitive or otherwise in breach of the law.
* Keep all comments relevant to the particular topic or post where the comment is being posted.
* Serious Eats will not accept responsibility for information posted in the Comments.

I see nothing I've posted that could be construed as "blatantly against the policies of the site"

Once again. The original poster wanted help in smoking ribs. I had written an article last week about "how to smoke ribs" and I provided a link to it.

Had I found a random article on the internet that I had not written would that have somehow made it acceptable to you?

When another person inquired about dining in Jackson MS I provided a link to a chowhound thread that covered that topic.

Sharing of knowledge is within the purview of the serious eats community as near as I can tell.

First time making ribs...help!

dmcavanagh writes:@scrumptiouschef-I've looked at your profile page and you've linked to your website in just about every response. That is blatantly against the policies of the site.

Just dug up what I reckon to be the policies of which you speak: They follow:

* Do not post threatening, harassing, defamatory, or libelous material.
* Do not intentionally make false or misleading statements.
* Do not offer to sell or buy any product or service.
* Do not post material that infringes copyright.
* Do not post information that you know to be confidential or sensitive or otherwise in breach of the law.
* Keep all comments relevant to the particular topic or post where the comment is being posted.
* Serious Eats will not accept responsibility for information posted in the Comments.

I see nothing I've posted that could be construed as "blatantly against the policies of the site"

Once again. The original poster wanted help in smoking ribs. I had written an article last week about "how to smoke ribs" and I provided a link to it.

Had I found a random article on the internet that I had not written would that have somehow made it acceptable to you?

When another person inquired about dining in Jackson MS I provided a link to a chowhound thread that covered that topic.

Sharing of knowledge is within the purview of the serious eats community as near as I can tell.

Sick of Website Promoters, Shills and Trolls!

"Oh no, another self promoter. I'll bet it's the BEST!"

was dmcavanagh's response to the link I provided to the article I wrote about "How to Smoke Country Style Pork Ribs" last week on my site.

Original poster; Hasouni inquired "first time making ribs...help".?

What is wrong with then helping this person with the information they requested?

I'm not promoting myself. I don't sell ads on my site. I've been a professional chef for 17 years and I've been smoking ribs since I was a teenager.

I don't see how sharing knowledge relevant to a particular question somehow makes me a shill or self promoter.

First time making ribs...help!

"Oh no, another self promoter. I'll bet it's the BEST!"

was dmcavanagh's response to the link I provided to the article I wrote about "How to Smoke Country Style Pork Ribs" last week on my site.

Original poster; Hasouni inquired "first time making ribs...help".?

What is wrong with then helping this person with the information they requested?

I'm not promoting myself. I don't sell ads on my site. I've been a professional chef for 17 years and I've been smoking ribs since I was a teenager.

I don't see how sharing knowledge relevant to a particular question somehow makes me a shill or self promoter.

Where to Eat - Jackson, MS

Lots of good reading here:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616888

All Jackson oriented. I was really disappointed in Collins Dream Kitchen given the hype but did manage to find a good southern breakfast at Peaches, an old diner that's been there for a good 40 + years.

First time making ribs...help!

I've been smoking ribs since I was a young-un.

Here's how:

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/

Scroll down to this article:

Black Folks Food: The Art and Science of Soul Food Part 1: How to Smoke Country Style Pork Ribs

Inexpensive Casserole ideas

Eat for Eight Bucks: King Ranch Leftovers

This casserole may or may not be delicious but it definitely is not King Ranch.

Out here in Texas we eat a lot of the "king of casseroles" and while it's fine to serve rice and beans on the side they don't go in the King Ranch.

What to Do with Extra Snow: Make Snow Cream

When Kentucky and Austin both got hit with snow back in December I posted my Grandma Doll Reeves snow cream recipe here:

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2009/12/14/Doll-Reeves-Made-Ice-Cream-From-Snow

It's a bit of work but the best version I've found.

Angel Biscuits

Pecan Pralines: He Says Pray-leen, I Say Prah-leen

To be specific:
Prah-leens are the type that are crispy.

Pray-leens are the ones that are chewy.

Authentic Tex Mex Part 2: How to Make Smoked Rattlesnake Queso

Do you have a recipe for Smoked Rattlesnake Queso?

The other day a buddy of mine bagged a rattler at his ranch-ette out in Burnet Texas. It was his first one at his new house and he was right proud.

"How'd it taste" was my first question.

"Well, I don't know. I haven't eaten any of it yet, I got some out in my jeep if you want it".

Turns out I would like some fresh killed rattler. I'd like it for a batch of queso I've been thinking about making.

Here's my recipe for Smoked Rattlesnake Queso

First let's make a roux to tighten the queso

4 oz butter

4 oz flour

* Heat butter, add flour, stir til roux forms, cook 5 minutes, set aside

Ingredients for queso:

1 freshly killed Texas Rattler dressed out to several edible ounces

8 oz Longhorn Cheddar, grated

6 each Chiles, Hatch, Roasted, Chopped

24 oz Milk, Whole, from a local cow if at all possible

Method

* Shred snake meat to consistency of chopped chicken, make a foil pouch leaving top open, toss the rattler with oil, salt and pepper, place in pouch

* Build fire on one side of smoker, let go to embers, place soaked wood chunks [I like hickory] on fire

* Put rattler pouch on opposite side of fire, open vent directly over rattler meat

* Let smoke for 2 hours, remove

Method Part 2

* Heat milk in heavy saucepan

* Add cheese

* Stir til melted

* Add roux

* Add chopped chiles

* Add rattler

* Stir til consistency is as you like it

* This formula will make a fairly "loose" queso

* If you like it thicker just cook on stove top at medium for 15 minutes and a reduction will occur

Voila. Tex Mex at it's finest. It sounds like a joke but yes, rattlesnake's flavor is similar to chickens

Bon Appetit y'all

Eating Out In Budapest Hungary Part 2

Beer? I'm going to be drinking as much beer as possible on this vacation and need to know where to get the best of the region. I like small, weathered taverns preferably where the typical drinker is an old man with a pint and a newspaper. Frippery interests me little.

How is Aranyászok Sörözö at József Nádor tér ?

Paul's Pub at Váci utca 49 ?

Kaltenberg Sörözö Kinizsi utca 30-32 1092 Budapest?

The Caledonia Mozsar Utca 9, Budapest 1066?

Corso Petõfi Sándor utca Budapest?

Henri Belga Sörözö (Belgian Brasserie) I. Bem rakpart 12, Budapest? I'm very excited by this as I LOVE Belgian beer. Word?

Mister Sörház Régifóti út 31, 1152 Budapest.?

Pater Marcus I. Apor Péter u. 1., Budapest.? More Belgian beer and food is supposed to be served here. Who's been? How is it?

Haxen Kiraly Kiraly utca 100, Budapest.?

Are there any breweries in Budapest producing Hungarian micro brews?

I read an interesting article about Romkocsmas [Ruins Pubs] in Budapest.

Your thoughts on Szimpla kert?

How about Mumus?

Fogas haz?

Coffee. I drink an inordinate amount of coffee. It's my lifeblood even more so than my beloved beer. Where do you go in Budapest to get delicious coffee? Any places roasting their beans on premise?

Buffets: http://www.trofeagrill.net/index.php?page=18&lang=en

Street food: After reading this http://www.chew.hu/csulkos_magyaros_lepeny.html

I'm filled with a craving for Magyaros Lepény. Who is the standard bearer for this dish? What is some other street food I need to know about? Any particular neighborhood where there's plenty carts afoot?

Is Buda better than Pest or vice versa? How is district 7?

Three Monkeys or Három Majom: Still open? Still good?

Hungarian soul food: Slow cooked meats, careful takes on gravy, homespun use of potato etc. Where do y'all go to get your Hungarian soul food?

Steak. I'm going to need to eat a ribeye at some point. Preferably from a well reared Hungarian steer [ Grey cattle? ]. Point me in the right direction please.

Eating Out In Budapest, Hungary Part 1

Heading on over to Budapest from Austin, Texas for a couple weeks in August.

I'm a serious eater and am ready to range broadly across the city and hope to eat like a Magyar.

I've read the Critical Guide by Andras Torok and can't wait to get to the city and do some serious exploration

The common hog is perhaps the most noble animal on earth. I know Hungarians are serious about their pork and so am I.

Who's working with Mangalitsas in Budapest?

This pig is really making a splash in culinary circles stateside and I'm hoping to eat quite a bit while in Budapest.

What restaurants are the most serious when it comes to their pork preparations?

Is there such a thing as Hungarian barbecue? Slow smoked meats cooked with fire built from hardwood?

Pickles? I'll be eating lots of pickled vegetables while in town. Please point me to the pickle queen.

What district provides the best, most diverse array of restaurants?

No fancy, high dollar places where the architecture of the food on the plate is the most important point of the chef. Just good exemplars of Hungarian cuisine done right. Diners, cafes, bars, old joints that have been there forever?

I need to know because that's where I'll get my pension.

Cake and/or Pastry: Where do you go to satisfy your sweet tooth? Who's been to Fröhlich cukrászda at Dob utca 22?

Home cooking: Kiskacsa restaurant at Dob utca 26 offers "one plate home cooking" according to one internet wag. How is it?

Kádár étkezde at Klauzál tér 10 is mentioned as being one of the better lunch spots in Budapest. What's the story?

Interesting food outside Budapest: I'll have the use of a motorcycle while I'm in Budapest. Any good places an hour or so outside of town? How is the Lake Balaton region?

Deryne? Read a favorable review for this restaurant. How is it?

Best Handmade Tortillas in Austin Texas

Lots of candidates in this category.

La Fruta Feliz is currently putting out the finest flour tortillas in a brick and mortar location.
3124 Manor Road, Austin, TX 78723-5719 (512) 473-0037‎

Tacos el Rico continues to not only have the finest Mexican food in town but also the most delicious, corn tortillas I've sampled in Austin.
810 Vargas Rd
Austin, TX 78741

Up and comers; La Flor hand pat their tortillas. John T. Edge gave em a mention in his New York Times piece awhile back.
4901 S. 1st St. Austin Texas 78704
512-417-4214

Where are y'all going to get your tortillas in Austin?

If you have a website or blog please provide us with a link so we can visit your site.

We'd love to read about your finds.

scrumptiouschef hasn't favorited a post yet.