Posts Tagged ‘Nites Out’

Shopping while hungry needs to apply to home improvement stores.

I needed to pick up some new air filters and stopped at a Lowe’s on my way home.  I didn’t see this food truck when I entered the store, or if I did it didn’t register.  It sure hit me on the way out!  Gyros are one of my favorite quick foods, I would love to learn how to make it at home.

The truck was run by an older fellow with a thick Texan accent who addressed me as “ma’am” at every point of the conversation necessary for the transaction.  A nice fellow with a bright red T-shirt and hat to match the trucks’ paint job.

This was one tasty Gyro, tomato, lettuce, sautéed onions and tzatziki sauce.  Yum!


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We discovered another favorite Chinese BBQ dish at one of our lunch time places in Austin, Din Ho Chinese BBQ off 183.  Number 27 off the menu is a pair of delightful BBQ meats, roasted duck breast and BBQ pork.  The duck had a musky spice and caramel notes from the skin, very tender and not overly fowlish.  The pork, with the red lining and lean meat was also very tender.  I was tempted to order another half pound of it to go (only $7.50).

We also ordered the Orange Beef.  The beef had more fat than the other two meats combined.  The sticky sweet and spicy orange sauce never lets us down, I love it and can’t seem to recreate it at home so this was a good fix for that craving.  My lunchmate, Hubby, had a total brain fart and started eating one of the hot chilies off the beef thinking it was a carrot.  Poor thing.  Must have been preoccupied by his lovely wife when it happened.

My fortune cookie sounded like a message from my late Granny K.

Do not rely on others to make you happy.  You must do it yourself.

Thanks Grandma, and I have taken the reins of happiness by starting my own business.  It’s small and waiting for new customers, but it’s mine and that is my token happy thought every day.

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On occasion I like to write about the nooks and crannies around town, places I’ve lived, or traveled to. This category, Nites Out, is a special section for eating outside of my own kitchen! Search for Nites Out to find more places to dine…

Tân Tân was the original name of this Vietnamese Noodle restaurant when Hubby and I were dating.  We would meet here for lunch quite often (this was pre-children. You know, back when you actually had money for lunch?).  Well the new name Tân Mý did not mean a new owner, thankfully.  The same older gentleman, and his family, continue to run this small phở hotspot.

If you are in the mood for a good phở, the Tân Mý is the place to go.  I will warn you that this is a very small restaurant and your noodle slurping will not go unnoticed by the patrons sitting next to you.  And I mean right next to you.  At the same table.  For this reason alone it’s a good idea to get there early.

I love the jasmine tea.  I always order it, even if it’s the middle of summer.  Today I tried the Egg Noodle BBQ Pork soup, it delivered big time.  A small bowl is plenty for the famished diner, and this will cost you less than 7 bucks.  If you don’t like pork (and I could not understand why – pork fat rules, but this is incredibly lean… anywho) there are plenty of other options to indulge in.  Beyond phở  the menu includes fried noodle dishes, the lemongrass ones are awesome, and I’m sure they’re all delicious. I just realized they have desserts on the menu too.  I’m always stuffed, so there’s never any room for sweets afterwards.  Maybe next time…

Wonton Soup - Tan My

We’ve tried other phở places and this one stands above the rest.  If you are in Austin, find them here.


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There was a Vietnamese restaurant on Spicewood Springs road that we occasionally met at for lunch.  It was small with a walk up counter to order, then you got a flag to mark your table.  A server brought your food piping hot to your table.  There was a collection of nick nacks for sale near the restrooms.  Now that restaurant is closed, I never did buy one of those little figures or tea cups.

Happily, we found out a new owner was taking over the space and it was another Vietnamese eatery, Hai Ky.  This was the first chance to see inside and taste the new menu.

I had Sate Beef (#60), Hubby had phở bò (#13).

The interior has been repainted, and there are rice paper rectangular light shades hanging from the ceiling.  The patio remains but it was too chilly to eat outside.  The staff are very laid back and friendly, the place has the same vibe as before but with a fresh clean look.

The menu includes pho, salads, tofu for you vegans out there, vermicelli and specials.  I always order iced tea, Hubby water with extra limes.  I know iced tea is way over priced in any restaurant but I like something other than water or soda with my lunch.  That’s just me.

Update: I’ve added the sesame chicken dish that I had today, I wrote this last week after our first visit.  Had to include this dish here!  The sesame chicken has a very thin batter that was a little grainy in texture, could be rice flour.  The sauce is gingerly applied so the chicken is not drowning in it, not spicy and citrus notes play wonderfully with the toasted sesame seeds throughout.

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A new seafood restaurant popped up in the ‘hood.  Hubby was very excited to introduce me to Deckhand Oyster Bar.

The restaurant is a renovation of a previous Italian place that I never tried.  Tucked behind a Salvation Army at IH-35/SH-45 you will find this brightly painted seafood joint.

Outside you will pass previously enjoyed oyster shells on your way in the door.

I’m not sure when they opened but they are still hiring staff and working with perhaps as little as three or four people during the day.  The front staff were cool but friendly.  The decor has a nautical theme, well suited for an oyster bar.



We ordered a half-dozen oysters as an appetizer.  This was only the second (or third?) time I’ve tried these guys, Hubby is an avid oyster eater.  The waitress added an extra oyster to the plate too.  A good start.



The main lunch entrée was a stuffed flounder to share.  The side of rice was a great accompaniment to the Cajun spiced flounder and shrimp stuffing.  Since the kitchen was being slow we were offered a free bowl of gumbo while we chatted and waited for our beauty of a fish.  The gumbo was tasty, all the earthy spices you would expect to find in a shrimp gumbo.  Some of the bay leaves ended up in my bowl, perhaps tied bundles would work better there, chef.


Don’t expect this place to carry Michelin stars anytime soon, it’s a quaint neighborhood restaurant with a decent menu and reasonably  affordable prices.  I expect business to grow once the Fronterra office buildings down the road are filled with new employees next year.  This will be one of the few hot lunch spots in this part of Round Rock.

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