In this installment of Week In Reviews, Austinites are blessed with not one, not two, not three, but four actual reviews of actual restaurants done by actual food writers! Grab your smelling salts, then settle in: critics are talking burgers, small plates, cake balls and hot pots.
AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN -- Matthew Odam gets hot (pot) at the upscale new Chen Z Hot Pot And Noodle Bar, partly owned by the eponymous Noodle House's Zhao Chen. The restaurant gets a seven of ten stars, and Odam digs the hot pot, cook-your-own experience though wonders about the value of a $23.50 beef hot pot that "seemed exorbitant." His advice? Go for a hot pot, but get some of Chen's signature noodles to fill you up for a proper meal.
DAILY TEXAN -- Student critic Brittany Smith says Mat Clouser's new downtown Swift's Attic is "like walking into a dream." The food takes diners to "other worlds" and also "just tastes really good." She calls the service "phenomenal" and loved the "fall-off-the-bone" duck wings.
AUSTIN CHRONICLE -- Virginia B. Wood balls it up at the Austin Cake Ball Kitchen And Bar, where she powers through a two-hour (!) lunch for her table of four. Though the food is "artfully presented," Wood says it needs to "pack more flavor." Overall, she's left with "concerns" that will hopefully be allayed by new chef David Griffin from Marble Falls' Cafe 909.
FED MAN WALKING -- Mike Sutter is back on the burger beat, with five additions in his never-ending quest to eat all the hamburgers. He eats the "first-string" burger at the Workhorse Bar, the burger at Drink.Well ("juicy as a Tom Robbins novel"), the "elegant" Blake's on Sixth Street burger and the pork pile at Yumé Burger, the "hungry man’s answer to the effete pork belly slider."
· Something Something Hamburgers Etc Hamburgers Something [Fed Man Walking]
· Hands-On Hot Pots Are The Main Attraction At Chen Z [Austin360]
· Swift's Attic Brings Culinary Creativity To The Dinner Table [Daily Texan]
· Restaurant Review: Austin Cake Ball Kitchen And Bar [Austin Chronicle]
[Photo: Manoj I/Yelp]