Here's where Austin food critics, bloggers and Rob Balon ate this week:
KVUE — Rob Balon exclaims his way through another review, this time at East Side Pies, where he finds himself surrounded by a wealth of pizzas. "The tastes and crusts are spot on," raves Balon, who loves the restaurant's "whimsical" names for its "seriously cool pizza," like the Homer, a "robust affair."
FED MAN WALKING — Critic-about-town Mike Sutter has some complicated thoughts about Elizabeth Street Cafe, which he believes answers the question "What if Tam Deli dressed up and charged twice the price?" The fritters offer flavor "both Vietnamese and ballpark American," and he eats impressive banh mi, pork pho and green mango and cucumber salad. But apart from the croissants ("few Austin bakeries turn out a better croissant") he writes that he'll take neighboring La Mexicana pastries any day. And in $12 pork bun noodle bowl, he finds the "privileged banality that keeps Elizabeth Street from being more than Vietnamese for the ruling class."
AUSTIN CHRONICLE — Mick Vann gets all the delicious sandwiches at North Loop food truck Melvin's Deli Comfort, where "groovy tunes play on the sound system." He especially liked the Reuben ("sorry, Spec's Deli; your wonderful Reuben just got blown completely out of the water by Melvin") and the croque monsieur, "the world's best grilled cheese." It's all paired with "excellent, crispy, garlicky home-cured pickles and crispy housemade potato chips." In sum: "This is how a sandwich should be made."
AUSTIN CHRONICLE — "Treat yo self" at Angel Donuts & Treats in Cedar Park, writes Melanie Haupt. The shop has "sleek tables for individual or group study sessions" and the "real winners" are the cake balls in a "dizzying array" of flavors, but she likes the chai best. The glazed donuts are "serviceable."
Rob Balon at East Side Pies. [Photo: KVUE]