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Odam Finds Culinary Hits and Misses at Jacoby's; Chronicle Visits Taco Flats

Plus, a cheap eats recommendation from Mick Vann.

Jeff Amador/EATX

Statesman critic Matthew Odam visits ranch-to-table Jacoby's this week, where he finds stylish "rustic" digs but uneven food and service. On the burger versus the Salisbury steak:

The family ranch affords the restaurant the unique vertically integrated opportunity to serve humanely raised, hormone and antibiotic-free beef raised by the family. The Jacoby ranch beef is featured in a box on the daily menu, and the standout in that section is the half-pound cheeseburger ($16), a thick patty made of roast, brisket, chuck and steak trimmings. Melted cheese stretches across the soft char of the thick, juicy burger sandwiched between a softly sweet brioche-style bun. The Salisbury steak ($18), by comparison, was dense and dry, a problem not remedied by the strong brown gravy in which it sat, or the fluffy and buttery tumult of mashed potatoes.

For The Chronicle, Brandon Watson checks out new Burnet Road bar and taquiera Taco Flats. There are some taco standouts, but overall the lack of consistency is a shade too Slacker for the critic. On the mixed signals of the atmosphere:

But the seating seems more geared toward last-call slumps than midday lounging. That's fine at the bar, but awkward in the bank of banquettes, where cocktail tables literally bar you from your dining companions but keep you focused on SportsCenter. The server asked us to open a tab before ordering on a lunch visit, an odd touch for a full-service restaurant. Nervously, the entire operation seems to be searching for identity. Is it fast casual? A sports bar? A neighborhood haunt? A Xeroxed fanzine of all three?

Also for The Chronicle, Mick Vann finds a great bet for goat at trailer Taquito Aviles. On the superb chivo options:

Mario's rich consomé de chivo is superb, perhaps even better than the amazing version served at El Hidalguense in Houston. Aviles serves a steaming reddish-brown, aromatic broth that's loaded with tender goat, with a side bowl of onions and cilantro, lime wedges, and a stack of tortillas. It's almost a meal by itself, but you'd be crazy to not order a taco de chivo on the side, with mouthwatering meat in a red chile glaze. It's the perfect goat-centric feast.

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