Hudson’s on the Bend closed.

Hudson’s on the Bend, one of Austin’s higher-end restaurants, shut down abruptly yesterday afternoon, according to a report in the Statesman.

This is kind of a shame. We had several excellent and memorable meals at the old Hudson’s. But last year, Jeff Blank (who founded the restaurant) sold it to a new ownership group. (My recollection is that he had some health issues.) It seemed to me that the restaurant was “closed for remodeling” a lot longer than the new owners had originally expected. They eventually did re-open, but had only been open for three months before yesterday’s closure. I was kind of looking forward to trying it again at some point when everyone was flush, but they hadn’t been open long enough, the next special occasion is in April, and…well…

The new owners apparently aren’t saying a lot about what prompted the shutdown, but my guess is simply money. I think the remodeling took longer and cost more than they expected, and they probably just ran out of funds.

It will be interesting to see what goes into that space. Their next-door neighbor, The Hill Country Pasta House, was sold and re-opened as 827 Ray’s last year after what was also a long remodeling. We haven’t tried it.

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Two Girls Eat Carolina Reaper Peppers

You know, the ones that clock in at 2.2 million Scoville units.

It does not go well for them. (Some NSFW language.)

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Man Killed Over Cutting in Line for Taco Truck

Important safety tip: Try not to kill anyone over cutting in line for a taco trick.

Just after bar-close at 2:38 a.m. on Sunday, May 8th, the Austin Police Department responded to a report of gunfire at what appears to be the Tortillas Hecha a Manos taco truck in Lanier Village, just south of Peyton Gin and North Lamar. When police arrived, they found 39-year-old Rigoberto Jose Castillo dead and three others injured, one critically.

You may be asking, what could have caused all this mayhem? As the story goes, it all began when someone allegedly cut in line for tacos.

According to witnesses, a fight started over who was in line for tacos first. Nobody appreciates the wait for a taco, but police say that Mr. Castillo took special exception to the alleged line-cutting when two men, Osiel Benitez Benitez, 44, and Juventino Benitez Carbajal, 38, allegedly attempted to order out of line.

Things escalated to fisticuffs between Rigoberto and Osiel Benitez, the police report says, leaving Benitez unconscious on the ground, before all hell broke loose. Police go on to claim that a moment later Carbajal went to his truck, pulled out a gun, and began firing into the group of patrons. In addition to Castillo’s death, three women were also injured.

It’s also a bad idea to try and cut in line for a taco trailer. Upside: You get your taco faster. Downside: Getting shot to death over tacos. Plus it’s just not polite…

(Cross-posted from Futuramen. Hat tip: Bill Crider.)

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Austin Chef Paul Qui Arrested

This certainly qualifies as Austin dining news:

Austin chef and restaurateur Paul Qui was arrested Saturday morning accused of assaulting his girlfriend, according to an arrest affidavit.

Police responded to Qui’s apartment in East Austin just before 8 a.m. after receiving a call from Qui’s friend who said “his friend and his girlfriend were fighting” in the apartment. When officers arrived, they heard screaming and yelling coming from the apartment before the door was opened, continued in the court documents

When Qui, 31, opened the door, officers noted he had “blood all over his face, arms, legs and clothing.” Officers noticed the woman inside the apartment was crying and clutching a small child, according to the affidavit. Officers reported the apartment was in disarray with furniture and glass broken—blood was also found smeared on the walls and the floor of the apartment, according to the affidavit.

Qui was released on $20,000 bail.

Dwight and I haven’t eaten at his namesake restaurant Qui yet. And evidently they’ve recently gone to a prix fixe menu, which we don’t tend to gravitate toward.

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Korean Girls Try American BBQ

Here’s the sort of cross-cultural appreciation I can get behind:

A tad long, but worth watching. Especially since they save the brisket and pork ribs until the end…

(Cross-posted from Futuramen.)

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Restaurant Closing: Golden Wok

Although there’s no sign up on their website, Golden Wok Chinese restaurant closed January 5. We were thinking of eating there Saturday, but when I called their phone just rang and rang. I finally called one of their San Antonio locations, who confirmed they had closed just the day before.

Too bad. They were a pretty good restaurant, and you could order Dim Sum for dinner. My guess is that the space is just too large for a Chinese restaurant to be profitable, but I suspect a great Cajun place, BBQ joint or hamburger joint could do very well there…

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SDC Obituary: Murray Wayne Person, Jr.

The Saturday Dining Conspiracy notes with sadness the passing of unindicted co-conspirator Murray Wayne Person, Jr., my father, after a 2 year battle with cancer. He and my mother (who is still alive) joined us on many dining conspiracies over the years, a few of which he generously picked up the entire bill for.

My full obituary is here. He will be missed.

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Obituary Watch: Jim Hasslocher, Founder of Jim’s Resteraunts, Dead at 93

A tiny morsel of restaurant news: Jim Hasslocher, the man who founded the Jim’s Restaurant chain, has died at 93.

As far as mid-American chain restaurants that serve breakfast go, I like Jim’s a bit better than Denny’s, and there’s a location quite close to my house. I was unaware that there are only 19 locations in Austin and San Antonio; I thought they were more widely located across the south.

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Seen in the Wild

IMG_0435

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The Salt Lick Sues The Salt Lick

Dispatch from the BBQ Wars:

Salt Lick BBQ is picking a legal fight with a Georgia company it claims is infringing on its name and reputation.

In a lawsuit filed in Texas’ Western District U.S. Court, the Driftwood restaurant chain claims that the Salt Lick Sausage Co. of Cordele, Georgia, is violating the Central Texas company’s trademark by offering barbecue products for sale via its website www.saltlicksausage.com, which is similar in nature to www.saltlickbbq.com.

Salt Lick claims the Georgia company is using marks and iconography that are similar to its own, and that Salt Lick Sausage stands to benefit from the international reputation and publicity enjoyed by Salt Lick.

The ironic thing, of course, is that the sausage is far and away the least impressive of the Driftwood Salt Lick’s signature meats.

But here’s a revealing tidbit:

“The Austin-area company generated more than $25 million in revenue and served more than 650,000 customers at its main restaurant in Driftwood.”

Having been there fairly recently, I can believe it…

(Cross-posted from Futuramen.)

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