Monday, January 26, 2015

Chi'Lantro's New Brick & Mortar Opens on South Lamar

When Jae Kim first started Chi'Lantro BBQ, he didn't have much in the way of funding. So he put all the money he had together, threw in some credit cards, and opened a mobile food business. "I was all in," he says.

Five years later, with many of the same staff that started out with him back in 2010, he is once again "all in" on a shiny new brick and mortar space on South Lamar. For Jae, it's a dream come true. And Chi'Lantro's fans are pretty thrilled about it, as well.

I was excited to be invited to a complimentary media event at their new space, which is cozy but bright, and full of thoughtful touches stemming from Jae's desire to inspire others. Printed blocks on the tables encourage diners to create their own fun phrases, and a mural on the wall provides a whimsical reminder of where it all began.


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The evening started with guacamole, queso, and chips. The guac was super fresh, and made interesting with the addition of a little sesame oil and ginger. The queso was tasty, too - a little on the mild side for my palate, but I'm sure many will appreciate that.

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Next up were the kim chi fried rice balls, a combination of rice, cheese, and kim chi, all deep fried to create these comforting, yummy bites that tasted great on a chilly evening.

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The next offering, Chi'Lantro's Korean fried chicken wings, or K-pops, was my favorite of the dishes we tried. You can order them in a honey butter flavor or in a spicier gangnam style version. I had a slight preference for the honey butter, but both were fantastic.

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In case you're still sticking to a new year's diet, you can order your choice of protein (ribeye bulgogi, spicy pork, spicy chicken, soy glazed chicken, or marinated tofu) atop Chi'Lantro's house salad. 

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But hopefully you've abandoned your new year's diet by now and can instead indulge in Chi'Lantro's famous kim chi fries. Crispy fries are topped with your choice of meat, carmelized kim chi, cheddar & monterey jack cheese, onions, cilantro, "magic sauce," sesame seeds, and sriracha. This dish is a stroke of genius and I find it difficult to visit Chi'Lantro without indulging in an order of these!

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We topped off the evening with an order of Chi'Lantro's dulce de leche'd, cinnamon-sugary churro tots - which I personally thought read more like super moist doughnut holes, but I most definitely did not hold this against them. They're outstanding.

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Congratulations to Jae and his crew for this exciting new chapter for Chi'Lantro! I'm very much looking forward to many more meals in your new digs.

1509 South Lamar
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 428-5269

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner: 
7a - 10p M-Th
7a-12a Fri
9a-12a Sat
9a-10p Sun

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Delectable Deal - Sunday Pork Chop Special at Perry's

Happy new year, dear readers! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that your year is off to a delicious start.

Did you make any resolutions this year? In keeping with tradition, a few "need-to's" and "shoulds" flitted through my mind and were promptly rejected. Rather than inflexible resolutions, I prefer the path of pseudo-moderation: finding ways to live a thoroughly enjoyable life while still living more or less responsibly. Case in point: the Sunday pork chop special at Perry's Steakhouse.

I'm sure not a few of you are snickering to yourselves. How could the famous, insanely huge Perry's pork chop be associated with anything remotely resembling moderation? Well, if you play your cards right, you can get a whole lot of meals out of this one chop (last time I went, I made rice and veggies to go with the leftovers and got six meals out of one chop!). And if financial moderation is your bailiwick, you'll be thrilled to know that on Sunday nights, Perry's offers this prize of porcine perfection for a mere $29.95 - and they throw in your choice of any salad from their menu (all of which are fairly large) and a dessert trio, to boot. On a normal day, the chop alone without any sides, salad or dessert is $36.95! (they also serve a lunch-sized portion with whipped potatoes for $12.95 on Fridays, but it's smaller and the restaurant is typically insanely packed).

It's really difficult to photograph in Perry's because the restaurant is super dark. But here are a few mildly murky photos for you:

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Complimentary crusty bread and whipped butter.

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Field green, pear, and candied pecan salad. Typically $9.95 - included with the special on Sundays.

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A veritable sea of pork.

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They carve your chop up tableside. There's even a show with this special!

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Holy meat sweats, Batman!

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Dessert trio - incredibly rich chocolate truffle, creme brulee, and mini cheesecake.

So, there you have it. In case you still needed a New Year's resolution, you can now resolve to get thee over to Perry's for their Sunday pork chop special. Trust me; you'll be in hog heaven.

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