We do the hard work so you don’t have to. Once a week we take a spin across the Austin Chowhound board and harvest the best work over that way and issue it in compendium form so that our readers can browse an annotated version and get back to their busy lives.

Here’s our weekly installment of Chowhoundjunior. The cream of the crop of the Austin Chowhound board. 1] A lot of hand wringing has ensued after El Greco, the local Greek restaurant that famously was the subject of a Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares filming [that never aired], shuttered recently.

We were all over the controversy with our article here http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/8/18/Along-Came-Gordon-Ramsays-Kitchen-Nightmares-Kicks-The-Door-In-At-El-Greco and feel terrible for the family. They endured a lot during their stint in Austin and can’t imagine having to strike a deal with the devil then have the devil renege at the 11th hour. Actually we can imagine that.

Anyway, poster “pickychicky1979” mentions that the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode is slated to air 1/20/2012 so if you want to see Gordon yell at a restaurateur, mutter to himself and perhaps eat a hoagie from Wheatsville then set your tivo.

2] Poster “foodiegal71” is reporting that Madam Mam’s at Westgate is changing its name to Saps. Poster “alan sudo” has the insiders dish that the restaurant owners names are Sap and Mam so perhaps a split is in the offing? Top local food scribe Mick Vann is a lover of this restaurant so perhaps we’ll be reading news from him soon.

3] Poster “heyzeus212” has a breaking story on a new restaurant open in the Triangle off Guadalupe.

It’s called Maoz and is an outlet of the Dutch vegetarian chain. Poster “Homero” had this to say; “I went there the other day and was really impressed. The falafel was very good, and the belgian fries were very good as well. We met Roy the manager and he was very friendly and gracious. Maoz is a fantastic alternative to other fast food or quick lunches in the area.”

We’re always looking for good falafel and “Homero” is one of the sages of the Austin chowhound board so we will definitely be heading over that way soon. Our favorite source currently is the Halal Guys downtown http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/6/27/Austin-Daily-Photo-The-Halal-Guys-Monday-June-27th-2011?adminview=true

4] El Papalote, the high dollar taco joint on south Lamar gets some love from poster “achtungpv” who says “All the guisadas I’ve had are great and a huge change of pace from standard taco places where usually the only slow cooked options are barbacoa and carne guisada. There’s two salsas provided, green and red. Both are unique and definitely not like any others I can recall in town.”

We like El Papalote on our visit [http://chowpapi.com/wordpress/wordpress-2.8.6/wordpress/?p=1088] but just can’t justify the $3.52 for ONE taco. Maybe if we were in mid town Manhattan but not south Austin y’all.

5] In the most motion we’ve seen on the board in months an LA hound is coming to town and has the board IGNITED with 23 posts in a week! Poster “a213b” is coming to Austin and the Austin hounds have united as one. He wants to know the following

“Franklin BBQ – Ok, here’s my dilemma with this. A decent-sized part of my family is from the Luling/Lockhart area, so while I didn’t grow up there I’ve eaten at the temples of BBQ more than a few times. For the record, my overall favorite is City Market, though I have NOT tried Snow’s (other than mail order). We will be stopping in at one or more of these on our drive over from NoLA, so is Franklin’s great enough to warrant trying too?”

Poster”estufarian” has the best response

“First Franklin – astonishingly good. On previous trips I’d hit Lockhart and was not particularly bowled over – in fact I’d almost given up on Texas BBQ having tried it all over Hill Country – BUT Franklin is in a class of its own. Best brisket I’ve had in North America (in fact one of the only two places I’d recommend – and the other is in Ontario!). But beware the line-up! We arrived about 12:30pm on a Tuesday and were served about 1:10. Both ribs and pulled pork had sold out by then, so only brisket and sausage remained. Both of these were gone by 1:30pm. Amusegirl is a ribs fan so was disappointed – but they found an end piece (3 small ribs) which they comped us – and based on that the ribs are similarly amazing. She also was knocked out by the brisket.”

We are now coming up on one year without a morsel of Franklin barbecue to sustain us. But we still have plenty misty watercolored memories of Aaron Franklin’s meat.

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2010/12/14/Austin-Daily-Photo-The-New-Brich-And-Mortar-Franklin-Barbecue-Tuesday-December-14th-2010?adminview=true

http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2011/2/7/Austin-Daily-Photo-Franklin-Barbecue-Monday-February-7th-2011?adminview=true

Thanks for checking out the site y’all. We’ve got a lot of exciting things planned for 2012.

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