I love to report on restaurants. The benefits are two-fold: you can write about something new and you get to eat! So I was tickled to hear that there are a couple of new things happening in my Cherrywood neighborhood that we can all get excited about….the opening of Man Bites Dog food trailer at 2101 Manor Road and Connie Green’s expansion of Joe’s Place at 1814 Chicon (NW corner of Chicon and MLK).
Man Bites Dog has been around in South Austin for some time. They’ve had a food trailer on South First Street next to Torchie’s Tacos under those beautiful trees along East Bouldin Creek. But now they’ve opened a second trailer on Manor Road and it’s a great addition to the already numerous restaurants that line the street. Hoover’s Cooking, El Chile, Vivo’s, East Side Café, Mi Madre’s, Red House Pizzeria, and Thundercloud Coffee have already made the area a dining destination for many of us, but now we can also grab one of the best hotdogs you’ll ever put in your mouth…and I know my hot dogs!
The menu runs the gamut from the basic Vienna dog on a bun with ketchup (there’ very little ‘basic’ about this huge dog) to My Big Fat Greek Dog with merguez lamb sausage and tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, diced onions, cucumbers and feta cheese! You’ve got your Chili Cheese Dog, your Reuben, the Chicken & Brie (chicken sausage with brie & mango chutney), the Where’s the Beef (vegetarian), The Brat (bratwust with sauerkraut and brown mustard), the Bird Dog (chicken sausage with corn relish and pesto mayo), the Cuban (pork sausage with ham and relish and mustard with Swiss cheese), the Big Texas (add BBQ sause and cheddar cheese) and my favorite…the Buffalo Hottie (a beef frank with bleu cheese crumbles and buffalo sauce with green onions)! OMG!!!
My Cherrywood neighbors are raving about this new addition to our ‘hood, and I must say, we’re glad to have them. The food trailer phenomenon has swept Austin and us Eastsiders are only too happy to be getting our share of the action. Now, it Gourdough’s would move in, we’d be set, but I’m told that some neighbors might have to move away because the temptations would be too much!
The other happening that I want to tell you all about is the expansion of a Beer Garden coming to Joe’s Place on Chicon in the Rosewood area of East Austin. Located just a few blocks from restaurant row on Manor Road, Joe’s Place has been serving up some excellent grub for years and I should know. I’ve known Joe Cook since our days of working at UT in the mid-1980s. I was on the team that planned special events and Joe was on the team that served the same events. And let me just say that these events were indeed ‘special’…and had a guest list of the highest caliber from Texas and around the world. We served presidents, prime ministers, royalty, and a whole list of Who’s Who from Spain, Japan, Australia and Texas. So the food had to meet that same level of excellence as our guest list, and indeed, it did. With this kind of background, it’s no wonder that Joe’s Place has such a distinctive menu, but on a more simple scale for everyday lunches.
But I digress, because I’m not here to tell you about the existing dining establishment as much as I’m here to tell you about their new expansion that opens Friday, March 26th. Connie Green, a partner with Joe, is opening Connie’s Beer Garden and offering great food, drinks, music and fun! Hours will be 3 -9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Their kickoff features Leticia Rodriguez y combo, who is locally noted for her beautiful renditions of classic Spanish boleros from the 1920s to the 1950s. Since the new garden hasn’t opened, I can’t give you a review, but I can tell you that I’ll be there when it opens and am looking forward to another great place to hang my hat on the East Side!