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I am embarrassed to admit it but I use Yelp. It's coverage is broad and it has handy features like being able to locate nearby bars. That said, the ninny level is much higher than it should be. I'v

Yelp makes Mama Lucia's sound really good.

I saw that but it seemed amateurish. Here at MF we are the Seal Team 6 of ranting.   Come on, play along. Look up 2 of your favorite neighborhood restaurants on Yelp, sort the results by rating, a

  • 2 weeks later...

Itsa S. gives Second Bar & Kitchen one star:


I've had me some pork belly.

I had me some pork belly when the first chef to ever do so put it on a menu in Austin and the sumptious richness of it nearly overpowered.

This ain't that.

Nope. The "porkbelly", or "bacon & eggs", at 2nd is disgusting. Firstly, the egg is barely poached. Shit, I hate raw egg. Second.... tomato jam? Need I say more? OK, I will - totally distracting. Third, the pork belly.... which is all about "belly".... tasted like a pork rib.

On to the braised beef short rib. Where the hell is the rib ?!? OK, I got a chunk of nearly tender lean beef. Where's the savory flavor ?!? Oh, yeah, there is the truffle grits. But ain't this about beef?!? And balsamic-whatever jus????? yawn. I had far better beef short rib at a hotel bar named Finn & Porter YEARS ago, right here in Austin.

I saw a $12 burger come out. The bun was BURNED and the burger was small. Like McDonald's small. And I saw a rib "eye" of beef come out. Honestly- that looked about the best of everything. But... uh.... ribyeye price for only the "eye" ??

Let's talk about service. When you bring me a glass of wine.... hold the stem. THAT'S WHAT IT'S FOR!! I don't want to see your smudgey dammed fingerprints all over my wineglass. Next- when you place my flatware/silver on the bar consider this : I'll be putting that in my mouth. Do you really think I want you to put it directly on a bar where everyone who has not washed their hands after wiping their ass sits playing with their drink?!? NO!! Put a dammed napkin under it!!!!

Nothing... I repeat, NOTHING, causes me to "want" to dine at "Congress".... cuz, ya know.... they share a kitchen.


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  • TW f. doesn't like it either. Oh wait, LOVED the food, but the one star is for portion size.



We live in downtown Austin and eat out quite often since it is so much more fun than staying home & cooking, especially when there are so many fun restaurants in DT to experience. We decided to try this pretentious, hoity-toity, bullshit restaurant for the first time this evening. I am still fuming from my experience. First of all, the interior was so noisy I could barely hear & understand the seating hostess after I asked if we could sit outside. The ambiance on the exterior was extremely lacking, in my opinion. Just a bunch of tables & chairs lined up on the concrete sidewalk does not create an ambiance for a supposedly upscale restaurant. After having a real friendly banter with our awesome waiter, Anthony, who helped us decide on the best dishes to try, I had the braised short ribs, and my husband had the pressed pork shoulder. The menu mentioned "big plate," and at $22 an entree, we expected that they would indeed be "big plates." The dishes came and let me say first that both dishes were absolutely delicious and cooked to perfection. My short ribs were so tender, it melted in my mouth like butter, and my husband's pressed pork shoulder was just as tender & tasty. However, I was absolutely appalled at the portion sizes!! We might have pardoned them for the smaller meat portions if there was a reasonable portion of polenta & potatoes & maybe some side veggies to make up for the small meat portions. Disappointingly, they lied when they describe the pork being on a "BED" of polenta. What part of the world are they from when they think a "BED of Polenta" is just two tablespoons of polenta, spread very thin across the bottom of this plate? Same for the mashed potatoes that came with my short ribs. Actually, I could not really tell if I had mashed potatoes after that thin layer of potatoes got lost in my short ribs sauce & ended up on the bottom of my short ribs. I love dark beers and so I also had a porter with my meal, which was also very good. However, I thought $9 for a 16-oz size porter was absolutely atrocious. When all was said and done, we ended up with a $64 bill, and were both still hungry!! The only other time I had such a negative, dining experience at a restaurant was when we ate at Aqua in San Francisco a few years ago. I voiced my dis-satisfaction with our waiter, Anthony, and asked that he passed my comments on to the chef and to his other superiors. If there is anything that turns me off more, it's pretentious, bullshit restaurants like 2nd Bar & Kitchen where they feel they are entitled to charge a whole lot of money for bite size portions of food, and expect to have repeat patrons. Perhaps they feel they can get away with this because they are on 2nd Street??? They might be able to fool a lot of those tourists who choose to eat or have drinks there for the 1st time. But people and especially locals like us don't stay stupid for long; and over time, their repeat business of ripping off their customers will not/CANNOT be sustained. We did not at all see the value in what we paid for, and this experience just put me in a really bad mood the rest of the evening. I felt like someone stole $64 out of my wallet!! Needless to say, we will NOT return to this outrageous establishment. There are much better choices on 2nd street. Taverna, La Condesa, and even Cru Bar comes to mind for offering a much better dining experience.
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Meanwhile Dean K. gives The Oasis 5 stars... but I'm not sure he understands what that means: (the last sentence is particularly poetic)




Shoddy tourist trap Garbage food on a grand view.
I say tear down this hole and put up a resort or a better restaurant.

First things first - speedy service for a large party, insofar as getting us sat went. Insofar as getting us served went, not so well. I am finding that outside of fine dining or absolute chain garbage like Denny's, servers in this town are unwilling to suggest or advise you on anything.
To be fair, I was full as fuck so I didn't order. The best thing was a bland flatbread with some overly sweet brisket sauce and melted cheese.
The salsa for the chips tasted, looked and yielded to my corn chips like V8 sauce. Thumbs down.
The umbrellas are scattered hither and yon, clustered around the tables in a kind of awkwardly looming way. I was wedged between the cinder block the umbrella shaft was set in and my peers to either side.
Vegetable fajitas looked like shit. The broccoli was bright green, without any delicate char, and I don't usually think of broccoli when I think vegetable substitute for Mexican cuisine.
My basic Margarita was watery and unremarkable.
Waters went unremarked and unfilled. I think they're too busy with too limited a staff. Should have some dedicated waterboys running around.

For this they imposed the grat. That's impressive. Most new restaurants have done away with the grat because of the IRS' new rule on how to treat the grat at wage law. I wonder if the management at The Oasis is aware of all that.

On my way out I was greeted with these creepy bronze statues of kids in football gear staring cheerfully, lashlessly, into a dark and grim future where they are battered for the profit of schools and the insatiable glorylust of their failed fathers.
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 6 months later...

Restaurateur Bites Lying Yelper Back.

This is rich. A Yelper claims that he received really rude service at a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco.

My experience was at around 730pm on a Wednesday. I was flying solo that night, after a particularly challenging day. The waiter came up and asked how many. I said one, I had planned to sit at the bar or get the food to go. She said "one? no, one?" and then ran off. I waited a minute at the door, and then left. They were busy and potentially understaffed. It's not that classy of a place, but they refused to seat me. Sure, I was wearing jeans and a baseball cap with my flannel shift not tucked in. I had no intentions of taking a full table, just any corner I could fit in, or order off the menu to go once the guy next to me was done with it. Oh well, next time I go out in a group of three to six we'll take our business elsewhere. The key to a good business is to be consistent in the small things. That sucks, I just wanted food and I had cash, just as I sat down two people called me back and my entourage of 6 had an amazing dinner at Thai stick.

Only something really funny happened. The restaurant has a couple webcams that record everything. It turned out that the reality was a lot different. The owner's son posted the video on line along with this comment -

In this first video, you can see that you entered at 19:07, which is earlier than you quoted. You can also see that you did not wait a minute at the door. You spent a total of 22 seconds in the establishment. This video also clearly shows that there were other patrons waiting. We are sincerely sorry that we forgot to recognise your very, very "VIP" status at wonderful, a status so special that you don't have to sign the waiting list like everyone else... I've never been to a restaurant where to refuse to seat people because they're wearing what you were wearing... You're dreaming if you think that's why you didn't get service. [...]

Dan, we didn't refuse to seat you. You refused to wait in line like everyone else. You thought you were special, so special that you don't have to follow the rules. That's not true, we caught you.


I love it.


SF Eater.

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