potbellys good, checked it out – they got good eats.
panera bread is the same no matter where you go. the only problem is they STILL aren’t open yet. good grief – its only been 6+ mos. the whole place was already furnished and ready to rock and roll. they even had their wi-fi up and going. all they needed was bodies. whatever. i was told 2 more days.
mama lucia’s will have to wait a while before i get to check it out. i’m trying to watch my girlish figure, so no big italian meals for the moment.
so i see that austin grill – custom burrito shop is open. i go check it out. unfortunately i discover this version of austin grill falls into the baja fresh catagory on my menu of restaurants. like baja fresh, austin grill seems to be more like a chipotle LITE.
the steak was overcooked and charred, the chicken was on the salty side, short on the meat (5-7 chunk pieces), the wrap was on the dry side (not nice and soft), and the salsas were ok. pricing – eh… for the same price i coulda went to chipotle and got twice the food there.
i can’t knock them completely. service was great, lots of enthusiasm, very personable staff. unlike chipotle, they allow you to mix your choice of steak, chicken, or other meat when preparing your tacos. environment was clean (they’re newly open) and service was quick (however we were the only two people in line). i was just surprised that they seemed so tight on the fixings.
my experience with most new restaurant openings is that they indulge the menu big and then taper off. example being the Five Guys around the corner from my house. when they first opened – the burgers were AWESOME. they were humongous compared the patties at the established Five Guys down the road. as their customer base stabled out, the burgers went from humongous to big. big meaning you still get a heart attack on a plate. but i cant complain about Five Guys. i am in LOVE w/Five Guys and their super duper burgers – but i’ll save that for another post.
so imo, the trick seems to be that you give it up big at first – draw in your customers, and then taper it down once business becomes regular. austin grill just seemed tapered down from day one…
the verdict: eh, i’ll make one more visit. considering that this joint just opened, they might be having some kinks to work out. although i didn’t think it was that great, i’ll wait a while until they’re established a little more and then try it one more time. who knows, maybe the next meal w/them wont be so burnt and dry tasting.