Location: 8557 Research Blvd # 118, Austin, TX
Location: 1910 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX
On a hot tip from the Kiwi doglover, we directed our rush hour date toward a Vietnamese place off 183, only to discover it is closed on Tuesday. Bummer, since we don't get up into north Austin much at other times. We consoled ourselves with a visit to the Hong Kong Supermarket. There's nothing quite like a stroll through an Asian supermarket. Sometimes you even see a label in English, although sometimes even that doesn't help. I found a gzillion things I'd like to try, but with the pantry already full of things I haven't cooked in months, it would be crazy to buy more. I did get some fried taro sticks for a snack and we picked up some cool tea cups, the kind with a lid and an infuser. [Ours are a very cool blue, but I could only find red on the Internet, so use your imagination.]
We had time on our hands, so we loitered around the strip mall, browsing here and there. We did a speedwalk pass through a furniture store, outrunning the sales guy, and ended up outside a place called Coco's Cafe. The sign in front mentioned some of their awards from the Austin Chronicle:
- 2006 Readers Other Oriental/Asian
- 2004 Readers Original Recipe
- 2004 Readers Chicken Dish
- 2004 Readers Other Oriental/Asian
- 2004 Readers Favorites
- 2003 Readers Favorites
- 2003 Readers Other Oriental/Asian
- 2002 Readers Favorites
- 2001 Readers New Restaurant
- 2001 Readers Other Restaurant Worth Noting
- 2001 Readers Other Oriental/Asian
The Woman has few weak spots. When we moved to Hawaii we went three years without Blue Bell ice cream. Then somebody sent us four half-gallons of Blue Bell. The normally generous-to-a-fault Woman assumed the demeanor of a tigress guarding her cubs. The transformation was astounding. At that point I made a note to self -- never get between The Woman and her Mint Chocolate Chip Blue Bell!
Bubble drinks are another of The Woman's passions. I don't get it, myself. If I get a drink, I don't want lumps in it. Some like lumps, I guess.
At Coco's, you go to the counter, order, get a number, help yourself to the soup and various condiments and grab a table. The menu was full of interesting things. We narrowed it down to Peppercorn Chicken for The Woman and Eel Steak for me. We also wanted to get [insert name of item that really sounded good but I forgot the name of and couldn't look up because they don't have a website here] but they were out, so we opted for the green onion pie.
The soup was egg drop. Milly put cilantro in hers, I put a dark hot sauce in mine and it was spicy enough, even for me. Our green onion pie arrived, which turned out to be a big green onion pancake with a soy chili pepper sauce on the side. It was a nice appetizer, although these things always taste a little under done to me. But that's just me. That's how they're supposed to taste.
The entres arrived. The peppercorn chicken was deep-fried chicken chunks with peppercorn batter, jalapeno garlic mixture on the side with rice and spicy cabbage. The eel steak was a big unagi filet in a bowl of rice with spicy cabbage and a pickled squash slice. It was just like something you would get in Japan for lunch. I got flashbacks from my Asian travels. Both were good. It's not surprising Coco's gets awards. They have good solid food, decent prices, simple but tasteful decor. What's not to like? I'm going to check out the other location first chance I get.