Wine Dine and Play: July 2015

Texas Chili Parlor

Austin, Texas, USA
Chili and more
Dined in March 2015

My first day visiting Austin, Texas had me wandering down town to see the amazing Capitol Building, followed by a lunch at a place my girlfriend recommended as a must for lunch in Austin. I’ve always been a fan of chili, but especially Texas Chili with no beans. After touring the Capitol building, we ate lunch with a few of her friends at the Texas Chili Parlor, a very memorable experience, even though the chili had beans. 

Scroll down to read the main review

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Star ratings chart:

5 stars
4 stars Outstanding  
3 stars Exceeded expectations     
2 stars Above average                          
1 star Average
No star rating Basic, poor, or appalling 

Review basics:

Overall Star rating by Wine, Dine, & Play:
3 of 5 
Quality of food:
7 of 10
6 of 10
Customer service:
6 of 10
6 of 10
Corkage fee’s:
American Restaurant standard is $25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Dress code:
Casual, or Conservative attire
Not Required
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a child’s menu or cater to them; however for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended for children not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. Hire a Babysitter. See Alinea Baby Gate, god I love Alinea.
Cuisine style:
Contemporary, American, Southern, & Tex-Mex
Music styles:
Background instrumental
Place for foodies, Hot spot, Great bar, Rustic, Hole-in-the-wall, Intimate, Tourist grabber, and a Neighborhood gem.
Industry standard is 18-20% added to parties of 6 or more
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Street Parking
Transport options:
Bus, taxi, limousine, personal vehicle, and walking
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Nonsmoking restaurant

Food price per person 
(Excluding tax & gratuity)

Price chart:
$£€¥ -               Under 50.00 
$£€¥ x 2 -          Under 75.00 
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 

**Currencies chosen reflect the world’s major travelers and restaurant connoisseur’s**

My food bill:
Price chart:
United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
European Union (EUR)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Australian Dollar (AUS)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  

To get up to date currency rates:

Scroll down below the main review to see cost of wines and tasting notes.

From restaurants home page:

Welcome to the one, the only, the original Texas Chili Parlor. An Austin institution since 1976, TCP is many things to many people. To Texas legislators, TCP is a favorite lunch spot, just up the street from the state capitol.
To University of Texas students and fans, TCP is a great sports bar, with plenty of enthusiasm for all the UT teams. To a core group of devoted regulars, TCP is that place "where everybody knows your name.” And to all of Austin, TCP has become a landmark, a not-to-be-missed bit of local color. A visit to TCP will do your spirit good—great food, full bar, lively staff, and funky atmosphere sure to spark your appetite. Great chili? That goes without saying, and there's lots more on the Menu—amazing enchiladas, big juicy burgers, sumptuous sandwiches, special salads, magnificent munchies, and terrific tacos.

Main review:

The Texas Chili Parlor is a very relaxed restaurant, and a friendly atmosphere, where the walls are covered with pictures and license plates. My girlfriend and I met with a few of her friends, some of whom were also from outside of town like me. The City of Austin was shaping up to be a fantastic place, as I had only been here for two days. Between the many things to see downtown and the restaurants, it would be an amazing week long adventure. 

The menu here at the Texas Chili Parlor included a lot more than just chili of course, from a various amount of Tex-Mex style starters, salads, burgers, enchiladas, tacos, and speciality dinners ranging from pork chops, fajitas, and steaks. But of course being in Texas, I was at the chili parlor for its name sake, Texas Chili. One thing I did discover from the chili selections available, is that they all had beans, even though I had been taught long ago that traditional Texas Chili did not have beans. This didn’t take away from how good their chili was of course, it just was a minor let down. I would later discover that in Austin, it was hard to find a restaurant that did have chili without beans. 

I started with a local brewed beer called the Austin Amber, a Belgian style malt that was very tasty. The group chose a variety of starters and taster bowls of chili, whereas I went with the chili sampler, 3 small cups of any choice of chili. I decided on the White Chili, Black Bean & Elgin Sausage Chili, and the XX. The white chili being my favorite of the group, but the Hot Sausage from the Elgin Sausage Company was also very tasty.

This Restaurant reminds me of:

A nice place to have a lunch that I wouldn’t mind returning to one day that also reminded me of a restaurant at the Conrad hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa called Alex Restaurant, and a nice restaurant in Dubai at the Hyatt Park Hotel that served a mixture of local and exotic foods called Café Arabesque.

Other Austin favorites:
Benji’s Cantina
Texas Chili Parlor
Home Slice Pizza
Güero's Taco Bar 
Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar
Qui Restaurant

Other trending story’s on Wine, Dine, and Play:

Restaurant address:
1409 Lavaca Street
Austin, Texas 78701


Cross streets:
 West 14th & West 15th Streets

GPS Coordinates

Latitude: 30.276983
Longetude: -97.741940

Contact Information: 

Maître d, Reservations:
Restaurant Website:

Social Media:

Facebook Link                


11:00 am–2:00 am
11:00 am–2:00 am
11:00 am–2:00 am
11:00 am–2:00 am
11:00 am–2:00 am
11:00 am–2:00 am
11:00 am–2:00 am
Standard Time (GMT -6:00)

Review by:
Chef Sean Overpeck (CFE)

Chef Sean cooks for soldiers in Afghanistan, 2012:

"Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."


Jack Allen’s Kitchen

Farm To Fork
Austin, Texas, USA
Cuisine Style: Southwestern
Average Price: $$
Overall Rating: 5/5
Dined in March 2015
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Jack Allen's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Executive Chef:
Jack Gilmore
Rogelio Lujano

Jack Allen’s Kitchen is located in the heartland of America, Texas; home to Cowboys, Indians, Bandits, and former Republican and Democrat Presidents. The Capital City of Austin, named after the patriot of the Texas Revolution, is not only home to one of the most fantastic Capital buildings I have ever seen, but also to a food scene that I did not anticipate, but was greatly pleased to take part and enjoy. Two of the top listed restaurants in the United States are in Austin, and if you ever saw the film Chef, the story has them driving their food truck into Austin and enjoying some favorites before moving on to California. With that wonderful cuisine, Jack Allen’s Kitchen was no exception to that rule, with four locations, I’m very glad that while visiting my girlfriend (at the time) and now my wife introduced me to them.   

    • Starters
    • Git Yer Green’s
    • Ice Cold Mason Jars
    • Grillin’s
    • Chicken Fried Anything
    • South Texas Tacos
    • In The Bun
    • Desserts
Happy hour, or an extended one at that, is something that I had never really taken advantage of in most places that I traveled or lived. I am very traditional having the three squares a day, but at the same time am open to just about anything, especially when it comes to food. My wife had lived in Austin for nearly a decade and used to work with the restaurants as a wine representative, so she got to know all the in’s and outs, knowing which places to go, and which to avoid. Like her, I enjoy the restaurants that are privately owned with local featured cuisine and talent versus the big name corporate restaurants that are everywhere. 

We arrived around 4pm, the restaurant location in an area known as Oak Hill. It had a very large open dining room and kitchen with bar to the right as you entered. Being that it was a very nice spring day, we sat on their patio, an enclosed ceiling area with its own bar, over twenty tables, and a brick fireplace at one end facing the parking lot, with Williamson Creek and a small grouping of trees to the opposite side for scenic views.  Above the fireplace was a sign for Highway 71, the main thoroughfare outside the restaurant. 

My wife enjoys Rosé wine, so from their list she had a Washington State selection called Charles & Charles Winery Part of the Trinchero Family Estate of wines. The Rosé was a blend of Syrah (72%), Mourvedre (8%), Cabernet Sauvignon (8%), Grenache (6%), Cinsault (3%), and Counoise (3%). According to the winemaker, the color is vibrant pink, salmon, and fuchsia edges. More than ever, the wild red fruit of strawberry, raspberry and Bing cherry are interwoven with Herbs de Provence and grass, a touch of citrus and an even greater presence of minerality. Being happy hour, this was the perfect time to enjoy several appetizers from the menu, though of course, they had a normal selection of salads and entree’s to offer as well. Our first appetizer was a southern classic that I had gained an appreciation for after moving to Georgia in the late 1990s, a pimento cheese dip with flatbread crackers. Very flavorful, with the right consistency of cream cheese to cheddar, and spice making it very enjoyable. 

Pimento cheese

The second dish which I believe was my favorite of the night was a smoked beef rib quesadillas, with pepper jack cheese, sautéed onions, and bell peppers, topped with a nice semi-spicy slaw called ‘JAK’s Slaw’. Every bite I took into those quesadillas was truly heaven, and I would not be ashamed to say that in the future I would attempt to copy this dish and use it for parties and social gatherings. 
Beef rib quesadillas

The third dish of enjoyment to match the next round of drinks was a spinach and gorgonzola cheese dip, with enough garlic to send my heart racing for more after each bite. It had the power to kill the strongest of vampires, but not overpowering to not be enjoyable. It reminded of the wonderful incorporation of the herb that the chef used in his dishes from the restaurant Garlic in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The dish was served with four pieces of grilled ciabatta bread. 

Spinach and gorgonzola cheese dip

The final dish of the happy hour adventure was a bacon wrapped Texas quail dish with six small quail legs, a jalapeño jam, and a peach jam, over a micro green fig salad. Absolutely delightful, that was a close tie with the quesadillas as my favorite dish. By the time that course was complete we had no room for dessert, and our little happy hour excursion turned up as being a complete filling meal, and we were able to skip out on a regular dinner meal that evening.  

Texas quail

Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

Wine regulatory’s for the tastings in this article:

United States: 

Other Noteworthy Farm-to-Fork or Farm to Table Articles & Restaurants:
Beach House Florida Style Waterfront Dining with Gulf-to-Table concepts, Anna Maria Island, Florida
Bistro at Biltmore Classy farm to table eatery in Asheville, North Carolina
FarmTable Kitchen Casual Cal-Italian cuisine and chef tables in St. Petersburg, Florida
Food 101 Farm-to-table eatery offering Southern classics in Sandy Springs, Georgia 
Harvest Moon Café Farm-to-Fork Daily changing New American fare menu in Sonoma, California 
McCrady’s Tavern Acclaimed high-concept inspired Farm to Table tavern in Charleston, South Carolina

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

Other Austin restaurants and articles on Wine Dine and Play:
Local eatery for Tex-Mex, chili, & American cuisine
Austin, Texas, USA
Eclectic global plates and sushi
Austin, Texas, USA
Landmark Mexican Restaurant
Austin, Texas, USA

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, observations and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Jack Allen’s a 5 out of 5 stars, meaning that they not only exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants, but they also surpassed the level of outstanding and are proudly listed as an extraordinary experience.
Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Food quality
Plate presentation
Customer service
Alcohol and other beverages
Total regular points awarded
Total percentage Before Bonus


“Wow” factor BONUS
Total bonus percentage


Total percentage with a bonus for the final star rating


Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


Overall Star Rating:
5 of 5 Stars: 
97% Rating with a 1 point “wow” bonus
An Extraordinary Dining Experience
Wine List:
Wine rating:
6.5 of 10
Old World selections: 
France, Italy, Portugal

New World selections: 
Argentina, New Zealand, California, Oregon, Washington State, Texas
Corkage fee’s:
This Restaurant does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge 
$25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Casual dining
Cuisine Style:
American, Southwestern
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Farm to Fork, Gluten Free, Grass Fed, Local, Low Carb, Organic, Pescatarian, Sustainable, Vegan Options, Vegetarian
Not Required
Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
Casual attire
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Place for foodies, Contemporary, Trendy, Hotspot, Great bar, Great outdoor dining, Good for special occasions, Great brunch, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Valet and Private lot
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Nonsmoking restaurant, and nonsmoking patio
Patio or terrace:

Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)

Jack Allen’s Kitchen:

Oak Hill
7720 Highway 71 West 
Austin, TX 78735

Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+1 512 852 8558
Online reservations
Email Contact:
Serving hours:
Central Standard Time 
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - 6:00)
Brunch: Sun
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
11:00 am - 110:00 pm
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Social Media 

The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…

Farm-to-Table Southern bites spot Sandy Springs, Georgia, USA
Fine-dining waterfront spot for grilled fish and steaks
Indian Shores, Florida, USA
Native American Cuisine w/Barbacoa Grilling
Tampa, Florida, USA

Other Pictures:


“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)

Who is John Galt?


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