In Austin, it's a small world after all, but one with plenty of dining options
6619 Airport, 419-0110
Monday-Thursday, noon-10pm; Friday-Saturday, noon-11pm
Often when we hear from readers about their favorite neighborhood eateries, it's obvious they aren't entirely sure they want to part with the information. Sure, they know the hard-working restaurant owner could use the publicity and extra business, but if the secret gets out, their personal favorite spot is likely to be overrun with new customers. Lucky for us, fans of Arpeggio Grill struggled with the dilemma and were generous enough to share.
Israeli-born Adam Trosich operated restaurants in California for years before bringing his family to Austin. Last spring, the Trosich family took over an abandoned Schlotzsky's outlet in a strip center just north of Highland Mall and created the Arpeggio Grill. The casual eatery offers 25 finger-licking-good flavors of chicken wings, an interesting selection of pizzas, and a full complement of Mediterranean dishes prepared from family recipes. And members of the family are always there to serve you and make you feel right at home. They'll prepare your meal to eat in, take out, or be delivered (within a certain area).
The readers who first turned me on to Arpeggio are big fans of the Monster Pizza (almost 30 inches, $18-32, depending on toppings), which makes a regular appearance at a weekly TV viewing party. Other folks rave about the wing selection as few as five or as many as 100 in flavors that range from mild to nuclear hot. My personal favorites so far come from the Mediterranean portion of the menu. I'm partial to the hummus with chicken shawarma ($6.99) and the moist, flavorful shish-kabob mix ($9.99) with lamb, beef, and chicken kabobs served with fluffy basmati rice, salad, and pitas. The Arpeggio Mese Platter ($9.99) provides the opportunity to sample all the traditional appetizers hummus, baba ghanouj, dolmas, tabbouleh, falafels, shawarma, a pungent garlic sauce, and pitas and it's plenty enough to share with friends. The Arpeggio Roast Chicken ($6.99), a half chicken marinated in lemon and herbs served on a bed of fluffy rice, was a little on the dry side but packed with flavor. The toothsome tabbouleh ($2.99) is very refreshing, and there are good, simple salads and plenty of vegetarian options. The last caveat: Put that first takeout menu in a safe place, because for some reason the Arpeggio Grill isn't listed in information. V.B.W.