Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Short Order

This Week: Making It Personal

Posted By on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 4:00 AM

click to enlarge Jeff and Steve Austin hope to draw weekday breakfast and lunch traffic to their new business, Canal Cafe, downtown.
  • Jeff and Steve Austin hope to draw weekday breakfast and lunch traffic to their new business, Canal Cafe, downtown.

Making It Personal

The underutilized but architecturally rich area around Haxall Point downtown has two new faces hoping to draw people in. Steve and Jeff Austin, father-and-son owners of the just-opened Canal Cafe, hope to put personal service to work in an area ripe for more foot traffic.

Theirs is the 30-seat space that held McAllister's Deli until last year, just behind BlackFinn in the Troutman Sanders building. Canal Cafe retains most of the deli's interior fittings, but the menu extends to breakfast and promises quicker service at lunch. Steve Austin knows the need for speed — he ran a factory cafeteria in New York for 20 years; his son is a fixture on the fine-dining circuit here. Once good weather hits, the generous terrace beneath Riverside on the James should help draw in customers for outdoor dining.

“This is quick, healthy, grab-and-go food — hearty but simple,” Jeff Austin says. “We're not experimenting. We're not reinventing the egg.” Instead they'll serve build-to-order breakfast sandwiches and platters, locally roasted coffee, daily panini such as the pastrami mushroom melt and the batteau cheese steak, and fruit smoothies, frappAcs and pastries. Open weekdays from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. at 1001 Haxall Point. 303-3345.

Gone today: In one of the fastest turnovers in local restaurant history, the Fan corner spot Friend or Pho has been sold to the owners of across-the-street neighbor F.W. Sullivan's. Lady N'awlins Cajun Cafe, now open for dinner and bar hours nightly, includes po'boys, oysters, gumbo, jambalaya, gator bites and crawfish fritters. For more about the changes, click here.

Now Serving

Mingles  New location for Caribbean-inspired seafood, curried goat, oxtail, meats, sides and desserts. Bar. 1726 E. Main St. Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday. 780-0013.

Nate's Taco Truck Stop  Local favorite takeout tacos, tamales, burritos, spicy hot chocolate. Breakfast 8:30-10:30 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. weekdays only. 315 N. Second St. 562-1227.

The Crazy Greek  Offshoot of Staples Mill classic; gyros, pizza, panini, spaghetti, seafood and steaks. Full bar. Lunch and dinner daily, large dining room and outdoor seating. 11500 Busy St. Midlothian. 379-8941.

Off the Hookah  Egyptian dAccor, falafel, hummus, gyros, kebabs, fresh catch, cocktails and flavored smokes in an exotic club setting. Weekday lunch, dinner and bar Mon. — Sat. 140 Virginia St. 225-1918.

Grandma's Soul Food Restaurant  Longtime takeout spot with small eat-in; fried chicken, chitterlings, pig's feet, lake trout, sides, scratch-made desserts. Dinner daily, lunch Tuesday-Sunday. 3828 Walmsley Boulevard. 714-0401.

CLOSED: Bistro 104, Bubbling Restaurant, Summer Shack, Caribbean Mingles.

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