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Cheap Eats

Restaurants | UT

One thing great about the university area was that it had a ecosystem of food that was matched to the student lifestyle and budget. Here's a brief list that I recall... add in your favorite.

The Egg Roll Stands
- You really didn't want to know the details but these snack bars on wheels were so convenient that they could not be passed up.

The original Trudy's
- It was a ways up the drag but your could count on good food and a bohemian staff. The carne guisada was outstanding.

The Chinese Takeout
- This place was about the size of a modern-day Shortstop burger place. It had a walk-up counter where and picnic tables outside. The most interesting thing was that the staff was 100% middle eastern. Iranian, I think, but they made the best chicken fried rice.

Hansel and Gretel
- This place (now a Trudy's, ironically enough) was one of the meeting places where the cool profs would meet with students for long discussions over pitchers of beer and cold-cuts. It seemed like it was deep in the woods back then.

Alvin Ord's
- Although this was supposd to be a sandwich shop, they served made-to-order breakfast for incredibly low prices. I started many a day there.

Egg Roll Stands

I remember having those UT eggrolls for the first time. I Thought they were the GREATEST! One day, I saw a filthy blue station wagon pull up to stock a particular egroll stand. It was dirty and smelly. The eggrolls were in filthy grey tubs. Never ate another egrroll from those stands again.

Beaufort H. Jester Fine Foods Emporium

Does anybody remember the cafeteria chow mein that had perfectly square cubes of chicken, beef and/or shrimp? Did anyone else subjected to that culinary colonic live off the popsicles that had plastic sticks in them that could be used like legos or an erector set to build things? In 72-74, I saw some pretty sophisticated creations, especially from my engineering major friends.

Fajita Stands

By the time I arrived, the fajita stands had also. What to choose? Fajita or egg roll? Sometimes the mood dictated; sometimes, based on the appearance of the competing stand, the apparent likelihood of contracting an e. coli infection.

Hansel and Gretel

Was H and G that place north of the campus, built into a sort of woody hillside (go look at a map to find out...) West Dr - that was the name of it?

Yes it was...

It looked like a big house set in the trees with lot's of land around it. That area still looks much like it did then.


Yep, and it had the best black forest cake I've ever eaten. We used to walk from Jester about once a week, combine our spare change and get as much as we could afford and share.

Nothing Strikes Back!

When I first moved to Austin in 1974, on the drag, up one flight of stairs, lit only by black lights, was the ultimate hippy dippy ice cream parlor, Nothing Strikes Back. The walls, floor and ceiling were painted flat black, along with all the wooden booths, chairs and tables, and splashed with neon paint in orange, blue, red and green. You could barely read the menus by the black lights, and loud rock music was always going in the background.
When friends or family came to visit, they always wanted to see something uniquely and weirdly Austin. Nothing Strikes Back was the perfect place to take them, because it was definitely weird, but totally non-threatening.
The ice cream was great, too.

Used to work there. Owned and run by Bendurski, Copper et al.

That was probably 72?