In recent years local chef Hoover Alexander has created one of Austin's best comfort-food oases, blending mama's home cooking, diner short-order specials, Tex-Mex favorites, and Cajun influences. The self-styled "Smoke, Fire & Ice House" is known for its large portions, and the chefs aren't shy with the spices, either. The huge, flavorful chicken-fried steak puts most others to shame (even Threadgill's). The moist, flavorful fried chicken, smoked boudin sausage, and jalapeño creamed spinach are additional standouts; extravagant, New Orleans–influenced breakfasts are worth a trip. We've never had room to try the pies, but we hear they're pretty good, too.