Brunch at Auberge Du Soleil, Napa Valley, California

I had the most glorious weekend in San Francisco this past weekend. I’m giddy to share all of the awesome photos from this trip with you all.

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We took a day trip to Napa, and had the most fabulous brunch at Auberge Du Soleil . This brunch gets a post all to itself because it was that amazing. Can’t you tell from the view?

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The menu.

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Spicy Bloody Mary. You can also get a mimosa or sparkling wine. Perfect way to start a late brunch if you ask me.

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The rosemary bread was my favorite.

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For the first course, I had the Ahi Tuna Tartare with Wakame, Cucumber and Ginger Dressing. This was recommended by the server and with good reason. Definitely gets a 10!

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Potato Gnocchi, Wild Mushrooms, Pea Shoots, Parmesan Nage. Excellent gnocchi! I’m not the biggest gnocchi fan, but I could have gobbled up this whole bowl! Good choice Henry!

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Molly started off with White Corn Soup, Crispy Fried Oyster and Chervil Oil. Molls let me have a taste, perfect thickness for a corn soup.

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Ross and I both ordered the Cabernet Braise Short Ribs, with Heirloom Tomatoes, Watercress and Bordelaise Vinaigrette. So tender and delicious.

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Henry ordered the Duck Confit Hash with Slow Cooked Farm Eggs, Mâché and Red Wind Sauce. The eggs made this dish more breakfast and I definitely nibbled on it.

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Molly got the classic Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberries, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Maple Syrup.

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Somewhere along the way we order a bottle of white to accompany our meal.

Now it’s time for dessert.

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Ross ordered the Trio of Fruit Sorbets, which were quickly melting! It was quite warm that day.

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Molly ordered the gorgeous Red Top Peaches with Mesquite Shortcakes, Pecans and Old No. 7 Ice Cream.

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I ordered the Mascarpone Cheesecake with Sebastopol Blackberries, Vanilla Crumb Cake and little dollops of California Bay Laurel. All in all a very fragrant dessert which was nicely complimented by the creamy cheesecake and sweet vanilla crumb cake.

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And last but certainly not least, the Crispy Filo Wrapped Chocolate Dumplings with Tarragon Ice Cream and Arbequina Olive Oil. This was Henry’s dessert, but I may or may not have helped myself to few a bites. Chocolate and olive oil… I just had to try it. Definitely a winner.

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This picture is a little dark, but it was a gorgeous brunch with gorgeous people. If you’re ever in Napa Valley, you must eat at Auberge Du Soleil!

Weatherup

This is how my post started, ” Wednesday Ramblings”. Wait, hold up, what? Wednesday? Yup, that’s right. I thought it was Wednesday and it’s totally Thursday. What a lucky surprise, it’s usually the other way around for me. All this traveling and sleep deprivation has got me all flustered. And, sigh, I haven’t been cooking, which is usually my solitude.

20120920-092136.jpg Since I haven’t been whipping up any delicious recipes for you all, I wanted to share about cocktails at Weatherup . Lovely little place that is housed where Shuck Shack used to be on E. Caesar Chavez. It doesn’t have a sign and looks closed from the outside. Apparently they are going for a speakeasy vibe. Weatherup doesn’t serve food yet, they are still waiting on approval for their kitchen permit. But the drinks are worth it! There is a cute patio and the bar inside is cozy.

The drinks are all craft cocktails that are served up pretty with different kinds of ice. The ice comes anywhere from crushed to large oblong cubes. The staff are friendly, informed and welcome questions.

And best of all, I got to hang out with the girls from Bread and Butter PR. They are fabulously dressed and terribly hysterical. Great company! Thanks for the drink ladies, let’s do it again soon!

Stop by Weatherup and let me know what you think!

Brunch at Cipollina and a Giveaway

Fall is in full swing for me, how about you? The first cool front, and I say cool, because it’s only a balmy 93 degrees in Austin, TX, has made the start of fall official for me! This is definitely my favorite time of year, but it also means a crazy busy schedule! However, I seem to thrive in the midst of chaos, so I couldn’t be happier.

Not to mention, this week kicks off the one year blog-a-versary of Food Fetish! Can y’all believe it? One year ago this Saturday September 15th, was the official launch of my very first blog. And in order to celebrate, I thought what better way than to share pictures of scrumptious food and give something back to all of you!

First, let’s start with the food…

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I went back to Cipollina for brunch. This is the Soft Egg & Pork Belly Pizza, talk about a feast for your eyes and your taste buds!

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Egg & Sausage on Brioche… The brioche was super soft, a perfect breakfast sandwich. The hash browns were extra crispy too!

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You can’t go to brunch with a bunch of southern gals without getting the Fried Chicken & Biscuits. Tender chicken and extra crispy skin. Plus, check out the presentation! Love.

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Waygu Skirt Steak Hash. Perfectly poached eggs and the serranos give it a kick. It was a toss up between this and the pizza for favorite entree of the meal.

Have you been to Cipollina? What do you think?

Now onto my first giveaway! You’ve probably heard me buzzing about Cooking Planit . They are a local, Austin start-up company that’s all about making cooking easy for everyone! I met the team recently at a happy hour and really hit it off. I’ve been trying out their iPhone app the past week or so, and have found it to be really helpful!

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This app helps you pick meals, based on your dietary needs, and aggregates a grocery list for you. It even has an option for you to add other stuff, like dog food and toilet paper.

Once you get home from the store, the app or website, guides you through the process of putting together the entire meal. That way everything comes out all at the same time!

If you’re interested in getting more info about Cooking Planit, click here , to visit their website and set up a free account. If you want to enter for a chance to win the Cooking Planit iPhone app for free, go to Food Fetish’s Facebook page , like the page and tell me what meal you would love to cook for your family and friends! It can be any meal or recipe!

Can’t wait to hear from all of you!

Swift’s Attic

While the buzz may have subsided, Swift’s Attic is still packing tables nightly. This restaurant sits on top of the Elephant Room in what used to be Swift’s Premium Food Company. Swift’s Attic serves up whimsical small plates in an atmosphere that meshes the old and the new. The restaurant space is narrow, dark and vibrant. Almost has a speakeasy feel.

We grabbed cocktails at the bar while we waited for our table. I got the Prince Edwards Ass, which was highly recommended by the bartender. It’s refreshing with a kick of ginger beer.

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Upon arriving at the table, we ordered a bottle of Pinot noir to get the dinner going.

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We started off with the Blistered Shishitos, which are the same peppers as the ones from Paggi House . They are full of flavor and not too spicy, so everyone can enjoy.

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Next up was the cheese plate. The cheese selections vary but when they are from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, you know they are going to be good.

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This savory bread pudding is off the specials menu, but if it was up to me, it would be on the regular menu. This was one of our favorites of the night.

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The Raw Maine Diver Scallop Triadito was like nothing I’d ever had before. The scallops are raw and the dish tasted clean. Be sure to get some of the cucumber sorbet to cool your palette from the sauce which packs a punch. This small plate is a delight for the adventurous eater.

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The Peeler Farm’s Fried Chicken Meatball “Tsukune” gives a whole new meaning to meatball. These fried meatballs are given an Asian twist with pickled ginger and nori dipping sauce. Dig in, these will disappear fast!

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The Warm Niman Ranch Pork Cheeks were both filling and delicious. The tender meat is served up with mustard, fig and sourdough toast. I did not want to share this one.

We also got the Black Mussels, not pictured. They are soaked in a savory carrot broth that gives a new taste to mussels. If you’re a shellfish person, this one is for you.

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The owner and manager, CK Chin was checking on us throughout the evening. He said we must try the Lockhart Quail and sent it out to us. He was right. This was hands down the favorite dish of the evening. This may be the first time I’ve ever had quail that I can describe as moist and tender. It’s full of flavor, and I highly recommend this small plate.

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This is the Popcorn & A Movie. It has all the flavors of a movie. There are little bites of Snickers like, house made candies, that are dotted with caramel popcorn. There are little circles of root beer flavored syrup, and it all comes together for one exciting dessert.

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CK really made our night memorable when brought us this S’mores dessert. It’s light and fluffy with chocolate and graham cracker crumbs, just like a s’more!

For your next dining adventure, check out Swift’s Attic. Be sure to make your reservation ahead of time, as the prime times are sure to fill up. Again, a big thanks to CK Chin and all the staff at Swift’s Attic for making our dinner delightful.

Cipollina Happy Hour

Have you heard of Cipollina? I’m sure you have if you’ve been around Austin for a while. It’s a cute little Italian bistro at 6th and Westlynn. It’s not the 1st place I think of for happy hour but once you try it, you’ll be totally hooked! Happy Hour is served daily from 5pm to 6pm at Cipollina.

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They have wine by the glass specials but I’d recommend starting off with a bottle. You’ll want to stay a while.

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Then the sever will bring out some olive oil and bread.

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The charcuterie plate, always a winner in my book! Although pâté is not my favorite, the prosciutto and spicy mustard well make up for it. And with half price small plates during happy hour, its well worth trying!

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The cheese plate. Melt my heart. And it comes with pistachios, double love.

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Next, I definitely want to try the mussels, octopus and oysters… Oh I’m so craving seafood.

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We topped it all off with a deliciously rich prosciutto, gruyere, oregano and white truffle oil pizza. I mean who can say no to truffle oil?

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One more picture for dramatic effect.

If you want more drool-inducing photos, check out CipollinaBistro on Instagram. It looks like they serve up a fabulous brunch. Sunday morning date anyone?

Banger’s

As promised, I went back to Bangers and tried some food and snapped some better photos for you all.

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This is a beer and sausage place, so please start off with an ice cold draft beer. They have over 100 beers on tap and even have gluten-free beers. My g-free friend tried a gluten-free beer… It was bright purple, super fruity and sweet. So just prepare yourself for that. They also have a small selection of vino if you’re into that. But no liquor, y’all. They also have non-alcoholic beer. So basically there’s something for everyone!

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I chatted with the manager, Nivel, a cute fellow, with a to-die-for accent. He says Bangers aims to be the most dog friendly bar in Austin. There’s a large fenced in area where the pups can run around leash free while the grown ups indulge.

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I am proud to report that dogs large and small can get along in the leash-free area. It is also equipped with a water cooler and bowls for the four-legged patrons. You can purchase homemade dog treats, however they were out the night I

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I got the light beer flight again… It’s just so good!

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Mimi loves to party so she’s happy there’s a new dog-friendly bar in town!

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Now it’s food time! That’s the spicy corn… A must try! And obvi a braut. They were unfortunately out of the duck and fig braut that night, apparently it’s pretty popular!

They also have vegetarian options and fruit plates, which looked delicious. I spied some chili cheese fries that looked tempting as well.

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Bros feeding bros. It happens.

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Oh! Mimi wants in on the food tasting action! I probably should have warned you this post was going to be a photo opp for my dog.

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And then Nivel brought us koozies for our glasses and my night was complete!

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The service was slow but the staff were very friendly. You can tell it was getting

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dark by the time my feast arrived. I got a jalapeño braut on pretzel bread which was delish! I didn’t love their sauerkraut though. The servers even offered to let us split the check which was nice. Its all community-style tables outside, so great place to have come and go gatherings.

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Party on Party Dog!

Weekend Round Up

I want to share a few of my favorites from this week. I snapped all of these on my iPhone while out and about this week. These gems are too good to pass up! Hope you all will try them out soon!

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Basil Chili Pepper Margarita from Paggi House .

If you like your drinks with a spicy kick, this one is definitely for you!

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In case the above wasn’t enough basil for you, this is the Thai Basil Escargot from Elizabeth Street Cafe . Buttery and decadent, but light enough to leave plenty of room for the next course. Another item I highly recommend on their menu.

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This is the mussels and clam curry special at Elizabeth Street Cafe. Oh this is a spicy one y’all! However, if you love shellfish and curry, you really can’t go wrong with this one.

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The curry special came with this set-up. Perfect for soaking up all the spicy curry broth!

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I stopped by Bangers, the new sausage and beer house on Rainey Street last night.

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This is what 100 beers on tap looks like!

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Pretty extensive menu! We arrived just as the kitchen was closing, so I didn’t get to try any of the grub. No worries though, I will go back with my fancy camera and report back on my findings. There’s a large stage for live music and a huge outdoor area where you can bring your dog.

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This is the light beer flight. Number 2 was our tables favorite. Definitely try out a beer flight when you stop by. It’s fun for the table to try all the different beers.

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Cheers to a great weekend y’all!

Hillside Farmacy

Last week I went to lunch with my dear friend at Hillside Farmacy . I immediately loved that atmosphere with the cooper cornered tables and glass cabinets lining the walls. They staff were super friendly and we were able to get a table for 2 right away. The lunch crowd was bustling but not too packed.

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The blue glass salt and pepper shakers were the perfect accents. My friend and I were opting for a light lunch of salads, but the server did let us know that they were out of oysters due to the happy hour the day before. Which only enticed me to come back for happy hour and try out the oysters.

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I got the panzanella salad which was fresh and filling. I requested the peach vinegarette. It was delicious and the perfect summer companion to my salad.

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We grabbed Stumptown Iced coffees to -go for a caffeine boost for our afternoon meetings.

I spied some delicious mac ‘n cheese and a foodie friend of mine highly recommends the sandwiches. I’ve heard their gluten- free bread is also quite tasty. I am already planning a return visit for happy hour oysters and cocktails.

Uchiko

Oh Uchiko, just the name makes me flutter. Be still my heart.

Uchiko, the sister restaurant of Uchi, serves up fresh, modern and creative Japanese cuisine. It’s no secret that Paul Qui, of Top Chef fame, is the executive chef at Uchiko. One can sense his passion and flare immediately upon entering the bustling restaurant. I did not spend much time in the front bar area, as we were whisked away to our reservation at the sushi bar. The restaurant is dark and comfortable, with a sensuality that draws you in and makes you want to stay awhile. Uchiko was full, but not crowded, on the Tuesday evening that I visited.

The stylish Japanese fare dances on the plate. The presentation is architecturally precise and beautiful. The unlikely flavor combinations flirted on my taste buds and left me merrily satisfied yet yearning for more.

Menu
The Daily Specials menu– simply to die for.


Simple touches give a farmhouse feel contrasting the urban atmosphere of the restaurant.


Fresh herbs adorn the fish case at the sushi bar. The sushi chefs are entertaining to watch. The sushi bar at Uchiko would be perfect for breaking the ice on a first date.


My friend and I were celebrating a late birthday. This cold, creamy, nutty sake was the perfect way to start our sushi experience.


Sushi chef working his magic.

First up were Paul Qui’s brussel sprouts. Crispy greens with a lemon kick. These are not your grandmother’s brussel sprouts.

The daily specials menu included Shigoku Oysters, which are oysters with watermelon sorbet. I am an oyster lover at heart, and these icy cold oysters were the perfect way to cool down after a day of record breaking heat.

The magical thing about Uchiko is trying out flavor combinations that one could not even dream up. Oysters and watermelon? Who would have thought? This piqued my curiosity, and I was excited to see what was coming up next.

Bacon Tataki. The pork belly melts on your tongue and makes you want to scream, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” In tribute to Nora Ephron, “I’ll have what she’s having.”


The Hama Chili. This is one of my favorites that was brought over from Uchi. Far and away, one of my favorite all-time dishes. A must try for any patron.


Yes, the Hama Chili gets two pictures. The fresh yellowtail holds its own against the tantalizing spicy chilies. Underneath the yellowtail are slices of juicy, sweet, orange supremes. The oranges are ready to cool your palate.


Madai Sushi. A Japanese bream with Meyer lemon zest. The lemon punches your tongue afterwards. I enjoyed mine with just a touch of soy.


We chose the P-83 sushi roll because we wanted something fresh and not cooked in any way. The cilantro and avocado play well with the white sauce on the plate. Our sushi chef said this white sauce was his favorite.

The Shag roll brought over from Uchi, is a favorite among many and worth a try if you’ve never had it.


Our sweet server surprised us with this Heirloom Tomato dish off of the daily specials menu. The buttermilk sauce and toasted pistachios wonderfully complemented the juicy summer watermelon and tomatoes. This dish was both savory and fresh.


For the birthday girl, we had the fried milk dessert. It is creamy and sweet. The chocolate ice cream was perfect with the crispy fried milk.

The wait staff really outdid themselves and also brought us the tobacco cream dessert.

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This dessert was purposely crafted and delicate on the plate. The tobacco cream was smokey and rich, meant to resemble the illusion of an after-dinner cigar. I loved this rich dessert, mostly because it was like nothing I have ever tasted before. It may be too much for picky taste buds, but for an adventurous foodie like me, it was entertainingly curious. I kept taking bites just to try and figure out what I tasted. This dish is like a puzzle for your taste buds.
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I walked out of Uchiko feeling as if I had just awoken from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Flavors danced around my head like sugar plum fairies. I cannot wait to enter back into this enchanting farmhouse for another creative and entertaining dining experience.

This wondrous evening was possible thanks to my friend Charisse Sayers, the Event Coordinator at Uchiko. For more details click here.

 

Avenue B Grocery

I’ve really been into sandwiches lately. Maybe because it’s summer… hmmm I feel a picnic post coming on. If you are familiar with the UT campus then you may have heard about Avenue B Grocery.

 

It’s an old grocery store but they have awesome sandwiches. I highly recommend getting the Habanero mayo or stone ground mustard, really gives a ton of flavor. There are picnic tables outside you can eat at or get your sandwich to-go. This used to be one of my favorite places to go in college.

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The outside eating area has some nice nostalgic art.

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They make their own deviled eggs everyday.

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Wonder what my sandwich will look like.

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Oh nice! I got the roast beef with avocado on health nut bread. You can order many of their sandwiches by the half. However I got a whole sandwich and gobbled it up in no time.

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You can sub greens for lettuce at no charge. I got spinach, they also had kale. Don’t forget the Habanero mayo and stone ground mustard!

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My eating partner got the King Combo on sourdough. That’s 3 meats and 3 cheeses. The sourdough looked mighty tasty!

Next time you’re up in Hyde Park be sure to check out Avenue B Grocery!

Sno-Beach

Beat the heat today and get a snow cone from Sno-Beach. It was Henry, the Brit’s, first time to Austin and we had to show him the greatness that is Sno-Beach.

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Lots of flavors!

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Don’t forget it’s cash only!

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Henry and the ladies at Sno-Beach.

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Stay cool.

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Lomax with a pineapple and grape Sno cone.

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Flavors galore!

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My personal favorite Coconut and ice cream flavors!

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JJ’s strawberries and cream.

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Henry’s first Sno-Beach!

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What’s your favorite flavor?

Opie’s Barbecue Spicewood Springs, TX

Over Memorial Day a few friends and I headed out to Lake LBJ. Thanks JLR for hosting! And we stopped by Opie’s BBQ… cue drooling now. In case you’ve been living under a rock and have never heard about Opie’s BBQ, let me fill you in.

It’s delicious.

It’s tender.

It smells like heaven.

And the tater tot casserole?

Well, that practically sent me over the edge.

I was first introduced to the greatness that is Opie’s Barbecue a few summers ago. Now, it’s definitely the stopping point on the way out to the lake. Also, I ran into Opie’s BBQ at the Spicewood Springs Chili Cookoff. They were the ones who gave me the idea for using brisket in my chili. Or maybe that was the jello shots they were handing out… hmm. Fuzzy. So what I’m saying is, not only does Opie’s hands down have the best BBQ, they’re also party animals. My kinda people.


Here’s the sign you’ll drive up to. But chances are you’ll smell the sweet smells long before you see this place.


When you walk in the doors, you are greeted by a chalkboard menu. I was being so discreet taking photos with my fancy camera over this guys shoulder…


Then you will get to take your pick of a selection of meats including brisket, sausage, chicken and ribs. Fair warning: They close when the run out of meat. And this does happen! So get there early!


Here is the delicious, cheesy goodness that is Tater Tot Casserole. JJ and I have devious plans to try and recreate this recipe. Which I am sure will be the demise of bikini season.


Standard Potato Salad.


Spicy Corn… quite divine if you ask me. Just the right amount of kick…addicting.


Everything is served family style so be ready to share! Brisket and Sausage… oh did I mention there’s jalapeño sausage? A must try if you ask me!

In the center of the restaurant is large island that you can help yourself to bread, onions, pickles and the bbq sauce served out of large cauldrons.


More jalapeño sausage for your viewing pleasure…


And the mack daddy of them all, the ribs!


And the whole point of Memorial Day is to salute our troops. Thanks Mark Fitzgibbons for your service and welcome home!

Toastie’s Sub Shop

My friends have been

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raving about Toastie’s Sub Shop but I had never had the chance to try it out. This weekend I made a quick trip over to South Lamar to try this place out. I know I am little late to the game but better late than never!

I couldn’t find a website for Toastie’s just a Facebook page. I also couldn’t locate an online menu, so I snapped a picture of the menu and posted it below. They also had a ton of chalkboard specials.

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A peak at the ordering station inside Toastie’s

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Chalkboard specials. The inside of Toastie’s was dark but had TVs and board games. There is also plenty of outside seating to enjoy their selection beers.

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Here is a peak at the Toastie’s Sub Shop Menu.

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The other side of the Toastie’s menu.

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I didn’t try one but the smoothies look awesome!

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The Toastie’s Club.

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I got the Cali Club. It has my favorite sandwich combo, avocado and bacon! I saw that they had basil pesto on several of their sandwiches so I ordered a side. Gives a great flavor!

The bread is perfect. I’d say it’s the best thing about the sandwich. It’s a tad crispy but soft at the same time. And it’s doesnt scrape the top of your mouth. Perfection!

Have you been to Toastie’s? What do you recommend?

A Few of My Favorite Places

Rise and Sunshine Chickadees and Chickadudes! Its Sunday, which happens to be my favorite day of the week. Theres nothing I love more than good Sunday brunch followed by laying around in the sun with a good book or one of my favorite magazines. I usually cook a lot on Sundays too, so no surprise why I like Sundays so much. In honor of my favorite day of the week I thought I would share with you all a few my favorite places I visited this weekend…

I started off my Saturday with this Fried Mac ‘n Cheese Ball and Hot Wings from Lucy’s Fried Chicken. It was phenomenal. Its one of their specials right now and I highly recommend it. The hot wings were great too. The chicken was perfect and the hot sauce just spicy enough to give you a kick but not so much that you couldn’t finish eating it.

After a long paddle boarding session on Town Lake, I headed over to Papi Tino’s to chill down with my favorite drink in town right now, the Devil’s Bow Tie. Don’t be fooled by it’s girlish pink color this little drink packs a punch with the jalapeno infused tequila. If you’re looking for less fire and more sweet, try the Pink Bow Tie.

After sipping on my Devil’s Bow Tie, I had to try the duck tacos which were also on special. They are served ala carte and with an awesome green sauce. The guacamole here is also quite delish. The patio at Papi Tino’s is perfect

That’s and It

if you’re looking to switch up the normal after-lake eating options.

Now I’m off to a lovely brunch at Elizabeth Street Cafe. I tried out these delightful french donuts last time

I was there. And I am practically drooling thinking about getting my favorite Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Here is my homemade recipe for Vietnamese Iced Coffee.

I love love love these spicy breakfast Singapore Noodles at Elizabeth Street cafe. I tried to do a homemade version but still haven’t gotten the spices quite right. Of course, I did a poached egg instead. I will keep you all posted on my progress.

What are your favorite brunch spots and things to do on Sundays?

 

Breakfast at Elizabeth Street Cafe

Good Morning! How is everyone enjoying this rainy weather? I actually love the rain. Yes, its true. I love cloudy, cool, rainy, wet weather. Maybe it’s because rain is such a novelty around here but I do enjoy this weather. Makes me want to snuggle with my imaginary crush-lover, eat take-out in bed while watching my all-time favorite movie ever… My Best Friend’s Wedding. Any takers?

No? Ok… fine.

A few months back I enjoyed a wonderful dinner with friends at Elizabeth Street Cafe. While there I caught a glimpse of the breakfast menu and was immediately consumed with the thought of enjoying a Vietnamese iced coffee on the patio while discovering exactly what breakfast Singapore noodles were. One Sunday I pulled my roommate out of bed to go to brunch only to find out that Elizabeth Street Cafe only serves breakfast until 11am. My little heart was broken. But FINALLY last weekend I got the chance to go to breakfast there with my mom and it lived up to all my expectations.

 


Glimpse at the breakfast menu.


The Vietnamese Coffee comes with its own tiny little coffee press that you let finishing dripping at your table. Heart goes pitter-patter for this adorable little set-up.


After the coffee is finished, pour it over the tall glass of ice.


Stir that up and boom. Delightful Vietnamese iced coffee. What makes it Vietnamese? Sweetened Condensed milk. Its lovely and wonderful.


My mom got the breakfast Bhan Mi. This is the mushroom and egg white one. It was delicious and a generous portion for one.


And these are the Singapore Noodles. They have a spicy kick, so of course, I loved them! The fresh watercress gave a nice cool, earthy flavor. The plate was overflowing with noodles and I actually had enough to take home for another meal. This would be great to share!


Sliding yolk… these were delicious and just looking at these pictures makes me want to go back. Right. Now.

Not a breakfast fan? Check out my visit to Elizabeth Street Cafe for dinner.

 

Update Alert: I did go back to Elizabeth Street Cafe for breakfast.

Vert’s Kebap

I went and tried out Vert’s Kebaps last week. I went to the actual restaurant on the drag but they have several food cart locations as well. This is the Doner Kebap with lamb and beef. It comes on fresh house-made bread, which for some reason I was picturing a gyro but it was delish none the less. I mixed the spicy and house sauces… excellent! And don’t forget to add the feta!!

Happy Monday!

Fresa’s

I have to admit fellow friends and faithful blog readers, I didn’t really feel like writing this morning. I am feeling a little sluggish and sometimes the words just don’t come as easy as usual. But I figure writing is one of those things you just have to keep at, even when its hard and eventually it gets easier, right? At least I hope so!

Ok… enough about me… back to the food.

I grabbed a couple of girlfriends and went to check out Fresa’s chicken this week. Yall know what I am talking about… the new bright pink and blue place next Shoal Creek Saloon . How can you miss this huge, neon chicken flapping high in the sky?


I drive by this place each day to and from work so I figured it was finally time for me to see what all the hype was about. Now, let me tell yall something… this is NOT fried chicken. So many people have asked me if this was like Lucy’s Fried Chicken and this is NOT a fried chicken place. So although I love Lucy’s, this is a totally different concept so just go on ahead and get that picture out of your mind.

Fresa’s is a walk-up or drive-thru Mexican street chicken joint. Warning: there is absolutely no where to eat at Fresa’s. I’m not joking about this. You pick up your awesome chicken (more on the awesomeness below) and take it home or somewhere else to eat. We walked over to Duncan Park, which is just behind Fresa’s and has picnic tables. The weather was perfect for our evening picnic!


Upon walking up to Fresa’s, we were greeted by this cheerful, smiling face. He was super friendly and patiently answered all our girly questions about the menu. Don’t worry there was no one waiting in line behind us, so it was cool.


Lomax picking up the goods!


Don’t forget the beer! Fresa’s sells beer by the 6-pack and vino by the bottle. They charge $4-6 for a wine or beer opener so if you’re not heading home, might be a good idea to bring your own. That being said, Fresa’s also sells margarita kits, which is everything you need for a marg but bring your own tequila… no tequila sold on the premises.


This is awesome guacamole!! I actually, everyone collectively gasp, thought it was better than the queso. There I said it. El guac es mas mejor que el queso.


Cranch got the Classic Torta. She kindly let me have a taste and it was delicioso! This would be perfect for lunch. Most of the menu is served family style but the tortas and salads can be single servings. Or served as sides to the chicken.


Here they are again! Mexican Street Corn! I’m telling yall… elotes are the next big old thing to be new again. Just watch!


Here is the Oregano and Cracked pepper marinated chicken. We got a half meal and split it between 3 girls with sides and it was plenty of food. The chicken comes with black beans, rice, salsas and fresh corn tortillas. Caveat: the chicken comes wrapped in butcher paper. AKA no plates. So as we unpacked our dinner, we realized we would be roughing it a little bit and all sharing our meal off the butcher paper. They forgot to send the tortillas and cutlery with us so we had to go back and get them. I chalk that up to a minor kink in a new place. The chicken was delectable. Perfectly marinated, not dry at all. I found the corn tortillas to be perfect however my flour-loving friends weren’t on the band wagon with the traditional corn tortillas.


This is the new potato salad. We shared it as a side.


White rice, black beans, red and green salsas.


Our messy picnic spread. The roasted jalapeno was SPIII-CCCYYY.


My little taco. Think I had 3… so good.


And this spicy green sauce is about the closest replication I’ve ever tried to Taco Deli’s Dona Sauce. This sauce wasn’t quite as addictive as Dona Sauce but delicious none the less and on the same flavor lines.

Have you been to Fresa’s? What did you think? Do you hope they’ll be open for breakfast soon?

Papi Tino’s

Happy Hump Day Everyone! As this week continues to build up to Cinco de Mayo, I thought it would only be appropriate to highlight some Mexican dishes, restaurants and drinks. I finally got around to trying out Papi Tino’s this weekend. Mi Madre came in town for a surprise visit and the weather was perfecto so we decided to hop on over to Papi Tino’s to try it out. This inconspicuous little white house sits on East 6th street. If it weren’t for all the outside seating, one could easily pass right on by this little place. We got there just after 7pm on Saturday and the place wasn’t too busy yet and we were able to easily find street parking. There was not a wait and we were quickly seated at this little table outside. Also, bonus, Papi Tino’s is dog friendly! Win!


I could not have been happier with my drink choice. This is a Devil’s  Bow Tie, which is a Pink  Bow Tie  with jalapeno infused tequila. OMG YES! This drink was awesome. Not too sweet and gives you that fire on the back of your throat. It was light and refreshing, perfect for a spring evening.


Mi Madre went with the Classic Margarita and she loved it. I tasted it and liked it because it wasn’t too syrup-y like a lot of margaritas.


Another picture of the Devil’s Bow Tie… just emphasizing how much I loved this drink.


We started off with the Queso Panela al Horno. This stuff was delicious… if you can’t tell from the picture. Queso Panela is a soft, white Mexican cheese. The texture and shape kind of remind me of Brie. Although, queso panela is not quite as creamy as Brie. This appetizer came topped with mushrooms and chiles.


Not sure y’all understand how much self-control I was using to take this picture and not immediately dive into this awesome queso.


The Queso Panela comes with these little breads as vehicles for delivering  goodness.


Be sure to get those ‘shrooms on there!


Mi Madre and I decided to split the Chicken Enchiladas. We were debating on getting the Camarones Diablo which also looked scrumptious but we were feeling a little extra famished after walking around SoCo that afternoon.


Alex got the Sopa Poblano. Creamy poblano soup with prosciutto!?! It was quite delish! I really enjoyed this soup and it was surprisingly flavorful.


The tables all had tiny little vases with colorful flowers. As it got darker the servers came by and lit the candles on each table. Between the sunset, twinkle lights and flamenco band… the atmosphere was quite perfect!

 

Want more Papi Tino’s?

Click here

Whip In

The Whip In is a hidden South Austin gem. Ok, maybe it’s not really that hidden, the Whip In has been around for a while but even during my 4 years in Travis Heights it has changed quite a bit. It’s a convince store turned bar, music venue that serves up some Indian dishes with a heavy Austin influence. This is a great place to pick up a bottle of local vino or peruse their large speciality beer section. Also, they have a great snack selection but not the kind you’d find at a regular convenient store, think more local hummus and pita chips. Of course once you step into this magical little place you’ll probably want to pull up a bar stool, grab a draft beer and stay a while. There’s almost always live music either inside the store or outside on their awesome, dog friendly patio. You can order up some great Austin-Indian fusion food at the counter then enjoy the music.

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This is the Eastside drive panaanini. Get it? It’s a panini on naan.

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I subbed out the tomato chutney for cilantro chutney and it was quite divine. However they usually don’t allow many substitutions since most of their cuisine is locally sourced and carefully measured out per dish.

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I grabbed a draft brew and sat outside at the community style picnic tables for some live music.

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Yurko went with the Barton Springs panaanini. Smoked turkey and habanero-cranberry jam? Yes please!

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Cranch got the Onion Creek panaanini which may have been my favorite. This take on chicken salad would have been great with a little cilantro chutney as well.

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We got to hear the musical stylings of Mazel Tov Cocktail Hour. This bands plays traditional Yiddish wedding music and made me want to go home and watch Fiddler on the Roof.

The Whip In is perfect for a week night outting or an easy going Friday or Saturday. Be sure and check it out!

CoolHaus

After our stroll for dinner at the South Congress food trailers, we stumbled upon CoolHaus ice cream sandwich truck. So of course we had to try it!

If you ever see this truck around town, you should probably stop and grab a delicious ice cream sandwich.

 

The lady in the truck was so nice! She was closing up shop as we walked by and stayed open and even put up with us wanting to try all the different flavors. This is the bacon flavored ice cream, which has real pieces of bacon in it. Ive tried bacon ice cream on a few occasions now and even though Im a huge fan of salty and sweet combo… all I can say about ice cream is that its well… weird. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

 

I tried the red velvet cookie ( have I mentioned how much I LOVE red velvet?) With Coffee Oreo ice cream. These are my two most favorite ice cream flavors ever smushed in between my favorite cake flavor in cookie form?!?! I was so happy!

yum!

 

Even Mimi wanted in!

 

Songy tried 1 gingerbread cookie and 1 red velvet cookie! What a great compromise. The gingerbread cookie was delish with the red velvet ice cream… yes they have that too!!

 

Dig in yall!

 

Coat and Thai

After a great lunch at Short Bus Subs, I gathered up a few friends headed back down South Congress for dinner at the Coat and Thai food trailer. I had heard a lot of good things about this place so I wanted to check it out for myself!

 

It was a great night for dinner with friends!

You get a number for your order and go sit down and wait to be called.

 

Was a hoppin’ place that night!

They serve Topo Chico in addition in cokes, tea and coffee. No alcohol though. Credit Cards accepted and there is an ATM on site as well.

 

We started off with the Egg Rolls. Crispy on the outside and piping hot on the inside. Nothing super stand out about these but they were delish none the less. I did like the red dipping sauce they came with.

 

The pork dumplings came all wrapped up in foil. I really enjoyed these but I am a sucker for dumplings. The sweet dark sauce that comes with these really up the flavor.

 

Don’t forget to eat everything with chopsticks! Ok, fine, they have regular forks and knives too but chopsticks are way more fun!

 

Kellie got the Pad Thai and kindly let me taste a bite. Pad Thai is not my go-to but I did enjoy this one. Especially with a little extra soy sauce.

 

Songy went with the Pad Kee Mao. These flat noodles are served with an array of veggies and are quite delicious. Vegetarians dig into this one!

 

Lomax and I split the Green Curry Chicken which is my favorite Thai dish. The box has the rice and the cup contains the green curry, chicken and vegetables.

 

Go ahead and pour all of that deliciousness over the rice.

 

There were lots of large cut veggies hidden inside the cup.

 

It was a great dinner although the green curry was not as spicy as I like it. Overall, a good food trailer experience but for now I am going to keep Madam Mam’s Green Curry Chicken as my #1 green curry in ATX.

 

What’s your favorite Thai spot in Austin?

 

 

 

 

 

Short Bus Subs

I’ve been hearing about Short Bus Subs for a while and finally last weekend after a few hours at the pool, my friend Karen and I made our way down to the food trailers on South Congress. Despite the increasing temperatures outside, I was eager to get my hands on one of these toasty subs.

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In case you were wondering where the name came from… They actually sell these out of a short school bus! But you’d never know that by the taste. And oh the bread… Don’t get me started on how perfect it is.

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The subs come out all nice and hot and wrapped in foil.

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I got the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. This is the 6 inch and it’s quite hearty. Karen recommended this one and she was spot on! I loved it!! Buffalo wing sauce, ranch, mozzarella… I mean so healthy… Haha. But it was worth every bite. The bread is awesome because it’s toasted but not so hard that it scrapes off the inside of your mouth. Next time I think I’ll have to try to the honey mustard one…

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This is the Teacher’s Pet… Which was my 2nd choice. Good thing Karen wanted to try this one too! Team work! Turkey, avocado and bacon?? Only one of my favorite sandwich combos ever! Plus, love me some sprouts!

Now I understand all the hype about this little bus so y’all get yourselves down to South Congress and try out Short Bus Subs !!

Company Cafe Dallas, TX

I was in Dallas last weekend for a hot minute and upon the recommendation of my friend Megan Kniepp we went to Company Cafe . Its a great little place tucked away near Katy Trail Ice House . They have a great outside area to dine in although we chose to sit inside as it was late in the evening and starting to get a little chilly. I felt right at home at Company Cafe, the decor has a modern rustic feel and the menu focuses on fresh, local fare… Wait am I in Austin? Nope! But that’s great for you homesick Austinites in the Big D! Lots of fresh and gluten free options to please any palate. And best of all, 4 entrees and 2 bottles of champagne later the four of us girls got out of there for less than $30 each with tax+tip. Wow!

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Shimmering flute of Prosecco.

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Baked stuffed portabella mushroom. The goat cheese really comes through in this dish.

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Venison jambalaya risotto cakes…. The red bell pepper sauce that accompanies it adds a great flavor.

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Seasonal salad with chicken. Perfect hearty salad if you’re trying to stay healthy without starving yourself. Super fresh!

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Braised Short Ribs. This was definitely my favorite of the dishes we ordered. Great flavor with the smokiness of the short ribs, they were oh so tender. It was perfectly balanced with greens leaving you feeling full and fresh all at once.

They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner so be sure to stop on by! And for those with a sweet tooth, I spied some decadent looking cakes while there…

Lucky’s Puccias

After a long weekend of traveling I’m keeping today’s post nice and short. During SXSW a few friends and I stopped by The Tiniest Bar in Texas to grab a few brews and some live music. We also grubbed at Lucky’s Puccias. These fire grilled Italian sandwiches do not disappoint. The homemade bread has an almost pita like texture to it and is filled with lots of scrumptious ingredients like fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, pastrami and arugula as well as a whole host of other things.

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Mmmm this is the Lucky’s Puccia.

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And this is the pastrami one.

They were both so delicious, not sure which one I enjoyed more.

Stop by Lucky’s Puccias soon, you won’t be disappointed.

Hours:

Tue 11 am – 2 pm

Wed 11 am – 10:30 pm

Thu-Sat 11 am – 12 am

Sun 12 pm – 8 pm

Russell’s Bistro

I caught breakfast with a few friends this weekend away from my usual brunch stomping grounds so I thought I would share with you all. Russell’s Bistro had a great patio and lunch and dinner menus as well.

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I started off with an iced coffee.

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TJ’s latte which I was kind of jealous of..

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Russell’s Migas. Crema Blanca sauce will cure any hangover.

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Biscuit and gravy. And this is only one! So huge!

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Breakfast tacos.

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More breakfast tacos.

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Bistro omelette. Mushrooms and spinach, yum.

Enjoy!

 

PS- What do you think of the new clean, header? Like? Want the old one back? Tell me what you think!

Garrido’s

Happy SXSW everyone! And yes, I’m still couch surfing and eating out a lot. After an AMAZING show last night at ACL Live watching my absolute favorite band right now Alabama Shakes we grabbed a quick bite at Garrido’s.

But back to the Alabama Shakes, after a wonderful turn of events yesterday I got tickets to their taping at ACL Live! Which I had been dying to go to but wasn’t lucky enough to win tickets through the lottery. Let me tell y’all, Brittany’s voice is that of my kind of angel. Soulful and deep, just like the South, she’s rocks like I haven’t seen a woman rock it in a while. Definitely download their song “Hold On” right now. I’ve been listening to it on repeat for weeks now.

Ok back to the food… Garrido’s isn’t new but it’s one my favorites. Modern Mexican in a casual atmosphere, right up my alley. After the show, Lara and I grabbed a quick dinner in their full service bar.

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Proud to announce they now have queso on their menu which they previously didn’t have. I mean, even though queso isn’t a traditional Mexican appetizer, it’s hard to be a Mexican restaurant in Austin, TX and not serve it.

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Burns started off with her favorite, swirl margarita.

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I had a Mexican martini. Garrido’s serves up one my favorite Mexican martinis in town.

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And I always order mine with extra jalapeño olives. Always. Note to self: do a blog about awesome olive stuffings… Taking reader suggestions.

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Burns got a mushroom taco and a coffee steak taco.

We both went ala carte on the tacos but when I order the full plate, I usually sub the black beans for their veggies which are scrumptious!

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I almost always get the fried oyster tacos from Garrido’s. Literally my favorite thing on their menu. Can’t get over the crispy oysters and honey habanero aioli. Does it to me everytime.

Also highly recommend their chicken enchiladas. Different than traditional ones and always deliver.

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Don’t forget to grab an Andes candy on your way out. These little bites make me feel like a kid again!

Any other recommendations on where to grub for SX?

Mi Cocina

While couch surfing you’ll probably do a lot of eating out. I actually made a quick trip back home one night this week. While there, I grabbed dinner with the fam at one of my fav DFW spots Mi Cocina. It’s fun but nothing too fancy, great for group dinners.

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I started the night off with a Mambo Taxi, my fav drink there!

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Brisket tacos. Adding “learn to make green rice” to my list of blog ideas.

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More brisket tacos.

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Mole enchiladas.

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Mi Tierra tacos, one of my favs.

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Lotsa guacamole is always a good decision!

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Don’t forget to take home one of their HUGE pralines!

What’s your fav dish at Mi Cocina?

Olive&June

I went to check out Olive&June . It’s where the old El Arbol used to be, great atmosphere. The restaurant was bustling but not too busy. I made a reservation with Open Table and our table was ready when we arrived. The servers were friendly although the actual service was a tad slow. We were a big group though, so it was to be expected. We were seated downstairs and the kitchen has a large window so you can get a peek at what is going on.

Our waiter explained that the food is made with a few simple ingredients and is meant to be shared. I must preface that with the portions are quite small. The small plates are literally two bites. But two very tasty bites. I appreciated the simplicity of the ingredients however some of the dishes left me wanting just a little more. More spice, something a little heartier or savory. Great thing about going with the group is getting to try lots of things! So I’ll let y’all know my favs.

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Cute little set up try had going.

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Beautiful flower arrangement at the end of our table.

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Sneak peek at the menu. They came with a leather backing, nice little touch.

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We started off with some pork meatballs. Traditional and tasty.

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Fried Ravioli and Suppli. See what I mean about the 2 bites.

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Nice presentation none the less. Suppli was basically fried risotto.

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Seafood Misto antipasti. Can’t really go wrong with calamari.

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Zucchini Involtini small plate. This was my favorite in the “something I haven’t had before” category. These little bites were hearty and fresh all at the same time. These didn’t strike my eye at first on the menu but I’m glad we ordered them.

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Eggplant small plate. One the larger portions of the small plates, the texture was a little off for me but the mint was a nice addition.

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This is the fried artichoke. Definitely different because it’s not breaded. Not going to lie, it kind of looks like dead grass but the taste was great! It was salty and crispy and actually reminded me a lot of kale chips.

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And these were my fav antipasti! Burrata! These little crustinis were not what I was expecting but were tasty little bites with lots of garlic and olive oil, so of course, I loved.

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Grilled Orata. This flaky white fish was served skin side up.

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Butternut squash mezzalune was buttery sweet. One of my favorites of the evening although I’m not sure if I could finish a whole plate of these myself.

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Seafood Linguine. Definitely a crowd pleaser.

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Pappardelle. Hard to say, lovely to eat. The combo of tender short ribs and apple was delightful! Another favorite of the evening.

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Cavatelle. The Brussel sprouts hidden in this dish were my favorite part.

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And of course the evening would not have been complete without a few bottles of Chianti. While I prefer heavier reds, this was a good middle of the road choice to please all palates.

Lee’s Meat Market

Last week I went to Lee’s Meat Market with my friend Haley for lunch. It’s a cute little place near 38th and Jefferson, right across the street from Kerbey Lane. It can be a little hard to find since its tucked away in a shopping center.

When you walk in you are greeted by chalkboard specials and a refrigerated case full of meat cuts, cold pasta and some killer looking deviled eggs. They looked delicious with lots of paprika but I skipped on them since I was trying to be good. They also have a case full of baked goods and cookies.

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The only place to sit in this tiny market is at a counter that faces out. There’s also this cute little set up at the end.

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I ordered an ice tea not realizing how huge they are! Lee’s Meat Market calls this a Texas sized iced tea and they weren’t kidding. They also have an array of canned sodas and waters.

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Everything comes boxed up even though it’s fresh. Makes it easy if you’re in a hurry and want to pick something up. They also take call ahead orders.

This above is the grilled chicken salad with an awesome honey mustard dressing. The honey mustard was my favorite of the two dressings we tried. Perfect combo of tangy and sweet.

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I got the beef tenderloin salad with balsamic-basil vinaigrette. They piled on the tender beef cuts. I could barely finish the salad but did since it was quite delish.

Next time I will probably try a sandwich and a lemon bar…

Vespaio

I’ve been living literally down the street from Vespaio for 4 years now and somehow never took the time to try it out. I like to tell myself I was waiting for a special occasion but really, that’s no excuse. My dad was in town last weekend so it was the perfect time try out Vespaio.

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We started out with the tuna tartar upon the recommendation of a friend. It wasnt cold but it was quite delish!

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Of course we had to get calamari, always a crowd pleaser!

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Fork and Knife Caesar Salad.

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Spinach Salad.

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Mushroom cream soup that was on special.

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Now, onto the entrees. This is the classic lasagna bolognese.

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We also tried several of the specials. Problem with specials? They aren’t on the regular menu and sometimes I don’t remember exactly what they were… But this I believe is veal with creamy polenta.

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Snapper

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I couldn’t decide and went with the sampler. Snapper with cauliflower and mushrooms. Crispy oyster with spicy aioli over arugula. Grilled fish with creamy polenta.

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We finished everything off with the creme brûlée and several bottles of Cabernet throughout the evening.

Thanks Dad!

Check out Vespaio and the brunch menu at Enoteca looks pretty awesome too!

Easy Tiger

Easy Tiger is a new bakery and beer garden on 6th street over by Waller Creek. On Saturday afternoon, a few friends and I decided to stop by and try it out. They have a large outside patio so we decided to bring the dogs along. It would have been great except the wind turned chilly and the sun went away so it got a little cold. The server told us they should have heaters out in the next week or so.

They have a large beer selection, and the bartenders are friendly and will let you try a few out until you find the one that suits your fancy that day.

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I went with the middle beer here, it’s a Belgian BPA. Pale ale is my fav, you know. Friends went totally opposite directions with a super dark and little citrusy beers. So basically, there are so many beers on tap, everyone can find something here.

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Here is a little preview of the menu.

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We shared a cheese plate. That’s a pear jelly concoction in the middle. The blue cheese was my favorite and I would have preferred one more soft white cheese but I wasn’t disappointed.

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There’s that yummy blue cheese!

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Cheese and beer, who could ask for more?

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All the cheeses are from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop. Here’s a sneak peak at the cheese plate menu.

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Our other menu choices included the pretzel with homade mustard and lamb sausage with sauerkraut.

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The lamb sausage was on special so we decided to try it. It looks a little dry but was actually quite flavorful.

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Try it with a little sauerkraut, yum!

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It’s not what you typically get when you think of sauerkraut. It’s a lot more more cabbage-y and less sour.

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The pretzel could have been a little softer and little more salty however the homemade mustard was delicious and totally made up for it!

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Extra mustard… Yea buddy!

Some more friends came later and tried the pretzel with beer cheese which was creamy and hit the spot. Definitely trying that one again next time!

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And if it’s cold outside, be sure and zip your pocket sized dog up in your jacket. It’ll keep you both warm!

Elizabeth Street Cafe

Ever since this wonderful little blue and hot pink colored, French-Vietnamese place opened on South 1st, I have been dying to go. Literally dying. My heart ached a little bit each time I drove by. So FINALLY last night I went with some girlfriends. Elizabeth Street Cafe was everything I imagined and even more. It was tiny and quirky, dainty and fun, chic and posh all at the same time.

As my friend Caroline and I walked in, we were whisked away to the best table in the house. No, literally, the best table. Nestled in a corner with windows toward the front, the round wood six-top was perfect for our group. Our server informed us that the chairs used to belong to Nicholas Cage, guess they auctioned off.

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Aren’t they so chic?

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The wall by our table was adorned with this guy. Rugged and strapping, just like I like ’em.

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All the tables have the serving platters with silverware, sauces and fun little spoons. I’m showing you all of this because I found the atmosphere to be as wonderful and eclectic as the food making for an all-around delightful experience.

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I need these spoons now.

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Love.

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As Caroline and I waited for the

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rest of the girls to arrive, we made the executive decision to order the Sake and Plum Wine Punch. It was refreshing and light. I indulged myself with two glasses.

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Sara described this as “drinking a flower” so yes, it’s quite different and fragrant. She may have not been as sold as I was with the cucumber and lychee infused punch but it was a delight to the senses and not just a drink but an experience for your taste buds.

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Our server was quite knowledgable and helped guide us through the menu. We started off with Fried shrimp and Yam Fritters. Very good.

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We shared everything at the table and next up was the Bahn Mi. This is the Keiffer Lime Fried Chicken. It was good and I gobbled mine up quick. It wasn’t the most adventurous thing we tried but was delicious none the less.

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Next up was the Pho. The server told us the Pork broth was the best so we went with it and were not disappointed. We got the 31C which has spicy pork meatballs, Niman Ranch Pork belly and farm eggs. The flavor was full and light, just as a Pho should be.

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The accompanying plate of greens, radishes and bean sprouts is always fun to dress up your Pho as you like.

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My little bowl… Man, I’m getting hungry.

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We opted for the Short Rib Bun. The noodles were served cold with the contrasting warm short ribs.

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This is my personal bowl, which I dressed with fish sauce and a touch of chili sauce. Combine that with the fresh jalapeños and Thai basil… Ay spicy!

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Last but certainly not least was the special, Goat with curry. This was my favorite of the evening. Yummmmm

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It’s served with a bowl of rice. Place the rice in your dish and our the yummy goat curry over it.

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My bowl… Be sure and use the accompanying toast to soak up the broth… Delish.

We were to full to venture onto to dessert. After reading several reviews of Elizabeth Street Cafe, this seems to be a common problem. I will definitely be back to try the Vietnamese Iced Coffee, always a winner with me, and the pastries.

Run, don’t walk to Elizabeth Street Cafe !

Read about my visit to Elizabeth Street Cafe for breakfast!

Kome

Upon the recommendation of my friend Claire Zinnecker, I went and tried out Kome. It’s not in my usual stomping grounds but close enough to my office so I went for lunch. The restaurant has a light and airy feel, perfect for lunch or a date.

One of the chefs, they are a married couple, used to work at Uchi, so you’ll definitely see some of that creativity coming through on the menu. They only serve ramen at lunch, FYI.

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The place setting, so cute!

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I loved all the cute little plates.

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Wasabi and Ginger.

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Love a good teapot. This is what they serve soy in.

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Piece of salmon sushi.

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This is the Spooky Roll. Spicy tuna with avocado and salmon. Highly recommend.

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Love sushi presentation.

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Surf and Turf Roll. This is a cooked roll if you have any diners that don’t enjoy raw fish.

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Tempura shrimp, beef, candied jalapeño? This one is a winner!

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Chicken-Katsura Teishko. Pretty much a grilled chicken salad… This was my non-raw-fish loving friends choice.

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We even indulged in dessert at lunch. My partner in crime is a major sweet lover. This is the sake cheesecake with candied ginger, yum!

I hope y’all stop by Kome, it’s well worth it!

Frank

I finally made it over to Frank for lunch last week. It wasnt what I was expecting. I was thinking more of sports bar vibe but this was set up like a restaurant with an actual waiter and everything. Casey Laine and I went more traditional with our lunch choices that day but they had plenty of options to explore.

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We split the frito pie on Casey suggestion. Basic but good none the less.

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Casey went with the classic cheese dog plus ketchup and mustard.

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I went with the braut and sauerkraut. What can I say, I was craving sauerkraut and where better to satisfy my craving. Heavy

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on the spicy mustard… Yes please!

I’ll be back to try one of the dynamite Bloody Marys I saw go by my table… It had bacon and cheese in it, cue drool now.

Plus, they have Dublin Dr. Pepper on tab… For now. Get it while it’s hot!

Titaya’s Thai Cuisine

I’ve been trying to branch out lately from my normal lunch go-to places. A friend and I went to Titaya’s for lunch. We got there at 11:15am because we heard it gets pretty crowded for lunch. At 11:15 there was already a 20min wait! SOO I suggest instead of beating the rush to arrive later than usual. The food however was great! There’s a reason there was such a wait! It’s a casual atmosphere with a mix of business crowd and motorcycle bikers and baby shower lunches. So, who knows who you might run into there. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much but don’t let that discourage you.

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We started off with the spring rolls. They came with a spicy peanut sauce, yum!

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If you order from the lunch menu, the entrees come with the soup of the day. That day it was a broth based soup with cabbage. Pretty good!

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I got the Vermicelli Lover. Tons of veggies and it comes with an egg roll. They also have my favorite Thai dish, Green Curry Chicken, so I plan on going back to try that.

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It also came with a hot and sour sauce to pour over it. Extra flavor and spiciness? I’m in.

If you’re ever up north, give Titaya’s a try!

Lucy’s Fried Chicken

I made my way over to Lucy’s Fried Chicken this weekend. I knew it would be good… It’s the same fried chicken from the Olivia stand at ACL. But what really interested me were the fried deviled eggs… I just had to know what these were all about.

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Here is a little preview of the menu. They are big paper ones. I was kind of hoping the server would bring out some crayons so I could color on it or play tic-tac-toe. No dice but maybe next time. We sat on the patio which had heaters, a tv and is dog friendly. Of course while there, we ran into two different groups of friends. Always nice to see familiar faces.

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I’m an oyster lover so we tried the Diablo oysters on recommendation from a friend. I like spicy food y’all, but these seriously had a kick! Whoa! Watch out.

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Here are those fried deviled eggs I was talking about. They are good and really heavy and rich. This is definitely a place you want to go ready to grub.

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A little peek at the inside. They are served slightly warm and with a sauce. I really enjoyed them, definitely not something you could eat more than one or two of at a time though!

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To counter act all the spiciness we got a side of mashed Mexican coke sweet potatoes. Yes, they are super sweet! Almost like dessert but perfect for putting the fire out in my mouth after those Diablo oysters!

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This is the basket of fried chicken. Which was perfectly crispy and juicy. It was delicious! The bucket of chicken is much bigger and would definitely be better for sharing with a larger group.

They have a full bar, stocked with mostly Texas stuff. Love it!

Hope y’all enjoy this place as much as I did!

Check out Lucy’s awesome Fried Mac ‘n Cheese Ball!

G’s Dynamite Deli

I tried out G’s Dynamite Deli this past weekend and loved it! It’s a quaint little place on the corner of S. 1st and Oltorf. I’ve driven by a few times and finally decided to stop in. The staff were friendly and could tell I was a newbie and helped me choose.

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I got my lunch to-go. Everything comes with a side which is always a pleasant.

These are the awesome croutons that came with my soup.

I got the mushroom Brie soup on recommendation from the owner. I usually don’t go with soup but I took a chance and boy am I glad I did! It wasn’t too thick which was nice but still filling.

I also liked that the other sides included veggies and hummus and pita bread. Nice switch up to the regular old chips. Which they have those too but options are nice.

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Yum-o.

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Um, so yea, guess I liked that soup! Delish! The owner, who also actually made my sandwich, told me that they usually run out of this soup so go in early!

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Then it was onto the sandwich. I got the turkey jalapeño on recommendation of the cashier. She also recommended the veggie.

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Looks good to me!

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Well, I guess somebody else thought the turkey jalapeño smelled good too. My little dog Mimi loves deli meat, it’s her fav. She was staring me down the entire time I ate.

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So naturally I saved her some turkey at the end and she was happy. I mean, who can resist that little face!!

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After the soup, I could only finish half of this sandwich. It was huge! The picture doesn’t really do it justice. It warmed up nicely the next day in my toaster oven.

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Don’t forget to stop by G’s next time you’re around 78704. They have the Reuben on special right now… So I’ll be making my way over there soon to try that out.

Brunch at Counter Cafe

I finally got around to trying out Counter Cafe this past weekend. It was nice because we got there early enough to beat the rush. It’s a small place and we sat at the counter so I could see all the cooking action.

I started off with a big glass of chocolate

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soy milk. Oh hey, bandana wearing Chef.

My partner in crime went with the eggs benedict. The hollandaise sauce was on the sweet side but still creamy and good. Of course, the breakfast potatoes were awesome, as they should be at a diner like this.

I had a tough time deciding between the poached eggs and crab cakes above and the steak eggs. The crab cakes were good and I liked that the poached eggs weren’t too runny.

I, of course, added Siracha to mine…

Cleaned my plate.

Here is a little peak at the menu. I’ve heard the burgers here are really good, if you’re looking for lunch. This place is only open til 4pm, FYI.

And whilst sitting at the counter, I overheard that Guy Fieri will be visting Austin’s very own Counter Cafe. You heard it first here folks! Let me know if you try this place out and what your favorite dishes are.

Catch ya on the flipside!

Coal Vines in Austin

My mom came into Austin for the evening and we decided to go to Coal Vines on 2nd street. I have been to the Coal Vines in Dallas but never had to the chance to try the new Austin location. It was a chilly, rainy night and warm pizza and wine was just what I was craving. I had high expectations since I like the original Coal Vines in Dallas.

Great atmosphere. Dark and cozy with the sounds of Frank Sinatra and other favorites playing in the background. On Wednesday night, the restaurant was that perfect amount of crowded, enough people to fill the place but we were able to snag a table right when we walked in.

I am huge red wine lover, cabernets especially. Lately though I have been going with Malbecs. That night we both chose the Dinseno Malbec after sampling the 14 Hands Cabernet. It was a great accompaniment.

My mom and I spilt everything, my favorite thing to do while eating! We split this salad which is the creamy gorgonzola balsamic vinegar with pears and candied walnuts. My mom is allergic to spinach so they were able to put this with Romaine lettuce instead of the traditional spinach. It was delightful… how could it not be with sweet pears and candied walnuts.

Right before the pizza came out, the server brought the fresh parmesan, dried oregano and red pepper. It’s funny how such simple things make meals so enjoyable.

We got the Special White Pizza, which is different from the regular white pizza. We added sausage and mushrooms. It was delicious and the crust was perfect! Crispy and chewy all at the same time, you know what I am talking about it. This is the small pizza and my mom and I were only able to finish half of it. The decadent cheese made this pizza on the heavier side but it was worth every bite!

Time to dig in! I can say that I enjoyed this Coal Vines as much as the original. The staff were super polite and I will be back soon! My mom loved it too and said she will definitely be visiting their Southlake location soon too!

Check out more at: Coal Vines Austin

Bacon

For brunch this weekend, a few friends and I hopped over to Bacon to check it out. I mean with a name like Bacon my hopes were high. Three out of the four of us got the Broken Yolk BLT which was awesome and one person got the Bacon Chicken and Waffles which looked awesome. Sorry, didnt get a picture of that one. You’ll have to go to Bacon and try it yourself!

Yum!

Perfect brunch deliciousness.

I definitely want to go back and try the Bacon Fries.

Click here to check out more about Bacon

Ten Oak

When one of our friends, Megan , finally graced Austin with her presence, we need to find a place for dinner that was fun and could host a big group. Ten Oak quickly came to mind. They have a great menu and the place kind of turns more into a bar as the evening progresses, which is great if you’re looking to go out.

Not to mention, they have an extensive bourbon menu and plenty of awesome cocktails to start the night off right!

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Left to right: Honey Martini, Pickle Martini. Bottom: Honey Gimlet and Ten Oak Mule

I had to try the pickle martini, I loved it because it wasn’t too sweet but the first taste definitely has a kick. I only wished they had garnished it with an actual pickle!

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Of course, our side of the table got a few different things and split. Barbecue Burger? Yum!

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Triple Cheese Pizza? I love you. And perfect for sharing!

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Gourmet Shrimp Corndogs? I love the gourmet twist on traditional comfort food. Can’t get enough. Plus, I love mustard!

Enjoy! And be sure to check out Ten Oak

Tarbouch

I love this little place! It’s a great Lebanese place right off of Oltorf and South Congress in my neighborhood. I fell in love with gyros while living in Spain (random) and hummus is pretty much a staple in my diet. I had to share with yall one my favorite take-out (or dine in) spots in Travis Heights!

To check out Tarbouch click here.

I (almost) always get the gyro plate. It comes with a side salad and hummus, heck yea!

Can’t get enough of that tzatziki sauce!

Roll it up and eat up! Yumo!

Aguilera’s Cafe Ft. Worth, TX

I almost forgot to post today for #NaBloPoMo. All the turkey and traveling has left me feeling a little weary but fear not faithful blog readers, here is today’s post.

After visiting family this weekend, I was ready for a night out with friends in Fort Worth. The next morning we were in need of some good grub and our friend suggested this little hole in the wall Aguilera’s Cafe. Now, when I say hole in the wall… I mean it. We pulled up to what looked like a run down old house but upon entering, it was quite cozy. One of those places where everyone who walked in seemed to already know everyone there. My friend told me the story of the restaurant and that it is run by an ex-military chef, Santos Aguilera. Santos’ picture is prominently displayed on a table as you walk in.

First, comes the salsa and tortillas. Sigh, the tortillas are not homemade but I will let it slide this time.

I ordered the chorizo plate. FYI the chorizo is homemade, woohoo! The plate came with a chorizo and egg scramble with sides of bacon, refried beans, potatoes and little menudo type soup poured right on the plate. I was excited to dig in!

My little breakfast taco I made with all the yumminess from my chorizo plate.

So cute, they even have their own sign over the door. Love it. They are only open for breakfast and lunch. But my friend said that lunch is also good. At breakfast there are options of choices but for lunch everyday there is only one dish served.

If you’re ever in Fort Worth, you should stop by!

Gingerbread Village at the Four Seasons

So, it’s officially my favorite time of year! Christmas!! Earlier this week Lara Burns, Caroline Lomax, Sara Hull and I went to the Four Seasons for the annual Gingerbread Village unveiling. It’s a great way to kick off the season, these ornately decorated gingerbread houses and creations will be on display in the Four Seasons’ lobby until New Year’s so stop by and take a look.

The Gingerbread Village is dedicated to Texas history this year.

The Frost Tower

It’s all edible, incredible!

Hook ’em Horns!

During the unveiling, there are drinks and cookies, a singer who walks around serenading everyone to Christmas tunes and its all finished with a countdown to the Christmas tree lighting. Of course there is a Santa you can take pictures with but we left that for the kiddos.

Dallas

Lara, Sara, Me, Caroline

Christmas is here!

Afterwards we headed downstairs to TRIO, to take advantage of their awesome happy hour. Which after sampling all they had to offer, I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself there much more often.

Can’t beat half price glasses of wine and champagne.

Delicious Cheese Plate

Steak Fries with Truffle Aioli topped with parmesan and rosemary… I die.

Pork Sliders= Divine.
Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese… we’ll take 2!!
 If you ever need a partner to hit up the Four Seasons with… I’m your girl!

Taco Deli

 

 

Puerco Borracho: Its super tender and tastes a lot better than it looks!

Frontera Fundido Chicken with Dona Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The glorious Dona Sauce... so good it deserves its own picture.

 

Ranch 616

Anyone want a margarita? Because I could sure use one. Especially this one from Ranch 616.

After an afternoon of game watching at J Black’s, Leah Pigg, Ellie Little, Luke Thompson and I decided to grab some dinner at Ranch 616. We got several different dishes and split everything, which is my favorite. I love being able to try several different things, especially when there are so many great choices!

After we ordered our drinks, we started things off with the Don Combo, fried oysters and bacon wrapped shrimp.

Close up of the bacon wrapped shrimp with ranch.

They kindly split our Ranch Slice of Ice, so this is a mini piece. Of course, extra pepper on mine!

This was a special, mahi mahi with tiger shrimp and topped with bananas. It was definitely different but awesome at the same time. Hopefully, I’ll make it back before they take this one off the menu!

Of course, bacon and cheese mashers on the side were gone in no time with this crowd.

This is Jalapeno Maize Chicken, quite delish.

They brought out these awesome biscuits at the end… not that I needed more carbs but I definitely helped myself 🙂

This picture didnt turn out as well but what would dinner be without dessert?

Backspace

I finally went to Backspace Austin! It’s this great little pizza place right behind Parkside on 6th and San Jacinto. It’s a tiny restaurant and I had tried to go several times before but there was always over an hour wait or our group was too big to be seated. I was thrilled when Caroline Ittner , Meredith Cranch and I finally made a date to go to last week.


I tried to take good pictures but the lighting was dim, perfect for ambiance, however not so perfect for food photography.


For our appetizer, we chose the prosciutto wrapped mozzarella garnished with pears and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It was delicious and we gobbled these up in no time. This appetizer was excellent however if you’re hoping for something more filling I might go with something else as this dish was small.


This was my favorite of the night! Pizza Bianca. Lots and lots of fresh arugula with ricotta, mozzarella, and Romano cheeses.

The crusts on these pizzas are amazing! They are all cooked in a traditional wood-fire oven, which is open to the restaurant so you can see your pizza being made.


This is Peperoni Americano pizza with tomato, mozzarella, salami and basil. This was a hit too!

I definitely suggest you make a reservation, especially if you’re going on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Hope y’all enjoy this place as much as I did! I will definitely be going back!

Chicago!

This past weekend I went to Chicago with my lovely friend Kendall Hawkins.

We ran the half marathon, my first and her third, and ate… A lot. I wanted to share all the awesome photos. Enjoy!

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We asked the concierge at our hotel for a salad and sandwich place that was walking distance. She recommended this adorable place Pastoral. The restaurant was tiny with super friendly and knowledgable staff. Above is the Harvest Salad, field greens with prosciutto bacon and blue cheese, which I gobbled up in no time!

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This is the Spanish cheese and olive plate. It was so yummy. I can’t even remember all the lovely cheese but there was one that was rosemary flavored and I practically fell in love. There was also this great olive bar and you can try all the different olives your heart desires. My favorite were the garlic olives, which are shown above.

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At the last minute, Kendall splurged on this chocolate chip cookie with potato chips. Perfect salty and sweet treat!

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For dinner Friday night before the big race, we went to Quartino. It was a great Italian place right downtown.

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This was another great cheese and olive sampling plate. We had a great mix of prosciutto, Gorgonzola, parmigiano, artichokes, roasted peppers and few other pairings. Definitely was plenty to share!

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We may have gobbled up the pasta dishes before I could snap a picture… That’s how good they were! But above is our dessert, yummy homemade doughnuts with powered sugar and chocolate sauce. Devine!

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Here is picture of our group!
Left: Daniela, Kendall, me and Suzie

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I woke up to this gorgeous view from our hotel and was ready to run those 13.1 miles!!

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Kendall and I before the big race. We could not have asked for better running weather. In the low 50s, sunny, brisk and not very windy!!

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This was the post race grab bag of food. It included a whole wheat bagel, banana, cheese stick and peanuts. Water and Gatorade of course were on hand.

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We finished the race, survived actually! We finished in exactly 2hrs and 15min!!
The race route was gorgeous, started in Grant park then up Lakeshore drive to Lincoln park then back down Lakeshore to Grant park again. It was an awesome way to see the city!

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Post race we were ready to celebrate! I, of course, had to have a bloody Mary! The rest of the team celebrated with a variety of beers.

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We brunched at this great place, Pierrot Gourmet. They had a wonderful Oktoberfest spread. Above is the lentil soup, which to be completely honest, I thought was a questionable choice. I could not have been more wrong, it was delicious! That’s sausage she’s cutting, which was perfect with the thick soup. Now I am determined to make lentil soup!!

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Kendall ordered this awesome florentine frittata, yum!

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I went with the PG breakfast flatbread and was not disappointed!

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This was a Swiss cheese flatbread that Daniela’s husband got. Very good!

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This was a bite of the Weiner Schnitzel, so good, especially post race. And of course, an Oktoberfest special!

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After we napped and came out of our food and race induced coma, we went out to enjoy Halloween festivities dressed as little Indians!

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The next day we had to get some more great Italian and we went to Lou Malnati’s.

This is a slice of the stuffed spinach bread, which was quite yummy. It was not what I was expecting though, it was a small loaf of bread that is literally baked with the spinach, cheese and garlic inside!

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I had to try the spicy, Chicago style bloody Mary. It was right up my alley! And yes, those are little pepperonis and olives on the toothpick.

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This is a big slice of the deep dish pizza. Ours was sausage and pepperoni ( guys choice) haha

Of course, as the saying goes… When in Rome… It was my favorite of the two pizzas we got. The deep pizza came out in this big, black dish that the waiter had to use tongs to carry. The pizzas stay on a tray next to your table while you eat because they are too big for the table!

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Lastly, this is the spinach and tomato thin crust pizza. It was not really thin crust though, haha.

Aspen, Colorado

I recently visited Aspen, CO for a friends wedding. The wedding was beyond gorgeous (see mountain top picture) and the food was delightfully inspiring! I wanted to share all the amazing photos and you will definitely be seeing me try to use some of these things in my cooking!

Check out some of the cool places I visited:

The Little Nell 

Junk Aspen