Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

Oh, it's that lovely, lovely time of year again in Austin, that delightful - but far too short-lived - season we call spring.

I took advantage of the wonderful weather on Sunday by...staying inside and doing my taxes. Sigh. Being an adult kind of stinks sometimes. But we did sneak out for a short break and visited our favorite Dog Park.

We saw tons of familiar faces, both furry and human, and throughly enjoyed our three loops around the park. The bluebonnets and other wildflowers are out in full force - if you're looking for a spot for the obligatory spring bluebonnet photos, this is your place. Here are a few of mine:


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OK, not a bluebonnet, but very pretty! I actually don't know what this is - does anyone else?

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Everything's better with bluebonnet on it (yeah...slogans have a way of sticking in my head. Forever.)

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Kodak (TM) Picture Spot.

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Mindy absolutely refuses to look at the camera for photos.
She'll sit obediently, then nonchalantly look the other way every. single. time.

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More camera avoidance.

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I'm done sitting now, Mom! Let's go plaaaaaaay!

Hope everyone else is enjoying this fantastic weather!

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Achiote Seared Chickpeas with Goat Cheese

I first discovered this dish years ago while dining with a vegetarian friend at Lambert's. I thought it revolutionary; most of the chickpeas I'd eaten in the past had been in hummus form or as part of a side dish, but had never really been the star of the show. I loved the spiciness...the heartiness...the tang of the goat cheese...the mellowing note of the wilted spinach...fantastic. Now I order this every time I visit Lambert's (it's on their appetizer menu).

So when the recipe appeared in Texas Monthly, I eagerly bookmarked it for future reference.

A few weeks ago, we had a little progressive dinner with a few of our neighbors. The festivities were to begin at our house, and I was in charge of appetizers. It seemed a perfect opportunity to break this out.

And so I did. I made a double batch for ten people, and several people had seconds (and thirds) and there was still plenty left over for me to eat this for lunch several times. I served them up with some lovely mini-tortillas courtesy of the super friendly folks at Jack Allen's Kitchen (thanks, guys!).


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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Retro Bizzaro - Snack Cakes Worth Eating!

I wrote a Yelp review recently about my belief that much of what moves us as adults is seeded in our brains (and our taste buds) during our childhood years. Of course, there are tons of foods that I love now that I never ate as a child; but there's still no denying that I have an affinity for certain things - Asian food, for example - that seems disproportionate to the thing itself. Or perhaps another example might be more telling...Cheetos, perhaps?

Along these lines, I have fond memories of eating snack cakes while growing up. "Delights" like Ho Ho's, Twinkies, and Hostess Cupcakes were favorites of mine as a kid. I also had this bizarre ritual that involved Dolly Madison butterscotch Zingers while I was an undergraduate student; nothing ever tasted better during a 2:00 a.m. study break than a package of those babies.

Fast forward fifteen...plus...years (ahem). A new voice appeared on Twitter - a woman with a highly infectious personality named Amanda Joyner who, along with her husband, Mike (who is also the pastry chef at local foodie favorites FINO and Asti), is launching a new line of snack cakes under the name Retro Bizzaro. But these aren't just any snack cakes. They use local, fresh, sustainable, organic ingredients and a giant dose of love to make fabulously delicious, relatively healthy gems that you won't feel badly about eating. And, as their Facebook page hilariously proclaims, "Unlike other snack cakes, we won't survive the nuclear holocaust."

After several failed attempts to pick up some of their treats (currently available at the HOPE Farmer's Market and the Truck Farm Farmer's Market), I finally picked some up on Sunday.


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Mike selling their treats at the HOPE Market. Sadly, Amanda's shining personality wasn't there that day, but you can meet her through some of her fun video blogging on their website.

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Part of my stash, which already needs replenishing.

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A Bella Luna - inspired by Moon Pies - wonderful, perfectly-chewy cookies sandwiching a marshmallow filling, then dipped in chocolate.

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Bella Luna side view. Don't you just want to get in bed with this thing?

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A Snickie. Snickerdoodle-inspired, but much, much better. I was completely taken by surprise at how much I LOVED these light, super cinnamony cakes.

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The inner workings of a Snickie. Note the cinnamon cream goodness.

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A coffee cream Black Hole - dark, moist chocolate coffee cake filled with sweet coffee cream.

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A peek inside. Look at how moist their cake is!

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What Black Hole?

Retro Bizzaro's menu changes for each market, and also includes things like homemade candy bars, bacon jam (yes, bacon jam!), Bubbles (jam-filled tarts), and, just in time for Easter, I've seen them tweeting about making a homemade version of Peeps (and there was even talk about a chorizo and caramel version!). So if your kids - or, uh, you - need a bit of a snack cake fix, hurry out and snag some Retro Bizzaro treats now. At just $2 apiece as of this writing, Retro Bizzaro's goodies are budget-friendly without sacrificing one bit on quality, flavor, or that elusive feel-good factor. Buy local! They do.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eat Like a King at East Side King

The things I do for food.

Three of us + an extremely energetic dog were in two separate cars coming from opposite directions at different times and needed to meet up somewhere for dinner. For some reason, that seemed like a good time for me to suggest a foray to East Side King, a trailer on the back patio of The Liberty - despite the fact that I wasn't sure it was dog-friendly (notwithstanding no less than seven attempts over a couple-hour period to call The Liberty and ask).

Despite the extreme potential for this scenario to morph into a Three Stooges episode, it (eventually) all worked out. And I happily, FINALLY, found myself at East Side King, a foodie mecca of which I'd heard much but never visited.


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{insert angelic singing sound here}

Of course, the only logical thing to do when confronted with a relatively small menu like East Side King's is to order one of everything.

First, I sampled the beet home fries ($5). To be honest, I'm not particularly fond of the taste of beets, but the ability to smother these in the accompanying kewpie mayo topped with schichimi togarashi helped fool my tastebuds into liking these.

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Beet it! These are mine!

Then I tried the Poor Qui's buns ($6 for two buns) - roasted pork belly in steamed buns with Hoisin sauce, cucumber kimchee and green onion. Does that not sound like a combination made in heaven? It is. I love steamed buns, and I really need to find ways to incorporate them into my diet more frequently. They're the perfect foil for rich, fatty meat.

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No need to ask "por quoi?" about Poor Qui's.

Next up were the curry buns ($4 for two buns). These "buns" are deep-fried, then filled with a homemade peanut butter curry, basil, cilantro, mint, onion and jalapeño. I enjoyed the flavor of these, but they were overpoweringly greasy - so much so that I could not eat more than a couple of small bites before relinquishing the remainder of my portion. I think I would've liked these better on the steamed buns, although the texture of the deep-fried buns worked nicely with the melty peanut butter curry.

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You don't want to know how many Weight Watchers points are in these. Trust me.

I think my favorite dish of the evening was the Thai Chicken Karaage ($7), which is made with deep fried chicken thighs served with a sweet & spicy sauce, basil, cilantro, mint, onion, and jalapeños. The coating on the chicken had a nice, salty tang to it, similar to the coating you'd find on a Chinese salt & pepper dish only with a little more sharpness (possibly from lime?).

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Salty, tangy, goodness.

The chicken went particularly well with the ginger garlic jasmine rice ($4), which was pretty mild-tasting and helped mellow the strong flavors and the saltiness of the karaage out a bit. You can buy a half-order of the karaage with rice for $8.

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Yes, there is rice hiding under that delicious, herby forest.

Last, but certainly not least, we sampled the fried brussels sprout salad ($5), which paired brussels sprouts with shredded cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, sweet & spicy sauce, and the same panoply of herbs that seems to grace most of ESK's dishes - basil, cilantro, mint, onion and jalapeños. Fresh and delicious.

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Brussels Spout Salad.

Definitely an excellent meal, made even more enjoyable by the exceedingly laid-back vibe of The Liberty's patio and the ability to snag an ice cold beer from inside to help wash it all down. And when you consider that ESK is owned by a couple of guys who also work at Uchi, it's hard not to feel just a little smug about having paid so little (comparatively, anyway) for your meal. All this food set us back just $31* (excluding gratuity and our drinks) and was plenty to fill up three champion eaters. Apparently, these guys enjoy habiting the ends of the spectrum - from one of the most exclusive restaurants in town to one of the diviest trailers (yes, divey even for a trailer) in town.

As another King once sang:
"I got to travel, and hit the gravel,
But I'll be back, yeah I'll be back."

*Cash ONLY. Be prepared.

East Side King
1618 E. 6th St (on the back patio of the Liberty Bar)
Austin, TX 78702
5/5 stars on Yelp

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Monday, March 15, 2010

TECHmunch!

On Saturday, I got to spend the day with an absolutely terrific and energetic group of food bloggers at the first-ever TECHmunch food blogger workshop. The workshop was put together by food blog royalty Babette from Bakespace and Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen and co-produced by Natanya from Fête and Feast.

I was thrilled to finally meet several people with whom I'd previously only interacted online, and I picked up tons of great tips for being a better blogger. Afterwards, we mingled while sipping cocktails and nibbling fantastic food by the super-talented Shawn Cirkiel of Parkside.

Thanks to a VERY full weekend, I have more photos than I have energy, so I'll let my a few of my shots from the day do the talking:


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A full house in Parkside's lovely second floor space

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Our very own Austin Twitter bird kept hanging around outside the window tweeting

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Salmon belly, pineapple, mint & green onion soup spoon bites

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More soup spoon bites - with lentil salad, cucumber, apples, and harissa

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These little croustade cups were delightful - filled with mascarpone, asparagus, and smoked tomato vin

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De-luscious seared New York strip with peanuts, cilantro, and a drizzle of soy-ginger sauce

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Totally addictive cauliflower dish - carmelized with chili, citrus, and Thai basil.
(if all veggies tasted like this, I would be the healthiest woman alive)

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For dessert - an army of scrumptious Sugar Mama's cupcakes!

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My Bakespace Martini - girly, without being too sweet (strawberry Stoli, lime juice and cava)

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Marshall Wright of Eat This Lens doing what food bloggers do best

A huge thanks to Babette, Jaden and Natanya for putting together an absolutely fantastic event, and to Parkside for hosting us. It was a wonderful day!

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Asian Food in Austin

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The second topic I wanted to cover for our food blogger "Eating in Austin" meta-guide is Asian food. After having grown up eating Chinese food pretty much every day for 18 years, this is a genre that is near and dear to my heart, so I was excited about tackling it. However, I'm going to be honest with you; if you're visiting from, say, California or New York (or even Houston - sigh), you might want to take this opportunity to explore some other food genres, as I don't think what we have to offer is as good as you can get in any of those venues. But we do have some solid offerings, so if you're from elsewhere in the country or just have a craving that simply must be satisfied, read on.

As with my guide to upscale dining, I've arranged the restaurants by area of town. This list is not comprehensive; I've included mainly my favorites here, although there are a few that don't qualify for "favorite" status that made it to the list because they were the only place that offered a particular genre in a particular part of town. I've left restaurants that serve mainly sushi off this guide - not because I don't like it, mind you, as it's one of my favorite foods in the universe - but because another blogger is handling that category.


View Asian Food in Austin in a larger map

DOWNTOWN (broadly defined here as spanning from I-35 to MoPac,
and from Ladybird Lake to MLK):


Unfortunately, nearly all the best Asian food in town is north of 183. However, if you need a fix and aren't up for a hike, you can find decent Korean food at Koriente and upscale Asian fusion (along with a terrific happy hour and delicious cocktails) at Imperia. I also have an inexplicable soft spot for the totally divey, weirdly-laid-out Mongolian Grille, where you pile your own raw ingredients into a bowl and the chef cooks them up for you as you watch. For contemporary Indian food, check out Clay Pit. They've got a surprisingly cheap lunch buffet and the most sinful take on korma I've ever tasted (not on the lunch buffet) - made with cashews, almonds and pistachios.

Or perhaps you'll have more luck with the food trucks and trailers, which are proliferating in this city faster than gerbils. There are a few that hang out downtown; Chi'Lantro, which serves Korean tacos, bulgogi burgers, and similar Korean-fusion items (they move around, so watch their Twitter feed to find their whereabouts); G'raj Mahal, which serves Indian food in a covered outdoor dining area draped with gauzy white fabric; and Me So Hungry, which offers banh mi and noodle dishes (none of which I've tried, so no guarantees).

JUST EAST OF DOWNTOWN:

The area east of downtown is particularly bereft of Asian food offerings, but one place deserves particular mention - East Side King (on the patio of Liberty Bar), another food trailer which is owned by a couple of chefs from Uchi and which consistently draws raves from Austin foodies.

SOUTH OF THE RIVER (CLOSE TO DOWNTOWN):

Just south of the river near downtown, check out the delicious goodies at Thai Fresh, quite possibly the only Asian restaurant in town that has a focus on sustainability. For banh mi, pretty much your only option is Lulu B's, another food trailer. Lulu B's also offers bùn - I'm not all that fond of their version, but it'll work in a pinch. Speaking of trailers, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the deliciousness of Asian-inspired crepes at Crepes Mille. I was a skeptic, but one bite convinced me.

For an easy Japanese-inspired meal, local chain Zen is super fast and always fresh, if not the most authentic (and they offer brown rice as an option, which I always appreciate). Zen has multiple locations in town, all of which I've mapped above. Just east of I-35, you'll find our only Indonesian restaurant, Java Noodles, where sweetened condensed milk became a part of my eating repertoire. Get away from the SXSW crowds at Bistro 88, where you'll find upscale Asian-inspired fare (including sushi) in a peaceful setting.

NORTH OF DOWNTOWN (south of 183):

Just north of downtown near campus, discover Madam Mam's, a great little Thai place that caters to the student population. Madam Mam's has opened a couple of other locations which are also mapped above. Another Thai place, Thai Kitchen, has my favorite squid with red curry dish in town and a gatee thom yum gai that is guaranteed to instantly cure any ailment. In this area, you again have only one choice for banh mi - at the hilariously-named Bite Mi. Vegetarians will enjoy the all-veggie all the time Veggie Heaven. Nearby Coco's Cafe serves Taiwanese food and delicious bubble drinks (and they have quite possibly the cutest website I've ever seen).

Further north of campus has the highest concentration of Korean food. Manna is adjacent to an Asian market and sports a lovely pickled veggie bar. Still further north, Korea House offers a full Korean menu, including Korean barbecue. I'm partial to the bi bim bap at Shilla near Highland Mall. Not Korean, but also near the mall, is Shanghai, which has some of the better dim sum service in town.

Off on its own, in another Asian-food-bereft part of town, check out Banzai, which always has my favorite shrimp tempura bowl on special.

Just barely south of 183 is the place I first discovered Vietnamese food. While in law school, a big bowl of Kim Phung's shrimp, hot pepper, lemongrass bùn was an extra special treat. I particularly like the spring rolls here, too.

FAR NORTH (North of 183):

Here's where the gettin' gets really good. My two favorite places in town for a family-style Vietnamese dinner exist north of 183 - Sunflower and Le Soleil - owned by two people who divorced one another and he opened a competing restaurant up the street with a nearly-identical menu (and, frankly, a bit of an edge on both food and atmosphere). I love the sizzling seafood platter, the steamed sea bass, the shaking beef, the roll-your-own spring rolls...OK, everything on the menu is terrific. You can find excellent banh mi at Thanh Nhi, Tam Deli, or Baguette House.

The most authentic Chinese food in town is at Asia Café (even their website is partially in Chinese!). Nearby, Chen's Noodle House serves wonderful made-to-order, hand-cut noodle dishes. If you can't quite bring yourself to drive all that way, try Din Ho Chinese BBQ, instead.

We have a small "Chinatown" shopping center with a number of good offerings, including First Chinese BBQ, and a new place called Fresh Tofu. There's also terrific pho to be had at Pho Saigon, a chain that hails from Houston. If you're in the mood for dim sum, Fortune Chinese Seafood has full dim sum service (try the turnip cake - it's outstanding). Nearby, but not in the shopping center itself, I've had good luck at Exotic Thai. If you head up that way, you must also check out the ginormous MT Supermarket, the largest Asian grocery store in town.

For Indian food up north, I highly recommend Swad, with dosas as big as your head, a great Thali platter, and a delightful drink made from fresh young coconut.

If you happen to be wayyyyyyy north (as in, north of Parmer Lane), probably the best Chinese barbecue in town is at Ho Ho's, owned by the former owners of Din Ho (mentioned above).

LAKEWAY:

This restaurant probably shouldn't be on any SXSW lists, as it is a ridiculous hike from downtown, BUT - it's also the best Chinese banquet dining in the Austin area, as far as I'm concerned. If you're up for a drive or happen to be staying in the Lakeway area, I highly recommend Pao's Mandarin House. Fantastic salt & pepper squid, delicious Peking duck...delicious everything, really. Ask for the Chinese menu (they have a more Americanized menu, as well, and they presumably decide which to hand you depending on how you look).

Did I miss one of your favorites? Leave me a comment below!

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Friday, March 5, 2010

An Austin Visitor's Guide to Upscale Dining

***This guide has been updated. The latest version can be found here.***

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With South by Southwest right around the corner, several Austin food bloggers are working on compiling a meta-guide to help visiting foodies make the most of their meals while they're in town. I'm tackling higher-end dining - for conference goers on an expense account or who are looking for a little bit of a splurge. There is no way to make this guide completely comprehensive, so I've mostly tried to limit the list to places that either I or people I trust hold in the highest regard. I've also tried to focus more on downtown or close-in options, since most conference-goers will be spending most of their time in that vicinity.

Restaurants denoted with an (L) (for "Local"), while maybe not all technically locally-owned, are at least unique to Austin (to differentiate them from the chains). I've tried to organize them roughly by area of town to help folks target places near where they happen to be.

Although this list is not meant to be comprehensive, I feel sure I've left something fantastic off. If your favorite upscale restaurant is missing, let me know!


View Upscale Dining for SXSW in a larger map

DOWNTOWN (broadly defined here as spanning from I-35 to MoPac,
and from Ladybird Lake to MLK):


(L) - Restaurant Jezebel - New American. How many places can you order a dessert preparation of foie gras? All right, then. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Wink - New American fare with a focus on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and an emphasis on personal attention. (4.5 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Lambert's - Not your father's barbecue - in only the best way. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Ranch 616 - Quirky...like Austin. About 300 specials a night, so get your ears ready when your server comes by. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - TRIO - the Four Seasons Hotel is all about exceeding expectations, and its restaurant, TRIO, does just that. It consistently turns out outstanding food combined with exemplary service. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Péché - absinthe bar that also happens to have excellent food and service. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - La Traviata - their carbonara will make you cry tears of joy. Blog post dedicated to this thing of beauty here. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Driskill Grill - Fine dining in a beautiful historic hotel. (3.5 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Belmont - Classic American fare with a swanky 60's vibe. It'll make you want to snap your fingers as you walk in the joint. (3.5 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Moonshine - the honest truth is that this is not my favorite place, but they do have some good offerings, and their stick-to-your ribs, homestyle cooking slant might be just the thing for folks visiting from more northern climes or...attempting to cure a hangover. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Cafe Josie - Island style/tropical fare in an accessible, relaxing atmosphere. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Parkside - New American. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Chez Nous - French. Everyone raves about it, but I've somehow never been. Don't let it happen to you. (4.5 stars on Yelp).

Max's Wine Dive - their slogan is, "Fried chicken and champagne - why the hell not?" Why the hell not, indeed. Particularly during SXSW. (3.5 stars on Yelp).

Three fancy steak chain restaurants - because sometimes, you just need a fantastic slab of meat in a dark room (yes, yes, I know that's what she said): III Forks (4 stars on Yelp); Sullivan's (4 stars); Ruth's Chris (4 stars on Yelp). [Edit: A kind commenter reminded me that there is an excellent non-chain option for steak - the very local Austin Land & Cattle Co. (4 stars on Yelp). When in Austin, do as the Austinites do and choose local businesses over chains!

Three fancy seafood chain restaurants - because...well, because I listed three fancy chain steak restaurants. Truluck's - (4 stars on Yelp); Eddie V's (4.5 stars on Yelp); and McCormick & Schmick's (4 stars). In a similar vein, we also have a Hawaiian fusion chain restaurant, Roy's (4 stars on Yelp).

Finn & Porter - it's a hotel restaurant, but you'd never know it from the food. (4 stars on Yelp).

Roaring Fork - the rugged Western cousin of Eddie V's. You've got to love them for having a menu item called "The Big Ass Burger." (4 stars on Yelp).

Z Tejas - Southwestern. It's a chain, but it's never done me wrong, and they've got my all-time favorite chile relleno. (4 stars on Yelp).


JUST EAST OF DOWNTOWN:

(L) - East Side Cafe - One of my favorite places to take out of town guests - homey, funky, and Austin-y, with a large garden on the premises that sources many of their herbs, decorative garnishes, and some of their veggies. Browse their adorable gift shop, Pitchforks & Tablespoons while you wait for your table. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - East Side Show Room - Even in a city full of funk, East Side Show Room brings the funk. Good, locally-sourced eats in a sumptuously steampunky setting. My blog post about it is here. (3 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Buenos Aires Café - lovely Argentinian food. I haven't eaten at this location, but the other location is terrific, and I have no reason to believe this one wouldn't be, too. (4 stars on Yelp).


SOUTH OF THE RIVER (CLOSE TO DOWNTOWN):

(L) - Perla's - seafood, which you can eat on a lovely patio (because what else would you want to do while in Austin, Texas?) (3.5 stars on Yelp)

(L) - South Congress Cafe - New American in a casual-yet-upscale setting. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Vespaio - Italian. Reservations only available before 6:30 p.m. M-Th & Sunday - all other times, be prepared for a wait. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Paggi House - New American in a lovely setting. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Uchi - Sushi/Japanese. On the higher end of the pricey range, in part due to their tiny portion sizes. But every bite will be outstanding. (4.5 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Olivia - New American with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients. Named one of 2009's Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appetit. (3.5 stars on Yelp).


NORTH OF DOWNTOWN:


(L) - The Carillon - Located in the AT&T Conference Center & Hotel on campus, The Carillon could easily be a buffet restaurant in a large, well-funded university. And, in fact, during the day, it is. But at night, it transforms into a fine dining establishment with excellent food. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Fonda San Miguel - Interior Mexican in a warm, inviting atmosphere. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Chez Zee - It's hard not to feel special while you're dining surrounded by twinkly white Christmas lights and whimsical art. Their smoky olive oil is like nothing I've ever tasted. (4 stars on Yelp)

(L) - Mirabelle - with menu item descriptions as long as this blog post, you'll know what you'll be getting - and you know that it'll be good. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Musashino - as good as it gets in town for old school sushi. (4 stars on Yelp).


BIT OF A HIKE (North of 183, south of Ben White, West of 360):

(L) - North by Northwest - come for SXSW, eat at NXNW - almost too silly to be true. But this is one of the very few non-chain, upscale eateries in the area, it's consistently decent, and they brew their own beer. 'nuff said. (3.5 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Mikado Ryotei - not as good as Musashino for straight up, traditional-style sushi, but they've got some really excellent rolls here if that's your sushi preference. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Jack Allen's Kitchen - Jack Allen, the founding chef of Z'Tejas, brings a breath of fresh air to an otherwise-barren upscale restaurant landscape, the Oak Hill area. The flavors here are bright, fresh and innovative. If the Navajo Taco is on the menu when you go, it comes highly recommended. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - The Grove - A solid offering by experienced Austin restauranteur Reed Clemons - great food and wine + a spacious patio make for a relaxed, enjoyable meal. (4 stars on Yelp).

(L) - Hudson's on the Bend - specializing in wild game. (4 stars on Yelp).

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Last Meal on Earth

One of the sassy "getting to know you" questions on a person's Yelp profile page is "My Last Meal on Earth." I love this question. What in the world would I choose to eat, if I knew I was never going to eat again (on Earth, anyway) and I had no restrictions whatsoever?

On my Yelp profile, I said I'd have omakase prepared by Masaharu Morimoto. You kind of can't go wrong with that, although there are probably better sushi chefs out there. Just none whose names I know.

I know one thing - I would really, really want uni to be on the menu. Eating uni is such a visceral experience for me...the kind of food you feel all the way down to your toes if you're doing it right. Its creamy texture fills your senses with the hint of the sea and, if served as nigiri, the slight chewiness of the nori gives your teeth a little something to work on, reminding you that you are, indeed, still on earth, as opposed to ascended to some other plane. They say uni is an aphrodisiac, to which I dreamily reply, "mmm hmmmm."


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And you? What would you include in your last meal?

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