Tag Archives: food

out and about: dallas.

23 Jan

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as i mentioned last week, i spent this past weekend visiting an old friend in the big d (that would be dallas, for those not up to speed with texas vernacular). it’s so refreshing to get out of your usual routine and see something new.

starting with a delicious meal friday night at the common table in dallas’ uptown neighborhood, the weekend was an array of sensory delights – sights, sounds and tastes. we grabbed a drink and an app as we waited for our table, and after finally being seated, i ordered the tasty crab cake blt. perhaps it was my unbelievable hunger that grew to near record proportions during our two-hour wait or my two glasses of pre-dinner wine, but that was probably the best crab cake dish i’d ever had.

saturday was spent discovering all the nooks and crannies of downtown mckinney, a quaint town just north of the city. i have to admit, i was skeptical upon first hearing my friend describe it as a  cute small town, but what a gem!

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not only did this small town destination have impressive eateries (we enjoyed a divine lunch at the impossibly adorable resto, gather), it had lovely shops perfectly curated with enviable home wares and accessories. definitely a spot worth checking out!

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after our leisurely afternoon, we headed back to dallas to rest our feet in preparation of another night out on the town. the evening kicked off with an absolutely delicious dinner at thai thai restaurant in the greenville neighborhood, followed by drinks out in the uptown area again.

i’d never had too much experience with the big city of dallas (save for a quick trip to the texas/ou football game weekend as a senior in college and a few visits when i was about seven years old), but my whirlwind 36 hours there this past weekend left me with a positive impression – can’t wait to go back and explore some more!

all photos my own.

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out and about: takoba.

3 Jan

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where do you turn when you have a hankering for mexican? for me, it’s definitely the tried-and-true offerings of takoba. this east side joint is not to be missed with its interior cuisine and modern yet rustic décor. the drinks are pretty spectacular too.

takoba’s great because it’ll meet any of your dining needs – lunch, dinner, appetizers and even just drinks (they have a small bar space around back that’s strictly dedicated to whipping up drinks that are sure to top any best-of-austin lists).

and the food? amazing. my personal favorite are the tacos al pastor on the lunch menu – fresh, pineapple-marinated pork dressed with queso fresco and guac (drooling yet?). basically, they’re to die for.

so next time you’re in austin and have a hankering for some spicy, authentic mexican, stop by takoba – you won’t be disappointed. (disclaimer: this is not your tired, run-of-the-mill tex-mex resto – takoba serves authentically inspired interior mexican dishes. no fake yellow cheese and pools of unnecessary grease here!) 

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photos from takoba.

out and about: salty sow.

21 Dec

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have a hankering for meat? or more specifically, pork? please welcome, salty sow, to the table. from this fairly new austin hang-out’s carnivore-geared menu to its dangerously delicious drinks, salty sow – from my one visit thus far – has skyrocketed to the top of my austin go-to list.

the first time i visited, it was a warm december evening –yes warm…december…don’t get me started – perfect for sipping cocktails on an outdoor patio. soft café lights cast a cozy glow over diners and drinkers while rustic high-top tables and bar stools reinforced the restaurant’s self-proclaimed modern farmhouse ambiance.

in short, everything was divine – from my absolutely delicious white sparkling sangria to our array of food orders that didn’t miss a beat, all topped off by a complimentary champagne toast for it being our group’s first time visiting. other restaurants should take a cue from this swine-inspired haunt. i repeat: complimentary champagne toast.

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photos 1 & 2 from salty sow on facebook.

photos 3 & 4 from salty sow.

photo 5 from tribeza.

out and about: fresa’s

14 Dec

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as soon as those neon walls went up on north lamar, i was quite intrigued. yes, i’m talking about fresa’s, austin’s newest drive-through. drive-through, i say? yes, drive-through.

but not that kind of drive-through.

oh no, this drive-through is so much more. a thousand notches above your typical fake-food-on-the-go joints, fresa’s serves delicious tacos featuring charcoal grilled, locally grown chickens and fresh garnishes and sauces.

how’s that for locavore?

and let me tell ya’, it’s delish. i stopped “in” – ok, it wasn’t in, per se, since i stood outside while waiting for my order – the other week in sweet anticipation of the food i’d waited so long to try. i ordered the maggie and the tomas, featuring bbq brisket from another local hot spot, lambert’s, eggs, chorizo, bacon, avocado and wonderfully crafted flour tortillas (not all together, of course).

i was a bit surprised, however, that there are no tables to dine at. while there are a few stools and umbrellas, i presume they’re for use while waiting for that “order up!” to be called. in my humble opinion, fresa’s should definitely add some outdoor seating for those who want to stretch their legs while enjoying their slightly messy (in the best way possible) tacos.

i happened to drop in while they were still serving their breakfast options, and i can’t wait to explore their lunch menu. here’s to a second visit asap!

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photos both my own.

out and about: thunderbird coffee.

7 Dec

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do you like coffee? of course you do. that was a silly question. let’s start again. do you like good coffee? cool, me too. let’s talk about it…

austin is wrought with establishments pining to satisfy your caffeine-induced hazes day after day. and, with few exception, they’ll all do the trick. but it’s with ardent eyes (see what i did there?) that i look to thunderbird coffee for my java fix.

this local place hits the spot in more ways than one. first of all, their coffee is great (and they tout not only fair-trade, but direct-trade, a concept that focuses on implementing a supply chain that truly involves farmers, pickers and processors in the country of origin). from delectable lattes to delicious cappuccinos, their range of menu items is sure to satisfy.

they also offer a cozy, living room-esque vibe in their shop (i’ve only visited the koenig lane location, but i’m sure the manor road spot is just as comfy), with plush couches and arm chairs and tables that look as if they were picked right out of your grandma’s basement.

it’s also obvious that this is truly a neighborhood joint. just hang around for 10 or 20 minutes and you’ll see people drive up for a quick coffee run on their way to work, young couples on their daily dog walk who stop in for a cup of jo and families who walk from their nearby homes to enjoy a leisurely outing. this place really gives you a sense of community and longing for that locavore vibe.

my only complaint is that their music is a tad loud. sometimes i’d like to enjoy my own tunes while sipping my coffee.

but hey, that’s a small price to pay for the other greatnesses you get when visiting thunderbird. so you should go. like, now.

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photos my own.

out and about: tnt

30 Nov

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if there’s one thing texas is known for (ok, there are many, but let’s play along for the sake of this post), it’s the margarita. there are a number of takes on this lone star staple – sweet, tart, strong, extra strong and potent – all providing a different satisfaction to the bar go-er.

and if there’s one thing austin is known for (again, let’s play along), it’s places specializing in the margarita. the latest feature? tnt (that’s tacos and tequila for those not in the know). and specialize do they ever. this place runs the gamut. they have seasonal varieties – the pumpkin margarita – trendy varieties – the pink hibiscus margarita – and just plain adventurous varieties – the lingonberry-habanero margarita. and none of them disappoint.

oh, and did i mention they have food? the restaurant’s happy hour features $1.50 street tacos (i have yet to try them, being that 5pm is just a tad too early for my dinner – but they look delish), and their chips and salsa are not your run-of-the-mill corn tortilla chips – no, tnt serves up root vegetable chips with an array of delectable dippings.

and i haven’t even gotten to the ambiance yet. the establishment’s unassuming exterior is superseded by a warm, inviting interior complete with mood-setting café lights, wood floors complimented by brightly colored walls and an impressively large tequila rack that hangs above the bar.

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have i convinced you yet? good. ‘cause you should definitely venture over to this west 5th street (in the bottom of the gables pressler building, to be exact) locale. and buy a drink or two while you’re at it.

out and about: hillside farmacy

16 Nov

i know i’ve blogged in passing about this little gem of a restaurant before, but i’m gonna do it again. ‘cause i can. and ‘cause it’s great.

when i first heard about hillside farmacy many months ago, it quickly skyrocketed to the top of my to-try list. not only was the concept intriguing – an actual abandoned pharmacy, with medicine bottles still in place, that was taken over by local chef sonya coté, of east side showroom fame, and turned into another rosewood homerun – but the menu had me salivating at first glance. i mean, who doesn’t long for macaroni and cheese carbonara or bread pudding french toast?

so, off i went again a couple sundays ago, to bask in the gastronomic glory that is this eastside mainstay. upon entering the small establishment, a rush of dining satisfaction washed over me. the hexagonal tiled floors were complimented perfectly by the dark, warm woods of the bar, booths and cocktail chairs. the brass light fixtures sat perfectly against white ceilings detailed with beautiful moldings. and tucked behind two French doors was a private dining room, perfect for those special occasions with many friends.

if you haven’t ventured over to east 11th street yet, please do yourself a favor and make the trip – asap. you won’t be disappointed.

all photos my own.