Drink of the Day
Though I pretty much enjoy a glass of red wine no matter how hot it gets outside, come late summer, I start to reach my limit. While a glass of rose or a good craft beer make for a solid alternative, I can never fully shake my hankering for glass of red. I found an answer to my dilemma recently at East End Wines via a delicious bottle of sparkling Shiraz. The Chook Sparkling Shiraz NV is a smooth, well-balanced blend of mainly 3-5 year old Shiraz grapes. The Australian wine is blended with a younger vintage Shiraz, which gives it a rich layer of juicy red fruit without being too sweet. Easy to drink but rich enough to stand up to hearty, spicier dishes. Pick a bottle up of the Chook Sparkling Shiraz NV ($18) at East End Wines, located at 1209 Rosewood, Austin, TX 78702.
Quesoff IV at the Mohawk Saturday, July 19 from 2-6pm
Mentioned here, the Quesoff IV features over 20 teams in four categories vying for to be named the big cheese of the competition. And, with the addition of this year’s new wild card category, expect the unexpected. Other categories include veggie, meat, and spicy. With each team cooking up at least 5 quarts per entry, there will be more than enough queso to go around, which means the real winner of the competition is you, the taster. Bags of chips for tasting will be available for purchase at $5/bag. See you there!
It’s Go Texan Week Y’all – July 21-27
We Texans have no shortage of things to be proud of, not the least of which is our amazing community of farmers, ranchers, growers and producers across the state. The GoTexan campaign is a State of Texas initiative designed to support products created from Texas ingredients and produced in the state (you have most likely seen the label at your local grocery store). In addition to that component of the campaign, each year, the restaurants across the state join together to celebrate GoTexan Week as a way to highlight their local suppliers and give back at the same time. Participating restaurants, found here, will do this by serving a special GoTexan menu beginning July 21 through July 27. More details can be found here.
Uber + National Ice Cream Day
Continue reading July Friday Faves , Part IV
As a devoted disciple to all things cheese and wine, I have been a ready-made fan of Henri’s Cheese & Wine since it opened, and now with a newly added dinner menu, there is even more to love about the South Lamar eatery. Henri’s Cheese and Wine has always offered an expanded lunch menu, but until recently, it shifted to a cheese, charcuterie, and wine spot come nightfall. However, a few months ago, Henri’s began test driving the idea of adding dinner by offering a series of regular nighttime specials, including its ever-popular burger and spaghetti and meatball nights. Now with Chef Keegan Archer at the helm, Henri’s new dinner menu features a diverse range of rustic yet modern small plates created using seasonal, local ingredients.
White Bean Dip & Seasonal Vegetables
On this visit, we started with a white bean and crudité plate, which was more delicious than any such vegetable/dip dish should be thanks to an unexpected smoky flavor on the vegetables. Up next was a beautifully roasted quail dish served on top of a farro salad. The tender, juicy quail was delicious on its own but even more so when combined with the seasonal salad of fresh figs, thinly sliced cucumber, fresh herbs and goat cheese crumbles.
Roasted Quail and Farro Salad
Continue reading Dinner at Henri’s Cheese and Wine
Good Drinks: Pimm’s Cup at Goodall’s Bar
Last week’s Wimbledon Tournament reinvigorated my love for a favorite British cocktail, the Pimm’s Cup. When struck with a craving for a fancy post-work cocktail, one of my favorite go-to spots is the charming Goodall’s Bar at Hotel Ella. One can’t help but feel transported to the heart of the South while sipping top-notch cocktails on the wrap around porch at Hotel Ella. Their version of the classic gin cocktail combines spicy-sweet Pimm’s No. 1 with citrusy housemade lemonade. Garnished with cucumber and blackberry, it’s a perfectly light and refreshing summer cocktail.
Pimm’s Cup at Goodall’s Bar
Put on your best seersucker and let time move a little slower during happy hour Goodall’s Bar at Hotel Ella Monday through Friday from 4-7pm. 1900 Rio Grande Street. http://goodallskitchen.com
Good Eats: Pimento Cheese Recipe
Speaking of tastes of the South, I recently threw together some spicy pimento cheese spread for friends that was pretty damn tasty, if I do say so myself. To class up the kitsch, I served it on crackers layered with a slice of an heirloom tomato. The secret to a good pimento cheese spread is using homemade mayonnaise, which is a pain but so worth it. Great how-to here. Simple and delicious! Here’s my recipe: Continue reading Friday Faves
It might be the middle of the summer slow down, but Austin’s event calendar is just getting hotter. Here are a few top picks, with more to come soon!
Central Market Wine Week Wednesday, July 9 – Wednesday, July 15
Central Market kicks off its annual celebration of all things wine on July 9 with a week long lineup of events that includes cooking classes, sommelier wine dinners, and winemaker meet & greets. Check out the full range of events here. Want a simple, budget-friendly way to unleash your inner wino? Stop by either location on Thursday, July 9 from 5-8pm for the ‘let the good times stroll’ event to enjoy samples, wine 101, and more for $10/per person. Details here.
Monday, July 14 – Austin Restaurant Week Wrap Party + Pig Roast
Tribeza is hosting the official Austin Restaurant Week Wrap Party on Monday, July 14. Benefiting Meals on Wheels and More, the bash will celebrate a successful spring ARW with a pig roast, live music, Deep Eddy cocktails, and a few area chefs beginning at 6pm. Tickets for the event, held at the Meals on Wheels HQ, are $20 and available for purchase here. 3227 East 5th Street, Austin, TX 78702
Quesoff IV at the Mohawk Saturday, July 19 from 2-6pm
Arguably the greatest food throwdown of the year, the Quesoff IV at the Mohawk, returns on Saturday, July 19 from 2-6pm. With over 20 teams competing in four queso categories, this year’s event is primed to be the best one yet, especially with competitors representing some of Austin’s best restaurants. In addition to spicy, meat and veggie, the competition has added a new wild card queso category, meaning prepare to expect the unexpected. There will be DJ beats throughout the afternoon and of course, plenty of cold beer available for purchase from Mohawk’s expansive list.
The event is free with RSVP (here). Chips for queso tasting can be purchased for $5/bag. The Mohawk, 912 Red River.
Continue reading July Happenings, Part I: Quesoff, Pig Roast, and More
One day early and not a second too soon: In honor of the good ‘ole U.S. of A., we’re going All-American for this week’s Friday Faves.
Dish of the Day: Frank Hotdog
Drink of the Week: Twisted X Brewing Company Fuego Jalapeno Pilsner
Here’s a little 4th of July trivia for you: Americans eat on average 150 million hotdogs every Independence Day (#murica), and that’s not even counting the total tally from the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Chances are you’ll be grilling said eats over a hot open flame. This of course requires a cold beer in hand, which leads to today’s Drink of the Week.
With all of the Texas craft beers on the market, it was only a matter of time until someone brewed up a beer meant to go hand in hand with grilling. Enter Twisted X Brewing Company’s Jalapeno Pilsner, the appropriately named Fuego. Though infused beers often sound good in theory, it’s something that can often result in more kitch than quality. This, however, is not the case for the Tex-Mex brewery’s pepper infused brew. It’s a crisp, refreshing pilsner with subtle heat to keep things interesting, especially when enjoyed alongside some grilled meat.
38th Annual Austin Symphony H-E-B July 4th Concert & Fireworks
Austin’s annual firework display has relocated this year from Auditorium Shores to the Circuit of the Americas, which is a bit of a bummer. On the plus side, organizers are promising a larger than life display as the facilities can better accommodate such events. Attendees are welcome to join in on the 4th of July fun beginning at 4PM on Friday. At 8:30pm, the Austin Symphony Orchestra will perform in advance of the fireworks display at 9:30pm. Details can be found here.
Continue reading Friday Faves: 4th of July Edition
Print out your official ‘get out of work free’ note and throw on your best red, white, and blue because Team USA is taking on Belgium on Tuesday, July 1 at 3:00pm. As the perennial underdogs of the tournament, Team USA needs all the support it can get in its match up against Belgium. While it might be hard to consider a country whose contributions to the world include beer, chocolate, and waffles a complete archrival, they do eat their freedom fries with mayo and Brussels sprouts are so 2012 anyways.
World Cup Day Beers
Here is a rundown of the best spots to get in on the World Cup action this Tuesday, including the official Austin watch party, which is taking place at the Long Center:
Taking a note out of Chicago’s viewing events at Grant Park, the Long Center Lawn will turn into the local HQ for all things World Cup beginning at 2pm on Tuesday. There will be Jumbotrons and a massive sound system used to air the game, which kicks off at 3pm. The event is hosted by the Austin Aztexs. 701 West Riverside Drive.
Mentioned here, there are several area bars throwing top-notch parties in support of all things Team USA. Word the wise: get there early as many places like Haymaker and Takoba have been standing room only hours before the matches. Continue reading #WorldCup Tuesday: Where to Watch Team USA in Austin
Hops & Grain
From summer brews to Team USA here are five things I am loving this week:
Summer Beers: Hops & Grain’s The One Called Zoe
I’m a red wine girl through and through, but when Austin’s hot summer months demand something a bit lighter, I find myself trading glasses of cab for cans of beer more often than not. Thankfully, Austin’s craft beer scene has plenty of stellar options to appease both beer snobs and fair-weather fans alike. One such brew I am particularly enjoying these days is Hops & Grain’s The One Called Zoe.
A perfect summer beer, Zoe is an easy drinking, smooth finishing pale lager with plenty of complexity and flavor to keep things interesting. Its heavier malt flavors are offset by hops that embrace those classic summertime flavors of citrus and fresh cut grass. Perhaps a little too heavy to drink all day long, but it’s a food friendly brew that’s ideal for dining al fresco.
Tiki Tuesdays at Hotel San Jose
Happening now through June 30, the annual Texas Tiki Week is a rum-filled celebration of all things Tiki thrown by the US Bartender’s Guild. Throughout the week, cocktail bars around town including Drink. Well., Contigo, Peche, and more get their luau on by featuring a menu of classic Tiki cocktails. (More details here)
Clearly fans of coconut bras and grass skirts, Hotel San Jose has decided one week of Tiki is just not enough. As such, Hotel San Jose will be hosting Tiki Tuesdays every week through July from 5pm to midnight. In addition to tropical cocktails, the South Congress hotel and bar will feature surf rock band The Avocados and plenty of relaxed fun on the back patio. Details here.
‘Murica: Team USA Advances + 4th of July Kickoff
Due to FIFA’s World Cup rules, which #IBELIEVE make the BCS system look simple, Team USA is advancing to the next round of the World Cup playoffs despite losing to Germany on Thursday. Get your red, white and blue ready because our next game is perfectly set for next Friday, which of course is the 4th of July.
But with so much to celebrate, why wait until next week when you can start this Saturday? Continue reading Friday Faves: Summer Beers, Tiki Tuesdays, and More
It’s tomato season ya’ll! There is nothing I love more than fresh heirloom tomatoes, and thanks to spring showers, this year’s crop is top-notch. While you can find a plethora of tomatoes in every shape, color and size at various farmer’s markets and grocery stores around town, I recommend visiting the biweekly Market at Springdale Farm if you haven’t yet. Every Wednesday and Saturday from 9am-1pm, Springdale Farm opens a market inside the Hen House to sell a bounty of fresh produce grown in the rows just outside the shop’s doors. From squash blossoms to peppers, Springdale offers the season’s best options, but it’s the center table covered in a variety of tomatoes that is the real star of the show. On a recent visit I picked up a range of different varieties – all of which were sweet, juicy, and impossible to stop eating.
Tomato Season at Springdale Farm
Cooking with produce this delicious requires barely any heavy lifting. Continue reading Tomato Season at Springdale Farm Market