Dish of the Day: Voodoo Doughnuts

Because every Friday the 13th should involve a little voodoo magic, today’s dish of the day is a box of goodness from the newly opened Voodoo Doughnuts.

Voodoo Doughnut Austin

Voodoo Doughnut Austin

Prior to opening on 6th Street in downtown Austin, the Portland, OR-based doughnut purveyors garnered a cult following, thanks to their extensive menu of doughnuts flavors and surprisingly fair prices. While there are plenty of choices for doughnut traditionalists, Voodoo’s eclectic, offbeat options are what really put the shop on the map. Truly, with toppings ranging from mango to CoCo Puffs, Butterfingers to bacon, Voodoo leaves no flavor combo unturned in crafting its doughnuts.

Sprinkle Cake Doughnut

Sprinkle Cake Doughnut

In the name of research, I have made a couple of trips by the shop to do a little field-testing on some of these said flavors to overall solid results. Voodoo’s traditional cake style doughnut, such as the maple glazed Old Fashioned and double chocolate, are the clear favorites of the bunch. Continue reading Dish of the Day: Voodoo Doughnuts

Happenings: Fall 2015 Austin Restaurant Openings, Part I

2015 has already proved to be a banner year for new restaurants, having already welcomed a slew of hotspots such as Launderette, Shake Shack, Dai Due, and more. And with new spots continuing to pop up everywhere you turn, Austin’s restaurant scene shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, which makes keeping track of where to eat no easy feat.

To help guide you along your eat, drink, and be merry little way, here’s a list of new restaurants opening in Fall 2015. I’ve already given you the lowdown on one new spot, Juniper (mentioned here), with more . . . → Read More: Happenings: Fall 2015 Austin Restaurant Openings, Part I

Happenings: Austin Beer Week 10/23-11/1

Austin Beer Week once again makes its triumphant return this Friday, offering beer lovers a bevy of ways to celebrate all things hops and grain. From beer dinners to happy hours, brewing classes to tastings, there are plenty of ways to get in on the fun. The full schedule of events can be found here, but I’ve listed a few highlights below to help you decide.

The 6th Annual Austin Beer Week runs from Friday, October 23 through Sunday, November 1. Full details can be found here.

Austin Beer Week

Austin Beer Week

Friday, October 23

ABW Official Kickoff party at Craft Pride – The Rainey Street bar will help get things started with a launch party that includes tappings of special and hard to find beers from a dozen craft breweries.

Saturday, October 24

Limited Release Tasting at Easy Tiger @ 1pm – Easy Tiger will be tapping special releases of several beers throughout the afternoon. Pay as you go.

Pumpkin Carving & Beer at School House @ 5pm – Join Brooklyn Brewery and St. Arnold’s for the 2nd annual pumpkin carving contest that of course includes some pumpkin inspired beers as well.

Circle Firkin Spectacular at Blackheart Bar @ 7pm – Circle Brewing is taking over all the beer taps at Blackheart Bar on Rainey Street for the evening. Expect live music to go along with some delicious brews. Pay as you go.

Sunday, October 25

Blue Owl Brewing Launch Party & Pig Roast at Contigo @ 6pm –Celebrate the launch of Blue Owl with a feast fit for a king! Tickets are $35/pp and available here. 

Odell Beer Dinner at Hopfield’s @ 7pm – Join craft beer favorites Odell and Hopfield’s for a French-infused six course dinner. Tickets are $85/pp and available here. 
Continue reading Happenings: Austin Beer Week 10/23-11/1

First Look: Juniper Austin

Long awaited Italian restaurant Juniper officially opens its East Austin doors this week. Originally slated to open this past summer, permitting headaches and construction delays kept our mouths watering for the highly anticipated restaurant. Despite this red tape, the Juniper team, led by longtime Austin chef Nicholas Yanes, turned lemons into lemoncello by hosting a series of pop up dinners throughout the spring and summer. During one such dinner at Barley Swine, the former Uchi chef gave a preview of Juniper’s northern Italy meets Texas cuisine over six delicious courses.

Our dinner started with Juniper’s take on one of my favorite Italian summer dishes, crispy zucchini blossoms stuffed with fontina and ricotta. Served with a flavorful sweet pepper sauce, it made for a fortuitous start to our preview dinner.

Juniper Austin Preview Course 1

Juniper Austin Preview Course 1

Arriving next was a beautifully composed plate of figs, San Daniele ham, and Brunet goat cheese drizzled with local honey vinegar. The rustic, classic dish was designed to let the ingredients shine, which was a consistent theme throughout the meal.

Juniper Austin Preview Course 2

Juniper Austin Preview Course 2

Next came one of the most surprising dishes of the evening featuring squid with grapes and smoked tomato served on top of a celery root puree. In lesser hands, this combination of ingredients could have easily been a bit of a mess, but instead the dish represented a subtle, harmonious balance of smoky and sweet flavors that married well the textures of the meaty squid and creamy celery root. Continue reading First Look: Juniper Austin

ACL 2015: Austin EATS Top Picks

Festival regulars know that when it comes to the food, nothing quite compares to the gourmet eats at Austin City Limits. But with so many options from which to choose, deciding which Austin EATS vendor to visit can be almost as difficult as deciding between music on the main stage. In order to help navigate through the multitude of mouthwatering offerings, I’ve put together a few tips and tricks to ensure you discover the best bites at this year’s Austin City Limits Festival!

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Cure Those Cravings

There are few dishes that have reached the local cult status quite like the fried Brussels sprouts from East Side Kings. The salty-sweet salad is hard to beat but for something a little heartier, you can’t go wrong with an order of ESK’s spicy fried Thai Chicken Kara-Age.

For a match made in food fusion heaven, be sure to pick up an order of Chi’lantro’s spicy kimchi fries topped with bulgogi beef. The local food truck is known to cure many an Austinite’s late night craving but does the trick any time of day.

However, if a day of walking from one end of Zilker to the other has worked up a hankering only a cheesy comfort food can satisfy, then I recommend beelining it over to either Burro Cheese Kitchen for The Waylon & Willie grilled cheese filled with gooey cheese, bacon and pepperoni or Frank for some waffle fries smothered in queso goodness. Finally, for those suffering from a serious sweet tooth, there is nothing better than an order of warm, freshly baked cookies from Tiff Treat’s.

Eat Like a Texan

If you are visiting from out of town, be sure to get a taste for our great state by eating like a tried and true Texan at this year’s fest.

It’s no secret Texans love them some BBQ, and no Austin EATS lineup would be complete without a little ‘cue. You can’t go wrong with either the sausage wrap or the chopped beef sandwich at The Salt Lick – just be sure to smother on that famous sauce. If brisket is what you are after, head to Stubb’s Bar-B-Q for an order of jalapeno brisket. For some gussied-up BBQ, Chef Tim Love is offering BBQ Pork Ribs at Woodshed Smokehouse.

It’s a well-known fact that Austinites fueled largely by the unofficial food of the city, tacos. Live like a local by picking up a couple Green Pork Chili Tacos from Torchy’s Tacos. I recommend throwing in an order of Mexican Street Corn for good measure – extra napkins recommended!

For a quick grab and go in between sets, I recommend getting a little Tex-Mex at mmmpandas for mini pie stuffed with Green Chili Chicken or Tamale Addiction for tamales stuffed with fillings like chicken mole and black bean and cheese.

Finally, no festival is complete of course without a visit to the Austin EATS OG, Mighty Cone, for one of those famed Hot & Crunchy Cones.

Refresh & Revive

With three full days filled with music, sunshine and cold beer, Austin City Limits is a marathon, not a sprint. However, pacing oneself is not always easiest of tasks. Maybe you danced just a bit too hard at Disclosure on Friday or perhaps your tried to keep up with Drake’s Energy on Saturday; no matter the ailment, this year’s Austin EATS lineup has a number of options to get you back on your feet. Continue reading ACL 2015: Austin EATS Top Picks

Thanksgiving 2014: Where to Feast

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and whether you are headed to Austin for the Horns game or just want someone else to do the heavy lifting this Turkey Day, chances are you are looking for a place to dine. Here is a preliminary list of what restaurants are open around town. Stay tuned for updates and game watching spots to come! If you know of a few places not listed, feel free to email me at ginnysaustin@yahoo.com or leave a comment below! Gobble, gobble.

Gibson’s Texas Orphan Thanksgiving – Can’t make it home for the holiday? Gibson’s & Luke’s Inside Out have you covered with a special Texas Orphans Thanksgiving feast. From 5pm-2am, $20 will get you a full force traditional feast with turkey and all the fixings. In addition, Gibson’s will be offering a special menu of winter hot toddys priced at $7 a pop.

Bob’s Steak & Chop House – Bob’s Steak & Chop House will be open all afternoon on Thanksgiving, but as of now, there is no specific T-Day menu posted online. Reservations recommended.

Chavez – Chavez will be serving a special Southwestern infused Thanksgiving feast from 11am-4pm. The expansive holiday menu includes traditional turkey, chorizo cornbread stuffing, oysters on the half shell, and much, much more. Lunch is $49/adults and $19/children. Reservations are recommended and can be made here. 

24 Diner – 24 Diner will be hosting a special Thanksgiving Day lunch in addition to its full menu beginning at 10:30 AM. The cost is $24/pp with no reservations required. Full menu here.

Trio: Thanksgiving Buffett Special $85 for adults and $27 for children between 11am to 8pm in Trio and 11am-3pm in the Four Seasons Ballroom. Full Menu can be found here. Open from 11am-6pm. Reservations call 512.685.6300.

The Carillon: Thanksgiving Buffett from 10:30am-1:30pm; $65 adults/$19.95 children. Menu here. For reservations call 512.404.3655 or Email thecarillon@attconf.utexas.edu or book online here.

Trace at the W– Trace will offer both lunch and dinner menus priced at $55 and $75 per person, respectively. Lunch will be served from 10:30am – 4pm and dinner runs from 4:00pm-9:00pm. Both menus (found here and here) include a special multicourse, family-style. Reservations recommended: 512.542.3660.

III Fork’s – A special Thanksgiving four course menu will be served from 12-8pm. The dinner costs $45.95 for adults and $16.95 for children. Details can be found here. Call (512) 474-1776 for reservations.

Urban an American Grill – Open from for Thanksgiving from 11am to 5pm with a 5 course dinner priced at $40 pp and $32 for seniors. Full menu details can be found here. Call 512.490.1511 for reservations.

Carmelo’s – Carmelo’s will be serving a special Thanksgiving buffet from 11am-3pm on Turkey Day. Cost is $39.95/adults and $20/children under 12. Reservations can be made by calling 512477.7497. Full details can be found here. 

Hoover’s Cooking – Open with a special Thanksgiving plated dinner at $18.95/per person with plenty of a la carte options available as well. Dinner will be served from 11am-7pm. More info, call (512) 479-5006 or visit here. 

Hyde Park Grille – All locations will be serving a special Thanksgiving feast from 11am-7pm; Cost is $18.95 adults/$10.95 children; Additionally, you can preorder a bird from Hyde Park to feed the family at home without any heavy lifting. Cost is $65/turkey. Details here.

Truluck’s (both locations) – In addition to the regular menu, Truluck’s will be offering a special Thanksgiving menu priced at $38/adults and $19/children. Full menu can be found here. Make reservations online here or by calling (512) 482-9000 (downtown) or (512) 794-8300 (Great Hills Trail).

Finn and Porter – Finn & Porter will be serving a special prix fixe menu from noon to 8pm on Thanksgiving Day. The multi-course, traditional feast is priced at $45 for adults and $20 for children. Call 512.493.4300 for reservations.

Threadgill’s (all locations) – Open serving a special Thanksgiving a la carte menu from 10:30am-10pm. Menu details can be found here.

Travaasa Spa – Travaasa’s Preserve Kitchen + Bar will be offering a Thanksgiving Day menu from 3-9pm. The family style meal runs $55 per person with an optional wine pairing available for $45 a person. Details can be found here. Reservations required: call (877) 261-7792 or go to http://www.travaasa.com/austin/dining.

Goodall’s Kitchen at Hotel Ella – Goodall’s will be serving a full Thanksgiving Day buffet from 11am-5pm on T-Day. Cost is $65/adults and $25/children. Reservations required and can be made by visiting here.  Continue reading Thanksgiving 2014: Where to Feast

Thanksgiving 2014, Part 1: Where to Pre-Order Dinner to Dessert

Thanksgiving is a mere week away, and to start this year’s official round up, here are a few places around town with seasonal offerings to help with the heavy lifting in the kitchen this Turkey Day. Be sure to pay attention to ordering deadlines!

 

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

 

Fresa’s Chicken is offering various Turkey Day packages ranging from the whole shebang to a la carte sides and desserts. In addition offerings that include everything from roasted turkeys, sides, and desserts, Fresa’s will help you take care of those leftovers with next day pozole kits. Check out the full menu here. Order by Friday 11/21

As part of the restaurant’s expanded private catering offerings, Contigo has created a unique Thanksgiving to-go dinner complete with Turkey & Dumplings and a number of amazing sides. Check out the full menu and pre-order your Thanksgiving dinner for 4 ($75) here. 

 

The recently reopened Texas Honey Ham has you covered this T-Day with both turkey and ham available by the pound as well as a plethora of a la carte traditional Southern sides. Each side serves 4-6 and range from $2.29-$9.99. Reserve your order by calling 512.330.9888.

Take advantage of Bountiful Bakery’s homecooked goodness this Thanksgiving by ordering from its menu of turkey, sides, and desserts available in a range of different sizes and prices. Full details can be found here. 

 

Central Market is currently taking orders through Tuesday, November 25 for everything from appetizers to desserts. Central Market’s holiday offerings include a number of different options including a la carte dishes, side dish packages, or full meal options. For prices and ordering details, please visit here.

For home cooking from someone else’s kitchen, check out Hoover’s Cooking full range of options including a la carte side dishes, whole turkeys, and from-scratch cobblers in addition to complete meals available for preorder this Thanksgiving. Visit Hoover’s at 2002 Manor Road, Austin, TX 78722. Catering packages can be found here.

Planning on doing all the heavy lifting in the kitchen? Help your Thanksgiving Feast get a leg up by using quality ingredients from Dai Due. The Butcher Shop is offering a number of Thanksgiving specials including everything from turkey brining kits to turducken sausages. Take a peak at the full range of offerings and preorder your goods here.

Lee’s Meat Market has a range of Turkey Day offerings available in a variety of different sizes. Choose from appetizers such as chicken lizzies, four varieties of turkeys, traditional sides and more. Full catering menu is available here and ordering details can be found here. Call 512.467.6700 to place your order.

Whole Foods also has a number of Thanksgiving options available for preorder online this year. Check out the full menu and order your feast here.

Walton’s Fancy and Staple is upping the anti this year by expanding their Thanksgiving offerings to include a full turkey dinner in addition to deep dish pies. Order by Sunday. November 22 for the full dinner or Tuesday, November 25 for desserts. For preorders and full offerings, call 512-542-3380 or visit waltonsfancyandstaple.com.  Walton’s Fancy & Staple, 609 W. Sixth Street, Austin, TX 78701.

The Just Desserts 

Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop is offering a number of pie options available in store the week of Thanksgiving or by preorder. Personally, I’d mix things up this year with a Lemon Chess Pie w/Pear Compote, but the menu includes plenty of traditional favorites such as apple, pecan, pumpkin, banana cream and more. Preorder your pie by calling 512.448.3727 or visiting here. Continue reading Thanksgiving 2014, Part 1: Where to Pre-Order Dinner to Dessert

November Happenings 11/15-11/19: Brooklyn Brewery MASH & More

Brooklyn Brewery MASH Festival – 11/15-11/22

One of my favorite beer companies, Brooklyn Brewery, is making its way down to Austin for a week of events beginning Saturday, November 15 through Saturday, November 22. From special dinners to educational events, there are several ways to participate in the Brooklyn Brewery MASH week, starting with guided tastings and beer pairings at various locations on Saturday. Other highlights from the week include:

  • A beer-soaked Sunday Funday at Easy Tiger complete with food pairings, games & more (11/16; free to attend)
  • Barley Swine/Odd Duck + Brooklyn Brewery Farm Dinner at Simmons Family Farm (11/16; Tickets $55)
  • MASH Edu: Beer & Spice pairing discussion led by Brooklyn Brewery Chef Andrew Gerson at School House Pub (11/19; $6)
  • MASH Bash Finale Party ft. live music, beer and more at Red 7 (11/22; free)

Full details can be found here!

San Jose Hotel Jazz Brunch – 11/15; 10am-2pm

San Jose Hotel’s Fall Jazz Brunch returns this Saturday. Head over to the South Congress hotel between 10am and 2pm to enjoy live jazz from The Raincross Trio. $24 grants you access to an all you can eat brunch buffet with options such as housemade granola, egg tarts, bacon, and more. Details can be found here. 

Continue reading November Happenings 11/15-11/19: Brooklyn Brewery MASH & More