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

Tomato Season at Springdale Farm Market

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

Tomato Season at Springdale Farm

Cooking with produce this delicious requires barely any heavy lifting. Continue reading Tomato Season at Springdale Farm Market

Via 313 Pizza

After hearing rave reviews of Via 313 for months on months now, I finally made a long overdo visit to the pizza trailer during a recent visit night out. To be honest, as a Neapolitan pizza girl at heart, thick, deep dish style pies don’t normally call my name. However, maybe it was the crunchy cheese crisped along the edges of its pizza, but I must admit Via 313’s Detroit-style pie lived up to the hype.

The Herbivore - $12

The Herbivore – $12

Not unlike a Sicilian-style pizza slice, Detroit-style is a rectangular pizza with a thick crust oven cooked in a metal pan and cut into squares. Toppings are layered in reverse order, starting with meat or veggies and finished with a thick layer of red sauce painted across the top. In this case, Via 313’s freshly crushed red sauce is robust and hearty, with plenty of flavor to stand up to the pie’s thick crust. Though the pizza’s crust is about an inch or two thick, it is surprisingly lighter than expected and manages to garner a slight toasted crunch while cooking. Continue reading Via 313 Pizza

Cold Weather Eats: Ramen Tatsu-ya

Between this winter’s blistering cold temperatures and gusty winds spreading cedar fever like the plague, I find myself with a constant craving for the warm healing properties found in a bowl of ramen. Thankfully, Austin has welcomed a plethora of new spots specializing in the Japanese dish over the last couple of years to help satisfy this need for noodles. The indisputable leader of the pack is North Austin’s Ramen Tatsu-ya, whose addictive ramen bowls have cultivated a local cult following and garnered the shop national acclaim from the likes of Food & Wine and Bon Appetite magazine, to name a few.

Ramen Tatsu-ya’s menu focuses on different renditions of the traditional pork broth based ramen bowls in addition to a chicken broth version offered during the newly added lunch time hour and a Sunday evening veggie ramen special. From the two and half day cooking process to a firm no take-out rule, the Ramen Tatsu-ya team is fanatical about the quality of their ramen beginning with the backbone of each dish, the broth. A far cry from the supermarket dried noodle package, Ramen Tatsu-ya spends hours upon hours slowly developing the ramen broth in order to draw out the nuances of every ingredient. This painstaking attention to detail pays off in spades by giving each bowl richness and depth.

In a failed attempt to somewhat keep those January resolutions, I choose to feed my craving by visiting Ramen Tatsu-ya during lunch to test out their chicken broth-based ramen instead of holding out for the creamy, rich pork version. Inspired by the traditional ramen style of Tokyo, Ramen     Tatsu-ya’s Ol’ Skool shoyu ramen features thinly sliced soy-braised pork belly, half of a soft boiled egg, nori strips, and marinated bamboo shoots.

Ol’ Skool Shoyu Ramen - $9.00

Ol’ Skool Shoyu Ramen – $9.00

As with all of their dishes, Ramen Tatsu-ya’s Ol’ Skool ramen is set apart by subtle complexities built from the well-developed flavors of each individual component in the dish.  From the slices of tender, fatty beef to the crispy, tangy pickled bamboo shoots, every element is delicious enough to stand on its own but also complimentary to the overall dish as well. Continue reading Cold Weather Eats: Ramen Tatsu-ya

(Dish of the) National Taco Day: Matt’s El Rancho

Happy National Taco Day! What you see below is a delicious trio of smoked chicken soft tacos from Matt’s El Rancho. The tacos, stuffed with tender chicken tossed in a smoky chipotle sauce, were a special of the evening, but like many of Matt’s best dishes, can be ordered as an off the menu special. Unlike the regular chicken soft tacos, these were topped off with queso fresca, avocado slices, and a drizzle of roja sauce. A solid dish that is now in the rotation of standard Matt’s El Rancho orders.

Smoked Chicken Soft Tacos

And though it’s . . . → Read More: (Dish of the) National Taco Day: Matt’s El Rancho

Memorial (Dish of the) Day: Gourdough’s

Happy Memorial Day! And what better way to celebrate ‘Merica than indulging in a little goodness from Gourdough’s. I’ll admit I had reservations about the longevity of an eatery based around selling reinvented versions of a novelty breakfast item. But, one girl’s trepidation is another person’s American dream because Gourdough’s gussied up ‘big fat donuts’ have garnered national acclaim and quite the local fan base.  Now with a brick and mortar in addition to the trailer eatery, Gourdough’s offers a number of savory and sweet menu options with toppings ranging from pulled pork to grilled bananas. On this particular . . . → Read More: Memorial (Dish of the) Day: Gourdough’s

First Look: Daruma Ramen

That slurping you hear is the sound of pure happiness coming from the newly opened Daruma Ramen. After a soft launch last week, Daruma Ramen officially opened its doors on this past Tuesday. The latest project from the owners of popular Kome Sushi, Daruma Ramen joins Ramen Tatsuya and Michi Ramen as the latest restaurant celebrating the humble yet addictive Japanese noodle dish.

 

Shoyu Ramen - $9

Shoyu Ramen – $9

Though it might be the new kid on the block, Daruma’s bowls of ramen taste anything but amateur. The Shoyu Ramen, for example, features a chewy, tender noodles swimming in a dashi seafood stock and chicken broth topped with chicken and vegetables. The warm broth, brimming with subtle, comforting umami flavor, is hard to quit eating, despite long past entering a full on food coma. Continue reading First Look: Daruma Ramen

Meat-Free Friday: East Side Kings @Hole in the Wall

Like many folks, I put aside my omnivorious ways on Fridays this time of year for six weeks. For the next six five weeks I will be highlighting where to find delicious, vegetarian (or pescatarian) dishes around town. While they might not all replace the lore of Franklin’s BBQ brisket, I assure they will, at the very least, be a much better alternative to the plethora of fish sandwiches that pop up on fast food menus this time every year. Today’s Meat-Free Friday dish of the day comes from East Side King’s Hole in the Wall location.

While East . . . → Read More: Meat-Free Friday: East Side Kings @Hole in the Wall