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

Brunch at La V Austin

With its glamorous, eclectic décor, warm service, and access to free flowing wine, spending Sunday brunch at La V is a must, especially when there is something to celebrate. Since La V falls into the higher end category of restaurants in Austin, visiting during brunch is a great way to sample goods on a smaller budget, especially with their recently added $12 bottle of rosé brunch special. And while the rosé special might have coax you in the door, it’s everything else – from the service to the food – that will entice a return visit, as proven by a recent leisurely Sunday spent at the east side restaurant.

Brioche Donuts - $11

Brioche Donuts – $11

Our meal started and finished on a high note, bookended by two ridiculous orders of La V’s brioche donuts. Light and airy on the inside and coated in cinnamon sugar on the outside, the donuts are perfection. Though the donuts, created from twice-proofed brioche, hardly need any help, La V ups the anti by serving them with a freshly made berry jam and vanilla bean pastry cream dipping sauce on the side.

The straightforward presentation of three high quality cheeses, fig preserves and crackers was another winning way to start the meal. I am not the hugest fan of soft, pungent cheeses, so I was pleasantly surprised to find La V’s plate offered a selection of three crowd pleasing yet interesting cheeses rather than sticking to an all-French lineup.

Cheese Plate - $12

Cheese Plate – $12

Continue reading Brunch at La V Austin

Noble Sandwich Co. on Burnet Road

Known for crafting stellar sandwiches from mostly housemade ingredients, Noble Sandwich Co. has inspired many a reverse commute to its original trailer turned brick-and-mortar 620 location. Thus, after waiting for what seemed like eternity, fans (i.e., yours truly) of Noble Sandwich Co. rejoiced with the opening of the cult favorite’s Central Austin location last month.

A meat lover’s dream, Noble Sandwich Co. has garnered much of its notoriety from sandwiches featuring ingredients such as high-quality charcuterie like the Smoked Duck Pastrami as well as more ambitious options such as the Red Chili Braised Pork Cheek sandwich. On this visit, the restaurant’s namesake sandwich The Noble Pig won plenty of praise thanks to a pig three ways blend of spiced ham, pulled pork, and crispy bacon. Topped with melted provolone, mayo, and delicious whole grain mustard, it’s a gut check worth investing in.

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Oyster Mushroom Rueben – $8

 

Continue reading Noble Sandwich Co. on Burnet Road

Breakfast of Champions: King and Country

Every once in a while, I stumble across a dish at a restaurant that is so deliciously perfect, it becomes – in my mind – the touchstone by which all future similar dishes are compared. Such is what happened during a visit to a tiny diner in Brooklyn, NY a few years ago when I discovered an omelet to end all omelets. Since that time, my search to find an equivalent match in Austin has proved to be a sad and fruitless endeavor.

King and Country French Omelette

King and Country French Omelette

However, my search officially ended last week when an omelette at King & Country, a newly opened East Austin trailer eatery, washed away any residual longing for breakfast in BKY. Light, fluffy golden-yellow eggs were mixed with Parmesan cheese and expertly folded into a creamy French omelette. A flavorful blend of sweet and spicy homegrown peppers filled the inside of the delicate dish. Paired with Cuvee Coffee espresso, it was an incredibly satisfying breakfast I can’t wait to wake up to again soon. Continue reading Breakfast of Champions: King and Country

La Cocina de Consuelo

Despite having been recommended La Cocina de Consuelo by some very trustworthy sources over a year ago, I failed until now to take this sage advice. A few Sundays ago, I finally convinced a few wary friends to venture outside the box with a little arm twisting (nagging). Serious Tex-Mex cravings more often than not coincide with the tequila flu, and in those instances, there is something to be said about the safe and reliable, even when this means sacrificing fresh tortillas. At first, the no-frills atmosphere and lack of beer* did little to ease my friends’ trepidation, but any residual hesitations were soon erased after one taste of La Cocina de Consuelo’s fiery salsa and gooey queso.

Pollo de Monterey

Pollo de Monterey

La Cocina de Consuelo’s humble restaurant beginnings began after owner Connie Martinez began selling plates of enchiladas for her church fundraiser in the early 80s. After her enchiladas quickly garnered a cult following, Connie began a catering side business before finally realizing her dream of opening a brick and mortar in 2004. Truly a family owned and operated restaurant, the food originating in La Cocina de Consuelo’s kitchen seems to be made with a little extra TLC than the average Tex-Mex spot. Continue reading La Cocina de Consuelo

Brunch Ups: Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar

With football season, music festivals, and other ongoings, chances are you’ve got a spare bedroom full of guests every weekend. No matter what draws these friends to town, there is a good chance that at some point, an epic brunch will be in order. When the inevitable question of where to eat is posed, there are a few go-to staples that always fit the bill. One of these places is perennial favorite Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar. While champagne and oysters certainly come with a higher price tag then, say, a breakfast taco, its location, atmosphere, and solid menu of brunch favorites makes Perla’s a worthwhile investment.

Salt and Jalapeno Pepper Calamari - $14

Salt and Jalapeno Pepper Calamari – $14

Whether playing tour guide or merely recovering from a long weekend, Perla’s bright, Carolina-inspired patio overlooking South Congress Avenue is a perfect spot to press the reset button with a glass of bubbly or ambitious brunch cocktail like the Caeser or appropriately named Corpse Reviver. Continue reading Brunch Ups: Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar

Tamale House East

Tamale House East

Looking to cure a pounding headache left in the wake of too much Saturday night fun, Sunday lunch required a hearty dose of good ‘ole fashion Tex-Mex. In search of an antidote, we headed to Tamale House East, the latest venture from members of the famed Tamale House family. Owned and operated by Carmen, Juan, Jose, and Robert Valera, grandchildren of the Original Tamale House matriarch, Tamale House East plays homage to their family’s long history of serving some of the city’s best Tex-Mex (uncle Bobby has run Airport Blvd.’s popular Tamale House since 1977).

 

Fans of the original Tamale House’s delicious, no frills, cheap breakfast tacos will be pleased to find them included on the expanded menu of authentic Tex-Mex favorites such as conchita pibil plates, chilaquiles, and enchiladas. In addition to Tex-Mex eats, Tamale House East offers a variety of Mexican beers and small selection of wine and weekend mimosas. The casual eatery is counter service only, and although all orders are served in to-go containers, Tamale House East’s inviting, eclectic outdoor seating areas are an easy sell for those looking to stay a while.

Enchiladas Verdes $6.25

We started with a few of the day’s selection of tamales followed by a couple of orders of enchiladas. Continue reading Tamale House East

Veracruz All Natural

You can take the girl out of South Texas, but you can’t take the South Texas out of the girl, at least when it comes to my love of breakfast tacos, anyways. It only took me an undisclosed number of years too many until I finally stumbled onto a taco that meets the lofty standards set by a youth cutting my teeth on tacos in Corpus Christi (RIP Elva’s). Now, I can’t claim to have tried every taco in town, but I have done enough of the leg work to feel confident in proclaiming Veracruz All Natural serves the best traditional breakfast taco in Austin.  (If you know of somewhere better, comment and let me know…one can never have too many good tacos in life!)

Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of wonderful breakfast options around town, including El Primo, Juan in a Million, and Tacodeli to name a few. However, all fall short of capturing the essence of South Texas taco perfection. Generally, most places miss the winner’s circle because they lack homemade tortillas. It will always remain to me life’s great mystery why place will work so hard to serve up delicious taco fillings and salsas and then serve their tacos on store bought tortillas, especially since they are relatively cheap and easy to make. Thankfully, Veracruz All Natural’s traditional made-to-order tacos buck this trend, and it’s a difference that sets this taco truck apart from the rest.

Veracruz All Natural’s tacos feature a warm freshly made tortilla overstuffed with perfectly seasoned scrambled eggs, Monterey Jack cheese, and choice of toppings. Continue reading Veracruz All Natural