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

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Summer Guide, Part II: Where to Drink This Weekend

Ready, set, start your weekend! Because four day weeks always feel the longest, here are some top picks wash away your worries!

Weekend Happenings 5/30-6/1

Weekend Happenings 5/30-6/1

Make a Mezcal

One of my favorite bars, Whisler’s, has expanded its offerings to include a new Mexcal Bar. Tucked in an upstairs space above the main bar, Mezcalería Tobalá promises an array of different types of mezcal served straight up or with a traditional set up of oranges dusted with sal de gusano. The new concept is a natural fit; prior to opening Whisler’s, owner Scranton Twohey had previously opened Bar Illegal, a Mezcal bar formerly located at Clive Bar. Visit the new bar (and Whisler’s) at 1816 East 6tth Street, Austin TX 78702. http://www.whislersatx.com

Crawfish + Beer  = A Nice Little Saturday

The Rattle Inn and Brooklyn Brewery are teaming up for Crawfish Boil this Saturday from noon to 4pm. In addition to $2 Brooklyn Brewert Sixpoint Crisp beer, guests will enjoy live music and plenty of crawfish and fixings with the price of entry. Tickets, available here, are $10 in advance and $20 at the door.  610 Nueces, Austin, TX 78701.

Speaking of crawfish boils, the Buzz Mill is throwing their 2nd ‘boil of the season this weekend. Head to the Buzz Mill beginning at 4pm for $10 all you can eat mudbugs and zydeco music.  1505 Town Creek Dr, Austin, TX 78741
Sunday Funday Brunch Moves

 

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Blackbird & Henry

In the mix of this springs many restaurant openings, Chef Mark Schmidt opened Blackbird & Henry just north of West Campus, offering upscale quality eats in a neighborhood environment. Prior to relocating to Austin, Chef Schmidt was the former owner and executive chef of the much-lauded Café 909 restaurant in Marble Falls. Having been once since it opened, Blackbird & Henry had been very much on my list of places to return. After hearing rave reviews from coworkers reporting back after I had recommended it, I decided it was high time to revisit the restaurant – this time during the newly added lunch service.

Salmon Ceviche - $12

Salmon Ceviche – $12

We started with a promising sounding salmon ceviche marinated with charred tomatoes and jalapenos off the day’s specials menu. Though I expected a little more kick from the jalapenos, the tomatoes added an unexpected depth to the dish. A tad more lime wouldn’t have hurt, but overall it was a solid start to our meal. Moving on to the main event, we opted for the Smoked Trout Salad and the Blackbird Burger.

Smoked Trout Salad - $11

Smoked Trout Salad – $11

The combination of smoked trout and hardboiled duck egg with crispy green beans and endive created a dish that was both refreshing and hearty. The whole grain mustard dressing gave it that perfect tangy kick which added a nice depth to the dish. Continue reading Blackbird & Henry

Tamale House East

Since opening a couple years back, Tamale House East has continually ranked high on my list of favorite Mexican food eats. Known for its tried and true Tex-Mex style, Tamale House East delivers with dishes that are easy on the wallet but big on flavor. The atmosphere at the family owned and operated Tamale House East is always one of casual familiarity, which makes it an ideal weekend lunch spot, especially following a late evening.

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Chicken Verde Enchilada – $7.95

It’s hard to go wrong ordering, but when in doubt, the enchiladas are always a safe bet. In particular, the chicken verde enchiladas are a favorite go-to of mine, thanks largely to a citrusy housemade tomatillo salsa. While waiting for entrées, however, it’s never a bad idea to start with a couple of tamales.

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Pork Tamale w/Mole & Cheese – $2.75

On this visit, the bean and cheese tamale was excellent; the masa was thin, and the filling was flavorful with just a little kick of heat. While the pork tamale’s masa would have generally been too dense for my liking, the thickness actually worked in its favor, as it was weighty enough to hold up under the rich, well-developed red mole sauce.

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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

Stubb’s Gospel Brunch

From South Congress Ave. to Mt. Bonnell, there are plenty of Austin ‘tourist traps’ locals enjoy just as much as any sightseer. One of those visitor-recommended, local-approved activities is Stubb’s weekly Gospel Brunch. Each week, Stubb’s packs in a full crowd for their Sunday brunch set to the tune of some good for the soul gospel music.

Bells of Joy

Bells of Joy

Stubb’s brunch buffet is filled with bounty of traditional Southern favorites such as biscuits and gravy, fried catfish, brisket, and migas. More importantly, Stubb’s cocktail selection, including a build your own Bloody Mary bar, packs a punch big enough to guarantee your Sunday will be a Funday.

Brunch at Stubb's

Brunch at Stubb’s

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