One of the great things about turning older is celebrating with friends over food. And of course, I love food! Happen to love my friends too, and another thanks to all of those who have celebrated with me over the past few days! :)
Here's a brief recap over the past few days' meals:
Monday night, went to Your Mom's Burger, which as of Monday, had been open 16 days! Whoo hoo! They have relocated from above a bar on Red River to their own stand-alone place on East Ceasar Chavez. We walked in and were immediately greeted by Ryan, who I am fairly certain is one of the owners. Throughout our time there, Ryan and the guy on the grill (unfortunately, I didn't catch his name) were super-nice, kept checking on us, made sure we were enjoying the burgers, etc -- GREAT hospitality! I had the Willie Nelson burger & my friend the Frida Kahlo. The Willie has bacon, American cheese, BBQ sauce & an onion ring on it. It was a gooey mess to eat, but totally worth it! The cheese kinda all oozed out the back, but you can make your own cheese fries with it! The Frida is with pepper jack, chorizo & a fried egg on top! My friend said she hadn't eaten a (beef) burger in almost 9 months, but she ate just about every bite. Rumor has it their fried pickles are delicious. Must go back and find out!
After stuffing ourselves with burgers, and a trip to SuperTarget (say it with me, tar-ghay), we found ourselves for dessert at Likkity's, a frozen custard trailer on far south Manchaca Road. It's actually a trailer with some built-in carport/canopys with ceiling fans & picnic tables. They always have vanilla & chocolate custard, and then a flavor of the day; Monday's was chocolate mint. So I had a small sundae with van/choc swirl and peanut butter cups, and my friend the chocolate mint with Oreos. Yum! The guy in the trailer was super nice, they use environmentally friendly plastic cups & spoons, and provide a recycling can for them as well. Oh, and they made their own real whipped cream as well as their chocolate sauce. After that burger, I couldn't finish the whole thing, but I sure tried!
Tuesday night, I got treated to Uchi. My companion this evening has been there a good number of times, and I pretty much let her order. She picked the Domaine Schlumberger Gewurtztraminer as our wine of the evening, and I think it went extremely well with everything we had. There were the tako pops (baby octopus), one of the tuna rolls, hama chili, scallop hot rock, pitchfork & spider rolls, kona kanpachi, brie ringo, & peanut butter semi-freddo. Our waiter, Chris, was great, bringing items out in random order, but saving the brie ringo for last, as it being fried brie with apple chutney, the sweetness of it lends itself well to a dessert lead-in. So as we are sitting there, I see a patron who looks an awful lot like Anthony Bourdain. I know from the Twittering that he's coming to town on Thursday for a gig at the Paramount, but is also supposed to be checking out some of the local food trailers. I was fairly convinced it was him at Uchi, and Tweeted my finding. I mentioned it to our waiter, who after a few minutes came back and said, no, it's not him (I still wasn't convinced), but his show No Reservations is supposed to film at East Side King tonight at 10pm. Why does the waiter at Uchi know this? Because ESK is run by Paul Qui, one of the Uchi sous chefs (remember that last name). Hmmmm....
So I get home from Uchi, and my friend from Monday night has seen my Tweet regarding Bourdain. We start texting: do you wanna go? kinda, do YOU wanna go? YES! I am on vacation this week and she doesn't have to be at work real early! YES! It's Bourdain for christ's sake! He's a ROCK STAR! Hells yeah!
ESK is a trailer in the back part of Liberty bar's outdoor seating area. You have to go through Liberty (okay, cranberry & vodka!) to get out there. Well, the bar was relatively empty, but the outdoor area was pretty much standing room only. At 10 pm. So we toddle over to the trailer and order a couple items (it's Asian-fusion inspired)... we can tell there are some light poles set up and a couple camera guys, and the staff seems to be rushing around a bit in wide-eyed anticipation. We order the Poor Qui's Buns (pork belly in a bun, which in this case, is like a soft, spongy taco.... and get it? Poor Qui's/Porky's) and the Beet Home Fries. They took about 30 minutes to arrive, but fortunately, in the meanwhile, we found some picnic benches to cozy up to. The buns are amazing -- roasted pork belly, kimchi cucumbers,w/ hoisin sauce. The beets are like nothing I've ever had before! Chunks of beets, roasted then fried, and served with a spicy Kewpie mayo. Heaven! So we ate and drank, and hung out, might have been filmed in some background scenes, and waited.... then the rumors started circulating from people in "the know" that Bourdain's NOT here. Not coming. Just the camera guys. Grrrrr. It got to be midnight, and we called it a night, our brush with fame, sniff, sadly at an end. But damn that food was FINE! TONY, you missed it!
And then I heard this morning No Reservations was going to film at Gourdough's at noon. I already had a lunch date to go to Red's Porch, but another friend went, and texted a bit after 1 pm that there was no Tony. And they're supposed to be filming at Odd Duck right about now, as I type this. Then, I saw a retweet posted from Tony's wife, essentially saying "haha, all you people who thought you saw my husband, he's right here next to me". So the bastard was still in NYC after all. I'd still do it again.