About 10 days ago, I had lunch at Cafe Josie, the Caribbean-inspired place on West 6th, just past Sweetish Hill, that's been around for years. My BFF and I split the lobster cakes, calamari, and each had our own small spinach salad.
The lobster cakes were delicious (in the back of the picture) -- a concoction of mostly lobster, and not too many breadcrumbs. And served with their incredible chipotle aioli (which I have bought jars for years at Central Market). The calamari was good, larger rings, maybe not quite as tender as those at Enoteca, one of my gold-standard places for calamari in town.
The salad was tasty, with an ample amount of candied walnuts, and a nice passionfruit vinaigrette. The only odd thing was the manchego cheese, which was very finely shredded on top of the salad; seems like you loose the flavor of it that way. Good meal though. And nice to see that earlier that week, Cafe Josie had received a very nice write up in the Statesman.\
Onto my trailer food quest! I knew I would be headed to East Austin last Saturday to check out some of the artist studios that were part of the E.A.S.T. tours. I've been DYING to try the Coolhaus ice cream truck, and was hoping they'd be on the east side as well. As luck would have it, they were! Checking out their Twitter feed, I found out they were leaving their spot near UT (football/game day crowds) and headed to a spot on Cesar Chavez, which is where I found them. When I got there, there was one small group in front of me, and the truck was still being set up. Their concept is simple (yet genius!) -- you pick your ice cream and your cookie, and they make you an incredible custom ice cream sandwich.
Of COURSE I've been dying to try their candied bacon & brown sugar ice cream, and it was completely worth the wait. It was heaven. Oh, and I had it on a good ol' chocolate chip cookie. And they're big! I was also tempted by the balsamic fig & mascarpone as well as the mint chip, so future plans must be made!
The driver/scooper, Amelia, was telling me their truck is a retrofitted old mail truck.... the steering wheel is on the right hand side, and they've put a deep coffin cooler inside for the ice cream. The pictures of the cookie & ice cream flavors on the side of the truck are all magnets. So like my new favorite the Peached Tortilla, Coolhaus is a roving truck -- best to keep up with them via Twitter or their websites.
Finally, Thanksgiving. I was invited to a friend's house, and was asked to bring bread/rolls. In the November issue of Saveur magazine, was Tom Colicchio's Parker House Rolls recipe, and I do love the white flour and carbs! ;) I made two double batches, one Wednesday evening, and the other, I made the dough Wednesday night, and let it do it's first rise in the fridge overnight. The recipe calls for barley malt syrup (which is preferred) or dark corn syrup. It uses such a scant amount (one teaspoon per batch), that I opted for the less expensive corn syrup, and I think it was perfectly fine.
If you make this recipe, bake them at 375, not the 325 as stated in the recipe, especially if using cast iron. I don't know if they will ever brown properly at 325. After almost 25 minutes in the oven at 325, I cranked it to 400 and they browned pretty quick, though a little crusty on the bottoms. For the second batch, I just did them at 375 the whole way through, and they were done in about 27 minutes.
Above pic, after the first rise & rest; dough portioned out into 1 oz. balls, a little bit smaller than the recipe called for. (I wanted to make sure I'd have plenty!)
About 2 hours later, the second rise.
And out of the oven and cooling. You brush melted butter on them before they go in the oven, and immediately when they come out, more butter and a sprinkling of sea salt.
If you look at the comments for this recipe on Saveur's website, a lot of people didn't have positive experiences. I followed the recipe to the "T", except for the oven temp, and I thought they came out fabulously. Don't be deterred!