Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Recent Eats

So here are a couple places that I've eaten recently, and clearly haven't made the time to write full posts!  

Had lunch at the Whip In, the combo Indian food/bar/convenience store spot on the southbound frontage road of IH-35 between Woodland and Oltorf. I seem to remember it from years ago when it was still mostly convenience store. Now, when you walk in, you're immediately faced with a somewhat jumbled chalkboard menu. As you keep walking straight back, you have some bar stools at the counter, and the store merchandise and refrigerated cases behind you when sitting.
After studying the board, and hearing they were out of samosas (problem with the fryer, I think), I picked the Travis Heights sandwich -- samosa-style potatoes, peas, carrots, cilantro chutney, and provolone cheese grilled in naan bread, and my friend had the curried ratatouille.
All in all, not bad. Mine could have used more of the chutney, or something to jazz it up a bit. Would be interested to try some of their meat dishes. They do get creativity points for their menu, a fusion of Indian and American cuisines, with things from biryanis to South Asian Frito Pie. And they source locally! 

A last minute meet-up with a friend found us at Red House Pizzeria on a Friday night. We walked in through the bar area, which was packed, but across the covered patio and into the restaurant portion found no waiting. GREAT happy hour specials, which were available in the restaurant -- a few different drinks at half or reduced price, and the appetizers were half price. 

We both started with the house punch cocktail, and then shared the garlic bread, meatballs, Greek salad, and Gorgonzola and bacon pizza. The meatball description says they have a touch of truffle oil, which I couldn't taste at all.
The pizza was a little underdone for my liking. I had one leftover piece that I ate for lunch the next day, which I heated it in the toaster oven, and the crust did get nice and crispy.
Certainly decent food, great happy hour prices, and a very friendly, efficient waiter, named Ross. Would I go back though? 

And then brunch this weekend at the very popular 24 Diner. Fortunately, it was only about a 15 minute wait (after being told 45 min), and we were seated in the back room, which was a hair quieter than the main room. 

Three of us split the heirloom tomato salad, which was delicious.
I had the French toast with vanilla cream and blueberries, with sides of egg and sausage. Yum! 
One friend had the ham and Gruyere frittata, and the other the hash, all very tasty. We had wanted to split a milkshake for dessert, but were too full! 

Bits and Bites

-- The Next Food Network Star will be holding a casting THIS Saturday, at the Hyatt Regency at 208 Barton Springs Road, from 9a - 1p. Could this be YOU? See the link for application and requirements.

-- On Thursday, September 8, dine at Tarka and a portion of the proceeds benefits Dine Out for the Cure, and on September 13, it will benefit Dining for Life.

-- The Blanton Museum of Art will be hosting a talk by cookbook author Patricia Quintana, "Moles: The Aromas and Flavors of Mexico" on September 13th at 6 pm.

-- Savory Spice Shop is opening a second location in Austin on September 15th, this one in the Arboretum, next to Con Olio (the olive oil shop). More info to be had on their Facebook page.

-- J Mueller BBQ will open their new trailer on September 26th at 1502 S. 1st Street. At present, their webpage doesn't have any info on it, but hopefully, the menu will soon appear! Very excited for this one, as it will be close to my house!