Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bits and Bites + Recent Eats

A bunch of miscellaneous food stuffs!

For this week's Bits and Bites
-- Sagra is hosting a Father's Day Sunday Supper, that's tomorrow, June 17th, five courses with wines.
-- Coming to Round Rock this fall (at IH-35 and Old Settler's Blvd) will be a second location of Jack Allen's Kitchen.
-- In the South Lamar Trailer Park just south of Red's Porch, we currently have Collie's Burgers, Tri Mai Thai, Honky Tonk Hot Dogs, and two others that I am not sure yet what they are. So far, I can't find a whole lot of info (websites or Facebook pages) on any of these three. Anyone tried them yet?

Recent Eats and Events
-- Back in May (April?), a few of us went to Jessie Street Eats one evening; it's a food trailer park just off Barton Springs Road. Unfortunately, Fatback Boucherie was closed that day, but I did get to try Bahn-Bahn, a Vietnamese trailer, that features banh mi (not sure why they spell their name differently than the sandwich name!). I had the barbecued pork banh mi... very fresh and tasty, but I didn't love the pork. I prefer the pork at the LuLu B's trailer, I have to say. I have heard their chicken lemongrass sandwich is good, so I would probably try that on my next visit.
-- When my parents were here in May, we ate out at a bunch of places, all of which have been written about here before! I will say we had outstanding meals at Elizabeth Street Cafe, Uchiko, and Lenoir.  The one newer spot we hit was Thai Fresh, on West Mary and South 5th. It's been a long while since I had eaten there, because the food was pre-made and then packaged up for you when ordered. Now, they are making it fresh, made to order and it makes a difference! I had the pad ke mao, also known as drunken noodles. It was really good, and a large portion! Nice fresh bell peppers and mushrooms, with a spicy brown sauce. I can see myself returning!

-- My blogger friend Sugar Foot Eats and I dined on Cajun at Evangeline Cafe. I failed to get good pictures (I will blame it on the bright light streaming in the windows and an otherwise dark cafe), but my soft-shell crab po-boy was really good, their very thin crispy fried onion strings are always delicious (especially in the remoulade sauce), and a new discovery there, the pecan praline pistolette! It looks like a meat pie, even when cut, but it oozes ooey googey pecans and caramel sauce that was truly yummy. Would have been extra special with a bit of vanilla ice cream, you know?
-- I previously posted about my visit to Jax, aka Artz Ribhouse North. After we ate, I was persuaded by my friend go to across the street to Texas French Bread for dessert, where I had a gorgeous piece of key lime pie. Good graham cracker crust, and I liked that it was whipped cream on top instead of meringue, but I would have liked a little more tartness in my key lime. Very good, but not twangy enough for me! :)
-- A bunch of us bloggers went to eat dinner at Vivo Lake Creek last weekend. I've been to the Vivo on Manor Road, but given that Lake Creek is far northwest Austin from me (183 and 620), it's not an area I frequent! But it's always great to get together with friends, no matter where the location. While located in a strip mall, the inside of this Vivo definitely does NOT have a staid, homogeneous appearance like you might expect. Half restaurant, half night club (DJ, lounge seating areas with gauzy curtains?) it features some rather graphic art work that I would say isn't X-rated, but it's not necessarily family friendly either. As for the food, we all agreed their queso was really good. Not from Velveeta! I had the brisket tacos, and the meat was outstanding; you could really taste the smokiness. I probably ate too many chips and queso, so I ended up taking one of the tacos home for the next day's lunch but that was fine! The beans and rice were nothing spectacular, but the brisket is really where it's at. Two people had the marlin special, which they both loved, and the scallops in watermelon gazpacho also got high marks. Their cocktails are very colorful, and come adorned with a fresh orchid bloom.
-- Last Sunday, I saw Bernie (hilarious!)  at the Violet Crown downtown, and because we still had time left on our validated parking for the theater, we hopped over to Jo's for an early supper. I had never been to the Jo's downtown, and I was immediately struck by the ceiling height -- very high --  somehow, I wasn't expecting that! My friend and I both ordered burgers, and asked for them medium rare. Unfortunately, what we both got were medium to medium-well done burgers. And the ice tea had been freshly made, so it was slightly warm, and the ice just melted immediately.  So I'd say cute place, but not the most outstanding food experience. There's potential in the burger, and my friend who has had there before swears they're usually good!

-- An acquaintance of mine has opened Capital Kitchens, a commissary for caterers, food trucks, or whomever needs the space! They had an open house on Thursday, which featured food from some of their clients. Please spread the word if you know of anyone looking for kitchen space! They are at 1606 W. Stassney, a couple blocks east of Manchaca. 

-- Also Thursday evening was a fundraiser at Springdale Farm for Colleen Sommers of Pie Fixes Everything, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. MANY local food people donated their time and talent for this event, including pig roasts from Salt and Time and Three Little Pigs, as well as a pie auction, with desserts made by local chefs and celebrities, and a silent auction as well. I haven't heard the total dollar amount raised, but it was a great evening from this participant's standpoint. You can hear more about Colleen on Cecilia Nasti's Field and Feast podcast.
Salt and Time's pig, cooked in the Caja China
Slicing it.... they stuffed it before cooking.
Bola Pizza, with pulled pork, fresh peaches and I think it was adobo seasonings -- delicious!
Pie silent auction
4 + 20 blackbirds, baked in a pie! Most creative pie, from Taff Mayberry of Olivia/Lucy's.
One of the farm's residents!

Stick a fork in me! I am done with this post, phew! :)