Thursday, April 21, 2011


I recently received word there was a new bar downtown -- tenOak took over the old Cuba Libre spot on Colorado, between 4th and 5th (next to Frank). I made a date with a friend for happy hour, and we went to check it out.

And the quick verdict: yum!

They've got a daily 4 - 7pm happy hour, and while the menu for food and drinks is abbreviated, everything is $5, though you can order other items too. I started with the Water Cooler cocktail -- vodka with muddled berries, St. Germaine, blue curacao, and a bit of prosecco. From there, I moved on to Office Politics -- vodka, pomegranate liquor, pineapple juice, and a dash of sweet + sour. I liked the second one a bit better, but would happily drink either of them again!
We had the Jester King beer braised pork sliders, which were absolutely delicious, though rather spicy (and the spice isn't mentioned on the menu so it may some as a surprise to those with more delicate palates); you get these two, nice fat sliders! Messy to eat, but perfect for sharing! We also had the Fig in a Pig, where figs are stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in bacon, and grilled. This is almost heaven for me, incorporating my love of both pork and sweet and savory flavors melded together. Could eat a whole lotta those, and hey, you're eating fruit!
We finished the affair with a dessert -- a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. Amy's ice cream too. It's really hard to go wrong with that kind of classic, especially when it's drizzled with caramel. All items on the Texas-inspired menu are nicely priced at under $10.

TenOak's decor is inspired by a Texas oak tree, and pays homage to oak barrels.  It's a masculine design aesthetic, but certainly not overbearingly so. Three televisions ring the bar, and fortunately, the sound was off on all of them. For the bourbon and whiskey fans, they've got the largest small batch collection in town. There are different types of seating areas -- about 8 booths along the right of the bar, seating at the bar it's self, patio tables up front, regular tables to the left of the bar, two couch/lounge areas towards the back, and a whole separate room at the back that looks to be bar/live music space when needed.

So head downtown for a cocktail or two! The prices are right, the service was friendly, the food creative, and 80s rock music on the speakers. What could be bad?

Mother's Day is coming up!

Three South First street businesses are teaming up to create a package deal for Mother's Day: bakery La Patisserie, florist Mercedes, and jewelery shop Schatzelein. They are creating a "Sweet Suite" with twelve macarons, a bouquet of fresh flowers, and a pair of handmade earrings for $70 (click here to see the earring options, though jewelry upgrades and customizations are available). 

All three businesses are within three blocks of each other, and are women owned and operated. Orders can be placed by calling Schatzelein (512/382-0969) by May 5th to ensure completion for Mother's Day on May 8th. What a clever idea by these local gals! I hope this is successful, and they team up on future endeavors!!!