Sunday, July 21, 2019

First Look: Carpenters Hall

Oh computer. I had written an entire blog post on Carpenters Hall at Carpenter Hotel (400 Josephine Street) and the computer ate it. So here's the abbreviated version.

I liked the lunch I had, but I didn't love it; I think the brunch menu interests me more. For a weekday lunch, clientele didn't seem all that diverse. Lots of millennial ladies who lunch, including lifestyle blogger Camille Styles. Loved the decor. Had a great waiter.
Carpenters Hall decor
Restaurant interior. Love the bench seating and they kept the old union hall banner.

Carpenters Hall kitchen
The kitchen

Carpenters Hall corn nuts and salami
Corn nuts and what they call mole salami. Which when I asked the waiter about it when ordering, I understood it to be salami with a mole sauce. No, it's salami with a chile oil with some mole-like flavors. Hmmmm.
Carpenters Hall grain bowl
Beautiful grains bowl, but honestly, not all that interesting.

Carpenters Hall burger and french fries
Double burger with some of the most amazing fries I have had anywhere. I would go back just for these. 

Carpenter Hotel coffee shop
Coffee shop in lobby area.

Carpenter Hotel cookie
Large and delicious salted chocolate chip cookie. 
What's been your experience at Carpenter's Hall? What dishes did you have? Would you go back? Anyone stayed at the hotel? What are the rooms like?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

First Look: Velouria Cocktails + Coffee in South Austin

Velouria rose and espresso martini

Liquid libations are always a good thing, and when an establishment combines the worlds of coffee and cocktails, that's generally an excellent thing. Meet Velouria, a new lounge/bar/coffee shop/ whathaveyou on South Congress and Alpine Road. {Yes, directly across Alpine from Expose in the Davis SoCo building...hopefully this is different clientele!}

Velouria opens early for coffee and pastries (from Crema Bakery) and stays open late for cocktails and on some evenings, a live DJ.
Velouria interior green velvet chairs
Beautiful dark teal interior with gold accents and luscious green velvet chairs.  In this photo, bar is on the far side with lounge and table seating in the near.
Velouria espresso martini
All coffee drinks are made with local Austin Roasting Company beans, including this frozen espresso martini with vanilla vodka and coffee liquor. Straight from the slushee machine on tap, and extremely delicious, even though having caffeine at 5 pm might not have been the best choice. 😅 I'll do the frozen Mai Tai next time!
Velouria charcuterie plate
Charcuterie board with meats and cheeses from Antontelli's Cheese Shop; love their collaborations with all these local businesses!  Three cheeses, two meats, sweet and savory spreads, a few olives, and a few marcona almonds. My one complaint (apart from there only being like 4 almonds) is the almonds tasted like they had come from the fridge so there was no snap or crispiness to them. I mentioned this to owner Sara who commented on my Instastories picture of our cocktails, and she said she appreciated the feedback, so hopefully the almond quality will improve! And while she may be the owner (along with husband Tim), she was a wonderful barista/cocktail waitress. They also own the Brixton and Drinks Lounge in East Austin, so not their first rodeo....or cuppa coffee.
Velouria chicken salad sandwich
We also had the chicken salad on croissant, which was fine, but not overly exciting. I hope they'll consider expanding their cocktail hour food offerings.
Velouria exterior
If you're looking for a place to kick back in South Austin with a variety of beverage offerings, check out Velouria.  Also their website has handy and very helpful parking info! There is outdoor patio seating, which would be lovely in the mornings, but those green velvet chairs inside are just calling my name...