Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Austin highlights

Here are some highlights from my recent trip to Austin -

My first meal in Austin had to be BBQ of course! Iron Works BBQ just happened to be a block from my hotel.
Iron Works BBQ - beef brisket plate

Next up, a great $26.50 three course prix-fixe dinner at Chez Nous:
Chez Nous - chilled canteloupe and ginger soup
Chez Nous - trout
Chez Nous - creme caramel

I metup w/ a friend for lunch at Olivia. Olivia was named by Bon App├ętit as one of 2009's Top Ten Best New Restaurants in America. The restaurant is beautiful, and the food was delicious. First up, some pictures of the restaurant (I loved the design):

On to the food:
Crispy Eggplant - garden pepper rouille
Potato Gnocchi - tomato sauce, shaved pecorino, puttanesca garnish
Quail - spicy cucumber salad, mint, toasted peanuts, fried shallot
Every dish was fantastic. The flavor and seasoning of each item was spot on. Definitely one of my favorite meals this year.

After lunch, we went to Central Market for some gelato. I happened to be there during their "Hatch Chile Festival"! (lucky me!) Central Market is like a food heaven. It was somewhat similar to Whole Foods, but in a more "natural" market setting. Here are a few miscellaneous pictures:
This was a "Kids" size portion for $2.99 - extremely generous portions!!! On the left is toasted almont; on the right is coconut w/ hatch chile
I loved this quote on the wall
Gelato case
roasting hatch chiles

Since I was in Texas, I had to have some more barbeque (this was a direct order from my sister). This time, I tried County Line:
1/4 rack, 2nd cut marbled brisket, mac & cheese, fries

I love farmers' markets, so on Saturday morning I went to check out the Austin Farmers' Market - Downtown. My first stop was a food cart - The Zubik House, for some breakfast:
Grilled asparagus omelette w/ bacon & montasio cheese

After the farmers' market, I went to Flip Happy Crepes. Flip Happy Crepes has been mentioned in Food & Wine and the Food Network a few times.
Nutella w/ banana crepe. Perfection.
Flip Happy Crepe is a very popular place!
I was so impressed w/ the gelato at Central Market, that I had to have some more before leaving the city.
From left to right: dark chocolate w/ hatch chile, pineapple w/ hatch chile, panna cotta
Right before heading to the airport, I stopped at Gourdough's.
Porkey's - canadian bacon, cream cheese, jalapeno jelly

The "Porkey's" at Gourdough's is one of the tastiest things ever.

Austin is a fantastic food city. There are so many dining options, and come to think of it, I don't recall seeing a single chain restaurant (w/ the exception of PF Chang's, which was next to my hotel). I'm sure those chains are around somewhere, maybe just not as prevalent in the downtown area. Thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions. J - I'll definitely hit Salt Lick next time I'm in Austin. B&T - same thing for the "migas" at El Chile.

Placed mentioned:
Iron Works BBQ
100 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78701

Chez Nous
510 Neches Street
Austin, TX 78701

2043 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704

Central Market (multiple locations)

County Line (multiple locations)
6500 Bee Caves Road
Austin, TX 78746

The Zubik House
Austin Farmers' Market - Downtown (4th St/Guadalupe)

Flip Happy Crepes
400 Jessie Street
Austin, TX 78704

1219 South Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

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