Tag Archives: food blog

Prelog’s: A Modern European Restaurant

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I’ve always considered myself an honorary European. I was mostly raised by a German, briefly lived in England, and have dated more Swedish people that I’d care to admit. (Nobody knows why! It just keeps happening!) Having said that, I’d say it’s safe to assume that upon hearing about about Prelog’s, and their European-inspired menu, I had to go!

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Now, I admit I had been putting it off due to a busy schedule, but once I caught wind of an Instagram meet-up being held there, it was official. My overdue trip to Prelog’s was officially going to happen.

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The staff graciously greeted our groups with refreshing cocktails, and delicious food bites. I particularly loved their Hail Mary, which is a bright, lively take on the traditional ‘brunch drink’ that can be enjoyed at any time of day. In addition to that we tasted brussels sprouts with crispy capers, thick fries, char thoughtfully prepared with green apple and beets, and of course, more.

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We ended with good conversation, envy-inducing Instagram photos, smoky drinks (with actual smoke!) and a solid understanding of the passion put into the plates by the couple who both owns and runs the business. I should mention that they’re Austrian, so naturally I liked them ;). There aren’t a lot of places like this in Austin, and given the slow, slow descent into fall we have, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy their beautiful patio one day soon. (You should go today.)

Oyster Fever: Liberty Kitchen

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You know that one song in Sound of Music where Julie Andrews is listing off ‘raindrops and roses, and whiskers on kittens’ as her favorite things? Yeah, I sing that song to myself anytime I think of oysters, and martinis on happy hour. These are a few of my favorite things!

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I recently popped in around 5 to catch a few of the HH deals (as well as the fantastic regular menu), and boy was I impressed.

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There were discounted drinks, and a few reduced food items. Everything served was spectacular! I couldn’t get over how fresh, clean, and flavorful all of their seafood was! My main issue with local places serving oysters is that a lot only do Gulf. I was delighted to find that they have theirs coming from PEI, and all over!

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What’s that shown above? Oh, just in-house smoked salmon with bacon jelly. That’s all. (It’s insanely good!)

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When I looked at the specials, I saw their Friday offering, and knew immediately it was what I was going to have. That was Marseille Bouillabaisse, served in 2 parts. They start you off with arguably the best seafood-saffron broth known to man, then follow it with a fantastic plate of lobster, clams, potatoes, and more!

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I went nuts on the wine list, because hey, I’m me! Of course, I did! But it is worth a mention that their cocktails are insane.

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My favorite involved grapefruit skins, herbs, and a slight effervescence. It looked a little like the rose-in-the-glass from Beauty and the Beast to me, so I guess this place just fills me with movie references all around.

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It’s hard to get a low-carber like me to crumble, but they did it. Luckily, I had a dining partner with me that did most of the damage, but I was extremely happy to taste their fantastic chocolate cake. It was worth the ‘cheat.’ Apart from the food, I’m a huge fan of their decor, staff, and even the sounds of their brunch menu, which I have yet to try! If you’re a seafood nut like I am, this is definitely a place to taste.

Dining Downtown: Stella San Jac

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I live a pretty good life, and as a blogger I’ve been to some very amazing events.

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Though all places I have visited have been incredibly kind, I do have to tip my hat to the wonderful folks at Stella San Jac for the super-cool night they gave me last night.

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The newly opened restaurant, housed in the Westin, brought a ton of local bloggers in for a happy hour with some complimentary appetizers, and even a cooking demo! (More on that later. Actually, seriously, the straight up video for you below.)

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The space was gorgeous, and the food was delish! (Who says ‘delish?’ Oh god, did I just say ‘delish?’ Sign me up for pink sweaters, and tennis lessons STAT.)

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Naturally, I ventured to the bar. (Me?!?!? BAAAAAAAAR????) I asked if there were any happy hour specials, and the bartender replied, “Every hour is a happy hour.” I like it! He poured me a glass of rosé that I was convinced would cost $2508582094821, but it was only $8.66, so you know what? He was right! Every hour is happy hour when good wine is fairly priced.

 

Now, for the biscuits! If you check out my amazing-super-awesome-cinematography (sarcasm) video above (it was Periscope) you’ll see a demonstration from the chef on how to make his famous #16 Biscuits. He calls them ’16’ because it took that many tries to perfect the recipe, and they’re reportedly good enough to make low-carbers crumble. Fret not, dear reader, I crumbled not (“Not today, Satan!”), but I plan to soon. I spent most of my night eating his delicious salmon spread, and put all of my carbs in through pink wine.

Franklin Barbecue Bingo!

Franklin Bingo

I have a little fun with watercolors from time to time.

Sagra: I Now Love Italian

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I’ve admittedly had an Italian-aversion in the past. I don’t know if it was the string of low-carb diets, or having less-than-flavorful experiences at other places. Regardless, Sagra has converted me into a true fan of food inspired by the stylish, leather boot-shaped country.

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The salads were fresh, and all of the appetizers were flavorful. We had everything from lightly breaded calamari to polenta with brussels sprouts.

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The pizzas were equally amazing. My favorite was the Calabrese with: olives, spicy salami, and even capers. I’m a nut for anything briny.

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I was with several other bloggers, but greedily stole the slice that had the egg on top of it. (Sorry, guys.)

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Their perfectly spiced risotto was definitely one of the stars of the night. Even though I still try to hold back on the carbohydrates, I let this little beauty take me down for the night diet-wise. Worth it.

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They had things on the menu that I don’t normally associate Italian food with (in my admittedly limited knowledge). I was having succulent  chicken, and even slow-cooked lamb.

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You may not think of Sagra as a craft cocktail bar, but maybe you should. I enjoyed expertly made, and perfectly balanced vieux carres, and more than my fair share of wine. I loved the enormous windows, which allowed just the right amount of light to pour into every space. If you haven’t tried their new space, I highly recommend it. There’s even an all-you-can-eat mussels night!

Banger’s: More Than Just Beer & Brats

 

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Boudin Plate

To all my of sausage-eating, beer-drinking comrades: You haven’t lived until you’ve tried Banger’s.

Banger's Boiled Peanuts
Boiled Peanuts

It’s one of the busiest spots on Rainey Street, and for more reasons than you’d think.

Banger's Bulgogi
Dak Bulgogi

Their chef really knows his stuff.

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Apart from focusing on the freshest ingredients, most innovative sausages, and having shockingly excellent vegetarian items, Banger’s also boasts regular live music, and a dog-run. (Yes! It’s practically a miniature dog park!)

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The menu’s focus on the best possible ingredients at the peak of freshness allows them to rotate things, and mix up the offerings.

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The bread, meat, and produce are always top-notch, and though I’ve eaten my way through an alarming amount of their menu, I have a hard time finding a fave, but trust me when I say that I wouldn’t miss their shrimp-n-grits inspired sausage. In fact, I’d say their focus is very clearly Southern, and they do it well.

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BBQ Bacon & Shrimp

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House-Made Pickles

Did I mention that just about, if not everything is made in-house? They operate a bit of a deli-counter set up where you can take uncooked sausages and deli pickles home!

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Snicker’s Ice Cream Jar

They even have dessert. (And an incredible one at that. It’s not easy to get me on sweets.)

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Poutine

Now, I wouldn’t be able to complete this post without mentioning one of Banger’s arguably greatest draws: The enormous beer list! I’ve never seen so many taps in my life! From hard to find craft beer to their weekend offerings of a ‘Man-mosa’ (it’s pretty much a pitcher of mimosa, which who wouldn’t love?) they have something for everyone, and yes, they do a decent wine list as well. Grab some friends on a sunny day, and head out to their impressively large patio for music, bites, and far too many foamy, alcoholic beverages. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Food Find: Terry Black’s Barbecue

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There’s a new barbecue joint in town, and it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump (or perhaps a shirtless unicycle ride, if you’re like most of our locals) from Barton Springs and Town Lake. Please welcome Terry Black’s.

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This Austin location hails from famed Black’s in Lockhart (and I would like to mention that if you haven’t heard of Lockhart, we need to seriously school you in Texas Barbecue 101).

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They have a huge buffet-style spread of sides, plenty of space indoors and out, and of course: Tasty, smoked meats.

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I’m not gonna lie, my favorite feature of this place is the abundance of Texas wine available. I know, I know, you should drink beer with barbecue, and they have that as well, but major props to them for having my beverage of choice. Next time you’re hungry after a drip in the springs, or after a relaxing walk over the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge, head here, and give them a try.

Austin Lamb Jam

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The Austin Lamb Jam recently came to town, and this event really knocked it out of the park as far as food festivals go. Imagine a make-your-own-spice-blend bar, 16 very talented chefs representing Austin’s finest restaurants, and enough wine and beer to make the end of the event a little bit fuzzy for me.

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I got to try dishes from everywhere from Kerbey Lane to Olive + June, and then some. There were inventive, outside of the (usual lamb) box dishes including pho from Dallas-based Proof and Pantry, and Korean short ribs from our own downtown Bonneville.

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I’m not going to lie, I am a bit partial to Salty Sow‘s lamb rogan josh (shown above).

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Don’t take my word for it, you can also check out the Yelp reviews, which gave this party 5 stars on average. (Okay, so I’m on that site too, so I guess you’ll be seeing more of my words anyway!) All in all, a wonderful day with amazing food. Every single chef shined, and I can’t stop cooking lamb meat with the spice I made at their spice bar.

Low-Carb Pizza Crust

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I know being low-carb isn’t always easy, and there are some vices, such as pizza, that people really miss. Sometimes I sauté a bunch of vegetables and cheese in a pan, then pretend it’s pizza without the bread. It does the job for me, but I got really curious when I heard that you could make a crust out of straight up cauliflower (one of my favorite veggies).

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With my new food processor, I decided to embark on this cauliflower pizza crust journey, and I would definitely say that the results are pretty great, though not necessarily something I would say is ‘exactly like pizza crust!!!’ but still pretty dang tasty.

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To make it: grate half a head of cauliflower using a food processor, or a hand grater (if you’re a masochist!). Using a paper towel, try to get as much moisture out of the cauliflower as possible. Otherwise, you’re going to get mush. Add 1 egg, a handful of shredded parmesan cheese, and mix together. Spread this on a lightly oiled pizza pan, and bake at 425 for about 10 minutes. Once it begins to look a bit golden, pull it out and add the toppings you desire. Bake for another 10 minutes or so, and you should have a delicious low-carb pizza! I used pesto, tomato, jalapeño, olives, mushrooms, and even the kitchen sink in mine. ;)

Low-Carb Breakfast: Bell Pepper Eggs

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There are some dishes that look prettier than they taste. For example: eggs baked in avocado. I don’t care what food blogger told you that it was ‘amazing,’ they are are filthy liars and shouldn’t be trusted. (Also, sorry about that time I Instagram’ed that exact dish and pretended it was amazing.) Bell pepper eggs are not like that. They actually taste as good as they look! Promise.

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I’ve tried it twice, and found the best method to be cutting the bell pepper in half, and using both halves as egg-holders. It does take some de-seeding, but it’s nothing major. Even a novice can tackle this dish.

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Pre-heat the oven to 350, and drop your eggs in those bell pepper cups. You’ll want to add salt and pepper, or even herbs! I added a handful of mozzarella to mine, but to make it Paleo, you can omit this.

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The baking time is closer to ~40 minutes (depending on how ‘done’ you want your eggs), but it’s worth it for the char you will eventually get on the pepper. This dish is absolutely delicious, and a fantastic way to get your veggies and protein in. I threw in some de-seeded jalapeños with cheese on my last bake, and everything came out cooked to perfection. Wait for the egg to look done, and the cheese to begin to brown, and you’ll know it’s ready.