Barley Swine (Take 2)

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been gone for a long time. I’ve been a busy bee. Traveling around the US, applying to graduate schools, and of course the busy work of being a senior in the undergraduate nutrition program while working on a review paper. What have I been up to food-wise? A LOT! So I’m going to bombard ya’ll with a crazy amount of posts about restaurants, recipes, and places I’ve eaten at on my travels. The other night my dad, my younger brother, and I went to the Barley Swine in Austin. We love this place so much because of the exquisite small plates that are offered there.

DSC02741This is grilled broccoli, fermented chili, and crushed duck egg. The crushed duck egg was creamy and smooth with a hint of garlic that melted perfectly in the mouth. The broccoli was crispy and was a nice combination with the fermented chili that was scattered around the plate. This was definitely one of my favorite dishes because of the garlic chips in the dish added a nice hint of flavor the already perfect dish.

DSC02742This was the second appetizer dish. One of the good thing about all the appetizer plates is that they are all vegetable based. On this plate were hay roasted beets, mole, crispy rice, and goat cheese. It was delicious. I’m not a big beet eater, but this definitely has changed my mind. The beets were soft, which was great when you added in the crispy rice since it gave it a nice crunch. The variety of flavors in the dish were amazing. I definitely will go for more beet dishes after this.

DSC02743This thing looks like a pile of goop.However it is an amazing pile of goop. Underneath the garlic chips there were bay scallops, cauliflower, masa, raisins, and chipotle. The chipotle provided a sweet smokey flavor to the dish. It was amazing. The scallops were tiny, which was nice because I hate when there are only one to three large scallops. The cauliflower was creamed into the sauce, so it wasn’t overwhelming.

DSC02744Hello to one of the greatest dishes of the night. This was goat, walnut, kohlrabi, fenugreek, wild rice, and green garlic. The goat was cooked to be extremely tender, so when you bit into the meat it fell apart in your mouth. That is my kind of meat. The sauce that went along with it was so creamy, and added a sweetness to the tender cooked meat.

DSC02745I’m still not sure what to think about this dish. It is a soft poached egg, celery, dill, popcorn, and fermented goats milk. Yes, I did say popcorn? I am not sure the popcorn was so great on the plate, but when you had a bite of the egg with the goats milk it was extremely delicious. The foam was one of the interesting parts about the dish. I was sort of ambivalent about the dish.

DSC02746This dish was perfection. This was a smoked steel head trout, fennel, pine, and shiitake mushrooms. This was like a high end and creative version of lox. It was like a Jewish girl’s heaven. All I needed was a fancy bagel to go along with this dish and it would have been like Saturday Kiddush bruncheon after services. This was one of the specials they had on the board, so if you go within the week definitely get this dish.

DSC02748This looks a little creepy, but I promise it is good. It is lamb sausage, mint, sunchoke, and bacon broth. BACON BROTH?!? Yes, one of the greatest things that has ever existed on the planet. I wish you could order bacon broth everywhere you went because it is just that amazing. The lamb sausage had a wide variety of flavors with a bit of a kick. It was spicy, but the perfect amount so it didn’t overwhelm you.

DSC02749I could eat ten of these plates because it was just that awesome. It had bacon, brussel sprouts, hot sauce, hay butter, and hoe cakes. I love the hoe cakes at Barley Swine. They are delicious. The bacon was thick square pieces that went along nicely with the crunch of the roasted brussel sprouts. The hot sauce on the plate had a nice addition. It was more of a sweet hot sauce, so it wasn’t too overwhelming to the palate.

DSC02750What is this? It is pig three ways. It is crispy trotter, pig’s face, and loin. The rest of the goods on the plate are pinto beans and sauerkraut. The crispy trotter was stuffed with foie gras and some cheese. That may have been my favorite because you definitely can’t go wrong with anything that is fried. However the pig face is also extremely delicious. They cook the face of the pig and once the meat is extremely tender, the chef cuts out the softest pieces to serve on the plate. The loin was delicious, but the others were my favorite.

DSC02751This dish was the best of the night. The picture is a little dark because the restaurant started to change the mood for an upcoming party at 7:30. This was duck, foie gras, carrot, lavendar, farro, and hibiscus. The duck was crispy on the outside and extremely tender on the inside. It was the perfect cooked duck. The foie gras was heaven. It was so soft and melted in your mouth as you combined it with the farro and cooked carrots. I wish I could have eaten this dish over and over again.

DSC02752Time for dessert. Always one of my favorite parts of the meal. This was a meyer lemon tart, basil, quinoa granola, and rooibos tea sorbet. The lemon was sour and sweet at the same time providing for a delicious treat.

DSC02753Chocolate heaven. I have a huge weakness for chocolate, so as soon as this dessert came out I had my spoon ready to dig in. My family laughed because they discovered my biggest weakness (they kept getting annoyed because I would slap their hands, so that I could take a photo of each plate). This was a milk chocolate ganache topped with sweet potato marshmallows, whiskey, and orange. I was in heaven. There was also chocolate meringue chips that topped the dessert. It was amazing. I had died and gone to a chocolate bliss world.

If you are ever in Austin, please please go to this restaurant. You should order 3-4 small plates per person in your group. We ordered everything, but then again we like to eat a lot of food to sample everything a place has to offer.

Have an awesome weekend! I’m off to watch Once Upon A Time and Revenge. I love being on spring break and having time to relax!

 

The Best Meal of My Life

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been gone. Life has been hectic, and yesterday I didn’t have my computer with me since I went to Austin to celebrate my dad’s birthday. So the best meal of my life. Well no, I would have to say it was one of the top 5 best meals of my life in America. So this meal was not on my Healing Diet at all, but you can’t run your life around certain rules because that would make you have a sort of eating disorder. We want to be healthy, not crazy. Anyways on to the greatest meal EVER. My dad picked to go to the Barley Swine for his birthday dinner.

The Barley Swine is a small restaurant off of South Lamar in Austin, TX. You have to get there 30 minutes before opening because that is how great this place is. People line up outside the building to get a spot inside. We had to wait outside in 106 degree heat, but after sweating to death this was totally worth it. The menu is tapas style, which means that you need to order about 3-4 plates per person. These are small plates, so it is not like you are consuming whole racks of lamb. There was five of us, only about 10 things on the menu, and three specials. Being the foodie family we are, we decided to literally get everything except the foie gras.

So the presentation on every plate was BEAUTIFUL. This was a scrambled duck egg, pecans, green bean salad, and morels. This is probably one of my favorite dishes of the night. I never thought a scrambled duck egg would be that mind blowing, but it was. This dish was pretty much on the top of everyone’s lists at the end of the night.

What is this beauty? Well fried head of course? FRIED HEAD!?! I know when I saw the description on the menu, I thought it was like an entire animal head that was fried. No. It was just a shrimp head that was fried served along with a couple of broiled shrimps in a delicious sauce topped with sesame seeds. It was awesome. I am now in love with fried heads. Yes, saying that out loud sounds very weird, but I’m not one for caring what others think.

Yes this soup tastes as good as it looks. Actually it looks sort of chunky and weird, but trust me when I say that the flavors of this soup are the yummiest combination that your mouth will ever experience. It is a corn soup with coconut, tamarind, thai green chiles, and plums. Weird sounding, but so delicious. We gobbled this up in like 5 seconds. My grandpa is a soup connoisseur and he thought it was fantastic.

I’m Jewish and I eat pork, so what. With pork this good, I would never refuse. This dish was pork belly served over curried eggplant puree, cous cous, and pickled peach. Curry with pork belly and peaches? Yes, it is so good. The curry flavor was probably the best part of the entire dish. The pork belly was so soft and tender. It just melted in your mouth. I could have gone for like ten of these.

I love fish. Actually I have recently decided that I am going to go pescatarian once I clean out my fridge, but that is a story for another time. When I saw crispy red fish on the menu, I was like sign me up we are getting two of these. It was served with green chile grits, pickled corn, and avocado. Being from the south, I already love grits, but these were on a whole different level. With the blackened fish, it was the perfect bite. My brother and I were big fans of the dish.

Sort of creepy? Well yes it does look like a circular form of meat. What is this? It is goat shoulder. You ate goat shoulder? Yes, and it was freaking good. Once you put your fork into it the meat pulled apart like pulled pork or something like that. It was extremely tasty. I’m a big fan.

For the rest of the meal, I’m just going to post pictures instead of describing everything because it will be like the longest post in the entire world. I’ll just let you drool over the most amazing meal and make you jealous of what I got to eat and what you didn’t.

Pig face….Yep and it was freaking tasty. It tasted like a Jewish Brisket. Delicious.

I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about anything else, but this was probably my favorite plate of the night. It was quail stuffed with goose liver (pate) served over charred leek and dirty rice with a side of corn cakes. Oh man oh man do I love some goose liver. The quail was so tender and when paired with a bite of the corn cake, it was like pure happiness was inside my mouth.

Lamb with chickpea fritters. mmmmm.

Donut stuffed with jalapeno jam and a side of goat cheeseI lied again. I have to talk about this. It was corn brulee with white chocolate, popcorn, and goat milk’s caramel. This sounds so weird, but it was so good. Definitely one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. My family fought over it because it was so tiny. I only got one bite, which made me sad.

This was the finale of the meal. Grilled peach, marsala, goats milk icecream, and a black pepper crumble. This dish sums up summertime for me. Peaches, the grill, and cold ice cream. It was the best way to end the meal. I was definitely satisfied. It was an amazing meal with my family, and it will definitely go down in the history books! Just another Happy Birthday to my dad! My brother and I are epic fails at life because we forgot his present at the house. Way to go. We are great kids, I know.

I hope everyone is having an amazing week so far! I know I am now that my two tests are out of the way.

Have you ever waiting in line for a long period of time just to eat something?
What is the best meal you have ever had in your life?