Cheesy Goodness

Hey ya’ll! Welcome back, Lindsay. I am totally getting adjusted to being back in this frozen arctic tundra. No joke. My original flight got cancelled because of Janus and now it has snowed twice since I’ve been back (today is only my fourth day back). Real life struggles right now. So not fun to go outside, but Carrianne and I had to have our typical Saturday adventures, so we braved the snow in order to get some good food and walk around. This led to us traveling to our dream neighborhood: Greenwich village (I dream of living here once I’m a dietitian being fab in the city). We ended up at heaven.

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Hello to Murray’s Cheese Bar. We had planned to just get a little appetizer at this place and then go around to run some errands to end up at sushi for dinner. However we fell in love. At first we were confused because there is Murray’s Cheese Shop where you can buy the cheese you had at the restaurant or pick up some nice little food items. We ended up getting multiple items at the Cheese Bar and went to the Cheese shop after in order to get the good food that we had.

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This was the Cheese menu. There was also a main menu on the other side with entrees, appetizers, desserts, and other items. We were there to get our cheesy goodness on. We thought the best thing to get in order to share was one of the cheese flights because it came with three cheeses and some toppings for those cheeses. Also in order to have a delicious cheese night, you need some great meat to go along with it. That means prosciutto. If you don’t like prosciutto, we probably can’t date. Sorry, not sorry.

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Oh man the cheese flight from heaven. We ended up choosing the seasonal flight, which was such a good choice on our part. We had three different types of cheeses. One was really soft, one was a mid-ripened cheese, and the other was a hard cheese. The softest cheese was paired with a raisin jam topping. It was my favorite cheese. The cheese just melted in your mouth. It was served with crackers and bread, so it was nice to have a little crunch with the softness of the cheese. The cheese at the bottom was paired with butterscotch. I fell in love with the butterscotch. Who would have thought that the butterscotch would go so well with cheese. I usually like butterscotch with my icecream, but now I’ll be eating it with my cheese. The middle cheese was my least favorite. It was a hard cheese that was paired with carrots. I was not that much of a fan. The other two cheeses were amazing though.

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Look at this huge pile of meat. I am typically not the biggest meat eater, but oh man. I would devour a huge pile of prosciutto anytime. It was cut incredibly thin and when paired with each cheese, it added a nice salty flavor to it. I made so many little sandwiches, it was the life. I liked that the meat was thin because it wasn’t overpowering the cheese, which was supposed to be the focus of the place. We ended up going to the Cheese Shop in order to buy some prosciutto to have later at the apartment. We got a different kind because damn this stuff is expensive, but oh so good.

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Carrianne got a wine flight, which I was totally jealous about. I hadn’t eaten a lot though, so I would have gotten pretty drunk from just that amount of wine. She said that the white wine was really delicious, which was surprising because she isn’t a huge white wine fan. I will definitely be getting multiple glasses of wine when we go back because you can’t enjoy cheese without a good glass of wine.

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We decided that we needed more cheese. So we looked through the a la carte menu items in order to decide what to get. We wanted a soft cheese since that other soft one we had on the flight was so delicious. We got a French Cheese. It was creamy, mushroomy, and amazing. I was so happy to see that the butterscotch was served along side this. I was in cheesy heaven. We ended up getting this cheese at the Cheese shop in order to continue the delicious food coma that we were in back at our apartment. Although that plan never happened haha. We were too full and got absorbed into a Gossip Girl marathon on netflix. Tonight will be the night that we enjoy our cheese though with some wine and a french baguette. I definitely recommend going here if you are ever in NYC, but if you can’t go to the restaurant just go get some cheese at the shop.

What is your favorite type of cheese?
What is your favorite thing to have as a flight?

 

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The Sushi Date

Hey ya’ll! I only have one more full day here in Austin. It feels kind of weird since I’ve been gone from New York for so long, but I’m looking forward to going back and getting in the swing of things. Plus I just miss my roommates. We have the best roommate life. Anyways I couldn’t leave Austin without going on a traditional sushi date with my brother to one of our favorite spots in Austin: Roll On Sushi Diner. I was excited because we were going right when they started a new menu! So I was definitely going to take that new menu on a test drive to see if it was up to their standards.

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This was one of the new items on the menu. It was the cherry blossom, which is super cute in general because it looks like a flower on the plate. It was avocado, cucumber, and salmon wrapped with tuna and topped with spicy krab, creamy garlic sauce, and crunch. This roll was really delicious. I liked that there was two types of fish on it because it gave a nice mixture of creamy textures. The spicy krab gave a little kick to the dish too. So far Roll On was 1/1 on this new menu. I was looking forward to what else was to come.

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This may be my new favorite roll. Such a great addition to the menu. This was the dirty harriet. I love the plays on names for the rolls that they have here. It makes the restaurant fun and very relaxed unlike some sushi restaurants that are very traditional. The roll had spicy whitefish, cucumber, and avocado topped with baked salmon krab mix. That krab mix was the bomb. No joke. It was like a cheesy concoction that sat upon a perfect sushi roll. I was in heaven. It sort of brought me back to the Japanese Lasagna at one of my other favorite sushi restaurants in Austin: Tomodachi. Anyways I was impressed that Roll On was 2/2, but not really surprised because the quality for this restaurant was on point.

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This was a more simple roll on the menu, which was located under the traditional rolls section. It was just a spicy scallop crunch roll. I thought it was a great way to have a break in between all the rich rolls that we ate while at Roll On. The scallops were chopped up finely, so the bites weren’t too large to fit into my mouth. The crunch was nice because it gave a variety to the textures. Overall it was good choice to switch up with if you are thinking of getting something like the spicy tuna or salmon roll.

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Oh how I love rolls like this. In my opinion, the more creative the better. This was the El Goucho roll. It had brisket, arugala, roasted red peppers, and goat cheese in it. The wrapper was a soy wrapper. It was mindblowing. You would think that all of these ingredients would taste really disgusting in a sushi roll, but oh man was I surprised that this was so good. The brisket was smoky and the creaminess from the goat cheese melted right into my mouth as I would take a bite at a time. I would definitely get this one again. Go Roll On, you are killing it with these rolls.

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This was one of the new Austin inspired rolls. I love that Austin provides such an inspiration for food. It makes eating that much more fun. This was the 512 Club. It was deep fried and contained chicken, fried bacon, and other delicious things inside. It was served with guacamole and pico de gallo. I would never think that smearing guacamole all over a piece of sushi would be something that I would love to consume over and over again, but man once again I was surprised. This is a definite on the order again list. I thought I was going to burst at this point, but I was like MUST GET IN MOUTH. It was worth every single bite and now I’m in a sushi coma laying on my couch watching lifetime movies (yes, I’m just that cool watching lifetime movies on my winter vacation).

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This wasn’t a new item on the menu, but in my brother and I’s eyes this is a classic and a must for every time we go to Roll On Sushi Diner. It is the Lo Burn, which is so tasty for such a simple roll. I definitely think it is the combination of sauces with the lightly fried outside of the sushi roll that make it so amazing. I always recommend this roll to everyone that is a first timer at Roll On. It makes them fall in love with the sushi that this restaurant has to offer and it makes them realize that this isn’t your typical boring sushi restaurant. With the jalapeno and tempura shrimp, it gives you the best of both worlds: fried things and spiciness. It isn’t a trip to Roll On without this bad boy.

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This item isn’t new either, but it is something that I haven’t reviewed. I definitely recommend this one too. It is the dream roll and man does it gives me happy dreams of delicious sushi. The roll has tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, cream cheese, and cucumber topped with krab, yellow tail, salmon, avocado, spicy mayo, unagi sauce, crunch, and scallions. It is a million things that somehow mesh so well together. I think something that sets these rolls apart besides the creativity is the freshness of the fish. All the proteins used in the rolls are top quality, which always makes it that much better.

I am in love with Roll On Sushi Diner as I have been for the last two years since they have been open. Discovering this place was a dream come true. The staff is fantastic and always trying to make your experience better than the previous one. They are always coming up with creative rolls and menu items, which makes it fun and exciting to always go because something is always new. I love this place and am a total loyal customer for life.

What is your favorite sushi place?
Do you like to eat sushi?

Gorging on Doughnuts

Hey ya’ll! It is Saturday, which for me means that it is my cheat day to eat whatever I want. Today we decided to celebrate my mom’s birthday a little early since I’m headed back to the big apple on Tuesday. That meant we ended up going to some food trailers on south first street. Specifically we had lobster rolls at Dock and Roll then for dinner we got doughnuts from Gourdough’s to go. So this post is all about the decadent, fatty doughnuts that they serve up.

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Now let the food porn commence. No joke. I have some drool worthy photos to share with ya’ll today. This was my mom’s substitute for birthday cake. I was so happy that we ended up getting doughnuts to go for dinner later because I miss this trailer up in NYC. Not that I was eating this all the time in Austin, but I would definitely go once every four to five months in order to fulfill all my glutinous cravings that I have. Actually I don’t really crave anything, but it is just an Austin thing to do. Whenever I have friends visiting, this is a must on the to do or to eat list. I still haven’t been to the Gourdough’s pubhouse, which makes me sad, but I guess that will be on the list of next trip things to do.

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My mom is a chocolate lover, so she ended up choosing blackout. She also loves brownies, so I think that definitely was another reason why she chose this bad boy. The doughnut has brownie batter, chocolate fudge icing, chocolate covered brownie bites, chocolate chips, and chocolate fudge. If you don’t love rich amounts of chocolate then this definitely is the doughnut for you. I thought it wasn’t too rich though. My brother warned that it would make you sick, but I had one bite and I thought it wasn’t too overwhelming and really delicious. My mom was in chocolate heaven.

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Hello beautiful, I do love you too. This is my beautiful doughnut. Pretty much everything that is great in the world wrapped up in one doughnut. I ended up getting the Fat Elvis. It had peanut butter, bacon, maple syrup, and caramelized bananas. Really the doughnut had me at bacon and bananas. I love an elvis sandwich, so I thought that this would definitely live up to the hype.

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Yeah it definitely lived up to the hype. This doughnut was sick (in a good way – for those of you that don’t know dorky slang). The caramelized bananas were the cherry on top of this doughnut. It was so great to mix the creaminess of the banana with the smokiness and crispiness of the bacon. It was a foodie’s heaven. The maple syrup obviously went perfectly along with this since it was another sweet taste. The doughnut itself was a pretty simple cake that served as the base for the toppings. I would definitely get this again because it didn’t make me feel really gross after consuming it.

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My brother always makes interesting choices here at Gourdoughs. Although he is pretty predictable in what he will get. It always will involve fruit. Some of his favorites include Son of A Peach and Granny’s Pie. I don’t blame him because fruit serves as a perfect topping on top of these delicious cake doughnuts. This one here is the Carney. The doughnut has apple pie filling, cream cheese icing, caramel, and dry roasted peanuts. I get that the peanuts would be at a carnival, but I don’t really see apple pies being at carnivals. I like the name though because it is a fun play on it.

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I ended up sneaking a bite because he left his doughnut with us, so he could eat it tomorrow. I really thought this was an interesting tasting doughnut. I didn’t think it was spectacular like all of the other doughnuts I’ve had at Gourdough’s, but I did think it was okay. I think all of the different things on the doughnut didn’t mix that well together. Maybe the doughnut should have been stuffed with the apple pie filling instead of having it as a topping. I felt like something was missing, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

You can’t go wrong by stopping at Gourdough’s, so definitely next time you are in Austin, hit up this place. Also you can get a lobster roll or tacos since two other trailers share the lot with this goldmine.

What would you put on top of your doughnut?
What is your favorite type of doughnut?

Welcoming the New Whole Foods

Hey ya’ll! It’s hump day. To be completely honest, it always takes me a few hours of each day to realize what day of the week it is. Oh how I am going to miss break. Luckily I get to ease back into school next week with only one day of class and one day of work. Thank god or I might die from the exhausting schedule that I have. Now I have some big news. A new Whole Foods opened up in Austin today in the Domain. I have been waiting for this thing for two years. It is just like the one downtown with a few different twists. When I extended my trip home, I was so excited that I was going to be home for the opening ceremony.

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For those of you that don’t know, Austin is the headquarters for Whole Foods and it is where the company originated. I feel like that is one of our cities claims to fame. I’m proud of it too because I am all about my healthy living and nutrition agenda. Austinites love keeping Austin weird by supporting local businesses. Whole Foods is something that most Austinites can’t live without (on the list are Longhorn football, yoga, Torchy’s Tacos, etc). This is why this place was a freaking zoo. My brother and I had to park in a parking garage so far away because every spot was taken and the dirt lot was full. This was insane.

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One of the cool things that Whole Foods did was that if you were one of the first 500 people at the opening then you would get a free Austin bag with goodies. I’m Jewish. Obviously I woke up at 7 am just so I could get a bag filled with free things. It wasn’t that bad actually. I ended up being 447, barely made it! I was so glad I got it though because it was a really good deal. I love reusable shopping bags not only because I hate dealing with plastic bags, but also because they can be used for so many other things like carrying my laundry to the laundromat or returning items to clothing stores. The bag also came with a nice sized freezer bag. That can be used for chilled bottles of wine or icecream, but maybe both for Galentine’s day that is February 13th (for the reference PLEASE watch Parks and Rec)! While we were waiting in line, staff from Whole Foods came around giving out stress balls in the shape of fruits and vegetables. I got myself a carrot. These were super cute and I was like I could totally do something like this for my future dietitian practice!

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Hello to you dark chocolate peanut butter cup. I love you too. This was just one of the many delicious treats that was in the bag. I love Justin’s more than anything. Seriously one of the best companies for organic peanut butter treats. One of my favorite things of theirs is the 80 calorie squeeze packs. I discovered them at a Whole Foods in NYC and I died. Other things in the bag include Lucy’s Gluten Free Cookies, black bean chips, tons of different types of tea, a bottle of soul water, omegabar, chocolate chip cookies, and so much more. It was a nice thing to do for the loyal customers in my opinion. Plus I now have more shopping bags, so win win!

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One of the best parts about a grand opening is all of the samples. Once again, the free things. I swear it is just something in my genetics that calls to me when I see the word free. The samples at Whole Foods were on point today. This was a piece of salmon that was grilled outside and seasoned with some spicy cajun spices. Amen. There was also an amazing piece of flank steak outside on the grill. It was incredibly tender and juicy. Other sample highlights include ramen broth, lobster tail meat, a shucked oyster, and tons of fresh fruit. I felt like I was in foodie heaven.

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Oh yeah, you heard right. I said a ramen sample because guess what? Our new Whole Foods has a ramen bar. Now that is what I am talking about. I ended up sampling the pork ramen broth, which was simple yet delicious. I will definitely have to come back next time I’m in town when the heat dies down, so I can get a huge bowl of ramen. The line was ridiculous. I hate crowds also, so that was a huge problem for me. People were walking so slow in the store that it was impossible to move around. I had to bust out my New Yorker moves a couple of times in order to get around.

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Wait, you don’t have a restaurant in the middle of your Whole Foods? Well we do. There was the cutest open building in the middle of the new store. It was a draft and oyster house. Beer and oysters. I could particularly do without the beer since I don’t drink a lot, but I would definitely line up for the oysters. They are really good. We got free samples of the oysters, so I can definitely vouch for this place. Also the fact that the inside was extremely crowded vouches for it too. I would definitely love to be able to sit down next time and enjoy an entire plate of oysters instead of just a sample. The ambiance was really cute too because it reminded me of a country porch. A place to kick back with a beer and some oysters.

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Speaking of oysters, this Whole Foods actually has a serving station where you can just make yourself a box of oysters to go and shuck yourself. I don’t really like the idea of shucking oysters myself, but I like that they have this option available for the real seafood foodies out there. There were so many different types of oysters to choose from, which was also really nice to have access to. That way in case you don’t like a specific type of oyster, you aren’t stuck to just having that. The Whole Foods really went all out on the seafood part.

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When it comes to Whole Foods, you definitely can’t forget to mention the desserts. You can’t live without a huge cookie cart that has three levels of different types of cookies on all four sides. My brother dug into this station and got a ton of cookies. I ended up sampling a pistachio shortbread, which was to die for. All you could taste was the tasty pistachio flavor, which was great because I hate when things say they are some flavor and there is only a small hint of that flavor. This cookie was great.

So lets get to the things that I didn’t like about the Whole Foods. For one the dessert section was very tiny compared to the downtown one on South Lamar. Also since the dessert section is small, there is no chocolate fountain. That means no caramel apples, which my mom loves. I think that there is a smaller amount of actual products to buy in comparison to the other massive location too. However I definitely won’t complain because I’m very happy that there is a massive Whole Foods near my mom’s house now. It is very convenient to us. I will definitely come here every once and a while when I’m in town.

Have you ever been to the Whole Foods in Austin?
What is your favorite thing(s) to get at Whole Foods?

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is doing pretty good. I’ve had a pretty lazy day, which in my mind is awesome because I’m trying to get as much relaxation as possible before I go back to graduate school to get on my nutrition grind. I’m looking forward to getting into more serious and in depth classes since I love nutrition so much. Anyways back to the last meal of my trip to DC. We ended up going to a tapas restaurant. For the three of us, it was like going down memory lane to our trip this summer to Spain. Oh how I miss you Spain, you were so wonderful. We ended up at Estadio, which was a quick walk from our hotel. Luckily it was a quick walk because at this point the temps had dropped to 17 degrees and it was incredibly windy. Weather.com said it felt like 3 degrees. Brrr. Literally no one was out except us. Okay shut up Lindsay and get to the food.

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Some of the pictures are a little dark because the restaurant decided to have a “romantic” feeling to it, which was kind of weird since there were only a few people inside. Everything was tapas style, which means that it is small plates. I love this because you get to sample a bunch of things. This was a pintxo, which is just a skewered appetizer type of thing. On this one there was chorizo, manchego, and pistachio crusted quince. I like getting a little bite of something. All of the things on the toothpick blended nicely together. My favorite part was the pistachio crusted quince. It was a little sweet with a little saltiness. I was glad we started the meal off with this.

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The sandwich king would have been proud. This was a bocadillo with pork belly and pickled shishito peppers. Oh man. I loved that it was served on a ciabata roll. Definitely wasn’t expecting that from a Spanish restaurant. The pork belly was incredibly tender and fell apart as you bite into it. The pickles were a nice simple topping to go on the sandwich because they added a little spice, but didn’t take away from the star of the dish that was the pork. My brother and I gobbled this down in probably five seconds.

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Of course you can’t go to a Spanish tapas restaurant and not order a plate of croquetas. These were wild mushroom croquetas with argula and roasted peppers. These were so simple, but tasty. The outside was nice and crispy while the inside focused solely on the freshness and flavors of the mushrooms. The inside was creamy and delicious. I definitely would have gotten these again.

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Now this was a colorful dish. Very tasty too. It was a montaditos, which is an open faced semi-sandwich like tapas. On this one there was beets, heirloom tomatoes, and whipped goat cheese. It was delicious. I liked that the goat cheese was minimal on the sandwich because it allowed the vegetables to be the main focus of the dish. The bread was lightly toasted, so there was a slight crunch with the bread as the vegetables were smooth and soft to bite into. I am a huge fan of beets right now and these were cooked perfectly.

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This was definitely one of the best dishes of the night. It was another montaditos. This time there was foie gras involved. If there is anything ya’ll remember about my Spain posts it is that I am obsessed with foie gras and we pretty much ate it at every meal if it was possible. This was foie gras scrambled eggs with black truffle butter. You pretty much can’t get better than that. It was so exquisite for such a small plate. The eggs were fluffy and creamy. It provided a nice texture to the hardness of the toasted bread. I could have eaten about ten of these. I had to split one piece with my dad while my brother got to eat an entire one to himself.

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What a beautiful plate. This was from the pescado part of the menu, which is simply just fish. It was a sherry glazed halibut served over nuts and sauteed spinach. It was a nice piece of fish with a delicious sauce. The fish was incredibly flaky and paired well with the spinach. I liked that it was a small portion of fish that we got to all taste. If the fish was any bigger I don’t think I would have made it through the rest of the meal.

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Ya’ll know my family and I couldn’t have gone to a meal and not have gotten mussels to eat. We wanted to try every restaurant’s mussels in order to compare. These were probably the most simple of all the mussels we had tried on the trip, but that didn’t mean they lacked flavor or weren’t delicious. In fact I liked them quite a bit. Not as much as the mushroom ones from Brasserie Beck, but they were pretty great. Plus there was a ton of bread to dip in the sauce, which I am always a fan of.

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Oh man, this was the other favorite of the night. It was a delicious carne selection (meat, which is pretty obvious if you don’t know Spanish). It was crispy braised bacon served on top of a butternut puree and topped with crispy brussel sprouts. This meat was probably some of the most tender meat I have had in a long time. As soon as your fork ripped into the bacon it just fell apart. The crispy brussel sprouts were a nice addition. It gave each bite a little crunch to go along with it. The butternut puree was very creamy and gave a sweet addition to the smokiness of the bacon. I was in meat heaven. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I would definitely be a meat eater all the time for this bad boy.

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This was a special of the night. In my mind I call it Jewish brisket on crack. It was some of the best brisket I have had in a while surrounded by mashed potatoes that were surrounded by brisket sauce. Noms. It was like Shabbat dinner in a quaint little Spanish restaurant. However it was a Monday night, so definitely no Shabbat was going down. It was so awesome being able to dip the meat into the mashed potatoes. Definitely a good option for those who aren’t able to venture out on the menu and want to stick to the traditional meat and potatoes. BORING, but in this case delicious.

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It took us a million tries to get this dish. All it was is a plate of simple wild mushrooms, but for some reason the waiter kept forgetting that we ordered this. He also forgot our order of patatas bravas, but oh well because I would have barfed if he brought them to the table. This were amazing. They were just sauteed in some oil and herbs. It reminded me of one of my favorite places we went in Spain that only served different types of mushrooms sauteed in oil. It is so simple, but amazing.

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Now it was time for postre. Finally my brother realized he could only handle one dessert that night. He opted for a pear tart with a side of ice cream. It was very tasty. The crust was flaky and the pears were caramelized, but not too sweet. I liked the addition of the dusted powdered sugar. He was in dessert heaven because he is a huge fan of pastries, especially tarts.

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I got to be in pumpkin heaven. Pumpkin is life to me, so when I saw that there was a pumpkin bread pudding dessert I knew that I was getting that immediately. My brother ended up eating half because he can’t keep his spoon to himself. Typical. It was amazing though. The bread pudding was soft and the pumpkin wasn’t too overwhelming. Sometimes people can use too much pumpkin and it doesn’t taste sweet enough. I liked the addition of all the nuts too. It gave it a little crunch.

Overall this was the perfect way to end our trip to DC. It brought back memories of our previous trip together to Spain and it made us have warm bellies to brave the cold weather. If you are in DC this is another recommendation of places to go. Estadio. Don’t forget it.

Have you ever had tapas?
What is your favorite Spanish inspired meal?

More Mussels Please

Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is having an awesome Monday. I am having a great day since I don’t have to go to class. Sucks to be all those other people who go back to school today. The perks of going to grad school at Columbia. I love still having a week and a half off. I’m living the life. Today I got to go see Hunger Games, for a second time, with my mom, and I got frozen yogurt (OMG how I miss you so much). For today’s post, I’m going to share more about my trip to DC with ya’ll. I swear it is not the only thing I talk about. When we woke up on our third day in DC, we ended up going back to the zoo in the morning because the zoo keeper told us that they let the animals out in the mornings when it is cold and let them go back inside later.

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I was excited since I love animals and we missed a lot of the ones the day before due to the bad weather. However OMG I can’t believe the animals were out because it was freezing. This was the start of the polar vortex and man was it already getting chilly. I did get a lot of steps in though, which was awesome. I’m pretty obsessed with my fitbit. We averaged about 20,000 steps a day while in Washington. It is a great walking city! After we went to the zoo, we decided it was time for lunch since we didn’t have breakfast. The night before we had debated about a lot of places, but settled on Brasserie Beck. They were known for their mussels, so obviously it was the right choice for us.

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If it wasn’t obvious to ya’ll, we started with a half lb of mussels. Oh god I died. These were amazing. No joke. They were in a mushroom cream sauce with smoked bacon and fresh wild mushrooms. This sauce was something that you would typically find on a classic hearty Italian pasta dish, but instead our mussels were soaked in it. Plus it was served in a hot skillet, which kept the mussels and sauce hot the entire time we were eating. My brother and I pretty much drank this sauce through bread. I wouldn’t be surprised if we ate an entire bread basket while dipping it in and soaking up the sauce. I wish we would have gotten more of these because they were just that good.

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My little brother ended up getting a sandwich because he wanted to have a small break from eating so much seafood. He was debating back and forth between a few good looking choices, but decided to get the pork shoulder sandwich. It looked pretty good. He let me have a bite, so I can definitely vouch for it. The meat was incredibly tender and the bun was toasted slightly. I thought it was simple yet delicious. I thought it was a good choice, but he decided he should have gotten something else. It came with a side of fries and these three dipping sauces. I thought that was cool that the restaurant gave three different sauces, although one was a bit weird. The odd one out was a curry mustard. It was a little too spicy with odd flavors mixed in it. The other two were white cream sauces.

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My dad of course stuck to one of his favorite seafood items and what the restaurant was known for: mussels. The picture is a bit blurry because at this point I was already focused on my own food and I wanted to chow down. He ended up getting Thai style mussels. These were also crazy good. Not as good as the mushroom ones, but different. I like that throughout the trip we never had the same style of mussels. Each kind was prepared differently, which was really nice. That made it seem like we were trying out different foods. These had a ton of Thai spices in the sauce, which soaked into the mussels. Overall it was a really tasty dish.

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I ended up going for a healthier and lighter option. I chose the diver scallops salad, which contained scallops, arugula, red onion, oranges, and avocado. There was a light vinaigrette that was lightly tossed on top of the salad. It was a nice change to all the heavy food we had been eating over the past few days. I have such a weakness for scallops. I find them to be incredibly tasty and meaty for such a small amount. The salad gave me a really fresh feeling and for once I wasn’t full after a meal.

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Just look at that bad boy hiding in a bed of leaves. I probably would have been happy with just a plate of scallops, but I feel as if I needed a serving or two of just straight vegetables. Sometimes when I go on vacation I don’t exactly stick to my morals and eat my daily servings of fruit and vegetables, so I always feel better when I have a salad or some type of vegetable at a meal. Anyways Brasserie Beck lived up to its fame with the mussels and the non-mussel dishes were also delicious, so it was definitely a hit. After we paid the bill and the guys used the bathroom, we headed on our way to that day’s activities. Thank god we ended up going on the metro because it was starting to get colder and I thought I would die in my nonexistent outfit (JK I was wearing clothes, but my pants were so thin that my legs were freezing).

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This was the day of museums. We pretty much just walked down streets going into every museum possible. Thank god that everything was free. Otherwise that would have been one huge museum bill. This was taken at the Hirshhorn museum, which was definitely an interesting place. It was a modern art museum with some hilarious things inside. My brother and I had a great time exploring it, but my dad not so much. I think with modern art you just kind of have to let your mind free. The building was kind of like a doughnut, which I really enjoyed. We went to a few other art museums that day, which were much smaller galleries.

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We also ended up at the airspace and science museum, which was pretty fun. My brother and I got to do the simulators, which I definitely recommend. It is only 7-8$ depending on which one you do and you don’t pay to visit the museum, so I just think of it as paying for a ticket to the whole museum (which is MASSIVE btw). I’ve actually been here before, so I wasn’t that excited. The simulation was great though and I thought I was going to vomit afterwards. Fun times obviously. My dad enjoyed the museum a lot though. He spent some quality time with the exhibits. I was slowly dying at this point, needing a break before dinner. Thankfully after the museum, we went to rest for an hour before our dinner. I’m going to share the epic dinner with ya’ll tomorrow. You won’t be disappointed. It is droolworthy with quality food porn.

What is the best museum you have ever been to?
Do you have a favorite piece of artwork?

The Secret Menu at Torchy’s Tacos

Since I’ve been home in Austin for the break, I’ve been trying to hit up all of my local favorites. That includes Torchy’s Tacos, which is one of the best places in the world. No joke. I’ve been there at least twice since I’ve been back and I plan on going there on my way to the airport when I leave. These tacos are amazing. They are creative, fresh, and very unique. Recently it has come out that there is a secret menu at Torchy’s just like there is at many other establishments such as Starbucks and Jamba Juice. I decided to branch out and test out this “secret menu”.

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Say hello to The Hipster. What a cute name. I love that about Torchy’s. They have creative names for each taco on the menu. I’m not sure why this is particularly the Hipster, but I do know one thing. This taco is amazing. The taco is panko-breaded fried tuna topped with bacon, green chiles, black beans, corn, cilantro, and cojita cheese. You can either get it on a flour or corn tortilla. The sauce served on the side is an avocado sauce. Oh how wonderful that all sounds.

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I mean just look at this delicious taco. The panko bread crumbs on the tuna are crispy, but not too bready. I like that they use panko instead of breadcrumbs because it is a healthier and tastier option in my opinion. The tuna was fresh and cooked to a medium rare. The avocado sauce was creamy and cool, which calmed down the hotness from the fried fish. All of the toppings went well with it too, which was kind of surprising because I don’t really think of corn and black beans when I think of a fried tuna taco. I would definitely get this again.

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This bad boy is the Trailer Park Hillbilly Style. It is your typical trailer park with a twist. It comes with a fried chicken tender topped with shredded cheese and queso, green chiles, and ranch. The twist is that it has chorizo and bacon on top of it. Really you can’t go wrong with a good piece of fried chicken. I think there is a trend here with my tacos: green chiles and fried things. I loved this taco. The chorizo gave the taco a little more spice and kick to it. Plus I just love cheese, so this taco in general is one of my favorites without the Hillbilly style.

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Hello to the holy grail of tacos. This one actually might be my favorite so far on the secret menu. It is the ace of spades. GET THIS IMMEDIATELY. You will not regret my reference to get this taco. I’m drooling just looking at it. It has jalapeno sausage links, grilled brisket, a fried egg, green chile queso, cojita cheese, sour cream, and if you want diablo sauce. Diablo sauce is too spicy for me to handle, so I opt for it to not be on the taco. I get this one on a flour tortilla. Oh how amazing this taco is. I don’t think I can even describe it. Just stare at the picture for a good few minutes and you will understand the greatness of this taco. It is a little messy from all the queso, so have tons of napkins around.

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The key to the secret menu is to know what you want before you go to Torchy’s. If you do not say what you want correctly they will pretend like they do not know what you are talking about. I still have a few more things I would like to try on the secret menu, so I will definitely keep ya’ll posted. If you are ever in Austin, COME HERE. It is an Austin staple.

What would you like on your taco?
Have you ever tried a secret menu item at a store?