Vietnamese in Austin

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been gone, but I’ve been dead. I’m not even kidding. When I landed back in Austin from my time at Ultra in Miami, my feet were completely swollen. Turns out I had edemas in both of my feet with two plus pitting, my arthritis was in my knee and finger, I had a virus, and many other scary complications. Yeah my life sucked for a week. Now that I’m back, I’m going to share a delicious find in Austin for you. I love Vietnamese food, so when my mom suggested this place one night I decided sure why not?

lPhonatic. It is located in a shopping strip next to a walmart. I know, I was sort of skeptical at first because of the location plus I’m extremely loyal to my favorite Vietnamese place in Austin: Tam’s Deli. However I was starving and I thought it would be much more tastier than a salad from Which Wich. We decided to go in and try it out.

IMG_3453This place is really interesting. The menus are all on these electronic screens that are lined up against the wall before the cash register. There are even some delicious looking pictures on each menu. The first two menus consist of appetizers and pho bowls. The third menu has noodles and the last menu contains kids meals, drinks, and desserts. Once you finally figure out what you want, you go to the cash register, order, and they give you a number to take to your table. Your food probably won’t all come out at once if you ordered appetizers. Sometimes the appetizers even come after the entrees. Crazy, but who cares.

photo(1)Hello to the greatest thing to exist on the planet earth. This is now one of my favorite items. They are bahn mi sliders. It uses a soft bun, that usually is served with roasted duck in traditional Chinese restaurants, and it is topped with grilled pork. There is daikon, carrots, cilantro, and this delicious mayonaisse sauce that covers the bottom of the bun. Three come on a plate, so it is the perfect appetizer to share or the perfect meal to have for yourself. I am constantly craving these bad boys. I am so glad that my mom lives down the street from this place.

photo(4)This is the crispy tofu appetizer. My brother ordered this as his meal the last time we went, which I thought was a good idea. It definitely wasn’t enough to sustain you though. It was freaking delicious. The tofu was lightly fried and cut into the perfect size squares. Then it was seasoned with a little spice, but not so overwhelming that your mouth was constantly on fire. I would order this as an appetizer again for sure.

photo(2)One thing they do well at Phonatic is cook pork. The pork there is so juicy, tender, and well seasoned. I have not had a bad piece ever. I decided to get an order of pork spring rolls. This was such a good decision. They were really simple, but because the pork was cooked so well they ended up being extremely flavorful. I would definitely order these again. The peanut sauce was perfect with them too.

photo(3)Obviously since the place is called Phonatic, they are known for their pho. My brother ended up getting a simple pho with just pork and noodles in it. He then topped it with jalapenos, bean sprouts, and cilantro (the place has a bar with various toppings and condiments you can add to your food). I have to say it was really delicious. The soup was hot and flavorful from soaking up the pork and other spices.

photo(5)However I think I win with best pho. I got the shrimp and pork dumpling pho, which was such a good idea. I was really craving a warm soup with good dumplings. The dumplings were soft and fresh while the soup was the perfect temperature. There was also Chinese broccoli in the soup, which I’m a big fan of. I would definitely order this soup again. I actually wish I had it right now.

I hope you enjoyed this review. I definitely recommend that you check it out if you are in Austin. You won’t be disappointed.

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WIAW (More like What Trailers I Ate)

Hey ya’ll! It is my favorite day of the week. What I Ate Wednesday. Since this is my first one back, I’ve decided to make it extra special. It is going to be based around…drum roll….TRAILERS. Ya’ll are probably sick of my love for food trailers, but I think you are just going to have to get over it. Shout out to Jenn for allowing me to post my love for trailers on her blog on Wednesdays. Lets get this WIAW party started.

capital-city-bakeryOh you have seen this trailer on my blog before? That is right. I love this trailer more than anything. Capital City bakery has a sweet spot in my heart. Not only because of the delicious cupcakes they serve or the cinnamon rolls, but the brownies with various toppings are mind blowing.

DSC02712I know your stomach is probably growling out of control right now staring at these beauties. Let me tell you, that woman knows how to make some amazing brownies. Seriously. The two brownies in this box are raspberry and peanut butter. Both icings are decadent and different in their own way. I couldn’t even pick what brownie was my favorite because they were both so delicious, I couldn’t handle it.

DSC02710My brother had a champagne cupcake. It was also equally as delicious, but in a different way. The hint of champagne was not strong enough to get you tipsy from a cupcake, but it was just enough to have that sweet bubbly flavor. I’m glad I got to have a bite of it.

DSC01572Oh the peached tortilla. Heaven in a food trailer pretty much. I discovered this place once at a farmers market, so I was excited to have run into this amazing trailer again in my life. Their menu spans from sliders to various kinds of asian inspired tacos. Tacos? Yes, sign me up. Also sometimes they sell some baked goods from a small company. I was once blessed enough to have a banana fosters cake pop. It was amazing as it sounds.

DSC01571Their bahn mi taco could give Taco Deli a run for their money. Unlike the pork in that taco, the pork in this taco is shredded. You get more bang for your buck. You know how we Jews feel about that. Also the sauce on top of it is amazing. I love a good sauce. Typical to a bahn mi taco, there was shredded carrots, daikon, and some cilantro. It was delicious. I could definitely eat a few of these.

DSC01580Cool Haus, one of the more popular trailers that is around the US. I think there is one in New York City and Los Angeles. Who doesn’t want a custom ice cream sandwich? Especially when the flavors of ice cream are so wacky like balsamic fig, candied bacon, and spicy pineapple. Then you get it sandwiched in between cookies such as chocolate chunk pretzel or smore’s. If you don’t want that you are obviously a crazy person.

DSC01581 We ended up getting the balsamic fig and marscapone icecream sandwiched in between snickerdoodle cookies. It was actually really delicious, I’m not gonna lie. At first I was like what is my brother thinking? Those are some weird flavor combinations, but the cinnamon flavors the snickerdoodle went perfectly with the fig and marscapone cheese in the ice cream. It was pretty good. This isn’t a trailer I would seek out on my own, but if I passed by on a hot day then I would definitely stop in.

This is all I’m going to give you for today. Trust me I got a lot more food trailers up my sleeve, but ya’ll probably wouldn’t be able to handle it if I threw them all on you at once. I hope everyone has a good wednesday. Only one more day left of class! Thank god. School is really exhausting especially when it is your last semester (wooooo).

I Live in Taco Heaven

Hey ya’ll! This whole going back to school thing after having a four day break is definitely not cool. I’m exhausted. Class for the most part was interesting except for my biochemical nutrition class – what a snooze. On to better subjects like tacos. Living in Austin and I guess Texas in general you have amazing tacos everywhere. One of my favorite taco places in Austin is Taco Deli.

20121001_224659-tacodelisignSince my best friend was in town, she wanted to get Taco Deli one morning. We met up with one of our other really good friends and her friend. Of course going on a Sunday morning leads to a long line out the door and a packed parking lot, but oh well it is always worth it to crush some tacos. Plus waiting in line gave us time to chat about the night before and little bits from our life. By the time we got to the front, my stomach was eating itself and I was ready to dig in.

DSCN0148Oh god yes. Queso. So amazing. My best friend loves queso as do I, so we all decided to order a large queso to share. It isn’t my favorite queso in town, but that doesn’t mean it is not good. It is more on the liquidy side rather than a thick version, which most people are used to.

DSCN0149I had to throw in a second picture because look how good it is. Doesn’t it just make your mouth water and your stomach grumble? As my best friend stated as she was eating it, “can you just roll me in it” or “coat my entire body with it”. Obviously it is some pretty good queso if she wants to have cheese sauce all over her body.

DSCN0150I ended up just ordering two tacos. I wish I would have gotten more to go for later because these were so delicious. I decided to branch out for once and try something new. They had a Bahn Mi Taco on the menu board. Well I like Asian food, I like Vietnamese food, and I like Bahn Mi sandwiches, so why the heck not? Oh god, good choice on my part. The pork was so tender and had all the right Asian flavors in the rub of the pork. It was topped with shredded carrots and daikon, which added those classic tastes from a bahn mi sandwich. I was in taco heaven.

DSCN0151I decided to be somewhat healthy (I mean the tacos aren’t that bad for you to begin with), and I went with a vegetarian taco for my second one. I got the mushroom taco, which was amazing. The mushrooms were sauteed perfectly and topped with peppers and onions to give it that fajita style flavor. There were definitely some other vegetarian tacos I wanted to try, but I’m happy that I picked this one. I have a love for mushrooms. Once again I was on my taco cloud 9.

DSCN0152Look at that beautiful basket of tacos. Now aren’t you jealous that you don’t live in Austin or Texas? You can never experience good tacos or even good brisket/BBQ (that is a whole different story that sometime I will have to get to). Now you can salivate over my pictures while I enjoy a nice taco. Actually I’m eating vegetarian sloppy joes at the moment (thanks to my amazing roommate), but oh well.

Have an awesome Tuesday. I have a job interview for something really cool. Hopefully I get it, but if not life goes on.