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!

 

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Hop To It

Hey ya’ll! I just got back from Austin. I couldn’t post while there because I realized I forgot my camera plug at my apartment. Total fail. That tends to happen when I pack to go somewhere. I always forget something, and I get this feeling that I did, but I can never remember what I forgot until I’m already halfway away. Oh well. It was a pretty nice weekend. The highlight was definitely going to Hopdoddy’s, which is a nice burger bar in Austin.

There are two locations in Austin. The original one that is on South Congress, and this newer location on Anderson Lane. I go to the Anderson Lane one since it is down the street from where I live. Seriously best day ever when I got the news that they were getting a Hopdoddys in my neighborhood. My mom, brother, and I decided to go after my CT scans because I could only have clear liquids before, so I was starving.

I ordered the Janis Joplin. It is a hemp seed patty with avocado, bean sprouts, tillamook cheddar, and horseradish honey mustard. This is one of the best veggie burgers I have ever had. The bun is soft and has the perfect sweet, nutty flavor. The actual patty is extremely tasty, and filled with a variety of flavors. The toppings go perfect with this burger, and you definitely know you are eating the healthiest of everyone at the table.

My mom ordered the Primetime. It is Texas Akaushi Beef with caramelized onions, brie cheese, truffle aoili, and steak sauce. This is one of the fancier burgers they have on the menu. I think it is quite delicious (although I don’t eat red meat anymore), and the brie cheese is to die for. Whoever thought of putting that on the burger alongside the aoili, three points for you.

My mom and I split an order of fries. One of my favorite parts of Hopdoddys is that they have tons of sauces. Horseradish honey mustard, some chipotle BBQ sauce, and sassy sauce (their special).

My brother got the Greek, which is lamb, feta cheese, arugala, pickled red onions, tomato, cucumber, and tzatziki sauce. He said it was pretty amazing. He especially loved the feta cheese on top of it.

My brother also ordered a milkshake. The milkshakes here are life changing. This is the sea salt and caramel. It was amazing. The sweet and salty combination was perfect. I would definitely order this one next time I’m there. Although all of the milkshakes are good. I also got a t-shirt when I was there that says: “We spank our patties and they like it”. I really can’t wait to wear that around and get weird stares.

I hope everyone has been having a fantastic week!

Where is the best burger you have ever had?
What would be on your perfect burger?