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?

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A Birthday Dinner

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. My Sunday was pretty great. I had volleyball practice with my girls, which was super fun, and then we went to help raise money for the maccabi organization at a wing bar in Austin. Only a few of the girls went after practice, but it was fun to spend time outside volleyball with them. Anyways for today I have a restaurant review of a trendy place in Austin known as Paggi House. We ended up going for my grandfather’s birthday this year, and in years past. My uncle deals wine to the restaurant, so it is always extremely great service when we go.

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This looks interesting. It was cast iron wild mushrooms topped with panko crusted cheese and garden fresh herbs. The cheese melted in your mouth and provided a nice crunch from the panko breading. It went along great with the mushrooms. The mushrooms were perfectly cooked and sauteed in the cast iron pan. I wish we would have had more of this dish because it was that delicious. I really enjoyed the appetizers throughout the night. The mushrooms tasted like butter and when paired with the cheese it was like tasty explosions in your mouth.

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Sorry about the dark images, the restaurant was dark and only lit with candles at our table and the light from outside. This was a sweet potato soup topped panko crusted chevre, red curry and fennel. Paggi house must really love fried cheese balls. Not that I’m complaining because they are the most amazing thing to ever exist. Cheese is definitely one of the greatest foods in the world, so a fried ball of it is great. This soup was creamy and rich. The sweet potato flavor was not overwhelming, and the cheese melted in the soup so it made it sweeter and creamier. The herbs provided a certain flavor to the dish, which was very enjoyable.

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If my entree wasn’t so mind blowing, I would say this was the best dish of the night. It was the special small plate of the evening. It was pork belly topped with apples, foam, and a sweet aoili sauce. It was the amazing. The pork belly was so tender and packed with a ton of flavor. While the apples provided a nice crunch to the soft meat. The sauce was creamy and rich, which just added to the variety of flavors that was packed into this small plate. We ended up ordering three of these for the table, and I totally kept snatching bites of it.

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This picture is the worst, but the dish was so delicious. It was grilled tuna tataki. It had pickled ginger, avocado, basil, and orange gastrique. The tuna was extremely fresh. It was a light appetizer that provided a ton of flavor in such as small dish. My grandma loves raw tuna appetizers, so we of course ordered two of these. In my opinion, I’ve had better tuna tataki. However if you don’t consume a lot of raw tuna then you will probably think this dish is amazing.

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Hello to the star of the night. This may have been one of the best pieces of fish I have ever had. This was the special of the night. It was gulf red snapper with crab meat and avocado. The fish was extremely fresh. The crab meat was such a great addition to the dish. I can’t remember the sauce on it, but it was extremely light and had a hint of lemon in it. The meat just flaked off the snapper with every single bite.

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It was perfectly pan-fried. The fish was crispy in just the right amount. This may have been the best dinner I have had at Paggi House. We have been there three times for my grandpa’s birthday, but this definitely was the shining moment of the restaurant. In my opinion, they should make this special a regular on the menu since it is so delicious. I think that it would sell a lot. My mom and I both ordered the dish, so obviously it will be popular. Who doesn’t like crab meat on top of a perfectly cooked fish? A sick person that is who.

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For dessert, they had made an Italian cream cake. I am definitely not a fan of this cake. It tasted more like a weird version of banana bread. I’m a simple girl when it comes to birthday cake. I like buttercream icing and white cake. To be honest, someone could just buy me a container of delicious buttercream icing and I would just eat that with a candle in it. I love it that much.

 

I hope you have a fantastic Monday!
What is your favorite type of birthday cake?
Where do you like to go eat on your birthday?