WIAW: Goodbye To Austin

Hey yall! It is that awesome time of the week, What I Ate Wednesday. This awesome day is hosted by the lovely Jenn, who thought of the great idea of sharing drool worthy pictures of what everyone eats every single week. Ummm yes! Best idea ever. This week I am going to do a more sentimental post. I am going to do a goodbye to Austin post in regards to food. For the few weeks before I moved to NYC, I had to stop at all my favorite Austin local foodie places. I didn’t make it to every single place, but that is what vacation is for. I also didn’t take photos at some places and some foodie adventures were epic fails like the time I tried to go to SnoBeach at 8 pm (apparently it is closed at that hour, but who knew). So lets get this foodie party started.

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Of course I had to get the holy trinity of hamburgers before I moved away from my meaty state of Texas. Hopdoddy was a must on the list of goodbye Austin foodie places. I ended up getting the turkey burger, which is definitely one of the best turkey burgers I’ve had apart from my own. It is such a juicy burger for being a turkey burger. That is what I love because it is so hard to find a good one that isn’t dry. The cheese that pairs with this burger is perfect. It comes with a light sauce and some vegetables too. Definitely one of my favorite burgers on the menu. If you ever go, it is called the Continental Club! Get it (or every other burger because they are all freaking amazing).

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You can’t go to Hopdoddys without getting some fries and green chile queso. At least my mom, my brother, and I can’t go without getting these delicious treats. This green chile queso has the perfect amount of heat with cheesy goodness. Yes when I talk about cheese I tend to make up descriptive words, but I think you get the picture. Fries in queso is probably one of the best combinations that there is. The crispness of the fries goes perfect with the smooth texture of the queso. Then you have the potato to calm down the spice from the green chiles. It is always a win when you order the queso (probably true anywhere in Texas).

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Cupcakes are my friend. Ya’ll know that. I bet ya’ll are surprised that I didn’t go to Capital City for my goodbye Austin post, but oh wait I did. I just don’t have a photo of it because I brought a oatmeal cream pie with me on the roadtrip to NYC. I did manage to snap a picture when I went to Hey Cupcake in Austin. This is such a staple for Austin. Almost everyone can recognize the huge pink cupcake sitting a top of any Hey Cupcake store or trailer. I ended up getting the Michael Jackson, which is chocolate cake topped with cream cheese frosting, and the Double Dose, which is chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Oh man. These cupcakes are HUGE. And packed with delicious flavor. The cupcake flavors are so simple, but they are good. The cake is moist, the icing is not too sweet, and there is no lack of icing. It is amazing. That is why people always come back because the product is perfection.

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There was definitely a goodbye stop at Chinatown for some dim sum smang session. This was actually my graduation brunch, which we waited until August to have. I know, so weird. It was worth the wait though. I love the BBQ pork buns more than life. They are steamed to perfection. The BBQ is sweet and chopped up in fine pieces, so that you don’t get a bunch caught in your teeth. This was a fantastic meal. My brother kept wanting to eat more and stuffing me to the breaking point. Seriously. At one point he wanted to order like 5 desserts. Ummmm I love sweets, but not that much. He only got 3 desserts instead haha. I am looking forward to experiencing the greatness of NYC dim sum.

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Ya’ll better not be surprised that there is a snowcone in this picture. I may have not made it to Sno Beach, but I did make it to Casey’s New Orleans snowcones. I ended up getting a blackberry snowcone with condensed milk on top of it. It was pretty delicious. The blackberry syrup actually tasted like fresh blackberries, which is pretty impressive for a sugary syrup. I like this place because the syrups are very quality. You know that you will always get a top of the line when you go here.

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Lobster rolls in Texas! Such an odd goodbye. Since I’m going to a city with more access to lobster and lobster rolls. Dock and Roll is such an amazing place in Austin though. I had to say goodbye. Who thinks of putting bacon fried chicken on top of a lobster roll? Only these guys. If every place had creative lobster rolls I would be the happiest girl on Earth. This lobster roll definitely made my day. It was really hot outside, so that may have been the only downside. The lobster was extremely fresh and there were huge chunks of it in the roll.

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For my goodbye lunch with my grandparents, they took me to one of my favorite restaurants. The Roaring Fork. This place is so good. I ended up getting this green chile pork carnitas. Oh my god. It was so spicy. I thought I was going to die. It was delicious though. Totally worth sweating in a restaurant for (okay – I didn’t actually sweat, but it was pretty hot). Luckily they had the air conditioner on hard core. The crunch of the corn tortilla was perfect with the soft texture of the pork. The pork was amazing. It just fell apart in your mouth. It was topped with loads and loads of cheese too, so you know it had to be good.

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SUSHI SUSHI SUSHI! Couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to one of my favorite sushi places in Austin: Tomo. Seriously perfection on a plate. Japanese lasagna, ex-girlfriend, double D, say my name. Ummm yes those are the names of the rolls and that makes me happy. Where can you go to have delicious sushi with hilarious names? Only in Austin. We like to keep things weird, real weird. Maybe Workaholics should move to Austin since they are always wanting to get weird. Ha. Such a lame joke. Yeah I’m pretty lame, but I eat good food.

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Austin is like the mecca of taco heaven. There are so many great options of places to eat tacos at, but one of my favorites is Torchy’s Tacos. There is one literally down the street from my house, which is AMAZING. There are trailers sporadically throughout the city and actual storefronts like the one in my neighborhood. I have the Baja Shrimp Taco and the special taco of the month, which was fried chicken on top of a waffle on top of a fried egg with bacon on the top and drizzled with maple syrup. UMMM YESSSS. Maybe the greatest thing that I have ever eaten. You need to go here at least once a month to see the different taco of the month because they can get pretty crazy and are always delicious. The best part is you can always order your taco on corn or tortilla. I think some tacos go great with corn like the fish tacos, but the ones with fried chicken need to be on flour. Who cares if it is super unhealthy? It is tasty.

Well that is all folks! I hope everyone had a happy WIAW and technically it is Thursday, but that is because I had to deal with TWC for about 2 hours yesterday, so I couldn’t finish my post before class then when I got out of class I had a friend come over. Woo. It was a crazy Wednesday, but I survived.

If you were to move, where would you say goodbye to in your city?What is your favorite meal where you live?

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Sushi Wasted

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been gone for so long, but I have exciting news. I got accepted to my first graduate program! I got into TWU at Texas Medical Center for a Masters with a thesis in nutrition and exercise physiology (SO EXCITING)! I’ve been crazy busy with my last two weeks of my bachelors degree in nutrition, but I promise I have tons of fun things to share with ya’ll coming up. So what do I have for you today? Sushi Wasted? Whaaaat? Yes, my favorite sushi place in Austin, Roll On Sushi Diner, had an event called Sushi Wasted because they were notifying the world that they are open on Sundays now. It was all you can eat sushi! My brother and I obviously had to go to enjoy this feast!

photoThis was the menu for the night. The best part was that you could eat as much as you wanted off this menu and get a free drink, salad, and miso soup. I’m game. The rule was that you were only allowed to order three things per person at a time, which was really smart because you wouldn’t get overwhelmed with food and it would keep things organized. The only thing that I wish was different was that there were more rolls! This place has the most creative and fresh rolls.

photo(1)This was the salad that came with the meal. It was nothing special, but the dressing was actually really delicious. I wish I found out what it was because I would love to recreate it to use on my own salads. Also eating a salad made you feel like you weren’t about to just gorge on a ton of sushi rolls. I like that small healthy touch (not that sushi is that unhealthy for you – mainly the sauces and use of white rice instead of brown).

photo(2)This was the miso soup and it was pretty delicious. I had never had miso soup before this (I know shocker), so I was surprised that it was so good. It had mushrooms, green onion, and tofu in it. I loved the surprise of tofu. It was a good way to pre-game the feast that we were about to crush.

photo(3)This was the shrimp tempura roll. It was pretty awesome. I have to say that the staff did a pretty fantastic job at making sure that you got everything you ordered. There were only a few slip ups, like the time we got two shrimp tempura rolls. We weren’t complaining though because this roll was tasty. It had tempura fried shrimp, avocado, cucumber, sushi rice, nori, and it was topped with spicy mayo and unagi sauce. The fried shrimp provides a nice crunch when you bite into the roll while you have a spicy flavor coming from the sauces. However the sweetness of the unagi balances it out. We had never had this roll, so it was nice to try it.

photo(4)Hello to one of my new favorite rolls at Roll On. The Red Dragon Roll. It was a simple roll, but it was packed with a ton of flavors. It was a California roll topped with spicy tuna, spicy aioli, unagi sauce, scallions, and Roll on crunch. I would definitely order this again off the normal menu. The tuna that was on top was extremely fresh and added a nice flavor to a average roll.

photo(5)This is probably one of the greatest rolls ever. It is so creative and is full of unique flavors that you would not expect in a sushi roll. It is the Respect My Asparaguh roll, which you have probably seen on my blog a multitude of times. It has asparagus, candied walnuts, goat cheese, sun dried tomato, and it is topped with a balsamic glaze. The goat cheese provides a rich creamy flavor to this amazing roll. Order it immediately, you won’t regret it.

photo(6)This was the chef special roll. I forgot to write down what was in it, but it had some really interesting flavors. It sort of reminded me of typical Mexican flavors. It packed a punch in it. There chef specials change every few weeks, so you probably won’t be able to get this again unless they use it as a special.

photo(7)This was the Hawaiian roll. They did a lot of variations on the California Roll. This one was just topped with tuna. It was nice, but nothing special.

photo(8)Here is yet another variation on the California roll, but called the Sunshine Roll. This one had salmon on top of it. I preferred the one with tuna instead because I have a deep love for tuna, but it was still good. Just not something I would order off the regular menu because I prefer their crazy rolls.

photo(9)Hello, Mr. Grouch roll. It has roasted chicken, green chile, jack cheese, caramelized onion, arugula, and chipotle aioli. Now this is what I’m talking about. Roll On has the most creative rolls I’ve ever seen. They use non-traditional ingredients such as caramelized onions and roasted chicken to create pure food genius such as the Grouch roll. This is definitely on my must always order list at Roll On.

photo(10)This is pure heaven in a roll. Not even kidding. Definitely one of my top 5 rolls in the sushi adventures I’ve experienced in the 23 years that I’ve been alive. This is the Lo-Burn roll. It is shrimp tempura, unagi and jalapenos tempura fried, and topped with spicy aioli, unagi sauce, and scallions. I can’t even come up with the words to describe this roll because it is seriously mindblowing. If you are lucky to ever make it to happy hour, this roll is only about 3.95$. If you live in Austin or close by, definitely check it out and order this.

photo(11)This roll was another crazy one. It was the Rasta roll. It had blackened shrimp, mango, roasted red pepper, scallions, curry, jicama, and cilantro topped with a spicy mayo sauce. I’m not sure this roll completely worked. I think it would be better with the blackened shrimp and a bunch of fruit instead of all the vegetables. I think this roll could be really amazing if they tweaked it a bit.

photo(12)We got some pork dumplings. They were pretty good, but the health nut in me wishes that they were steamed rather than fried. I don’t know why, but I just enjoy steamed things over fried any day. Here was another time there was a little slip up. They ended up bringing us two plates of dumplings. Not complaining though because they were good. Although at this point we were about to vomit from eating too much.

photo(13)This is one of the best appetizers I’ve had at a sushi place. It is the sticky ball of greatness, but really just called Sticky Ball. It has sushi rice, krab and spicy tuna stuffed inside an inari pocket tempura fried and topped with wasabi mayo and unagi sauce. It is a fried ball of delicious flavors. Not to mention the sweet sauces that top it. I am in heaven every time we order this. This time they chopped it up into four pieces, which was really nice.

We ended up eating a lot more than this, but I thought there was no need to take a million pictures of the same thing over and over again. The third mishap came when the waiter dropped off two pieces of salmon nigiri. I’m not a big fan of nigiri because I think it is just so plain and boring, but my brother was nice and ate a piece. The best part is that we think it was for a table behind us because they were complaining that they only came there for the nigiri. REALLY? This place has some of the most delicious and creative rolls, and you came for the nigiri? I’m not sure if you know this, but you can get standard nigiri anywhere, even the grocery store. We laughed so hard that we were tearing up. It was a great night with my brother.

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.

One Trailer At A Time

Hey ya’ll! It is Thursday and I couldn’t be happier. Tomorrow I am flying off to Miami to go celebrate the wonderful thing known as Ultra Music Festival. In case ya’ll don’t know what it is, the festival is the largest dance/electronic music festival in the world. I can’t wait. Anyways for today’s post I thought I would write about something I love: food trailers (hopefully you aren’t sick of my posts on this topic). I can’t help it that Austin has a million trailers. My best friend from college was in town and we decided to go on a trailer adventure in order to get a good taste of Austin.

crepe-mille-1Back to an old favorite. South Congress is such a good area that has tons of food trailers, shopping, and weird little Austin things. I went here on my birthday weekend, had an amazing crepe in the rain, and decided that I must go back in order to try another one. I was excited because I started eating meat again, so I was going to get to try one of the many savory crepes that were available.

photo(3)Oh look at that beauty. We had the pork floss crepe. I think this one was even better than the last time I was there if that is even possible. It had authentic Chinese shredded pork and it was topped with thai chili sauce. An Asian crepe? Definitely the best way to go. The weather was perfect and so was the food. The pork was light like cotton candy and the sauce wasn’t too spicy. It also didn’t soak the crepe into a soggy mess, which I definitely appreciate. Yelp needs to get their stuff together because Crepe Mille definitely deserves at least 4 stars, not 3 and 1/2.

photo(4)Ya’ll know I have a huge weakness for snowballs. When we were walking up South Congress, I spotted this thing from a far away distance. Yes, my eyes are special and they locate things that I love in life. This trailer is new in Austin, so I thought I would test out the snowball quality of yet another stand.

photo(8)I decided to order the Cinderella. It was a mix of blue coconut and toasted coconut. As you saw in my last post, I love coconut. As soon as I saw on the menu that there was double the coconut then I knew I was going to get it. It was delicious. The only downside was that there was more blue coconut than the toasted coconut, so it sort of got overpowered. The other problem was that it became liquid very quickly, but I still thought it was tart and had a good flavor.

photo(5)While I munched on my snowcone, we waited for this interesting looking trailer to open up. They had an entire patio in front of their trailer! That was crazy cool. Since there was a cheese sign in front of the patio, we thought that the trailer probably sold something having to do with cheese or grilled cheeses. Obviously that meant we were going to check it out since cheese is one of our favorite food groups.

photo(6)Cheesey goodness. We decided to order the via 206. The sandwich had cheddar, gruyere, balsamic apricot fig jam, and it was on beer bread. I wish the sandwich was bigger. That was my only complaint. It was perfectly grilled, the cheese was melty and goey, and the fig jam provided a sweet taste to match the cheese flavors. I wish I lived down the street, so I could get myself a grilled cheese everyday.

capital-city-bakeryOf course I had to take my best friend to my best food truck: Capital City. Oh how I love these baked goods. Seriously best vegan treats in all of Austin. Maybe even the best desserts in Austin, but I love all desserts so that would be hard.

photoCapital city makes the cutest iced sugar cookies on the planet. When I saw this little cat in the bakery window, I just had to get it. It was delicious too. The cookie was soft and chewy. The icing was not too sweet and there wasn’t an excessive amount on top. I am definitely a fan of the cookies now (NOTHING is bad at this trailer, I swear).

photo(1)There were so many wonderful cupcakes in the window. However out of the corner of my eye, I saw her toasting some marshmallows in the back. Then I looked to the other side and saw a line of cupcakes waiting to be topped with the marshmallows. Hello, s’mores cupcakes. Of course I was going straight for that one. The cupcake was moist chocolatey goodness while the icing was a subtle sweet flavor. Not to mention the extra chocolate on top with the marshmallow. This cupcake was amazing. My friend ended up getting the blackberry lemon cupcake, which was also as delicious.

2The final stop was of course one of the greatest trailers in Austin: Gordough’s. My friend had heard a lot about this wonderful trailer not only from me, but from her family friend who lives in Houston. He told her that Gordough’s is a must! I wasn’t going to complain about going there because it is so good.

photo(7)This looks sort of like a pile of mush. It was definitely a super delicious pile of mush. We got the Sarah’s joy donut, which was chocolate and coconut. Pretty much like an mounds bar, but on a donut. The donut was also stuffed with coconut cream. Ummm YES. We ended up taking it to go because we were full at the time. We wanted to snack on it later though, so I guess that is why it looks like a pile of mush.

lA much prettier picture of the Sarah’s Joy donut. This is obviously not my picture because it is beautiful. All of my pictures look like a huge pile of junk. You can drool though and enjoy.

Have an awesome day and I’ll probably be on hiatus for a couple of days while I’m in Miami. Pretty much all I’ll be doing is dancing, raging, and sleeping. No time for blogging.

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.