Flavors of the Month: January 2017

February 2, 2017

Flavors of the Month is a monthly feature of some of the best dishes and restaurants I enjoyed.

[This post includes complimentary eats from restaurants and affiliate links to products I recommend. All opinions are my own.]

One of my goals this month was to decrease the eating out and impulsive food buys. I had a few meals out (like ALL OF NASHVILLE), but overall, there were more home-cooked weekend meals and less “swing by because I need a treat” buys. This doesn’t mean there weren’t mouth-watering eats. Take a look.

New Year’s Day Brunch
Fresh into the “less eating out” goal, we made a big New Year’s Day spread with friends. Sweet potato crostinis, shakshuka, Caesar salad, bacon-wrapped asparagus, and peach bellinis!

New Years Brunch

New Year’s Day Brisket
Later in the day, we enjoyed this incredible brisket made in the Big Green Egg. Mouth-watering!

Homemade Brisket Big Green Egg

Dinner at Ajo
Round Rock is limited in their quality restaurant options compared to Austin but it’s been fun discovering new places. Ajo is located in downtown Round Rock and was a really good meal. We enjoyed the Beef in the Raw (beef tartare), scallop crudo, lobster mac and cheese with pork cracklins, and Ajo Salad (Grilled chicken thighs, mixed greens, spinach, bleu cheese crumbles, avocado, bacon, figs, candied walnuts, and heirloom cherry tomatoes tossed in a homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette).

Beef in the Raw at Ajo

Beef in the Raw at Ajo

Scallop Crudo at Ajo

Scallop Crudo at Ajo

Ajo Salad at Ajo

Ajo Salad at Ajo

Lobster Mac at Ajo

Lobster Mac at Ajo

Craft Beer at Zilker Brewing Company
FINALLY! Finally visited Zilker Brewing Company when we had family in town. I loved their Trapp Marco IPA with the Spruce Juice IPA and Elfie Sunshine (surprisingly, I liked this smooth stout!) close behind. They do four beer flights and buy by the pint. Their tasting room seemed a little small but that’s because it was chilly out and no one was on the patio.

Zilker Brewing Company Austin Texas

Did you see my post about the Best Restaurants in Nashville? We ate A LOT. There is so much good food in Nashville, I’d say it’s the next big foodie town!

There was a lot of breakfast smoothie making happening this month to curb the morning breakfast taco buy. I’ve been using the Ninja mixer I won at my company holiday party. [See more details about the Ninja QB3000SS Fit, Silver here.] We don’t measure ingredients, but each includes: one banana, three handfuls of kale, one or two handfuls of almonds, half to full cup of almond milk, and a few ice cubes. I tried protein powder in mine one morning and BLECH! Do you have any protein powder recommendations or any smoothie recommendations? Please let me know!

Craft Beer at Idle Vine Brewing Co.
A new brewery, Idle Vine Brewing, opened up in Pflugerville! On this first visit, I really enjoyed their IPA with the Idle Mind Pale Ale close behind. They have half pint and full pint options.

Idle Vine Brewery Austin Texas

Chocolate at Chocolaterie Tessa
I was so excited Chocolaterie Tessa invited me in to see the store and taste some chocolates! This a local Austin shop that makes fine, artisan chocolates free of artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors. Tessa was so sweet to let me try a variety of chocolates and my favorites were the dark chocolates and nutty chocolates. They have chocolates in shapes for Valentine’s and Texas, and they have small, medium, and large assorted chocolate boxes. For Valentine’s Day, they will have a special Belgian Chocolate Praline and bon bons in Strawberry Basil, Raspberry, and Cinnamon made with CatspringTea’s Yaupon. Love beer and chocolate? Check out their pairing Valentine’s event with Zilker Brewing Company.

Chocolaterie Tessa Austin Texas Chocolaterie Tessa Austin Texas Artisan Chocolates

Happy Hour at Isla

Austin Food Bloggers Alliance hosted a monthly happy hour with complimentary bites provided by Isla, a bar on West 4th Street. I loved the island vibes and Peruvian theme. While I wouldn’t come back specifically for the food, I wouldn’t mind ordering the chicken thigh anticuchos (skewered chicken thighs) and Bao Con Chicharron (steamed bun with smoked crispy pork belly) while having drinks. The Tituba drink is so good and they specialize in rum! Run flight, anyone?

Isla Austin

Bao con Chicharron

Bao con Chicharron

Draft Mead from Meridian Hive
I finally got to try local meadery Meridian Hive’s mead. These draft meads are lightly carbonated and not too sweet. The Discovery is made with orange blossom honey, the Rhapsody has honey and blackberries, and the Haven has honey, peach, and ginger. Yes, all three are in cans and you can find them in stores all over Texas.

Sushi at Tomo
I wrote about Tomo last year [check out that feature here], and while this was the first visit back in a while, it still remains one of my favorite restaurants in Austin. I’ve been dreaming about that one monkfish liver with uni sushi bite ever since I swallowed it. The seared live eel bite was a dream too. I also loved the orange clam. And for sashimi, we always get: Japanese Madai, King Salmon with fresh wasabi, and a sashimi Nobu style.

Tomo Sushi Austin Orange Clam Tomo Sushi Austin Sushi Plate

What have you been eating lately?

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  • Oh my gosh….with a New Years Day spread like that, I wouldn’t even want to eat out! Haha! Y’all went all out and it looks amazing!