Flavors of the Month: February 2017

March 7, 2017

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

After January’s conscious effort of not eating out, it went out the window in February. We indulged in trying new Austin breweries, tried a pop-up restaurant, and ate with friends. While it looks like a lot of eating out, I will say they were quality eats and drinks, and for all the meals not listed here, we ate in.

Cupcakes, Ice Cream, and Cookies at Sprinkles
Austin got a Sprinkles! This Los Angeles cupcake shop is now at The Domain. Hello, 24/7 cupcake ATM! At their pre-open party, I tried a cupcake sundae with salty caramel cake and rocky road ice cream. Delish! I also had the oatmeal cookie and the maple bacon cupcake. All good stuff, so go check it out.

Short Ribs at Carnal
Carnal is a pop-up restaurant at Parlor & Yard and all the way from New York. The guys are barbecue enthusiasts, so it was so delicious tasting their offerings. The slow cooked short rib with bone marrow was my hands-down favorite. So juicy and tender. We also tried the two-day pork shoulder, whole roasted lamb breast, fried sweetbreads, and grilled cauliflower.

Craft Beer at Thousand Oaks Brewing
I visited a newer nano brewery in Cedar Park called Thousand Oaks Brewing. (They took over Twisted X Brewing’s old spot.) They have a great pale ale and IPA. You can find them on tap at Alamo Drafthouse or go visit their brewery!

Super Bowl Eats
Not only is it fun to see the hoopla of the most-watched TV event in the U.S., but Super Bowl means all the best food! We did skillet LOADED nachos (grilled beef, refried beans, cheese, guacamole, pico, jalapenos, sour cream) and grilled crab legs. Our stomachs weren’t happy by the end of the night but it make our mouths happy.

Lunch at Wu Chow
I finally visited Wu Chow after many occasions of tasting their soup dumplings at pre-opening events. The Gong Bao Chicken (organic chicken thigh, spicy sauce, peanuts, local bell peppers) and the Sichuan Braised Eggplant were amazing! I loved all the different flavors and the meal was satisfying but not heavy.

Maine Lobster Roll at Garbo’s
It’s so good but it’s so dang small, especially if you split a bunch of plates with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. But with the fries, it’s a good portion for dinner.

Craft Beer at Twisted X Brewing Co.
Crossed this brewery off the list! The Later Days (IPA – Session) was my favorite. Hoppy yet smooth. They also have an interesting, smokey beer called Ale-ternative Facts. The outdoor patio is great and they had live music!

Craft Beer at Jester King Brewery
It’s been a while since I’ve drank Jester King beers. The Super Ultramega Hyperforce (Saison/Farmhouse Ale) was my favorite with the Estival Dichotomous close behind. Even on a cloudy day, it was nice being out there.

Torchy’s Tacos
Breakfast tacos are the perfect way to start a day!

Craft Beer at Live Oak Brewing Company
Live Oak was the first brewery I visited when it was a small brewery in central, east Austin. Now they’ve expanded to a huge piece of land close to the airport. In fact, you get the joy of watching airplanes fly right above your head while sitting in their outdoor space. It’s been years since I first tried craft beer and it was interesting to find my tastebuds have shifted me from liking their signature Primus to their Liberation IPA. I definitely love my hops!

Pastrami Plate at Pieous
HECK YES. I wish I could eat this all the time. (Pieous, can you please move closer?) Their pastrami is AMAZING. It’s something you put in your mouth and close your eyes as you savor the flavors. Combined with the pickles and mustard, it’s perfection. You need to try this.

Craft Beer at Lazarus Brewery
I was so surprised about this brewery and excited to be there. I loved their IPA, double IPA, and Saison. They also have a pretty tap room and plentiful patio, which will be perfect for the nicer weather we’re getting.

Bao at Heo Eatery
There’s a new Vietnamese eatery in town! The restaurant is trendy and a tad more expensive than other Vietnamese restaurants (banh mi for $10 each). I tried two of their baos (small buns), each $4. I loved the pork belly one but the beef one was a bit dry. This was my first visit, so I want to come back and try their rice boxes, as this is what is getting the best reviews.

Craft Beer at Bluebonnet Beer Company
For now, this is one of the closest breweries to me and while the brewery is small, its beers are exciting and they’ve developed many loyal fans based on the packed place. I had the double IPA (10%!) called the Immortal Ten Winchester and would gladly drink it again.

Brunch at June’s
June’s is a cute, little restaurant on South Congress. I went for brunch with my friend MJ, and we split the Café Breakfast and had June’s Punch cocktails. The breakfast plate was simple and satisfying, though I thought it was a little expensive for $16: sunny side up eggs, ham, Gruyere, English muffin, and marmalade. June’s Punch is one of their signature cocktails and has rum, brandy, absinthe, clarified milk, green tea, spices, and pandan. It tastes as interesting as it sounds!

Home-Cooked Eats
With my goal of slow cooking two new recipes a month we tried this Tom Kha Gai Soup (recipe needed more spice!) and a Korean Beef recipe (perfect and eaten with Jasmine rice!). Both are on the “would make again” list.

Austin Food Blogger Alliance 2017 City Guide
The 2017 City Guide to the best eats in Austin is now live! These are put together by Austin bloggers. I contributed three guides, so please check them out!

Recommendations from Austin Bloggers and Media

Try any new restaurants lately? Give me your recommendation!
Have a recipe I should try? Comment below!

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