Eats

Flavors of the Month: December 2017

January 3, 2018

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

I finished off 2017 with a solid month of eats in December. Thankfully, the excessive eating that usually happens around the holidays didn’t happen this year! It’s all about moderation, people. I was happy to try a new cidery (possibly my new favorite in Austin??) and of course, visiting my family for the holidays meant plenty of Chinese food. This month included Noble Sandwich Co, Taverna, Fairweather Cider Co, Veracruz All Natural, and more!

Happy Hour at Taverna (Complimentary Austin Food Bloggers Alliance Event)
Happy Holidays, indeed! Our Austin Food Bloggers Alliance had its holiday party at Taverna, an Italian restaurant in Austin. (We dined at their sister restaurant Toulouse last month.) They treated us to an array of appetizers, including bruschetta, arancini, butternut squash tortellini, pizza, and cannolis for dessert!

Mac and Cheese with Pulled Pork from Noble Sandwich Co
This mac and cheese dish has gouda and the pulled pork is tender and juicy. This is a winning combination! Noble Sandwich Co. got a new food trailer to fling their good eats outside of their two brick-and-mortar locations. On this occasion, they were a part of a private holiday party at a brewery. I don’t love mac and cheese but I loved this mac and cheese.

Breakfast at Veracruz All Natural
I gathered some of my gal pals for breakfast at the new Veracuz All Natural location in North Austin. It was busy! It would be awesome if they had 3x the seating they currently have. But the food was good (migas taco FTW) and when you order a horchata, it comes in this Big Gulp-sized cup that is probably bigger than my bladder.

Chocolate Cake at 1886 Cafe and Bakery
Ah, the infamous chocolate cake at The Driskill. It’s rich and decadent. This was also my birthday cake this year. Happy birthday to me!

Dinner at El Chipiron
I was excited to try this new Spanish restaurant in town, and this was my first visit. I liked the octopus dish, and the jamon iberico was delish. The mussels were strongly salted and the arroz negro fell flat. I’m not sure why the service was so slow. It took 45 minutes to get my cocktail and maybe they were short-staffed because the waiter wasn’t very present. Overall bummed that the food was ok and the service was subpar but I’m willing to give it another try if the opportunity arises. Maybe you will have a better experience?

Lunch at Thai Cuisine
This restaurant is next to Tomodachi and it’s always full when we’re there. I convinced Boyfriend to go try it for lunch. Pretty, pretty good. Their menu is extensive, and lunch entrees come with rice, a choice of protein, and a selection of appetizers from a buffet. I went with one of my favorite Thai dishes, Pad Kee Mao, which is stir-fried flat noodles with veggies. The Thai tea was also great!

Brunch at Copper
Janna’s gal pals and I celebrated Janna‘s birthday with brunch at Copper. I’ve seen them at a couple of foodie events and frequented their cake ball shop years ago but it was my first time dining there. Their Southwest Benedict was solid, and of course, we didn’t leave without enjoying some cake balls!

Cider Flight from Fairweather Cider Co.
A new cider place is open in Austin! I’m really excited about this place. It’s the closest cidery to me and their ciders are top-notch. They have hopped cider! A lot of ciders I’ve tried are too sweet for me and I prefer drier ciders. If you’re the same, you’ll love Fairweather Cider. Go try a flight of four ciders for $10 and get ready – cans are coming soon!

Homemade Texas Sheet Cake
I’ve been craving Texas Sheet Cake for years. I used the cocoa powder I bought in Belize and it made this incredibly rich Texas Sheet Cake.

Barbecue at Pecan Lodge (Dallas)
We happened to be in the neighborhood, so we got in right before they closed. No line! (This is one of Texas Monthly’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints in Texas.) I had high expectations. We got brisket and pork ribs to go. The brisket was disappointing (too dry) but the pork rib was good. Maybe I’ll try again if it doesn’t involve waiting in a line.

Dim Sum at Kirin Court (Dallas)
Visiting home usually means dim sum. I very rarely eat dim sum in Austin so this was a treat!

Homemade Congee
Visiting my parents means lots of homemade food! I ate plenty of congee! 🙂 Pictured are congee with fish and with chicken.

Pastries at 85°C Bakery (Dallas)
The Asian franchises are invading. From grocery stores to bakeries, these California-born establishments are setting up shop in Dallas and Houston, for better or worse. Their quality is consistent but what does this mean for the mom-and-pop stores? I’ll save that discussion for another time. I was excited to taste some great pastries from 85°C Bakery, and from how full the shop was when I was there, I wasn’t the only one. This taro-filled bun was heavenly!

Lunch at The Halal Guys
This new restaurant from New York opened a few months ago and I finally got around to checking it out. I got the gyro with rice. Good choice for a meal but after this first visit, I still like local restaurant Halal Bros more. (Pictured here are the small and large options.)

Homemade New Year’s Eve Dinner
Boyfriend and I stayed in to celebrate New Year’s Eve and made a few Thai dishes, including this pineapple shrimp fried rice!

What’s the best thing you ate last month? Comment below!

P.S. Did you see all the good things I ate in Belize?

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  • What a great month of eating! I’ve hardly tried any of the places you’ve listed somehow. Sad to hear El Chipiron fell flat, but OMG that mac and cheese from Noble looks divine!! That cidery will be high on my list after I have my baby in April!

    • Restaurants to try in Austin are endless! 🙂 Gosh, I wish I had some of that mac and cheese right now. Yes! You need to visit that cidery after April!

  • Caitlin Johnson

    What a yummy month!! I still have yet to try Noble Sandwich, but it’s next on my list 🙂

  • OK, I have no idea what Texas Sheet Cake is, but that’s looks SO GOOD.

  • So many delicious snacks! I am a little horrified that you don’t love mac & cheese, but I get it. I love it less than I used to because it’s so heavy, but mac & cheese + pulled pork is the stuff of my dreams.

    • Haha, yes, I ate so much mac and cheese in college, so I usually don’t gravitate towards it but this one was great!