Flavors of the Month: January 2018

February 6, 2018

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

Happy Hour at Yuyo
I couldn’t have started off the year better than with a fantastic first visit at Yuyo. It’s been a while since I’ve been excited and pleased with a new restaurant opening, and this new Peruvian restaurant on the east side is a shining star. How come? The staff exudes enthusiasm and expertise about Peruvian cuisine and the food has the chops to back up their enthusiasm. I would order every dish again. On our table: Yuquitas (fried yuca cheese sticks), Causa Nacional (kind of like chicken salad), Cebiche Clasico (love the addition of yuyo – seaweed), chifles (plantain chips), and ended with a Lucuma Sundae. There’s a reason why you keep hearing about this restaurant lately. It’s new and it’s the real deal.

Dinner at Mirchi
My first experience at Mirchi a few months ago had me giggling because we felt like fish out of water. The menu is a list of dishes with no descriptions, and the first time around, we had a hard time understanding our server, so we ended up picking some random dishes and got one dish that was way too spicy. But dang, the food was good. So, we went back. This time was a little less awkward since we knew what to expect. We also got a different server who was able to explain the dishes more. The food was fantastic again and we laughed saying, “remember the first time we came here and were so lost?” Adventures, guys. Live for the adventures. Oh, and if you come here, I recommend the roti and goat korma. If you’re not a fan of goat, they have other proteins to chose from on the menu.

Lunch at La Barbecue
Back when La Barbecue was a trailer… 😉 They moved to their brick-and-mortar spot inside Quickie Pickie not too long ago, and their barbecue is still top-notch. Brisket gets a lot of glory but if you’re looking for the good stuff, get the beef ribs. Because it is ginormous and delicious. I didn’t love the potato salad but the mac and cheese was piping hot melted cheese with pasta shells and I’m not sure you can go wrong there. But the meat is magic.

Brunch at Rapscallion (Dallas)
A quick weekend trip to Dallas in January included brunch at Rapscallion, a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try. I’m a fan of their sister restaurant Boulevardier in the Bishop Arts District. I went for the Smoked Chicken Hash plus a biscuit on the side. It wasn’t the best brunch ever but I enjoyed it. That biscuit was my favorite part.

Pastries at Village Baking Co. (Dallas)
I’m glad this bakery is not in Austin because I would definitely have a major problem. (Because I love pastries.) You’ll know you’ve come to the right place when you breathe in the comforting and captivating smells of baked goods as you walk in. Now, try not to buy one of everything. I’m a sucker for croissants and kouign amann, and they are fantastic. It’s going to be hard not to make this a regular spot when I visit Dallas!

Legacy Food Hall (Dallas) and Unlawful Assembly Brewing Company (Dallas)
Dallas got a new food hall and it’s beautiful. It’s next to a busy outdoor shopping mall, so it can be a little chaotic, but parking is free and somewhat plentiful if you don’t mind walking for it. This food hall has more than 30 food stalls, including some favorites like Monkey Noodle Company and Glazed Donuts, indoor and outdoor seating, AND a microbrewery at the very top. Veeeerry impressive. I liked my Blind Justice IPA.

Gelateria Gemelli
Here again. Not sad about it! Dark chocolate and salted caramel were a great combination.

HayleyCakes and Cookies
I’ve been following HayleyCakes and Cookies, an Austin bakery, on the IG for a while. Their cookies are so beautifully decorated! Well, lucky me, my friend Janna brought me a cookie and I scarfed it down and yes, it was everything I hoped and dreamed. So, if you need some custom cookies made or if you can swing by their shop out on 2222, check them out!

Pierogi at Austin Pierogi
I grew up eating and loving dumplings. They were the Chinese kind, but I know a dumpling and this is the kind of dumpling I didn’t know I wanted. A pierogi is a Polish dumpling and this one had potato and cheese, a winning combination. Find these at the farmers markets around town!

Circle Brewing Co. and Girl Scout Cookies
Circle Brewing hosted a beer and Girl Scout cookie pairing event and it was a hit! Their pairings were spot on. My friend Caitlin put together a beer and Girl Scout cookie pairing guide for you – enjoy!

Austin jumped into the food hall fun with the opening of Fareground. It features a beautiful space, outdoor and indoor seating, a bar, and seven of Austin’s best restaurants. Pastries, tacos, cheese, and even sushi are available. Read more details here. As I mentioned in my Instagram post, I was frustrated by downtown parking. It’s good to know their parking garage is $3 for 30 minutes with validation, which is reasonable compared to the regular $7 for 30 minutes.

I also said that you can get a better experience with the restaurants at their original location. These restaurants are some of the best in town and some of them (minus Antonelli’s and Easy Tiger) are essentially providing a different product here. It’s different when you sit down in a restaurant, order from a waiter, and get the full experience. Fareground is great if you want to try a bunch of bites from each place.

Pictured are shortrib salad from Henbit, bites from Ni-Kome, and pastries from Easy Tiger.

Craft Beer at Southern Heights Brewery
New brewery in Austin! I mentioned this brewery when I went to the Texas Craft Brewers Festival last September. Little did I know that it is IPA central! They have three of them on tap and my favorite in name and taste is ‘Dave’s not here, man.’ I like their desert chic vibes with the ombre décor. It reminds me a little of Zilker Brewing. Great addition on the east side. It’s looking more and more like craft breweries are minutes away from wherever you are in Austin. 😉

Snacks at Mongers
If you like seafood and haven’t been to Mongers yet, this restaurant should be at the top of your list! I know I’ve talked about them before and with every visit, I like it more and more.

Fairweather Cider Co.
This cidery opened in December and I can’t get enough. They’ve got dry ciders that aren’t overly sweet and are constantly releasing new flavors. Get you some.

Food News

What’s one thing (food/restaurant) I should try this month?

P.S. Want to volunteer in Austin? Check out these culinary-related opportunities.

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