Saturday, February 28, 2009


Fiesta is a Texas grocery store with two locations in Austin. It's great because of its cheap prices on a variety of stuff and extensive international section. You can also get great deals on produce, like $3.99 for a huge bag of grapefruit.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Yogurt Planet

Yogurt Planet is one of several new yogurt places that have sprung up around town just in time for winter + a stagnant economy. Surprisingly enough, these shops all seem to be getting quite a steady flow of business... maybe because the whole choose-your-own-yogurt thing is just so awesome. Yup, this place also lets you choose from a variety of flavors and toppings that you serve into your own cup. So good... and so guilt free!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hyde Park Bar & Grill

Hyde Park Bar & Grill was actually one of the first places we tried in Austin. We stumbled upon it while exploring the Hyde Park area in central Austin. They have a variety of dishes, salads, sandwiches & pasta. Their fries have been voted best in Austin because of the delicious batter they're fried in. It's right next to Dolce Vita, so you can go over there and relax on the patio with some coffee after dinner. We had a turkey burger ($5.95) with a side of their award winning fries ($1.95), and blackened catfish with cajun seasonings which came with a side (collard greens) and fries ($10.95). Everything recommended!

Another one!

Yes, there's another Austin Restaurant Week coming up. I always thought the point of restaurant weeks was to have one special week per year, not five. But hey! What do I know? I'm certainly not going to complain. Anyway, during restaurant week, you can enjoy gourmet 3 or 4 course meals at some of the nicest restaurants in Austin for fixed prices of $25 or $35. See the website for a list of restaurants and their menus. This time they're also introducing "nightcaps" at participating bars during the restaurant week dates. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the food bank-- so go, and eat up!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Grapevine Market

Grapevine is not far from our home in central/north Austin, and we found out they have free wine tastings every Friday from 5-8 PM and Saturday from 12-6 PM... so of course we were there as soon as possible! This place is great, it's filled with all kinds of wines in all price ranges. They've also got a large selection of liquor and beer. Their weekly wine tastings are a great time to sample some of the wines they have in the store before buying, and they have live music during their Saturday tastings. It's a fun stop before a dinner out.

The Melting Pot

Fondue.. yum. Why does The Melting Pot seem to have a lock on the fondue market in every city I've lived in? I don't know, but they do it pretty well. The Melting Pot has two locations in Austin- north Austin and downtown. Cheese fondue, all kinds of entree fondues, salads, and the best part: dessert fondue. It's on the pricey side, be prepared to spend at least $20 each on the entree, around $15 for cheese fondue or dessert fondue for two people. Definitely worth it for special occasions!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Samurai Sam's

Samurai Sam's is a major chain.. in fact, I first tried this place in California. I still had to blog about it because it's such quick and easy yet healthy fast food. They have Teriyaki bowls with white or brown rice, veggies & chicken. They've also got soba noodle bowls, and various other entrees. Just about everything is under $6, and everything is guilt-free fast food.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Smoothie Factory

Smoothie Factory is a smoothie & nutrition store in north Austin. They occasionally have 50% off all smoothies specials, so try calling and asking if they're having a special. We got two HUGE fruit smoothies for less than $3 each. Both tasty. The store also has a bunch of supplements and stuff for bodybuilding and weight loss. So it's kind of a GNC + Jamba Juice all rolled into one.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Banderas, a "Texas Bistrot" is the restaurant in the Renaissance hotel at the Arboretum. It serves fine dining American food, with a Texas twist on some of the dishes. For example, the rolls they brought out before the meal had jalapenos in them. Everything we tried was wonderful. The red snapper with lemon butter sauce ($21), side of mashed potatoes ($3), pork tenderloin with apples and braised red cabbage ($22). After the entrees we had a chocolate torte cake ($7) which you see below. It was so good... really too good, cause we boxed up half of it to bring home before we used up all our guilty pleasure points for the day.


If you're in the mood for good quality Tex-mex but want it quick and don't want to spend a lot, Changos is a good place to come. You order at the counter and the food is ready fast, but the quality is good- the tacos & sauces are all really tasty. Most tacos cost around $2.50, it just depends on what you get on it. We also tried the queso, which was $3.95.

Slices and Ices

Slices and Ices is in the strip across from campus on Guadalupe. You can get delicious slices of NY style pizza here, or order a medium or large pizza to take home. A regular slice of pizza is $2.55, and a lemonade ice is $1.75. They also have soft serve ice cream and other Italian treats like Calzones.