Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Torchy's Tacos

Torchy's has several locations in Austin. You can count on them for fresh & creative tacos, but the star of the show is the queso. This is some of the best queso around! Spicy but not too spicy, and with all kinds of yummy stuff mixed in. Just look at it. Mmmm. Chips and queso, $4, Breakfast tacos, $2.25 each, fried avocado taco, $3, the republican taco, $3.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Ok, so Wink is a very nice, very expensive place. I don't recommend coming here unless you're ok with spending quite a bit of money- prices are high and the portions are quite small. This dinner was a belated celebration of the anniversary of our engagement. I know it doesn't make much sense to celebrate this now that we're married, but whatever. Any excuse for a nice evening out, right?

The highlight of the meal was at the end- the wink trio ($12) which is a sampling of 3 of their desserts: el rey chocolate cake, crème brûlée, and the lemon meringue pot. It was awesome to get to try the three desserts that looked most delicious to us on the menu, in small enough sizes that we weren't overwhelmed. Favorites were the chocolate cake and lemon meringue.
Wink has a nice wine selection, so we chose a white & red wine to have with our meal. The prices are all over the place- you'll be happy to know that there are several in the $5-9 range for a glass. For appetizer, we tried a salad with greens, feta, and sliced pear ($11); entrees were brown butter snapper with vegetables ($28) and beef tartare ($18). All small, but good. You may not leave feeling stuffed but you do get a food high!

One suggestion I can give you is to consider eating dinner in the bar area, which is actually a separate entrance from the restaurant. We didn't realize we had to make reservations (you have to, FYI) and the restaurant was already all booked up even though we were there pretty early for dinner. We're so glad it turned out that way, though- the restaurant didn't seem that romantically lit and the tables seemed a bit close together. The bar area had just a handful of nice white-tableclothed tables against the wall, and nice romantic lighting. I felt it was a more intimate setting than the restaurant, and you can still order from the full menu in there. You could always make a reservation for the restaurant and then take a peek into the bar to see if you'd prefer taking a table there, and make your pick!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Counter Cafe

Counter Cafe is a tiny place with great food. When you enter you think you're in for typical, basic diner food, but they go further than that. We had the crab cakes with egg ($9) and the grilled pimento cheese sandwich ($7). The crab cakes were delicious, and the grilled cheese is a must-try if you like grilled cheese sandwiches. The flavor of the cheeses with pimentos is just delicious!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Holy Cacao

The Holy Cacao trailer is strategically placed right next to Izzoz Tacos. Since Izzoz sells no desserts, of course it's hard to resist this little dessert trailer. They sell drinking chocolate, cake balls, and cake shakes. Cake shakes sound kind of horrifying to me- cake and icecream mixed together in a blender? Hmm. We tried the cake balls, only $1.50 each. Here you see the mint chocolate and dark chocolate cake ball. It's basically a small ball of cake mixed with icing covered in a chocolate coating. Honestly I prefer solid chocolate balls to ones filled with cake, but these are a cool concept.

Izzoz Tacos

Izzoz is a taco trailer in south Austin. Order some tacos at the window and then relax at a table while your tacos are whipped up for you. These tacos are delicious... I especially liked the migas taco. Below you see The Padre ($3), Portabello Shroom ($3), Ramses ($3.25), and Migas ($2.25). They put shredded fresh spinach leaves into the tacos instead of the typical iceburg lettuce.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Little City

Little City is an expresso bar and cafe downtown. They're exactly what you think of when you think of a coffee bar- quirky artwork on the walls, jazz music playing, cute little tables and uncomfortable chairs. Ryan got a bottomless cup of coffee ($2.50) and didn't have much to say about it, and I got a double shot mocha latte ($3.25) which was a mistake because I was totally wired all night. It was tasty though!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


If you drive past the strip on Guadalupe all the time like we do, you can't miss TerraBurger. It's the new place with the huge sign boasting organic burgers. We each ordered exactly the same thing: Turkeyburgers and half n half fries (half regular, half sweet potato). At $5.95 for a burger and $1.90 for fries it's pretty pricey for fast food, but it tastes pretty fresh and the interior of the place is nice and clean. The fries taste like actual potatoes and aren't as greasy & crispy as other fast food joints. They also have some natural cane sugar sodas which we didn't try because we're both sort of in a battle with cavities and the dentist right now.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Portabla's sandwiches will please you even if sandwiches make you yawn. Their panini bread is so crisp and fresh, and the combination of ingredients they put together in each sandwich creates a party for your tastebuds. I tried the turkeyburger panini ($6.99) which was a special for the day and Ryan tried the Santa Fe panini ($6.99) because we were told it was their most popular. Both delicious. We also grabbed some cookies on our way out- snickerdoodle and peanut ($1.50 each). The cookies were huge and chewy, and gone before we could take photos!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Mighty Cone

If you've ever been to Austin City Limits, you're familiar with The Mighty Cone. Created by super-expensive restaurant Hudson's on the Bend, The Mighty Cone was made to allow music festival people to sample Hudson's style for cheap. We'd never tried it at ACL because the line was always so freakin long! So when we found out they were opening a permanent stand in south Austin... we had to try it. The chicken cone ($4.95) and chicken-avocado cone ($5.95) are both quite tasty. The "crunchy" is sesame seeds, almonds, arbol chili flakes, sea salt, sugar and corn flakes. It's unlikely you've had anything prepared like this before. The sauce is also good. The chili-dusted fries ($1.25).... meh. They were ok- would have been better if served hot.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Taverna is an Italian place with locations in both DFW and Austin. They're in the restaurant area of 2nd street in Austin, and they have a nice patio in front. The only dish I've ever eaten here is the fiocchi al gorgonzola e pera ($14), which is gorgonzola and pear filled pasta with walnuts, arugula & dolce latte cream sauce. I just love this dish, and can't bring myself to stray from it... luckily I can usually try bites of everyone else's dish as well. The other dishes we sampled were: whole wheat spaghettini with turkey meatballs ($14)-in the large photo; the spicy shrimp which was a daily special ($17), pizza al salamino piccante ($13), and the Taverna tiramisu ($6). It's hard to resist tiramisu at an Italian restaurant, and this one does not disappoint.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Blue Dahlia Bistro

Blue Dahlia is one of the cutest little places I've been to in Austin. They've created a French bistro style place, complete with a small cozy interior and patios in front and back. The area in back is spacious and filled with plants (pictured below). We tried the brie with walnuts and apricot preserves tartine (in the large photo), $6.50. The best part about the tartines is the bread- it's fresh and the texture is so much better than your typical lunch sandwich. The butternut squash soup ($3.95) was also good. Other winners were the hummus with avocado & sprouts tartine ($6.50) and the bread pudding.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tam Deli & Cafe

Some of the best Vietnamese food in Austin can be found at this little restaurant. Start out with some veggie spring rolls served with spicy peanut sauce, then move on to the multitude of entree options. Everything was tasty. Unfortunately we didn't get to try the cream puff dessert that gets rave reviews- they were already sold out of them for the day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Oaxacan Tamaleo

Oaxacan Tamaleo is often rated the best tamales in the Austin area. These tamales are homemade and delicious. They're $3 each, and you can choose from bean & cheese, chicken or pork. They can be ordered from the website or you can find them at the 2nd street farmer's market or Sunset Valley farmer's market every Saturday.