One of my goals for 2015 is to eat in Monday through Thursday to help me eat healthier and save money. I did pretty well: 6 or 7 times out of 16 nights this month I ate out and many of those occasions were to meet up with friends – aka time/money well spent in my opinion! It helps that my boyfriend is really good at eating in and we make dinner together (truth: he’s usually the brains and talent behind what we make) during the week instead of going out. Even though I’m keeping with my goals, I did have some great flavors, dishes, and meals this month. Here are some highlights:
Orange Breakfast Buns at January Brunch Club
As I mentioned in my recent captivations post, some of my lady friends and I started a brunch club and January’s meeting was a delicious success. I made Smitten Kitchen Orange Breakfast Buns and they were gooey and flavorful.
Everything at Kin & Comfort
We gathered six friends, ordered almost one of everything and went to town. Pictured are two of my favorites: Tom Kah Shrimp & Grits and Pork Belly Buns. I also love the catfish fries and Peppered Beef Tongue.
Dinner at The Peached Tortilla
They’ve opened up a brick-and-mortar! We had Kimchi Arancini Balls, Crispy Umami Chicken Wings, Lush Pork Belly Bowl, Southern Fun (brisket rice noodle stir fry), Singapore Fling (coconut tapioca, grilled Asian pear, lime zest, palm sugar syrup) and the Banana Nutella Spring Rolls (fried). A tasty meal and I can’t wait to go back!
Hot Pot Feast at Shabu
There were some struggling winter days in Austin in January. For this Texan, I bundled up and ate as much comfort food as possible. Hot pot or fondue is one of my favorite things I ate with my family when it was cold, so I had to satisfy the craving. We got spicy and tomato broths, and our hot pot ingredients were shrimp, enoki mushrooms, fish balls, baby bok choy, tofu skin, and crown daisies. I would also recommend the red chili wontons as a starter!
Happy Hour Bites at Cover 3
Media happy hour at Cover 3’s downtown location! Some of the bites I enjoyed: mac and cheese, seared ahi tuna, Reuben sandwich, Allandale salad, and chicken wings. The Strawberry Basil is my go-to drink. Cover 3 is a great place to watch a sports game and enjoy good (fancier than wings and pizza) food. I think of it as an upscale sports bar.
Noble Pig Sandwich, Mac and Gouda with Brisket and Brussels Sprouts, and Swine Burger at Noble Sandwich
I have a list of Austin places I need to visit for the first time and Noble Sandwich was one of them. I know. After trying their dishes at many food events, I finally made it. I got the Noble Pig, which I won’t order again, but my friend Aaron’s Swine Burger was very good.
Ironman Omelet, Hashbrowns, and French Toast at Cafe Java
One of my favorite weekend breakfast spots is this tucked-away bistro in North Austin. The place is cozy, decorated with art for sale on the walls, and always has a wait for weekend breakfast. No frills and always good eats. Their Hill Country Special (biscuits and gravy, sausage, hashbrowns, and eggs) is one of my favorites but I decided to mix it up this time with an omelet. The hashbrowns are always my favorite. If you’re here for lunch or dinner, try the Cobb salad.
The things I ate that made it to my stomach before my camera:
Dinner Party: my friend Dan recently bought a much-anticipated sous vide machine so he had some friends over for dinner to show us the magic. He made Sous Vide Ribeye, Abby made mashed potatoes, Sarah made vegetables gratin, I made a brown sugar spice cake, and of course we had plenty of wine. It was a night of full bellies and happy hearts!
Gardner: boyfriend and I finally made it to Gardner after much excited talk. (We love our vegetables!) I liked what we ate (brussels sprouts, raw beef, cabbage, gnudi, dry-aged beef and the Japanese pumpkin dessert), but we agreed the restaurant was lacking spark and was less approachable than we had hoped. We’re glad we tried it though.
Xian Noodles: Back again! You can’t go wrong with the stir-fried noodles. The fresh hand-pulled noodles are one of the best things I ate this month!
What eats/drinks were your favorite this month?