Tag Archives: austin

Austin: Pizza, Tacos and Sunshine

My sister, who lives in Austin, is getting married this year. And since I don’t want to be an absentee maid of honor, I will be venturing down South several times over the next few months. The first of these visits came last weekend for her engagement party. Over my 2 days there, I ate at no fewer than three Austin establishments. The first of these, Magnolia Cafe, I’ve written about before, so we’ll skip it.

On Friday night, we piled into the car and drove down to the drag to fight the UT students for parking and then for sidewalk space. We did not fight them, however, for a booth at the Mellow Mushroom (8:00p must be when the “old” people eat). We were seated right away and each ordered something different:

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Kosmic Karma: Red sauce base with feta and mozzarella cheeses, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and Roma tomatoes with a pesto swirl.

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Mellowterranean: Olive oil and garlic base with all natural grilled chicken, onions, roasted red peppers, black olives, chives, feta and mozzarella cheeses with a side of tzatziki sauce.

austin, austin restaurants, mellow mushroom, torchys tacos, food trucks

Buffalo Chicken: Mozzarella cheese, grilled Buffalo chicken, caramelized onions, Applewood smoked bacon with a swirl of Buffalo sauce. Served with your choice of bleu cheese or ranch dressing.

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House Special: Red sauce base with mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham, Applewood smoked bacon, mushrooms, black olives, Roma tomatoes, green peppers and onions. Topped with extra mozzarella.

austin, austin restaurants, mellow mushroom, torchys tacos, food trucks

And Kate built her own salad… shout out to the ring!

The next day was February 2nd and my bestie and I were cruising around with the top down. I repeat: February 2nd, it was 73 degrees and sunny. Texas-1, New York-0.

We went to one of Austin’s favorite food trucks, Torchy’s Tacos on South 1st.

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“Damn Good Tacos” indeed.

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The Wrangler: eggs and potatoes topped with smoked beef brisket and jack cheese. Served with tomatillo salsa.

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Street Corn: Fresh roasted off-the-cob corn topped with ancho aioli, queso fresco, cilantro and dusted with New Mexico red chili powder.

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The Independent: Hand-battered and fried portobello mushroom strips, refried black beans, roasted corn, escabeche carrots, queso fresco, cilantro, and avocado. Drizzled with ancho aioli.

I must say, as someone who aspires to run a food truck one day, I know for sure that I would not make tacos in Austin. This is a market cornered by established joints like this that are, in fact, damn good. What kind of food would you like to see served from a truck?



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TGIF= Happy Hour, Ya’ll!

In celebration of Friday, I thought I’d encourage everyone to get out there and TREAT YO SELF to a beverage and/or tasty treat from your local watering hole. Here are a few of my favorite haunts:

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This is the “Windjammer” and a Peak Organic IPA

First up, we have my local Astoria bar, Blackbird’s, which specializes in craft beers and tasty appetizers. My favorite Friday afternoon treat from here is “The Windjammer,” a dip made of black beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes and onions. I also don’t mind that they serve my IPA to me in a mason jar, just like down home.

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Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls and a Harvest Wheat

Next up we have the most embarrassing of the three bars I frequent, the world famous Heartland Brewery. World-famous if you’re a tourist, that is, as these are the only folks I am ever sharing this bar with. I don’t care if it’s an over-priced NY chain, I like that they brew their own beers and these spring rolls are freaking delicious.

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These are Fried Pickles with an Icy-Cold Shiner Bock

Lastly, for the Austinites who might be reading this blog, I recommend heading a few miles north to the sexy and risqué village of Round Rock for a nice visit to the HomeField Grill. The outfits are tacky, but the brewski selection is impressive and you really can’t go wrong with pickles battered, deep fried and served to you by a bartender in a referee’s uniform.

Oh, “Home Field…”… I GET IT!

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Texas Eats, from Austin to Abliene

I spent 10 days in Texas this May, which were glorious in many ways, but specifically in the family and the food. Since nobody wants to hear me get all mushy over my family, I’ll focus on the food! I enjoyed several delicious meals during this trip, but I’ve selected three to share with you today. The first is of my very favorite restaurant in the world and a common favorite amongst Austinites: Magnolia Cafe. Mottos include: “Everyone Knows, Everyone Goes” and “Sorry, We’re Open” (they’re open 24/7).

Ever wonder what your dying meal would be? I don’t. It’s this.

Queso with black beans, pico and avocado: “Mag Mud” — We’re married.







Every meal I have here begins with their house favorite: Mag Mud. This consists of chili con queso, a Tex-Mex staple, along with black beans, pico de gallo and avocado. It’s quite simply the most delicious thing I’ve ever had anywhere. I generally continue my meal with the chicken enchiladas and I double up on the black beans cause, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t care for rice. I’ve had enchiladas all over the country, although having them all over Texas is enough to establish my credibility when I say these are the best. THE BEST.

No trip to Texas is complete without steak and potatoes…

… and a Shiner Bock!










My trip continued from Austin to Abilene to see my sister, Kate, graduate from college. I enjoyed this drive with my grandma and best friend, Velma Rae. On our first night in Abilene, Kate wanted to show off her town a little, which began with a beautiful meal at the downtown steakhouse: The Beehive Saloon. Here I enjoyed a deliciously tender strip steak with a loaded baked potato: the food of my ancestors. And, of course, no Texas trip is complete with a Shiner Bock.

An old-school country-style gospel band entertained us!

I did not take this photo, I was too hungry — Click to read the blog I borrowed it from.








A Texan through and through, Kate knew where she wanted us all to go for her graduation dinner: The Clyde Pizza House in Clyde, Texas, which has a reputation around town for being the best pizza in the area. I’m here to tell you this may be the best pizza in most areas, and I’m saying that as someone who, if not for Magnolia’s enchiladas, would choose pizza for her last meal. I know pizza and this was in my top five best pizzas ever. The crust was unlike any other I’ve had. The best part about this meal, besides the company, was the wonderful family band that played old gospel tunes… brought me right back to riding in a pickup truck as a little girl 🙂

My life and my love are in New York, but my heart remains in Texas.

We will be reunited some day.


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