Austin, Texas has seen incredible growth over the last decade, in both the number of new residents and new businesses opening their doors. In particular, the area on South Lamar within walking distance of the Alamo Drafthouse has seen an explosion of hip bars and restaurants. I’ve witnessed this first hand, since moving to the neighborhood in 2009 and seeing something new and exciting pop up every couple of months.
Now with so many things to eat and drink on South Lamar, you no longer have to go downtown to 6th street, the warehouse district, or Rainey Street to get your nightlife fix. If you want a low-key night out, you can park once on South Lamar, then walk to more than a dozen restaurants and bars within 2 blocks of each other. What’s better, all of the parking is free and you don’t have to deal with huge crowds.
Discover great food and drink on South Lamar in Austin, Texas!
Subscription services are everywhere now. You can get groceries, clothes, pet toys, wine, and even ammo delivered to you in the comfort of your own home. Why not coffee? If you’re even a minor coffee lover (coffee liker?) like me, you have to buy it from the store anyways… right?
I’ve recently tried a couple of coffee subscription services (some call it “coffee of the month”) that deliver craft coffee to see what its is all about.
Learn if coffee delivery services are for you
Last week, fellow Tasting Bud Peter and I attended a small gathering at the recently open Haddingtons (Link to Menu), new restaurant in downtown Austin. Prior to the event, I looked at the restaurant website, which described it as “an American tavern with rustic cuisine”, bringing to mind hearty, season-inspired meals and a beer selection rivaling the best pubs in town. They had not yet posted a menu (see full menu below), so I was excited to see what Chef Zack Northcutt had created.
Click here to read more about Haddingtons
The day after Christmas is usually devoid of any food activity. After eating my way through the holidays, it is usually on this day that I vow to “eat better” or some other kind of nonsense. Unfortunately, this thinking was short lived as the @tastingbuds twitter stream was flooded with tweets about opening night at Second Bar + Kitchen(Link to Menu), David Bull’s latest creation. Click here to read the full review.
It’s a good time for Japanese food lovers in Austin. No matter where you live in the capital of Texas, there’s bound to be a Sushi restaurant nearby – especially downtown. Of course, not all Japanese restaurants are created equal, but for a medium sized city, Austin has it’s fair share of high end sushi.
Recently, the TastingBuds were invited to a sake tasting dinner at the well known and respected Kenichi on 5th and Congress. The reason for the celebration? The Austin branch of Kenichi has a new sake sommielier and they wanted to highlight the their vast sake selection and their ability to pair each type of sake with their creative and delicious food offerings.
How did the food taste and how were the sake pairings? Click on through to find out
Last Friday we had the privilege of participating in a Maker’s Mark bourbon tasting event at Frank. Maker’s Mark is a Kentucky based distillery that focuses their entire production facility to making just one product, the well known Maker’s Mark bourbon. That is until now.
The reason for the little event put on by Evins Communications, Ltd and Maker’s Mark was to give the Austin blogging community a preview of their new product, Maker’s 46. So what is Maker’s 46?
Hit the link to read the tasty details!
Every fall, I look forward to my favorite sport. Fans in burnt orange and white gather in droves, excitement fills the air, and beer is the ideal breakfast. That’s right, it’s tailgate time! Now, you might ask: tailgate, a sport…really? Yes, yes it is. Especially when you bring together a team of foodies, sports junkies, musicians, home brewers, and a techie or two.
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One of my friends recently posted the following on his Facebook status: Prosecco is the new Rosé. While I love this sparkling Italian wine, and drink it quite often, I can’t imagine it will ever fully replace the rosé. Rosés are among the Fooding bloggers’ favorite summer wines, and we have featured several in Jon’s Random Wine Wednesday posts. Incidentally, Jon took a short hiatus from writing while he prepared for final exams, but Random Wine Wednesdays will return next week.
So what happens when our resident wine geek is swamped with grad school finals? Well, he sends a couple of stand-ins to the Chrontourage** Rosé tasting event and hopes for the best. Peter and I were absolutely happy to comply, and just one look at our score card (pictured above) will show you how much fun we had with this assignment. I had two things in mind as we tasted each wine: whether I would purchase it and what type of meal it would accompany. Since we shared a score card, the writing is tiny and pretty undecipherable, so see some of our tasting notes below.
- Segura Viudas Brut Rosé – Spanish Cava; we both loved it and would definitely purchase
- Chateau de Campuget Rosé – Neither of us were impressed; nothing distinctive about this wine
- Cruz de Piedra Rosé – This one was ok, but neither would purchase
- Gran Fuedo Rosé – Strong alcohol aroma; would not purchase
- Marques de Caceres Rosé – Another one with an alcohol aroma; would not purchase
- Mulderbosch Rosé – a Fooding blog favorite; would definitely purchase
- Goats Do Roam Rosé – light and fresh; would purchase
- Becker Provencal Rosé – Crisp and refreshing, with pear and strawberry notes; would purchase
- Columbia Crest Two Vines Rosé – I thought it was a little on the sweet side, but Peter said it was well balanced; would purchase
- Menage A Trois Rosé – another sweet one; would purchase; distinctive berry flavors
The wine tasting occurred just in time to get us through the final stretch of this never ending 100 degree summer. The very knowledgeable staff at Twin Liquors in the Hancock Center walked us through the tastings, answering questions and providing bits of information we would not have known otherwise.
One final note: Prosecco, I love you, but Rosé will always be my summer fling.
** Chrontourage = the Austin Chronicle’s promotions team + fearless leader Logan Youree
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Ok, I admit it. I am a geek. This fact is evidenced by, but not limited to, the following: I love to watch British Sci-Fi shows like Dr. Who and Torchwood; I recently purchased the original Star Wars soundtrack – on vinyl; I think Joss Whedon is brilliant; and I really wish I had tickets to Comic-Con last weekend.
My geekiness extends, of course, to my choice in novels, with authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Douglas Adams, and J.K. Rowling occupying prominent places on my bookshelf. Naturally, I have eagerly awaited the movie version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince pretty much since the book was published. Having re-read Half-Blood Prince, the story was fresh in my mind, and I was ready to see these beloved characters on screen. My plan was to see the film in its opening week at Alamo Drafthouse, because – as I’ve mentioned many times before – a pint of beer makes everything better.
I missed the infamous Hobbit Feast which accompanied the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so I was more than thrilled to find out about the Hogwarts Academy Feast to be presented with the screening of Half-Blood Prince. The five course meal was inspired by the start of term feast enjoyed by Hogwarts students at the beginning of each book.
While I adore Alamo Drafthouse for their admirable beer list and usual fare, I was slightly apprehensive when I saw the menu for the Feast. I was unsure how a kitchen which always produces such great pizza and fries would handle a terrine. After a gracious welcome from Chef John Bullington, the room turned dark and our first course arrived.
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I have lived in Texas my entire life, so I shouldn’t be surprised that we have had 10 straight days of 100+ degree temperatures here in Austin. On toasty days like these, nothing is more thirst quenching than a nice sparkling wine, served chilled.
This week’s pick is a Spanish sparking wine, or Cava. Sparkling wine goes by many different names around the world. The most common sparkling wine is Champagne, which comes from the Champagne region in France. In Italy, they call their sparkling wines Prosecco. In California, they call their sparkling wine, well sparkling wine. You get the picture.
Random Criteria: Sparkling wine that has a crown somewhere on the label
Wine: 2005 Marques de Gelida Cava Brut Reserva
Origin: Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Spain
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Price: < $15 (From Costco)
Notes: This cava was the perfect way to end another 100 degree day. The nose (smell) of the wine was predominantly fresh cherries. When you take the first sip of wine, the bubbles and the mild acidity dance across your tongue. The first thing I tasted was strawberry, then as entered my second glass, the wine smelled and tasted like fresh flowers. This cava is classified as a Brut, therefore the wine has almost no residual sugar (it is not sweet). If you are looking for a sweeter sparkling wine, look for the word “dry” on the label (I know, it’s a bit confusing). This cava is going to go quite well with the shrimp I am grilling for dinner today. Enjoy!
What are your thoughts?