On historical E. 6th Street, nestled amongst the bouncers bribing passersby with dollar shots is a hidden gem, dripping in Elvis memorabilia. I am talking, of course, about Beale Street Tavern. We held a happy hour for the
E-Learning Council in the upstairs area of the bar and it could not have gone better. The semi-private upstairs space was perfect for upwards of 25 people to comfortably mingle at the high top tables and lounge on the large leather banquettes. The Elvis décor is charming, and not at all overwhelming. We received impeccable service; the catering staff accommodated our every need and our servers were friendly and fast with a refill. While we did not have a chance to sample the Elvis-themed fare (fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, anyone?), the catering menu offers a delightful spread of bite-sized appetizers. I will happily admit to going back for seconds (ok, thirds) of the fried goat cheese fritter with raspberry chipotle sauce. As it was happy hour and the main bar downstairs was quiet, the level of the music and ambient noise was just right for our networking event. Overall, the experience was laidback and fun for our guests.
Stopped in to Roaring Fork at Stonelake Boulevard for a business lunch. What a gorgeous location–on the edge of Quarry Lake. The restaurant is quite upscale and I was expecting to blow the lunch budget. However, they have a great deal for lunch–The Texas Two Step. For $13 you can get a Cup of Soup or Pork Stew or Salad and either Grilled Salmon, Trout, or Roast Chicken. Not bad for a sit down meal in a great environment.
Roaring Fork, 10850 Stonelake Boulevard, Austin – (512) 342-2700
The soft opening of Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que on Lake Travis felt more like a family dinner than a restaurant run-through – which, to this comfort-foodie, is a very good sign. After a friendly greeting and prompt seating, my dining partner and I could not decide on which of the 4 house-brewed beers to order. Our server’s solution was to bring out a sampler of each… bless him. We opted for the Amber and Pale Ales in the end, both perfect compliments to our starter of steaming fried pickles. Being something of a fried pickle connoisseur, these spears lived up to my high standards after a few necessary minutes of cooling. The hot sauce-spiked ranch dressing was a welcome surprise for a girl who always adds some heat to America’s favorite dipping sauce.
Photos by Nicole Ryan Photography
In an attempt to try virtually every meat option on the menu, we
Gorgeous Turnips from Springfield Farms
Touch the Fish?
How Do You Roll (HDRY), is a new concept for Sushi in Austin started by the Yung brothers–Yuen and Peter. Peter was the Sushi chef at Azuma in Houston before starting this restaraunt. HDYR works to make sushi more accessible, creative and a bit less pretentious. I have heard it described as the Chipotle of Sushi.
HDRY is a design your own Sushi place. You have your choice of “traditional” (seaweed) or “modern” (soy) wraps, and several meats and “veggies” (veggies, fruit, and cream cheese) and the sauce. For me, part of the fun at Maki is being creative and non-traditional–I like my Sushi to be spicy hot so I added jalapeno’s to the soft shell crab; adding mangos to my tuna roll added a unique kick. The average tab for me at DRY is about $12–that’s a roll, an order of edamame beans and tea (I’m addicted to the lemongrass tea). Miso soup and seaweed salad is also available as is green tea ice cream. Since I’m a geeky engineering type, I was intrigued by the machines that helped prep…one to roll the rice on the wrap, another to cut the roll once it was made.
I also like that HDYR includes ingredients that make sushi more accessible to folks who won’t touch raw ingredients (or even fish)–there is cooked chicken and beef. The ordering process can be a bit confusing the first time through but after that you do get the hang of it. You can tell Maki newbies because they hang out at the beginning of the line trying to figure it all out.
HDYR is in a brand new space in the Arbor Walk Shopping center–you do have to look for it…it’s easy to just drive by. The atmosphere is contemporary casual, very clean, and has several tables outside to soak in some good weather. Service is warm, friendly and professional. I really liked the fact that they allow you to be a bit green and separate your trash–paper, plastic, glass and just trash.
10515 N. Mopac Expy, Ste A165, Austin, TX 78759, (512) 243-8298, www.maki.us.com
Our favorite Realtor, Deep Nasta from Deep in the Heart of Texas Realty sent us the Deep’s Infamous Happy Hour list with permission to use it. Add your favorite deal in the comments and I’m sure Deep will update his list.
by Joe Payton and Leslie Hall
Recently we got to attend Hudson’s on the Bend’s Cooking school at the home of Jeff Blank, owner of Hudson’s on the Bend. As you enter Jeff’s home, you immediately descended in the pool area overlooking Lake Travis. Attentive waiters kept wine and appetizers flowing freely. I anticipated an evening of slicing, chopping, and grilling, and came prepared to have my sleeves rolled up to my elbows.
After the chefs had prepped and we had sampled scrumptious appetizers all while taking in an amazing view of Lake Travis, we were ushered into stadium style seating that perched us in front of two witting, entertaining, and knowledgeable chefs. The two creative geniuses that made us both laugh and gasp were Robert Rhoades and Jeff Blank. The menu included: “deep sautéed” hot-n-crunchy shrimp; a glazed quail, prepared in a stovetop Cameron smoker (I want one!) over hickory chips, and served over a tossed baby spinach salad; and an herb butter grilled lobster tail sitting on grilled tenderloin of beef with a spicy cilantro and jalapeno hollandaise sauce.
Today we are talking to Mason Arnold, “Cookie Monster” of Greenling Organic Delivery. Greenling is an Austin based company that delivers fresh organic produce directly to your door.
AroundAustin: Mason what does Greenling Organic Delivery do?
Mason: We deliver Organic and/or Local food right to people’s door. Everything is done online. You browse just like you would at a grocery store, pick and choose what you want, then schedule it for delivery.
Our office is near Anderson Lane and Mopac and has been for twenty years. We’ve eaten at almost every restaraunt over and over and over again. Going to Jimmy John’s one more time we spotted Sasha–hmmm..interesting…the Ukranian bank teller at my bank had mentioned that was her favorite place to eat. Next time a couple of us headed out for lunch we decided to try it.
Live Austin Music, unique food, fresh, locally grown produce–the Austin Farmer’s market at Republic Square Park combines all of these ingredients every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Austin Farmer’s Market is a growers-only market with dozens of local farmers from the Central Texas Region. Generally, the market restricts its vendors to produce from a 150 mile region. At the Farmer’s Market you can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, eggs and plants. There are also plenty of prepared foods–farm products turned into jams, salsas and honey.
It was mid-morning and I was hungry so I grazed on Breakfast fajita tacos, some savory kolaches, and for dessert, fruit filled turnovers. I also sampled, some local honey, goat cheese, and the “world’s best” hot sauce (which was a rather spicy sauce with a creamy base). We bought a small piece of English Toffee Cake for dessert for the evening. For dinner, we picked up some fresh kale and fresh beets. We sauteed the kale in olive oil and garlic; the beets was made into a borscht with a lovely fresh color. Both dishes highlighted the freshness of the ingredients.
We finished our shopping at the plant vendor–they had a gorgeous basket of container strawberries and lots of fresh herbs. You get a wider variety of herbs at the Austin Farmers Market than you do at most nurseries. Also, with a guarantee that they’re locally grown insures that they will survive in the Texas climate. We ended up picking some Greek Oregano. It’s flourishing on our deck.
The Austin Farmer’s Market combines the best ingredients of the Austin lifestyle–the outdoors, live music, and great food.