Moved: The Omelettry

photo(12)

photo(11)

This has been a long time coming, but it’s still sad to see a business that is so iconic closing down shop. The good news is, it will still be in Austin, but the cute little muraled building (above) at 4811 Burnet Road will no longer be its home.

The Omelettry is moving a little further north (and closer to me!) to 4631 Airport Blvd. (right). Yes, it will be in a shopping center and yes, it seems it is keeping with its cash only policy. I am hoping that in its new location I’ll think of it more often.

I’ve always loved the bright oilcloth tables, the laid-back atmosphere and the old-timey feel and I can’t wait to try the new restaurant, which opens this month. The menu includes lots of omelettes of course, but also, pancakes, oatmeal, granola, French toast, huevos rancheros and more.

I wish I had gotten to say goodbye to the old location, but alas, it was not meant to be. See you on the flip side, The Omelettry!

Stock Your Bar: Liquor Cabinet

 
04182015_Tiffany_sHouse_OhSpooning_0033

04182015_Tiffany_sHouse_OhSpooning_0009I first started drinking after I turned 21, so I was way behind the majority of people in knowing how the whole thing worked. Since I didn’t know what I liked or didn’t like, I’d end up just ordering whatever the person next to me ordered and hope for the best. Needless to say, stocking my bar did not come easily either.

To make it a little easier for others looking to have a well-stocked bar for quick cocktails, we’ve made a video of the five liquors you should have on hand for quick, easy cocktails regardless of whether you’re throwing a party or just have a few friends dropping by.

Our recommendations include:

  • Tequila
  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • Rum
  • Whiskey


This is a part of a video series on liquors and cocktails. Look out for our videos coming up on tools of the trade, pouring a neat drink and how to make your own simple syrups!

 

Mueller: Xian

Located in the Mueller development near the H-E-B gas station, Xian is a quiet little restaurant to grab a quick bite to eat. Whether on the run with coworkers, or meeting a friend for lunch, stop in here.

The ambiance is nice and casual, with black granite tables and a bar almost the length of the small restaurant. I especially like that there are mostly booths, as it feels more intimate. I loved the  black and white mural all along the opposite wall from the bar. xiang muralMy instinct was to get sushi, but with my coworkers both getting noodles, I decided to go with the pack. I got the fried noodles from the lunch menu ($7.95), which comes with miso soup. Allison got the vegetable noodle soup from the regular menu, which also looked delicious ($8.50). The noodles are hand pulled and you get to choose from six different kinds: Vermicelli, Spaghetti, Thick Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Pappardelle and Triangle.

xiang fried noodles

The waitress informed us that the only difference is the texture. I got vermicelli, which is a very thin pasta. If you like spice, you’re definitely going to have to add your own, but the homemade chili oil provided is delicious.

The only drawback is parking—we definitely had to go round and round for parking, but if you park on the street side, you may have better luck.xiang noodle bowl

Love: Fresh noodles and great lunch and happy hour specials.

Xian
www.xianfresh.com
1801 E 51st St, Austin, TX 78723
(512) 469-7878
xiansn51@gmail.com

Hours
Mon.–Sat. Lunch 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.; Dinner 5 p.m.–10 p.m.
Sun. noon-9 p.m.

If you’re in northwest Austin, Xian recently opened a location near 620 and US 183 behind the IHOP:

Allandale: Elevation Burger Closed

Allandale: Elevation Burger Closed

I’m never a big fan of restaurants closing, but the good news here is: Elevation Burger in the Arboretum is still open.

I have to admit, I only visited this location at the Northcross Mall Shopping Center once—mainly because it was next door to Tarka, which I have already said I’m a big fan of. But, I am glad Elevation Burger is still kicking at Great Hills, because they stand for some of the same things I do:

  • 100% organic, grass-fed organic beef
  • Fresh fries cooked in olive oil
  • Recycled waste

Plus, the burgers and fries taste great. They also have two veggie burger options. I’ve talked myself into making a visit. I hope you support them, too.

photo(2)

The open location is:

(512) 608-4054

South Austin: Chi’ Lantro BBQ

How cute are these?

How cute are these?

Editor’s Note: OhSpooners received free appetizers as part of the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance monthly happy hour.

If you’ve never had Chi’ Lantro BBQ, you’re in for a real treat! This Korean barbecue-inspired joint began as a food truck, bringing kimchi fries to the masses at events such as Blues on the Green and ACL Music Festival. Now the food truck is a full-fledged restaurant at 1509 South Lamar in South Austin and soon to open a location in the former Man Bites Dog location at 5222 Burnet Road, which closed in March.

We recently attended AFBA’s monthly happy hour for free apps. It was a much smaller affair than we’ve had the last few times, which was wonderful because we could actually talk to our fellow food bloggers about what they’ve been up to.

Since we’d only had Chi’ Lantro from food trucks previously, we got to try some new additions to the extended restaurant menu, including kimchi fried rice balls ($6), k-pops ($7.50 for 6; $20 for 20) and guac and chips ($6.50). You can still find their truck locations on their website.

While the kimchi fries are always going to be the main staple for me, I must say the kimchi fried rice balls will be added to the repertoire. Antonio said the chicken wings (aka k-pops) were like butter dissolving in your mouth—and who doesn’t love butter? One was spice, the other not so spicy, so you get your choice between gangnam sauce or honey butter.

It’s kind of a small restaurant, but it wasn’t busy for happy hour, so you should be able to easily chill with a few friends after work.

Love: Kimchi fries and fried rice balls as well as the clean, happy atmosphere and nice staff. And that a new location will be coming to my ‘hood soon!

Allandale: Tarka Indian Kitchen

TarkaThe modern-looking Tarka Indian Kitchen can be found in the Northcross Mall Shopping Center behind Dos Batos Tacos near Ross.

This is one of my go-to places when it comes to grabbing dinner to-go after a long, hard day of work.

It’s casual enough to not feel weird if you’re in your workout clothes, but nice enough to go for a date. They have comfortable bar stools at a counter for those waiting for to-go orders and they are pretty fast. They usually offer a water glass during your wait, too. If you don’t want to wait, order ahead online. You could also order a glass of wine for your short wait.

I pretty much always get the same thing—Dhingri Mattar Paneer. It’s a tomato sauce, with paneer, mushrooms and peas, and, of course, spices. Here you can order mild, medium or spicy. I prefer medium as spicy is really spicy, but the mild almost tastes like tomato sauce.

If you’re feeling really hungry, throw in some vegetable samosas and an order of garlic naan. You’re looking at about $15 for the whole kit and caboodle.

Love: Quick, fast solution that always tastes good and is so easy to take home.

Tarka North Austin
2525 W. Anderson Lane
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 323-0955

Hours
Sun.–Thu. 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

The Sailor Jerry Gallery at SXSW 2015

I know SXSW is always fun!

But this Sailor Jerry party is a great treat that is not your standard listen to music party that you get at SXSW.

Sailor Jerry’s Rum is hosting an art gallery this week.

Swing in in and see some great American art from a true national treasure!

unnamed

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Wheat Pancakes with Chokecherry Jelly

imageWhen you’re a food blogger you tend to get food gifts from people. Not just for Christmas or your birthday, but for other reasons, too. Here—this made me think of you. Here—I think you should try this. Or in this case—Here, I have no idea what to use this for.

That’s how I came across chokecherry jelly from New Mexico. My co-worker, Frank likes to vacay in New Mexico while we’re on break. Recently, he bought a jar of chokecherry jelly and brought it home only to realize he wasn’t sure what to do with it. A few months went by and he decided to give it away—to me. Not a problem. I can find something to do with it, I told him. Then I told him if I were him, I would have made a stuffed grilled pork and drizzled the sauce over the meat (you know, if I ate meat). I could see the internal struggle on his face: Should I ask for the jelly back and make the pork? That sounds really good. But, alas, he had already given it away and he allowed me to keep this interesting gift.

Finally, this morning I prepared some wheat pancakes. A craving I rarely have, but, hey, everyone’s entitled to pancakes on occasion, I suppose. So, I whipped up these babies from Freckleberry Fit.

Then I realized I was completely out of maple syrup. How did that happen? I considered using molasses, but then I did a quick taste and decided that would be a bit much. I wasn’t about to run to the store before 7 a.m., so I kept digging through my pantry. Lo and behold, I finally rested my eyes on the chokecherry jelly. Well, I’ll give it a try, I thought. The consistency was already smooth and runny, so it was soaked up by the cakes immediately. I drenched the pancakes in it, as that’s the only way I eat them, and then I took a bite. Yum. That was just right.

So, in the rare chance someone went to New Mexico and gifted you with chokecherry jelly, no need to fret. Just make some pancakes and you are set!

Sake to Me: The three types of sake and other things I learned from Sushi Zushi

 photo(1)        Editor’s Note: OhSpooning received free food and sake from Sushi Zushi.

The Austin Food Bloggers Alliance happy hour for February was at the downtown Austin location of Sushi Zushi this month. In addition to providing food, the friends at Sushi Zushi also gave a quick Saki 101 class to the attendees.

Sake 101

photo(8)

There are three different kinds of sake, according to Sushi Zushi: Daijingo, Ginjo and Junmai.

The difference between the three are the amount of rice that has been polished away. The three above are listed in order of most polished away to least polished. You should be able to tell how polished the glass based on how clear the sake is. We used a white sheet of paper held behind the glasses to see which had more and less. We also tried nigori (meaning cloudy), which is less expensive and has a lot of rice left in it—it tastes a bit like rice milk, except with alcohol. You can try sake much like you would try wine, from swirling the glass to smelling the sake with an open mouth—the same rules apply!

I enjoyed meeting Christine from Smoked Salt and Pepper and her friend in graduate school for journalism. Christine is new to AFBA and they were a lot of fun to sit with during the tasting.

Sushi

photo(10)

When I first got to the happy hour, there were an overwhelming amount of people in the room and many were jumping at the food. Once we finished the sake tasting, the room had died down enough for us to try some of the many samplings that were offered. I couldn’t tell you the name of a single thing that was served, but I can say it was all delicious. Sushi Zushi is good at adding many flavors while still allowing for you to taste the fish. photo(4)They also have some great edamame appetizers with different sauces.

photo

Whether you’re downtown or in the Domain area, I’d recommend Sushi Zushi as a happy hour spot!

photo(11)

That Takes the Cake Show 2015: Where sugar meets art

That Takes the Cake Show 2015: Where sugar meets art

Another year of the That Takes the Cake Show in Austin has come and gone.

Location
This year, they found a new location, Round Rock Sports Center. It was a fabulous space! Even though it did make eating in Austin a bit more difficult, it was a great place to have it (And gave us a reason to finally try Jack Allen’s Kitchen, not once, but thrice). The layout was much more open than it has been in the last few years and more like it was the first year we went at the Travis County Expo Center.

Trends
There were many cakes this year—and such good ones. One trend seems to be painting on canvas, which is a technique I would love to try. There were a couple upside down cakes, which I am not too crazy about, since they tend to lean. Also, several Rapunzel cakes were in one category. I didn’t notice as many realistic animal cakes this year as I’ve seen in the past, but the catfish cake was incredible.

Classes
I took a mini Lambeth method class that was supposed to be a beginner’s class, but turned out so, so hard. When my mom and I left, I almost wet my pants I was laughing so hard at how funny it was. The very nice teacher kept asking, do you love it yet? And all I could think was, heck no! I have no idea what is going on! Maybe after I learn some basic piping I’ll go back to the Lambeth method, but for now, it’s a bit over my head. My mom kept looking over at me asking me questions, like I had a clue. Ha. We had no clues. Looking back at our cakes, they don’t look THAT bad, but they weren’t great either (hers was better than mine).

Mom’s Entries
Chef Bren had two entries in advanced novelty multi-tier cakes. One was a forest scene with a little birdie on top and one was an undersea cake. The under sea cake won second place. Her birdie cake did not place, but at least this time the judges did not tell her her bird was too fat. She keeps telling everyone: Everyone tells me my birdie is fat, just like the doctor told me my baby was too fat (that would be me). She said they are hurting my feelings, but I say me and the birdie are both cute as we are!The next cake show is the North Texas Cake Show, so if you’re going to enter, you better get started! Meanwhile, enjoy the cakes below.