About Antonio Delgado

Posts by Antonio Delgado:

City Guide: Sarah’s Mediterranean Grill And Market

When you run a food blog, people seem to think you are a guru in the world of food. Maybe I relish in letting my friends think that I am the all-knowing. Maybe it’s a facade. Or maybe, I truly enjoy food and finding hiding gems in the city.

Over the past, the Spooners have stepped away from restaurant reviews and have leaned more on spirits, recipes, food memories and feeding creativity.  A large number of blogs do reviews better than we do. But when the Spooners get excited about a food establishment, we get excited! Overjoyed, even.

Sarah’s Mediterranean is a diamond in the rough. A number of Austin establishments pride them selves with unique fusion cuisine and gorgeous yet disenchanted service. Sarah’s is nothing like that. Tucked away on Burnett between 51st and Keonig, you can Sarah’s in the same shopping center as Man Bites Dog. Visually, Sarah’s is both a grill and a market. Not a far stretch from a layout of any major grocer that has an eatery – just on a smaller scale and less glitch. By that, I mean that anyone, in any attire could feel comfortable.

Sarah’s reminds me of going over the your aunt’s house. She will greet you with a smile on her face and hug you if she isn’t standing on the other side of the counter. Her and her family use well rehearsed and silly banter to disarm even the most hard-hearted. Side note: Any front-of-the-house manager or server could learn or be reminded of a thing or three from Sarah and her family and their interactions with customers.

As for the food, Sarah and her family cook well spiced and tasty Mediterranean dishes. Everything from Lamb Shank to my personal favorite, the rotisserie chicken. I am not kidding when I say that I eat the chicken at least twice a week. All dishes are prepared Halal. A number of places in Austin are trying hard to stand out but Sarah’s has leaned on the other end of the spectrum by doing what they love and doing it well.

By now, you might have figured out that Sarah’s is the place I recommend the most. “It’s been a long day at work, where do I go?” Head to Sarah’s. “I need a paleo meal to go.” Sarah’s in the answer. “What about a first date.” Sarah’s is perfect. Needless to say, I believe that Sarah’s in the answer for most every occassion.

Sarahs Mediterranean
5222 Burnet Road, Suite 500
Austin TX, 78756
(512) 419-7605
Mon – Sat 10 am to 9 pm. Closed Sunday

Suggestions: 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken [$6.99], Lamb Shank [$9.99] and Baklava [$0.99]

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Garrison Bros with The Brotherhood

By Antonio F Delgado

You may or may not know this but I work with the System Engineering Team at National Instruments. My position allows me support some 80+ people. Hence, to get my work done, I have a form that my co-workers have to utilize to communicate with me. At the end of the form, my response page clearly states, “Nothing says ‘Thank you’ like whiskey.”

And that is how your build a reputation with your co-workers.

After volunteering at the Salvation Army during the holiday season, I invited everyone back the patio at the Baylor House for some bourbon.  Enjoy the discussion between, Norm, Craig, Andy, Jerry, Eddie and myself as we discuss the greatness of Garrsion Bros Bourbon, engineer ‘Micro-Stills’ for your desk and define ‘Pooh Style’.

And remember, “Nothing says ‘Thank you’ like whiskey.” Raise a glass Spooners!

Elsie Larson’s Vanilla Whiskey Holiday Cocktail

By Antonio F Delgado

Every month, the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance sends out a challenge to its members. This month, AFBA called us to create a cocktail. This was a challenge that the Spooners could take on!

Tiffany sent me an email with Elsie Larson’s Vanilla Bean Whiskey Cocktail. I am a huge fan of Elsie and her husband, Jeremy. Elsie and her sister do a great job posting photos, recipes and crafts, while her husband crafts musical gems in Sucre, his solo project, Jeremy Larson; and strings behind Switchfoot and MuteMath. One day, I will gift myself a Full-On-Jeremy-Larson-Takeover. And I digress to fan-dom.

After looking over the recipe, I realized that I have two ways of making cocktails.

  1. Like A College Student – Using traditional mixers. ie. Coke, Tonic, Soda
  2. Like A Refined Gentleman – Drinking my whiskey neat.

I do enjoy heading out to a bar with a great mixologist and having them make me their house special. However, I hadn’t taken this practice home with me until now.

Note 1: Elsie’s cocktail calls for vanilla-infused whiskey. We did not take the mere 24-48 hours to infuse our whiskey due to deadline, but we do recommend it.

Note 2: For some reason, Dr. McGillicuddy’s Raw Vanilla is unavailable in Austin. After several trips to Specs, we learned that only Specs on Airport Boulevard has Dekuyper Vanilla available. In addition, I had a rep at my neighborhood liquor store mention vanilla extract as a suitable replacement. Don’t do it. It makes your drink look murky and unappealing.

A Beautiful Mess’ Vanilla Whiskey Cocktail

The Spooners made 2 alterations to this cocktail due to our lack of time and some ingenuity.

  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 1/2 an ounce  vanilla liqueur
  • 2 dashes aromatic cocktail bitters
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • star anise
  • small dash of fresh vanilla bean

We found that fresh orange juice compliments the star anise beautifully.

Directions: Gather all of the ingredients into a shake. Cover Shaker. Shake vigorously. Serve with a new star anise, not the broken one from the shaker. Enjoy with friends and show them that you are classy.

Note 3: Due to the fact that Antonio and his roommates at the Baylor House are bachelors, none of the glassware matches in these photos.

Note 4: Jack Daniel’s did not sponsor this post, but if they would like to make a donation to OhSpooning, we will gladly accept. We Spooners aren’t too cheap to beg.

Here’s a link to the original post and recipe: http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2013/12/vanilla-bean-whiskey-cocktail.html

Austin Food Bloggers Alliance ‘Prop Swap’ Holiday Party

By Antonio Delgado

Gourdough’s has been taunting me for months. I have had friends tell me about how great the place is. 

Truth be known, I have a severe sweet tooth. And my attempts to watch my weight have become just that, watching my weight.

Then we at OhSpooning got the invite for the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance Holiday Happy Hour. Hence, we prepared for our defeat.

Gourdough’s has a pleasant laid back atmosphere. Although they are known for their savory and sweet doughnut dishes, Gourdough’s menu expands beyond that. The doughy team sponsored our event, serving up fried oysters on kettle chips, sweet doughnuts with peanuts and holiday cider.

Reality is, most holiday parties feel like an obligation to me. But the people within Austin Food Bloggers Alliance have truly become friends. We greet each other with hugs and genuinely care about each other. All the family awkwardness is out the window and the best part is, you don’t have to impress anyone.

Most Christmas parties themes call for Tacky Sweaters or a White Elephant exchange. However, this would not be an AFBA gathering without a twist. The invitation called for the invites to a “Prop Swap” meaning the Spooners had to bring a prop that we used in our pictures over the last 12 months. Perplexed, we had no idea what to bring. What was our theme this year? What did we shoot the most of? After some deliberation we agreed to bring a bottle of whiskey.

Overall, the evening was lovely. Gourdough’s proved why they are becoming an Austin staple and I won a growler in the gift exchange. Win for everyone!

 

 

Sleeping At Last on Food and Creativity

by Antonio F Delgado

I had the opportunity to run into Ryan O’Neal from Sleeping At Last. We got to talk about his love for baked break with cheese, how all of his important decisions are made at a Giardano’s Pizza in Chicago and what it takes to be creative. Enjoy Spooners!

Voyages into the Unusual World of Gin and Music

By Tiffany Young & Antonio Delgado

Marc Stoddard

Marc Stoddard

Hendrick’s Gin sponsored a free drink party (FDP) in Austin in May featuring White Ghost Shivers, gin drinks, delightful food bites and many unusual sights. OhSpooning was lucky enough to take part in this free party and report back on its findings.

Listen to Hendrick’s U.S. Brand Ambassador Marc Stoddard describe what makes Hendrick’s unique, from its process to its taste, in the following interview with OhSpooning and the lovely sounds of White Ghost Shivers soundchecking:

Enjoy a Hendrick’s drink, recipes and photos courtesy Hendrick’s Gin:

VITU Traveling Punch 

HendricksTravelingPunch

  • Hendrick’s Gin
  • crème de mure
  • fresh lemon juice
  • blackberry sage tea*
  • Demerara/lemon oleosaccharum**
  • sage leaves
  • blackberries
  • lemon wheels
  • chilled soda water
  • ice block

Combine ingredients except for soda water in a punch bowl and add ice, stir, top with soda and garnish.

*republic of tea 1 bag per 16 oz then chill peychaud’s bitters

**Take whole lemon peels and muddle with Demerara sugar 3 hours in advance of the event.  Then stir in 1/2 of the lemon juice to dissolve the sugar

Family Tree

Family Tree

  • Hendrick’s Gin
  • Fresh watermelon juice
  • Fresh lemon
  • simple syrup
  • Basil
  • Montelobos
  • Soda water
  • lemon wheel
  • watermelon juice

Combine ingredients except for soda water.  Ice, shake well and strain over fresh ice

into a long glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a basil leaf.  Serve.

Night of the Iguana

  • Hendrick’s Gin
  • celery juice
  • cucumber juice
  • fresh lemon
  • simple syrup
  • cucumber wheel
  • ground sea salt
  • ground cubeb berry

Combine ingredients, add ice, and shake well.

Strain into martini glass. Garnish with cucumber dusted with ground cubeb and sea salt

Traveler’s Testament

Hendricks Testament

  • Hendrick’s Gin
  • Rooibos Tea*
  • Lime juice
  • Raspberry Syrup**
  • Coconut Flakes Toasted****
  • Cold sparkling water
  • Cucumber Blood Cocktail
  • Lemon verbena infused-Hendrick’s
  • cucumber juice
  • lemon juice
  • simple syrup
  • green chartreuse

Shake, strain, and serve in vessel garnish with cucumber “eggs”, (cuc-flavored spherified caviar) or infused cucumber balls depending on serving vial.

Austin Food Bloggers Cookbook Challenge

We know it’s been awhile since our last post, but like old friends, we missed you and we’re hoping that our getting back in touch will be a warm welcome. We’ve been having some discussion about where this blog is going and what we’d like to do with it. We think you’ll be seeing some new types of blog posts from us soon as we start narrowing our focus down to the things we truly love, instead of posting for the heck of it—because we feel like we have to. That didn’t make the change sound fun, but it will be. It will be FUN!

Moving on …

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Southwestern Salad with Seared Scallops

As part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, OhSpooning was challenged this month to make a recipe out of its new “The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook.” My (Tiffany’s) pescetarian ways made choosing a recipe a little difficult as most of the recipes we were drawn to included chicken, pork, turkey, etc. We finally decided on the Southwestern Salad with Seared Scallops—can’t go wrong with scallops.

We walked out the door to get groceries and came back immediately after forgetting the ingredient list—nicely written on a notepad specifically for that purpose (Is anyone else obsessed with specific purpose notepads?).

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Shopping List

At the store, we asked the checkout attendant a burning question: Does it count as one item in the 10 or less line if you have, say 4 limes that puts you over the 10 limit? He confirmed my suspicion that they’re not that anal retentive about the number of items, so long as you’re close (and not a pain in the rear!). Whew! One less thing to worry about.

Back at the house, we got to work … creating a cocktail. OK, OK. Antonio started working on the cocktails as I started chopping things. Although I know better, we did not read the instructions all the way through before beginning, so we waited about 5 minutes before realizing we should have put the corn in the oven to roast as soon as we got to the house, since it takes the longest of any of the recipe steps—20 minutes.

Otherwise, the recipe went smoothly. Just some prep work, throwing ingredients into a blender for an amazingly delicious dressing and cooking scallops.

The only thing we probably would have done differently the next time is gotten the bigger scallops and let them thaw completely before cooking so there wasn’t extra water we had to cook out. Oh – and used the red onion. Yep, there was still an uncut red onion left on the table after I cleaned the kitchen. Whoops. Nonetheless, this recipe is amazing and took us about 45 minutes to cook. This time could probably be cut down by cutting things in advance, preparing the dressing ahead and having grilled corn ready to go. The grilled corn was so yummy, though, so don’t leave it out! The bonus is, I still have dressing, tomatoes, grilled corn, red onion, cilantro, limes and lettuce … so tomorrow I’ll whip up a similar salad sans scallops for lunch!

For more yummy recipes, you can get your copy of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance cookbook here!

Cocktail Creation:

Accompanying this meal, we created a cocktail using leftover orange and lime juice and added grapefruit juice, gin and club soda for good measure, served over ice. Use the orange peel for garnish. Like all good drinks – amounts to taste! This drink is simple and perfect for summer time and was complimentary to the meal.

1 Part Gin

3 Parts Grapefruit juice

1 Part Club Soda

Squeeze 1/6 lime

1/6 of an Orange for Garnish

 

Austin Food Bloggers Alliance /// Savory Spice Shop /// New Members Party

On Saturday evening, the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance had a party to welcome it’s newest members to the fold. We at OhSpooning have been members for the last year but this has been the first opportunity we have had to speak other bloggers and see what they are doing.

02092013_ATX_AFBA_SavoryAndSweet_NewMemebers_005Our host for the night was the lovely and endearing Karen Aboussie. She graciously hosted the AFBA mixer at the Savory Spice Shop on West 6th Street. Karen spent over 25 years in marketing before opening the Savory Spice Shop and her demeanor is relaxing and joyous. She reminds me of my aunt – all are welcome into her home and she wants you to taste everything on the shelf. Karen has a way of making you smile while she talks to you about her passion for spice and great food. Her personality is contagious.

Karen and her staff spent the evening educating the AFBA family about the shelf life on spices. In fact, did you know that cinnamon only has a shelf life of 6 months? Also, most grounded spices are only good for about a year while whole spices may be kept for about 18 months. These simple facts are going to change the way I handle my pantry.

And if you have never tried black Korean garlic, you are missing out.

Take the time to swing by Savory Spice Shop on West 6th. Feel the warmth. Your taste-buds will thank you. We promise!

Foodie Foto Featurette /// Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
200 North Boulevard
Richmond, VA

(804) 340-1400