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Having lobsta fun

Having lobsta fun

Garbo’s hit us up on Twitter when they first opened when I did a post on TJ’s Seafood Restaurant: http://ohspooning.com/2013/12/29/the-search-for-the-lobster-roll/. I always wanted to go but somehow tracking down the truck just never worked out. When I saw them post their two year anniversary celebration, though, I knew it was time. Not to mention, it’s been almost a month since I left Cape Cod (and therefore, last had lobster.

It was a weeknight and I thought it was in The Domain, which would have been convenient. When I saw it was in Wells Branch, I almost changed my mind, but since I didn’t have water at my condo while plumbers were fixing a leak, I figured maybe dinner out was a good idea.
When I got there, the place was packed, which I found out from a local in the neighborhood that that’s usually the case. I grabbed a seat at the bar between two other lovely ladies who were going solo that night as well. The nautical-themed restaurant is chic and casual enough for a neighborhood drop in but still nice enough to pull off a cozy dinner for two.
The special birthday menu included a $10 lobster roll, which you can get two different ways: Maine (cold with mayonnaise, celery and lemon) and Connecticut (warmed in butter). I got the Connecticut, which came on a buttered roll and topped with thinly sliced scallions and a side of Cape Cod potato chips. I loved the butteriness and there was plenty of lobster stuffed in the sandwich. To compliment the meal, I had Heidi’s French 75 for $7.
While you could tell some of the staff were young and, perhaps new, everyone was friendly and worked to get the food out quickly. They ran out of French fries, but I guess that’s a good sign. They also had a birthday whoopie pie that I was tempted by, but decided against. My neighbor ordered it and told me that while there may have been a bit too much filling, overall the cake was perfect and the dish delicious.
I would definitely take my parents to Garbo’s or possibly stop in if I was in the area. This week they’ve added an ice cream trailer Connor’s Creamery Soft Serve, which had already closed up for the night on my visit. And I’m told they still have two trucks around town.
If you can’t afford Cape Cod this year, stick around ATX and try a lobster roll at Garbo’s!

The Domain: Shake Shack

Shake Shack

 

As of yesterday, the Shake Shack is now open in The Domain. You can find the new restaurant in the Macy’s parking lot.

The chain was established in 2004 and serves burgers, fries and frozen custard. Austin’s location is on South Lamar Boulevard.

Hours

Sun. – Thu., 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Fri. – Sat., 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Moved: The Omelettry

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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!

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.

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The open location is:

(512) 608-4054

Spoon this … Feeding you the news: Whole Foods Domain Opens Jan. 15

Domain Cheese Counter

By Tiffany Young

It’s been a long time coming, as you can read about in my article in Community Impact from 2008: http://archive.impactnews.com/pdfs/NWA/issues/NWA-2008-01.pdf, but the Domain’s Whole Foods is finally opening Jan. 15.

After the economic downturn, some of the plans in the Domain Phase 2 were delayed, but hopefully this store will be well worth it, with its Texas Ramen restaurant, The Draft Shack, an oyster bar serving oysters, barbecue shrimp and 45 beers on tap, including some from Austin Beerworks; and many exclusive products, such as Boomerang’s breakfast pies.

Domain Ramen SignageDraft Shack Oyster BarPublic Domain Container Bar

The OhSpooners were invited to a food blogger preview party last week to try gumbo, a brat bahn mi and barbecued shrimp along with some beer from Austin Beerworks. Based on the food and beer there, we think this spot will be a good place for Austin Northerners to grab a drink with friends on weeknights and even into the weekend.

The jovial food production manager, Matt, was very passionate about the food being served at the new location, saying that several of the foodies from the current North Whole Foods will be relocating to serve up delicious, creative meals to hungry customers. But most importantly, the store will be selling fresh tortillas made daily–always a plus!

It will serve you well to check out the store early, as the new store will have a bread breaking ceremony at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 15, followed by the first 500 customers receiving a bag full of goodies from the 365 Everyday Value brand.

They’ve also got a week of plans to bring everyone in and benefit the community by hosting a series of 1 percent giving days to the following nonprofits:

Wednesday, Jan. 15 – Jewish Community Center of Austin
Thursday, Jan. 16 – Emancipet
Friday, Jan. 17- Austin Creative Reuse
Saturday, Jan. 18 – Girlstart
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Back on my Feet

A full list of events can be found at wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/domain.

Photos provided by Whole Foods

 

OhSpooning’s Resolutions for 2014

By Tiffany Young & Antonio Delgado

Looking back over 2013, there are a lot of things the OhSpooners would like to improve and many things we thought went really well.

For instance, after our blog was hacked it was down for several months. Not good!

But, we started doing audio interviews (podcasts?) this year and have really enjoyed the process. We also seem to be writing about booze more … hmmm.

After reviewing our last year, The Spooners have come up with a few resolutions for the blog.

1) We want to post on a schedule. We’ve already started working on an editorial calendar for us, so we can plan posts ahead of time.

2) We also want to start sharing our posts more. Right now we tend to post and forget. We think there are people out there who would be interested in our posts if we told them about them, but we are just leaving it to the poor internet surfers to find us (or more likely not).

3) We are going to write a theme song for our podcasts. In our downtime, or lack thereof, we have a kid’s band called The Tiny Bots.

4) We are going to start doing “expert” videos  entitled “Baking with Chef Bren Young” to show tips and techniques on baking, cake decorating and whatever craziness she is working up in her kitchen lab.

You may have noticed, if you’ve followed us in the last year, that we have begun to intersect art and food through creativity. We’ll be continuing down this road in the next year, focusing on art, music, food and where they meet. We believe food is an art form that fosters creativity.

The search for the lobster roll

photo (11)By Tiffany Young

In my family it’s always about the food. Forget talking, spending time together, watching movies and playing games (well, we do that, too, but it’s not the main event). The majority of our family time is spent talking about food, looking up food and eating food.

My mom, in particular, talks a lot about foods she craves. For example, she’s always wanted to go to Maine. If you asked her of a single tourist spot she’d like to see, she probably couldn’t name a one.
It’s not the cold weather that entices her either-she can’t stand it. So why does she want to go to Maine? To eat a lobster roll. She talks about lobster rolls a lot and she finally found a place that’s not a thousand miles away to eat one. It is more than a hundred miles away, but still.
T.J.’s Seafood Market (http://www.tjsseafood.com) in Dallas has lobster rolls– a whole one for $25 and a petite for $18. They each come with the choice of a side.
Now the rest of the family is not as obsessed with lobster as my mom is. I think I’d prefer a good crab any day, but I’m not opposed to it. And since we were there for the lobster, I thought, “Why not?”

Three of us got the petite rolls, with my dad going rogue with the gumbo.

The rolls came to us on a plate more than half-filled with veggies and a roll a little larger than my fist. Red chunks of lobster meat covered the buttery roll with lemon peel grated on top. The steamed veggies consisted of broccoli and cauliflower, cooked to perfection, sprinkled with parsley and served with a grilled half lemon.
Overall my first lobster roll was pretty tasty, but the best part about it was the buttery roll, which made it simply addictive. I followed the meal with a nice cup of coffee. Mmm.
Next time I may try the crab cakes, but this year, that is what we’re having for Christmas dinner, so I’ll hold off for now.
As for atmosphere, the place is small, clean and decorated simply but nicely. It’s tucked away in a an upscale, nondescript strip mall in Highland Park.

While the food was good, the shops were kind of lame unless you’re looking to spend a lot of money on old lady clothes. However, do stop by the bed store a few doors down to lay down in a $100,000 bed. Don’t worry-they have foot covers, so you can even put your feet up!
Happy holidays!

Imperia Changes Up Menu to Pull in New Customers

Editor’s Note: OhSpooning received free food from Imperia as a promotion to bloggers.

Imperia Austin recently revamped its menu to pull in a bigger audience, including fancy jello shots for the UT crowd.

In order to let people know about its new offerings, we got an invite to taste some different offerings, ranging from sushi and fish to Thai cabbage slaw and Thai soba salad.

This sushi restaurant has a nice friendly feel, with dark lighting, plenty of tables and a nice lounge, for … you know … lounging.

After one of those previously mentioned jello shots, we started with Asian-fried Brussels sprouts. My thoughts on Brussels sprouts? Unless you boil them, you can hardly go wrong. These were no different. They had just a bit of spice that pleased the palette—delicious!

Next was a beautifully presented array of sushi:

  • The Hot Lips Roll, a California roll with escolar and spicy garlic miso
  • The Red, White and Bleu, consisting of Snapper sashimi with yuzu Bleu cheese and bacon apple marmalade

Arguably the best dish was the Yuzu dusted crouton with yuzu caper aioli with seared beef and persimmon seasoned with salt, pepper and 15yr olive oil, micro herb salad and watermelon radish. All of the different flavors at once just worked. Some people thought there was too much crouton. I say hogwash.

The main dish was an entire Thai snapper. That’s right—it was one giant fish! The fish was marinated for 48 hours, then deep fried until crispy accompanied with fresh cucumber, Thai basil, fresh sambal chili, Thai sauces, Crisp Bibb and romaine lettuce, marinated cherry tomatoes and fried basil.

To cool our lips, we were each presented with an Edelflower ice pop—light and cooling—perfect for the end of a big, spicy meal.

Whether you’ve been to Imperia or not, I’d say it’s worth the visit. Next time you’re downtown, stop by and have them fix you something up; They say the chef loves coming up with new dishes.

 

 

Congrats to Chef Bren Young!

Bren Young with coworkers congrats

By Tiffany Young

It was such a big weekend, I’m going to have to break this into a couple of posts! But for starters, I must congratulate my mom, Chef Bren Young, for her second place medal in the Adult multitiered novelty intermediate cake. Last year she took third in the beginner’s division. This year she moved up a division and was shocked when she found more than 20 other contestants in her division with some really spectacular cakes. I can honestly say I think she was very surprised to hear her name announced. My mom became a chef in her early 50s. Became a pastry chef instructor just a few years ago. And made her first fondant cake just last year. Recently she has begun selling her cakes for birthday parties, specializing in novelty cakes for children, such as sock monkeys and some pirate I’ve never heard of, but who is popular with the young’ens. Her years of art classes and selling crafts have been great preparation for decorating cakes and each one gets better and better! Way to go! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next year!

OhSpooning to be published in AFBA cookbook


It’s official! We are definitely being included in The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook being published in April. This means our Preston Spice Cupcakes with Cardamom Frosting will be in not just one book (Jump Little Cake, Jump!), but two!

If you are looking for a great, local, Austin recipe book complete with recipes from famous and average Joe food bloggers, the AFBA cookbook is a great choice. It has a beautiful cover, which will make it perfect for me to display alongside my other gorgeous cookbooks.

It’s one of the first community cookbooks compiled just by food bloggers and I’m excited we could take part!

 

Here’s the list of recipes, along with whose recipes will be included!

The cookbook is being pre-sold here.