Austin

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

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!

Texas On The Rocks

Serve It Up

Serve It Up

Hey Spooners!

This weekend was a great opportunity to get acquainted with Texas Distilleries.

Texas On The Rocks proved to be one of the best tasting events I have been to in some time. For one night, Austin Music Hall transformed into an emporium of handcrafted booze with names you have heard [Titos] and several names you may not have.

As Spooners, we get invited to events like this on a regular basis. Here are a few lessons we have learned over time

How to handle an Alcohol Tasting

  1. Alcohol tasting events are a marathon not a race. You don’t need to taste everything they give you in your cup.
  2. Ask for smaller pours. This allows you to taste more samples without over committing.
  3. Feel free to ask for another. If you have gone around every table, feel free to go back and ask for another pour at your favorite stops. The server will remember you asked for a short pour initially, and will get you another.
  4. Take water breaks.
  5. Eat well. Have a good dinner. This will help you go the distance.
  6. Don’t make a scene. Keep it classy and don’t be that drunk guy/gal at the event.
  7. Aspirin before bed. You would be surprised how much this helps.

If you follow these simple steps, you can ensure you get the most out of the price of admission.

As for the event itself, I think this was a great first step to getting Texas Distillers on the national map.

Texas On The Rocks 2015 Review

  1. Garrison Brothers is amazing – as always. But I am bias! And they don’t pay me to be.
  2. Moody June Gin is the next best thing since sliced bread! And they are working on a barrel aged gin. If you go to the Bone Spirit tasting room, you might be able to talk Joe into a tasting. Tell him Antonio sent you.
  3. Dulce Vida Spirits has an splendid family of Tequilas. With an Anejo finished in Garrison Bros barrel and an extra Anejo finished in Rombauer wine, I had a hard time walking away from this table. Side Note: I NEED to find their margarita recipe!
  4. Whoever did graphic work for Cat Mezcal and Cat Tequila labels, did a wonderful job! I just wish I was able to taste that sealed bottle of tequila. Hint. Hint.
  5. Craigslist Missed Connections. Dear Balcones FR.Oak Single Malt Whiskey, this is my open letter. I need to know more about you. Your simple taster was not enough. Can we get to know each other a little better? It was Valentine’s Day. Do you remember me? ‘Cause I remember you. Love, Antonio
  6. Distillers, don’t send a marketing rep to an event like this if they can’t answer questions about your craft, process and uniqueness. Bad move. I bet you as a Distiller have a beautiful story of struggle that goes along with each release. Now tag that to your marketing tasting notes. This is what makes your unique and memorable. The Lakarish Brothers from IronRoot Republic showed up to represent themselves with contagious excitement. The brothers talked about how they are so small their mom had to cover the bar at the still house while they represented themselves at Texas On The Rocks. Then they showed me of their mom shaking drinks. We laughed and I mentioned that if I owned a still house and my mom was bartending, it would be a train wreck [I love you mom]. These boys are building a story and brand to remember.

One option for growth is in the food department. Although, Titos hosted a VIP breakfast taco after party with Maudies catering [which was a nice tough], I feel like this would have been a splendid opportunity to showcase the Austin food scene. I would love to see Pink Avacado have a table, along with Paul Qui, the chef from Clarks and the Peach Tortilla team. This would be a great next step to pushing the event to more heavily Texas branded.

Overall, this was a great inaugural evening and I already anticipate next year!

The Balvenie: A Rare Whisky Tasting

The Balvenie: A Rare Whisky Tasting

Setting it’s whisky apart from other tastings, the Balvenie (Bal-vaynee) created a unique event in cities across the U.S., bringing together rare pieces of craftsmanship to remind its guests of the craftsmanship offered in its whisky.

Items on display at Austin’s 2014 Rare Craft Collection were hand selected by Dario Franchitti, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner. Housed in the Brazos Hall, these rare finds were made mostly of wood, complimenting the old dance hall feel of the place. Not jam-packed like many downtown soirees, there were clumps of people milling about.

At the tasting, I was shocked to see so many hands raised when ambassador Jonathan Wingo asked who all had done a tasting with the Balvenie before, and then again how many people had been to Scotland as well.

Clearly I was sitting among some serious whiskey drinkers.

We were given three tastes to start with, beginning with a 12-year-old single barrel, followed by a DoubleWood* aged 17 years and finally a PortWood**, aged 21 years.

The 12-year-old single barrel was much lighter in color than the others, as well as to a certain extent lighter in taste. It has a floral, sweet taste and smell to it. Drown in water—the alcohol content is a whopping 47%.

My personal favorite was the Portwood aged 17 years—the flavor overwhelmed the senses, leaving a nice aftertaste.

As a treat, the tasting ended with a whisky aged in a sherry cask. Each taster got to dip a metal flask, for lack of a better word, into a cask and draw out their own swig, much like people used to use for stealing whisky (Watch how it was done here).

We’ve taken you to Glenfiddich’s tasting before. The Balvenie, opened in 1892, is it’s sister distillery. Both were opened by William Grant, are housed in Dufftown, Scotland, and are still owned by the Grant family.

The event continues this evening. Details at https://us.thebalvenie.com/collection.

*DoubleWood means it was aged in two barrels.

**PortWood means it was aged in a port cask.

 

Moontower Saloon Celebrates Sailor Jerry Day in Austin June 12

This Thursday Moontower Saloon, 10212 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX 78748, will be commemorating Sailor Jerry Day to celebrate Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, Father of the Old School Tattoo from 5 p.m. to midnight. Moontower Saloon will host a series of games — from raffles and social media contests to a cornhole tournament — to win free tattoos by tattoo artists Philip LaRocca and Ramsie Segura of Austin Tattoo Co.

“Sailor Jerry Day pays tribute to a truly under-appreciated American icon and independent spirit, Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins. His influence is definitely seen throughout Austin’s culture, and his loyal followers will salute him and toast with the 92-proof bold and smooth-as-hell namesake rum on this special day,” said Austin-based Chase Hanna, Sailor Jerry Brand Ambassador for Texas.

Born January 14, 1911, Norman Collins was a hard living, tough Navy sea dog who set up a tattoo shop in Honolulu in the 1930’s. Over the next 40 years, he carved out a unique style that would change the face of tattooing forever.

Perfecting a deftly crafted, boldly lined style that blended American design and traditions with Asiatic coloring and sensibilities, the iconic “Sailor Jerry” tattoo has become one of the most recognizable icons of Americana, representing an authentic attitude and spirit of rebellion.

Collins also revolutionized the industry by advocating for regulated standards of sterilization and sanitation that are still met in modern day tattoo shops. Sailor Jerry Rum is a premium, old-school spiced rum, crafted in the traditional Navy way by William Grant & Sons. Sailor Jerry Rum, a 92 proof rum, is made from aged Caribbean Rum and blended with spices, including ginger, cinnamon, clove and vanilla.

For more information, visit www.sailorjerry.com or follow www.twitter.com/sailorjerry and www.facebook.com/SailorJerry.

The event is free for those 21 and up.

And, the Spooners favorite part: Sailor Jerry drink specials include signature Old Ironsides made with Sailor Jerry, pineapple juice and soda water; and frozen Sailor Jerry Piña Coladas.

Here’s a recipe they’ve provided for us. We’ll let you know what we think and post pics once we’ve tried it!

Old Ironsides Recipe

  • 2 parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
  • 4 parts fresh pineapple juice
  • Soda water

Build in a rocks-filled highball glass.

Top with soda water and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Cheers!

AFBA’s Biggest Fundraiser The Big Chill Helps Meals on Wheels

The-Big-ChillHey! We just wanted to share with you one of the biggest events the Austin Food Blogger Alliance puts on. This year, we’ve changed the name from Cupcakes and Cocktails to The Big Chill, which will focus a bit more on the food side than in prior years where the cupcakes were the main focus.

Restaurants will be serving cold dishes to cool you off from the summer heat. As noted above, we’ll have yummy foods and drinks from some great chefs, such as No Va, Trace, Noble Sandwich Co. and many more.

I’m especially excited that this year’s event benefits Meals on Wheels and More, my nonprofit of choice. I already support them financially, but especially since my grandma died recently, I’ve been thinking about what a great service they are for the older community who may just want a visitor to pay them a visit and bring them a hot meal.

I hope you’ll come out June 26 and enjoy food and drinks and support Meals on Wheels! It’s gonna be a blast!

Purchase your ticket now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-big-chill-tickets-11149888617.

NOVA Launches New Menu

NOVA Launches New Menu

OhSpooning recently got the chance to check out NOVA’s new menu, which is launching just in time for hot summer nights on its outdoor patio. I hadn’t had the chance to visit before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I would recommend NOVA for a date night or happy hour.

Located along Rainey Street, the restaurant has nice, big windows and a decent sized patio. I like that you could move around its space and get a completely different feel depending on where you’re at. Downstairs, a bar and bar tables stretch the length of the room, which is bright and sunny during the day. Upstairs is darker and more intimate with a see-through walkway along the area above the bar. The patio is light and airy and has the feel of a friend’s backyard with metal tables and chairs scattered along its pebbled path.

The chef is young and energetic and his excitement about the food spreads. We were given dishes to share throughout the evening. The night brought us NOVA’s double macaroni, risotto, flat bread pizza, veggie tacos and hummus. The restaurant makes its own ham in house, which I found out means it cures its own ham (I wondered where they hid the pigs…).

The chef takes chances, making every day food with a bit of a twist. The veggie tacos are unique in their use of asparagus and arugula and a yummy dressing, along with other tasty tidbits. The hummus was very unique, with the addition of coconut and ginger, making me feel like I was on the beaches of Hawaii instead of Austin, Texas.

For drinks, try the Tudor 77 for $12: Aviation gin, hibiscus syrup, lemon, cava rose and lavender bitters. Not too sweet, this drink has a delicate flavor that will go with a variety of foods.

Give NOVA a try and let us know your thoughts!

NOVA tudor 77

AFBA Happy Hour: Trace

AFBA Happy Hour: Trace

Tonight the OhSpooners got the chance to try Trace‘s happy hour* as part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance monthly pow-wow. Trace is an upscale dining establishment located within the W hotel in downtown Austin. The weather was great, the cocktails were spicy and the food was delicious. I especially enjoyed the cheesecake with grapefruit on top (not pictured), although everything was excellent.

Our friend, Emily Teachout, promotes the restaurant, so we were especially excited to check it out. She did not let us down. The staff was very helpful and you really can’t beat the view—perfect for people watching. The prices for happy hour, I’m quite surprised to say, are very reasonable. Crab cake for $7? Yes, please! I’ll definitely have to go back.

Crafted cocktails are $7 during happy hour.
We recommend:

JALAPENO & CUCUMBER LEMONADE
Deep Eddy vodka, jalapeno, lemon juice, cucumber water

Until we meet again!

*Food  and drinks were courtesy of Trace.

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Review: Magnolia Café

magnolias eggs benedictBy Tiffany Young

In Austin, we love our brunch. Breakfast? Closer to the lunch hour? Brilliant. Saturdays and Sundays you should expect to wait a couple hours to eat if you wake up past 10. But that’s OK, because mimosas and bloody Mary’s are likely to be involved.

One of my favorite brunch places, especially to take people from out of town is the tried-and-true Magnolia Café. Open 24 hours, this classic diner has its breakfast menu down. From the love migas to the eggs benedict and eggs zapatino to the Magnolia omelet, there’s an option for everyone’s taste. Not to mention the delicious pancakes and daily specials.

I love the Lake Austin Boulevard location, where you can see runners trekking  around Town Lake. Parking is slim, but you can always park in the neighborhood and have a lovely, hilly walk to your destination to especially appreciate the good food.

They do expect you to have your entire party before being seated, so respect the rules–the staff is trying to make everyone’s visit nice, not just yours. It’s the least you can do. After all, they keep fresh flowers on the table for you each and every day.

I especially love the eggs zapatino–basically the eggs benedict for vegetarians, it comes on an English muffin, topped with an egg and smothered with queso. Yum Yum!

If you’re at a loss for where to go, Magnolia Café comes through for you, no matter the time of day–breakfast is always served.

City Guide: CU29 Cocktail Bar

Tucked away on Congress Avenue, between Seventh and Eighth Streets in downtown Austin, sits Cu-29 Cocktail Bar. The bar opened within the past year and is a cross between a ’90s martini bar and a handcrafted cocktail bar. What makes this bar unique is that the bartenders enjoy helping their customers create new drinks, based on your tastes—whether it’s adding bacon-infused spirits or one of their many homemade simple syrups.

CU29 Cocktail Bar
720 Brazos St.
(512) 474-0029
Daily 4 p.m.–2 a.m.
http://cu29cocktailbar.com
Happy Hour daily until 6 p.m.
Takes cash and cards

Drink suggestion: The Friendly Stranger ($12) and a deconstructed rum old-fashioned ($12)

The CU29 Cocktail Bar venture is a collaboration between the owners of SoHo Wine and Martini Bar and Waxy O’Connor’s Irish Pub in San Antonio, to bring an East coast flair mixed with the relaxed vibe of the South.

With a dark interior and floor to ceiling windows in front, the bar side has flashes of copper drawing your eye in. Across from the bar are booths against a red brick wall. There are also a few floating tables and plenty of seating at the bar with candles for a little lighting.

In determining your drink, the bartender will be interested in your tastes, such as whether you prefer sweet, spicy, herbal, citrus or fruity. He’ll also want to know what your base spirit is. Hawaiian Rose is one of their over-the-top original drinks, which I would have tried, except that I don’t eat or drink bacon. Try it out and let us know how it goes!

In addition to The Friendly Stranger and a deconstructed old-fashioned, the bartender, Cole, concocted us our own cocktails as well. Antonio’s had Hendrick’s Gin, muddled cucumber, orange bitters, a dash of lemon juice, chili rim and infused Ghost chili pepper vodka. Tiffany’s included vanilla vodka with a bit on cointreau and grandma (“grand marnier“), a dash of milk, handmade whipped cream, cocoa, coco real with cocoa butter, a chocolate almond rim, orange flakes and chocolate on top.

Presentation is key, with lots of flared orange rinds, homemade meringue (made while you watch), lemon peels and chocolate syrups.

Cole’s passion for cocktails shined through and he hires bartenders with energies that match.