restaurants

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.

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.

 

 

New vegetarian cookbook “Herbivoracious” leads to dining discovery

Last week, Antonio and I participated in Michael Natkin’s book tour stop in Austin for his new cookbook “Herbivoracious” under the same name as his blog. While we haven’t gotten a chance to cook with it yet (look for future blog posts on recipe adventures we have using this cookbook), we were impressed with the color photography, which Michael took himself.

The event took place at Icenhauer’s on Rainey Street and was catered by its new next door neighbor El Naranjo, who supplied us with wonderful food, including some “can’t stop eating it because it’s amazing guacamole.”  If you’ve heard of the just-opened-last-week-on-Rainey-Street El Naranjo it’s because it was formerly a food truck. The fine dining restaurant is open for dinner only for now and describes itself as traditional Mexican cuisine, but I think you, like us, will find it anything but typical of the Mexican fare you find around here. In fact, we thought it might have more of a South American background from its unique blends.

Sorry for the tangent on El Naranjo, but that just shows how impressed we were!

Anyway, Michael was a gracious host answering all of our crazy questions, such as “Who are you? Why a cookbook? Where are your from? Where are you going next?” All of the answers can be found at his blog http://herbivoracious.com.

We were excited to receive a courtesy copy of his cookbook with an inscription to the OhSpooners. If you are new to vegetarianism, just looking to cut back on meat or want some more vegetarian choices to add to your repertoire, this cookbook may strike your fancy. After the intro, Michael goes into detail on some of the ingredients and hand tools that are used a lot in the book and may not be familiar with readers, such as mirin, panko and a potato ricer.

The book, which includes 150 recipes, is broken down by appetizers/small dishes, soups, salads, 4 main courses, side dishes, desserts, breakfast and sauces, condiments and basic recipes.

The Spooners can’t wait to try it out and report back!

Review: Ate. Cafe

ate. cafe menu

Recently out in the Lakeway area during the lunch hour, I had about an hour to spare when I saw ate. cafe at Lohman’s Crossing and RR 620, near The PJ Shop.

Seeing its European bistro feel with an outside patio, I decided to pop in to see if there was anything that looked tasty.

A quiche lorraine caught my eye, but since it was packed with ham, that was out. I asked the young man behind the counter if they had any other quiches and he pointed me toward the fugazzetta ($8), which looked much like a slice of pizza, but tasted more like a savory tarte filled with grilled onions, red bell peppers, asparagus, oregano and mozzarella cheese.

Although it was already prepared, the waitstaff heated the pastry-filled goodness along with a light side salad.

I thought I’d be starving afterward, given it was just a slice and a small side salad, but I was very fulfilled by the last bite.

Fugazzetta with a side salad1

There isn’t a lot of seating outside, but since the weather has been so balmy lately, the iron patio furniture out front is a nice place to meet a friend and pop into a few of the local shops within the shopping center. I enjoyed the friendly waitstaff, delicious food and relaxing atmosphere.

The menu consists mainly of sandwiches, salads, tarts, breakfast items, coffee, wine, beer and desserts.

Ate. cafe, owned by Rodolfo and Jesica Buonocore, serves breakfast lunch and dinner Tues.–Wed. 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Thurs.–Sat. 8 a.m.–8 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and is closed Mondays.

ate. cafe
2127 Lohman’s Crossing, Ste. 310
512.263.4933
www.atecafe.com