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Recipe: Tortilla Española

Tortilla Epanola

Tortilla Española

Tortilla Española, also known as a Spanish omelette, is a thick egg omelette made with potatoes and fried in olive oil.

You can eat it hot or cold. For breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack. The thickness of the omelette varies, but I made mine on the thin side due to the size of the skillet I used.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, sliced
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the the onions and salt. Continue to cook until vegetables are tender (about 20 more minutes).
  3. Drain all but two tablespoons of the oil and transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  4. Wipe the skillet clean.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs, paprika, salt and pepper together and stir in the vegetables.
  6. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in the skillet over medium-low heat.
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook until set (about 6 minutes).
  8. Loosen the sides with a spatula, place a plate facedown over the skillet and invert the tortilla.
  9. Heat remaining oil in the skillet over low heat. Slide in the tortilla (cooked side up). Cook for 3 more minutes then slide back onto plate.
  10. Cool slightly before serving.

Obviously, inverting the tortilla is the hardest part of this recipe. It really helps to make sure all of the potatoes are cooked into the egg mixture so that the Tortilla Española holds together.

I may be in the minority, but I prefer this dish served chilled. It goes great with a glass of white wine.

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Brunch, Cookin', Recipes

 

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The ABCs of Festival Season in Louisiana

French Quarter Festival

French Quarter Festival Sign

It’s festival season in Louisiana! For those unfamiliar with what exactly this means, it means it’s time to indulge in good food, listen to amazing music, hang out with great friends and just celebrate Louisiana life. Although we generally do this all year long. In fact, festivals go on in every month down here.

To put you in the festival spirit, I’m sharing my Louisiana festival knowledge (and I’ve learned a lot from researching this post) — from Abita to Zydeco.

Abita — One of the best beers to come from Louisiana. It’s no surprise it’s readily available at most of the festivals in the state. More importantly, festival season coincides with Abita Strawberry Harvest season — a beer brewed with local strawberries.

Bands — From local musicians to international acts, bands from all over come to play the festivals of Louisiana.

Crawfish — It’s no secret we love us some crawfish in Louisiana. The food reflects that. From crawfish pie to crawfish bread to just plain boiled crawfish, you can’t go to a festival without ordering something crawfish-related. And in case you’re wonder, there’s a whole festival dedicated to mudbugs called the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival.

Crawfish Gumbo

Crawfish is always popular in Louisiana.
Photo by Jon Sullivan

Daiquiris — Festival fun aside, it gets hot. And there’s no better way to cool off than with a frozen daiquiri. Bonus points if it’s made using real fruit.

Etouffee — A delicious Louisiana dish made with seafood or chicken, rice and a spicy gravy. A cousin to jambalaya. You’ll probably find both at any festival you attend.

Flags — Some festivals are so packed you have to make your own meeting point. That’s when a flag comes in handy. Just set up your chairs, attach your flags and tell your friends to gather under your flag. The more unique it is, the easier you are to find.

Gueydan — Every year in August, the folks of Gueydan hold their annual Duck Festival.

Hot Sauce — You’ll find it at every festival food vendor. Whether it’s Tabasco, Crystal, Louisiana or another brand, don’t forget to add it to your food. And yes, there is a Cajun Hot Sauce Festival.

Steamboat Natchez

Cruise around the Mississippi River aboard the Steamboat Natchez during French Quarter Festival or JazzFest.

International — Louisiana festivals aren’t just for locals, they attract visitors from around the globe. Lafayette even hosts a Festival International de Louisiane.

JazzFest — The biggest and probably most well-known festival in Louisiana. For two weekends each year, the New Orleans Fairgrounds are transformed into a humongous festival with a variety of musicians, tons of food vendors and lots of arts and crafts. JazzFest regularly attracts hundreds of thousands of people.

Kids — All the Louisiana festivals are fun for the whole family.

Lecompte — Known for the Lecompte Pie Festival, this town’s festival has my favorite festival slogan: “A slice of Louisiana is waiting for you.”

Money — Get out your wallet. Festivals are fun, but they aren’t all that cheap. Especially when you want to try a lot of dishes and have a few drinks. Most are free for admission, but if not, that will set you back as well.

Natchitoches — Home of the Natchitoches Christmas Festival. Lots of lights and holiday cheer at this festival. If it looks/sounds familiar, you may recognize it from the movie Steel Magnolias.

Oysters — Another of Louisiana’s treasured foods. Shuck ’em and enjoy them on the halfshell or find them cooked into a gumbo.

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake with fresh Louisiana strawberries at the Pontchatoula Strawberry Festival.

Pontchatoula — Home of the best strawberries on Earth so it makes since that Pontchatoula is host to the Pontchatoula Strawberry Festival. You’ll find strawberry drinks and desserts galore at this one.

The Queens — A festival isn’t complete without a beauty queen to reign over it. This is the South after all.

Rayne — Home of my favorite festival theme: the Rayne Frog Festival. When you’re at a festival about frogs, how can you not have a good time?

Shrimp — Seafood is king in Louisiana and shrimp are at the top of the seafood list at most festivals. There’s even a Shrimp and Petroleum Festival in Morgan City.

Tevas — These ugly-ass sandals are all over the place at most festivals. If you have a pair, my apologies, but they just aren’t flattering — on anyone.

Umbrella — Sure, you may need it in case it rains, but what you really need it for is to generate shade of some sort.

Variety — You’ll find this in every aspect of a festival. The music, the food, the people, the theme, the rides. Most festivals have a little something for everyone.

Watermelon — Is there a better summer fruit? No wonder the town of Farmerville holds the Watermelon Festival every year.

Xylograph — X is always a hard one, but a xylograph is a wood carving. You’ll find them at most arts and crafts areas of festivals. Take home one with your name on it…literally.

Yambilee — Sweet potatoes are also abundant in Louisiana and Yambilee in Opelousas showcases the bright orange tubules.

Zydeco — The famous Cajun music is guaranteed to be playing at a stage near you when you attend a Louisiana festival.

Do yourself a favor and visit Louisiana and one of these fine festivals. I promise you’ll have a great time.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Livin'

 

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Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Roasted red peppers are delicious no matter what dish you place them in (within reason). They’re great on sandwiches, pizzas, in salads, you name it. Another way they can be put to great use is in soup.

I chose to make a simple Roasted Red Pepper Soup that focuses on the peppers rather than other ingredients (like potatoes, carrots, etc.). To complement the red peppers, I used cream cheese to give the soup a nice creamy texture.

Be advised that you will need a broiler to roast the red peppers.

Ingredients:

  • 6 red peppers, cored, stemmed and halved
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 6 oz. cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 TBSP fresh thyme (plus more for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted Red Peppers


Directions:

  1. Set broiler to high.
  2. On a foil-lined baking sheet, place red pepper halves skin side up and broil for 15 minutes or until skin is nearly all blackened.
  3. Remove peppers from the oven and place in a large plastic bag (even Ziploc), seal and let steam for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in large stockpot, saute onion and garlic with olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent.
  5. Once peppers have steamed, puree the peppers and onion-garlic mixture in a food processor or blender. Work in batches if necessary.
  6. Return puree to stockpot and boil over medium until bubbling.
  7. Add cream cheese, fresh thyme and salt and pepper. Heat until bubbling and cream cheese is melted.
  8. Serve warm and add hot sauce if desired.

Red peppers are known for their antioxidants and nutritional benefits. This recipe can be healthier if you use low-fat or reduced-fat cream cheese.

If the soup is too runny, you can add more cream cheese to thicken it up or continue cooking until some of the chicken stock has reduced.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Cookin', Recipes, Soups/Stews

 

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Recipe: Chicken Taco Towers

Chicken Taco Towers

Chicken Taco Towers

While I won’t go as far as to say chicken tacos are boring, they just need a little extra pizazz. So I decided to mix it up by creating some vertical tacos or what I call Chicken Taco Towers.

The key to successful Chicken Taco Towers is a biscuit cutter or a round cuter of some sort. Not only will it be necessary to cut the tortillas uniformly, but it will help you stack things.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and dried
  • 4 tortillas, corn or flour
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese and/or cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chicken Taco Tower Close-Up

Chicken Taco Tower Close-Up


Directions:

  1. Using the biscuit cutter, cut circles into tortillas. (If you don’t want to discard the remnants, I would suggest cutting them into bite-sized pieces, sprinkling with salt and baking on baking sheet in an even layer at 400F to make some tortilla chips.)
  2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and sauté chicken pieces, lime juice, chili powder, onion, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until all chicken pieces are cooked and/or register 185F on a meat thermometer.
  3. Once chicken is cooked and tortilla circles are ready, you can begin assembling the Chicken Taco Towers. Using the biscuit cutter and starting with a tortilla circle, layer beans, chicken, cheese, avocado, lettuce and tomato.
  4. Be sure to move the biscuit cutter up as you stack and press down the layers firmly before adding another one. I experimented and found the beans best on the bottom. Also, I highly recommend adding chicken with cheese for a melty effect. And, I would save the lettuce for last so it doesn’t get too compressed.

If this assembly is too fancy for you, there’s nothing wrong with making traditional chicken soft tacos. The flavor will be virtually the same. Honestly, I was testing out using my biscuit cutter for layering so I was exploring.

Chicken Taco Towers are just a new look for the tacos we’ve all come to love. And let’s face, some tacos can look pretty sloppy so at least give this method a try.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Cookin', Entrees, Recipes

 

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Review: Mother’s Restaurant

Mother's Restaurant Sign

Mother's Restaurant Sign

Mother’s Restaurant is one of those restaurants both tourists and local New Orleanians can appreciate. While it may fall into the “tourist trap” category, the place does some things really well. That said, there are only a few things that really stand out.

The first, by far, is the Ferdi special (or Ralph if you add cheese). A po boy with ham, roast beef and debris. If you aren’t familiar with debris, it’s the part of the roast beef that drips to the bottom of the pan while roasting. It’s full of flavor and very juicy.

Mother’s has some of the best debris in New Orleans, but the roast beef itself is a little dry. The Ferdi balances out so well because of the debris being a central component. This is definitely the best sandwich Mother’s has to offer.

Mother's Debris

Mother's Debris

Mother’s must turn out a lot of these po boys since the menus boasts that they annually cook over 175,000 pounds of ham and roast beef and serve 150,000 loaves of French bread.

Another one of Mother’s dishes I’m a big fan of is Jerry’s Jambalaya. Every time I’ve had it, the rice has been cooked perfectly, the chicken pieces the right size and the sausage spicy enough to give it a nice kick. Although, I will admit to adding some Crystal Hot Sauce for some added kick.

Mother’s Gumbo is also tasty, but I generally like a thicker roux when I’m eating gumbo. However, it will do in a pinch.

Most people overlook Mother’s breakfast, but seeing as how they cook over a quarter million biscuits, that many people can’t be wrong, right? I have found Mother’s to have some of the fluffiest eggs in town. That said, as good as the breakfast at Mother’s is, there’s a superior breakfast nearby at Majoria’s Commerce at Camp and Gravier. And there probably won’t be as long of line.

Mother's Ralph

Mother's Ralph

All in all, Mother’s Restaurant is a New Orleans staple that probably does serve more tourists than locals, but the food shouldn’t be ignored. They’ve been around since 1938 for a reason and seeing as how they serve a ton of food, everything can’t be phenomenal.

I have to admit, when I moved to New Orleans in 2007, I frequented Mother’s because it was close to my apartment and I liked it. But over the last five years, I’ve come to realize that most of the dishes at mother’s are inferior to some other places in the city. But I still love the Ferdi/Ralph and Jerry’s Jambalaya.

Mother’s Restaurant is located at 401 Poydras and is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Be prepared to wait in line.

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Eatin'

 

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Recipe: Turkey Eggplant Lasagna

Turkey Eggplant Lasagna

Turkey Eggplant Lasagna

Lasagna is one of the best family-style meals out there. However, it’s loaded with carbs and calories so here’s a recipe that should cut down on both.

Instead of using pasta, thinly sliced eggplant serves as the layers. I also add some cauliflower to give this lasagna a little bit of a crunch.

  • 6 TBSP Olive oil
  • 3 TBSP Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 1 hardboiled egg
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Broiling the Eggplant

    Broiling the Eggplant

  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 large eggplants, cut lengthwise into thin sheets
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, drained
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Mix the oil with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Then, brush eggplant sheets with oil and spices mixture.
  2. Lay the eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet (you will have to do this more than once). Broil them 2 inches from the flame for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Turkey-Cauliflower Saute

    Turkey-Cauliflower Saute

  4. Remove from home and turn to the other side brushing with the oil mixture and broiling for 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Repeat until all of eggplant is broiled then set oven to 350F.
  6. In the meantime, saute ground turkey, cauliflower, garlic, shallots and red onion in a medium-sized pan. Cook until turkey meat is browned then add in chopped hardboiled egg.
  7. Once all ingredients are cooked, place one-third of the eggplant sheets in a wide, shallow 2- or 3-quart casserole dish.
  8. Layer with mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta, ground turkey mix and pasta sauce.
  9. Repeat the layering two additional times then top with mozzarella.
  10. Cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes then serve.

This is recipe that will feed you and your family of 4 to 6. You won’t even notice that it’s not pasta, but eggplant that makes up most of the dish.

You can also substitute any ground meat of your choosing if you don’t want to use turkey. It may not be 100% authentic Italian, but it will do in a pinch and it’s sure to please most people’s palettes.

Photos courtesy of Miguel Solorzano Photography.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Cookin'

 

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Review: Stein’s Market and Deli

Stein's Market and Deli

Stein's Market and Deli

Stein’s Market and Deli is one of New Orleans’ true foodie gems. Located on Magazine, Stein’s (as the locals call it) serves some of the best deli sandwiches in the city and features an eclectic offering of specialty meats and cheeses, beers, soft drinks, desserts and candy that are otherwise hard to find.

Stein’s offers daily specials (closed Mondays) that are all worth trying. My favorite? The Friday special: Fancy Schmancy Cuban. Stein’s loads its Cuban with ham, pork, gruyere, spicy brown mustard and some of their homemade pickles. It’s perfection pressed between two slices of ciabatta.

My main go-to sandwich on other days of the week is the Fernando. The Fernando is prosciutto, pesto and mozzarella on ciabatta. So simple, so delicious.

I also really enjoy the Southern Animal Foundation. As you can guess, vegetarians should steer clear of this one. The S.A.F. is turkey, cheese, bacon, avocado and cucumber on wheat. Aside from eating the meat, it’s relatively healthy so it’s somewhat guilt-free.

Stein's Daily Special Board

Stein's Daily Special Board

Stein’s also has one of the best Cobb salads in New Orleans. For some reason, Cobb salads in New Orleans are almost non-existent, but thankfully, Stein’s has a version that satisfies.

Aside from the lunch offerings, Stein’s is one of the best places to get bagels in an otherwise beignet city. The bagels at Stein’s come from Davidovich Bakery in New York City, the bakery that claims to make the “original NYC bagel.” I can’t really argue with their claim.

I highly recommend ordering a breakfast bagel sandwich from Stein’s if you’re in the area. You can also order some lunch sandwiches on a bagel. I often order lox and cream cheese with avocado on a bagel and it’s delicious. Though once a lady told me I was weird for ordering that. Some people need to explore more.

If you aren’t hungry, you can also stop by to stock up on some unique beers from around the world. Stein’s has one of the best bottled beer selections in the city and regularly hosts beer classes some weeknights. You can always just pick up a six pack to go though.

Stein's Beer

Some of the Beer Choices at Stein's

If you live in New Orleans and haven’t visited Stein’s or if you’re planning to visit New Orleans at some point, you owe it to yourself to add Stein’s to your list of places to check out. You really can’t go wrong with all the high-quality ingredients they use. You may experience a little bit of a wait and the seating area is slim, but it’s 100% worth it.

Stein’s Market and Deli is located at 2207 Magazine Street. The hours are Tues.-Fri. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All photos courtesy of Amy Jett Photography.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Eatin'

 

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Review: East Side Kings (Austin)

East Side Kings Food Truck

East Side Kings Food Truck

So I learned the hard way that most food trucks in Austin are dark on Mondays. Thankfully, East Side King’s trucks still operate on Mondays so the food conquest wasn’t a failure. East Side King has three locations, but we settled on visiting the East Side Kings at Liberty Bar.

The space is located in a pretty quiet area of Austin, but it was still pretty busy for a Monday night. After looking at the menu, I ordered Poor Qui’s Buns, Thai Chicken Karaage and Derek’s Favorite Chicken Buns.

Something I love about food truck (and East Side King is no exception) is the fact that things are cooked to order. East Side King incorporates a lot of herbs into the dishes and all were fresh and crisp.

Poor Qui's Bun

Poor Qui's Bun

The first thing I tried were the Poor Qui’s Buns — roasted pork belly in steamed buns, Hoisin sauce, cucumber kimchi and green onion. Delicious. The pork belly was crackly and blended perfectly with the crunch and acidity of the cucumber kimchi. The bun was light and fluffy and didn’t distract from the overall taste of all the elements.

Next I sampled the Thai Chicken Karaage — deep fried chicken thigh with sweet and spicy sauce, fresh basil, cilantro, mint, onion and jalapeno. I’m willing to go on record and state that thighs are the most underrated cut of chicken. They have so much flavor and East Side King really brought out the flavor with the mix of herbs, jalapeno and the sauce. It was crispy, hot, cool and refreshing. The perfect dish for a warm night.

Thai Chicken Karaage

Thai Chicken Karaage

This dish also paired really well with my Shiner Bock. So don’t forget about the right beer.

Finally, I tried the Derek’s Favorite Chicken Buns. Once again, the chicken thigh pieces were crisped to perfect. This bun was composed of deep-fried chicken thigh, Thai flavored spicy mayo, fresh basil, cilantro, mint, onion and jalapeno. This turned out to be my favorite dish. The pillowy soft bun mixed with the herbs and crispy chicken provided a very textured, yet simple dish.

I’m a big fan of Asian cuisine, and East Side King can hold it’s own as a serious Asian dining experience — albeit outside of the standard brick and mortar. It’s no wonder Anthony Bourdain stopped by on his most recent visit to Austin.

Derek's Favorite Chicken Buns

Derek's Favorite Chicken Buns

The brains behind East Side King consist of former chefs from Uchi, one of Austin’s top Asian restaurants. They’re really onto something here as they’re now up to three truck — each with a unique menu. They’re also smart to open on Monday nights, they pretty much have a Monday night monopoly.

I’ll have to wait to continue my food truck conquests on my next visit to Austin. Just not on a Monday.

East Side King trucks operate outside of Liberty Bar, The Grackle and Shangri-La in Austin. Hours vary so visit the East Side King site for more info.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Eatin'

 

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Review: Lambert’s (Austin)

Crispy Wild Boar Ribs

Crispy Wild Boar Ribs

There was no way in hell I was going to take a trip to Texas and not leave without having barbecue. Brisket is one of my favorite cuts of beef so my tastebuds were set on having some great brisket. Based on my Austin friend’s recommendation, we headed to Lambert’s in downtown Austin so I could cure my barbecue/brisket craving.

After ordering drinks, we started with a charcuterie plate (not pictured because I forgot to take a pic until we were nearly finished devouring it) that came with two local cheeses and two from elsewhere as well as some nice meats. All of the cheese and meat was overshadowed by the foie gras pot de creme. Wow! That little pot was full of flavor and I really didn’t want to share it. I would have liked one of those as an entree.

A close second on the charcuterie plate was the local honeycomb. The honey was great and paired well with every meat and ever cheese we sampled. But did I mention the foie gras pot de creme? I did? Okay, moving on.

Natural Beef Brisket

Natural Beef Brisket

Not surprisingly, I ordered the Natural Beef Brisket in a coffee and brown sugar rub with pickled esabeche. The brisket was good, especially the fattier pieces. However, I really didn’t get much of the coffee and brown sugar effect. What made the brisket great was Lambert’s house barbecue sauce.

I should point out that I’m much more of Texas barbecue sauce fan than I am for a Memphis (vinegar-based) sauce. I enjoy the thick sauciness of Texas sauces. That said, Lambert’s was not as thick as some sauces I’ve had and it definitely had a spicy heat component that’s absent from most Texas sauces. A+ on the sauce.

I also tried the Crispy Wild Boar Ribs and the Natural Pulled Pork. The ribs were tasty thanks to the sauce, but in my opinion, weren’t crispy. The pulled pork was very well done and had a different sauce than the house sauce that was equally delicious.

Now for the sides. I’m convinced the art of a good barbecue should be evenly divided 50-50 between meats and sides. Well, Lambert’s has some of the best barbecue sides I’ve ever had.

We ordered four for the table: Brussels Sprouts in Brown Butter with Bacon, Baked Mac and 3 Cheeses, Smoked Bacon Braised Collard Greens and Green Chili Cheese Grits.

I tried the grits first. I’m very very very picky about grits. If the base is water, forget it. Thankfully, Lambert’s used some form of dairy with a load of cheese. All of that was balanced very well by the heat from the green chilis. I would have this grits again and again. I may try and replicate the recipe.

Natural Pulled Pork

Natural Pulled Pork

The Brussels Sprouts were also a hit thanks to the bacon and brown butter of course. The Collard Greens didn’t quite live up to the Brussels Sprouts, but were still tasty.

And I still haven’t forgotten about the Mac and 3 Cheese. It was bubbly, crispy on the top and creamy on the inside. A total cheesy success all the way around. The pasta wasn’t too firm and wasn’t too chewy. I was ready to lick the bowl, but I’m afraid I would have come to blows with the rest of the table.

We ended the night with Lambert’s Bread Pudding that ranks as one of the top three I’ve ever had. Which is saying a lot given the number of bread puddings I’ve had while living in New Orleans (I would rank only Mr. B’s and Boucherie’s bread puddings higher).

While Lambert’s is a refined barbecue experience, the place can totally hold its own with some of the best barbecue joints in Texas. The meats were solid, the sides were phenomenal and the service was exemplary. They also have a great happy hour on Mondays where all appetizers are half off. If I lived in Austin, I would make this my Monday night regular place to eat.

Lambert’s is located at 401 West 2nd Street in downtown Austin. Lambert’s is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner is available Sun. through Wed. from 5 to 10 p.m. and on Fri. and Sat. from 5 to 11 p.m. Reservations are recommended.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2011 in Eatin'

 

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Review: Gourdough’s (Austin)

Gourdough's Food Trailer

Gourdough's Food Trailer

I’m not gonna lie, I was looking forward to the trip to Gourdough’s probably more than any other place we were planning on eating. In fact, Miguel and I spent roughly an hour during a Saints game a couple weeks ago perusing the website looking at all the pictures of Gourdogh’s menu. I highly recommend checking out their website, it’s well done and give you an accurate idea of what you’re in for.

The food truck/trailer scene in Austin is a truly unique culinary endeavor and Gourdough’s is one of the best ones out there in my opinion. Since we were a party of three (myself, Miguel and our gracious host Ashley), we decided to get four donuts to split. Word to the wise: these things are huge and are definitely dessert donuts, not breakfast. We didn’t eat every bite, but we wanted to sample as much as we possible. We decided to order the Mama’s Cake, Sara’s Joy, Funky Monkey and Miss Shortcake donuts.

Funky Monkey

Funky Monkey

I made the mistake of trying the Funky Monkey first. I say it was a mistake because it was so full of flavor, sweetness and goodness that I knew it would be hard for the other three to measure up. Funky Monkey is a donut topped with cream cheese icing, caramelized bananas and brown sugar. It was rich and decadent, but it exceeded my expectations somehow.

On a side note, I take issue with the name. This is definitely a Bananas Foster type donut. I was under the impression that Funky Monkey was banana and chocolate. Either way, I’m not complaining. They could call it dirt donut and I would still recommend it.

Sara's Joy

Sara's Joy

Next up, I sampled the Sara’s Joy donut. As insane as this may sound, this was the richest donut of the night. The chocolate and coconut mixed perfectly, but I think the amount of fudge and coconut topping exponentially increased the richness. That said, it was still an amazing donut. I think it would benefit from some almonds to give it a little more crunch.

Miss Shortcake

Miss Shortcake

Following Sara’s Joy, I tried Miss Shortcake, the donut with cream cheese icing and fresh strawberries. By this point, I realized Gourdough’s is just as focused on the quality of the donuts as they are with the quality of the toppings. The cream cheese icing is top notch and better than some of the icings I’ve had on cupcakes and other desserts. The strawberries were very fresh and had the perfect sweet to sour ratio. It was a nice acidity balance to the sweetness of the icing and donut.

Last up was Mama’s Cake, a yellow cake batter filled donut with fudge icing and cake batter topping. This is life in the South in a donut. It was definitely reminiscent of growing up on yellow cake.

Side story, as a kid, I once pigged out on yellow cake so badly that I made myself sick. Thankfully, that didn’t happen on my visit to Gourdough’s.

Mama's Cake

Mama's Cake

All in all, the trip to Gourdough’s was no letdown, in fact, it exceeded my wildest dreams. Having such a high-quality website for a food products usually means the bar is pretty high. But Gourdough’s definitely has the ability to meet and zoom past that bar.

The donuts are definitely big and fat, but more importantly, the donuts are cooked to order, delicious and crispy. You may experience a little bit of a wait while waiting for your donut(s), but I can assure you it’s worth the wait (and weight for that matter).

Gourdough’s is located at 1219 S. Lamar Blvd. and is open daily. Hours vary (including late night) so visit the website for details.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Eatin'

 

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