Archive | 11:24 pm

Keep Austin Weird

29 Feb
If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?  Would you buy a home in every country? Own the nicest car ever created?
Whenever I have thought about having a large sum of money, one thing has always come to my mind… vacation!! For me, traveling is one of the best things that you can do.  Seeing new sights, meeting new people and of course, trying new food!
Usually when Jay and I plan a vacation we organize and research many months in advance.  But in January I had some unexpected days off in a row and we were both in need of some time away.
One place we’ve both always wanted to visit is Austin, Texas.  I’m not really sure what originally sparked out interest but the more we learned about the quirky city the more our desire to visit grew.  After all, who wouldn’t want to visit a city whose motto is “Keep Austin Weird”.  So fun Smile
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Throughout our vacation we joked that all we did was walk and eat. 
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Which was pretty true.  Austin is all about supporting local businesses, which I loved.  So most of the restaurants are privately owned and very unique.
We visited Magnolia, where “Everybody Knows, Everybody Goes’” and is, “sorry they’re open” 24 hours a day.  The restaurant was also featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!!
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I tried some iced hibiscus tea, which we saw all over Austin.  It tasted very florally but when I added sugar it was too much with the sweetness. 
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I had to try the mag mud, which everyone raved about on yelp.  It included black beans, queso, avocado and pico de gallo.  Basically my favorite snack served with a heaping pile of fresh tortilla chips!! I was in heaven.
But wait, there was more.
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I also had love megas – scrambled eggs in spicy LOVE butter ( fresh garlic and serrano) with tomato, onion, bell pepper, tortilla chips and jack cheese.  Serve with back beans.  It was almost like an omelette, but better because there were tons of veggies, tortilla chips all melted in and the delicious LOVE butter.  When I think of tex mex, it is meals like this that come to my mind!  The only drawback?  I have been dreaming about this meal ever since we left and unfortunately I don’t know how I would recreate it!
Jay tried the famous gingerbread pancakes!
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It tasted like a gingerbread cookie with butter and syrup smothered on.  Now that is something we can recreate!
Other memorable meals included…
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Pizza from a Hoboken-ite.  Yes, we had pizza in Texas from someone that is from New Jersey.
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Real tamales and the sweetest pineapple I have ever had.
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An afternoon snack that consisted of cheeses, grapes, beets, crusty bread and perfectly cooked french fries.
And if while we were in Austin we had to experience eating from a food truck!
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They literally are everywhere!  I loved it because you could get any type of food on the trucks from breakfast, to a sandwich, pizza…
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to cupcakes!
In between the snacking and walking we did some sightseeing as well.
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If I had to pick my favorite meal, it would have to have been at the South Congrss Café.  It has a warm, cozy feel with a  modern twist.  The service was better than I have experienced at most fine dining restaurants and the food was out of this world.
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We ate there on our last day, during the last moments we had in Austin.  Of course I had to have chips and salsa one last time.  The salsas were all homemade, as were the chips.  I loved the variety of potatoes used for the chips.  Different textures, flavors and crunch.
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I had an omelette stuffed with veggies, goat cheese and caramelized onions.  There is something about goat cheese and caramelized onions where I just need a quiet moment to indulge in the creamy/tangy flavors going on in my mouth.  A crispy, savory potato pancake accompanied my omelette and it was better than any hash brown I have ever had.
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Jay’s breakfast stole the show.  Carrot cake french toast.  True breakfast decadence and sheer bliss.  Jay, who claimed to not like carrots or carrot cake, devoured every bite.  At the risk of being embarrassing, I didn’t lick his plate.  But I secretly wanted to.
Our trip to Austin was so relaxing, rejuvenating and fun!  I’m already ready for another vacation.  And why is Austin so weird? Well I’m not quite sure whether it is the people, the unique shops and restaurants, the way of life or just the fun vibe.  But I like it.  So please, keep Austin weird, because I’m sure to come back!

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