Capitol City Eats: Austin, Texas

by G&G in , , , ,


I love Austin, Texas and when I visit I make a mission of enjoying something new each visit. This trip was for a family members wedding reception so while there I stopped at Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, EasyTiger, Olive & June and The best stop of the night Brass House. Great food, music, and fun in the Capitol city!

MOONSHINE PATIO BAR & GRILL

On a nice day in Austin there are so many places you can visit where outside seating is a must. Last weekend was totally a "sit outside" type weekend and we did just that. Our first stop was Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, which was pretty chill for a early afternoon bite. 

House popcorn

House popcorn

In place of bread, Moonshine serves popcorn. It was "ok" popcorn but one would think if you are going to serve popcorn as a starter a.k.a the first thing your guests taste at your place, it better be damn good popcorn...in my opinion. This popcorn was a plain butter flavor with some cayenne pepper sprinkled about. The above picture is how it arrived to our table..it looked the exact same when the waitress took it away to make room for our meals.

Old Fashioned - kentucky bourbon with muddled orange, cherry, simple syrup & bitters

My husband is the connoisseur  of the Old Fashion and makes a point to try one most everywhere we go. Especially places that claim to have the best..because, per my husband, they are usually wrong! 

This Old Fashioned received a 5 out of 10 stars. The really good Old Fashions are darker and the flavors more rich. This was sort of "watery".

White Lightning Moonshine

With Moonshine being the name of this place there was no way I was leaving without trying some. They offer a White Lightning shot of their homemade moonshine for $5. I am not sure it was worth the price but it was good!

For $5 I certainly wasn't going to "chug"  or "shoot" so I sipped and savored my shot and I am glad I did. It wasn't too boozy like other moonshines..I'm looking at you firefly.. and was very warm and rich with flavors of caramel and honey. Loved it! 

Moonshine Corn Dog Shrimp - with honey mustard & blueberry swirl

Moonshine Corn Dog Shrimp - with honey mustard & blueberry swirl

Berkeley House Salad - with seasonal greens, tomato, cucumber, pickled red onions, sunflower sprouts, croutons & simple lemon vinaigrette

As we weren't starving and had a nice dinner planned later in the evening we (I) decided we should split something. We ordered the Moonshine Corn Dog Shrimp and Berkeley House Salad with extra avocado. 

The corn dogs were fun and tasty. A large shrimp that was skewered, battered and fried just like a corn dog. The dipping sauce was good although the "blueberry swirl" was totally over powered by the honey mustard which makes me think it was more about the "look" than the taste. The Berkeley salad was just a salad and shame on me for picking salads based on whether they have avocado or not. The "simple lemon vinaigrette" was just as it reads..simple..

  • Old Fashioned - $6.50
  • Moonshine Corn Dog Shrimp - $10.95
  • White Lightning - $5.00
  • Berkeley House Salad - $7.95

EASY TIGER

I freaking love Easy Tiger and can't believe I haven't been here sooner. I also can't believe that this place was PACKED out during our visit. In Houston this place would be filled to the brim with dudes in shorts, flip flops and "bro hats" all congregated by the bar yelling at the top of their lungs about J.J. Watt and other things that mean nothing to me... but in Austin it was filled with families, groups of friends and couples. Weird.

The outside seating and games were really fun and the beer selection described in one word -- AMAZING! Which is why this place is a "must stop" when in Austin on 6th!

In addition to the beer this place is also a bakery. Serving up fresh/hot croissants, cookies and breads. We ordered a croissant, a pretzel, 1 beer and 1 coffee. My husband a.k.a "Mr. Yumz-Muh-Gumz" is an interesting character who orders coffee and croissants when it's obviously beer and beer time. 

Draft beer menu

Me and my Beer

I look like I should be playing tennis..not downing beers and eating pretzels, which were amazing by the way.

You can order a large pretzel or a small one, you can also choose your own dipping sauce. I ordered a small pretzel with the house mustard. I ate my pretzel so fast I didn't get to take a picture..I must have been drunk because that NEVER HAPPENS. 

Luckily our neighbors at the next table were super nice and let me snap a picture of their their large pretzel. They weren't even weird about it or anything, they were like "sure" and even held it up for me to ensure I snapped a good one. I laughed and thanked them.

  • Croissant - $2.50
  • Pretzels small - $2 / large $4
  • Housemade Mustard .50
  • Founders "Dirty Bastard" - $5.00
  • Chai Latte 12 oz. 4.25 / 20 oz. 4.95
Bakery window at entrance

Bakery window at entrance

When I read the lavish beer menu my dreams came true. They had all my favorites from Deschutes to smashing IPA's. I opted for No. 8 Founders "Dirty Bastard" and it did not disappoint. 

It was hearty, full bodied and flavorful. It would have been even better if it had been a nitro, but my palette was pleased none the less. 

No. 8 Founders "Dirty Bastard" 

Large Pretzel

Outdoor seating area and table tennis..

Olive & June

As I mentioned, the reason we visited Austin was for a family members wedding reception so when I heard where we were going I immediately got to goggling. I researched the area of town and of course the food and beverage menu!

I had my (our) whole menu planned out and didn't stop to think for a second that the Bride and Groom may have picked out our menu for us. They did. I'm sad and must go back for the items I had eyed from the menu. The location was beautifully romantic. 

For some strange reason I felt like Olive & June should be the backdrop for a Julia Robert's movie. Like at any moment I felt I may see her..why..no idea. The coolest part about this 2 story indoor/outdoor restaurant was the huge oak tree that is rooted smack dab in the middle of the restaurant. Truly breathtaking. 

1st floor seating

2nd floor seating area

Olive & June has a great view of the surrounding area and the venue lights up at night. It's a great place for a date or intimate dinner with family. 

The bride made the space even more spectacular with homemade centerpieces, a prix fixe menu and complimentary red and white wines. There was also a cash bar but who pays for drinks when there is free wine being poured?! ..not me..

Mr. and Mrs. Justin and Sarah Grady

The beautiful bride and handsome groom partied the night away while enjoying a full house with some yummy, Italian bites.

There was a meat and cheese tray to nibble on followed by leafy green Giardiniara butter lettuce, baby romaine, Panelle (Sicilian fritters), celery, radish and a white balsamic.  For the entree we were served Rigatone with San Marzano, tomato, basil and oregano and for a sweet finish we had Blueberry Bombolini served atop a blueberry-peach compote!

Giardiniara butter lettuce, baby romaine, Panelle, celery, radish and a white balsamic

Blueberry Bombolini served atop a blueberry peach compote

Fig Mostarda 

The freaking best part of my meal was the fig mostarda that I spread on my focaccia. Chef Cirkiel makes his mostarda with ground mustard, mustard seeds, white wine, white wine vinegar and of course dried figs. It was so good I asked for a second bowl of which my mother-in-law and I shared all night!  

Rigatone with San Marzano, with tomato, basil and oregano

The food wasn't amazing but this place has potential. I think if I come back and order what I wanted I will be pleased but the salad was like just lettuce..no life to it at all. Even the "Fritters" were tasteless and usually you can season them up pretty well. Insert Fig Mostarda here..

Unfortunately I am not a huge fan of pasta so I just tasted it with the hopes that it rid my mouth of butter lettuce and radish. Both of which can be too "earthy" when combined. It did the trick thanks to the heaved handed serving of San Marzano cheese and fresh tomato sauce. 

"Bombolini" is a fancy word for doughnut hole and traditionally these are filled. Either ours were overcooked or they forgot to fill them..mine were just sugared bread. The compote had caramelized by the time I tasted it but it was pretty. 

BRASS HOUSE

Their Story: Brass House Austin was conceived by Jason White while operating in a combat zone with the United States Marine Corps. He dreamed of moving to Austin and opening a live music venue at the completion of his service with the hope of providing a relaxed and enjoyable environment for those who enjoy the sounds of jazz and blues.

Brass House Jazz Club is the realization of that dream, which has now expanded to include Brass House Tavern, a second bar next door that includes live music and great food. Jason and his Brass House partner Gene Todorov believe strongly in community involvement and support and welcome any and all local charities if they wish to host events in any of our spaces. We especially look forward to offering support and discounts to our active duty and retired military customers. - Brass House Website

What happens when you combine live brass instruments, dudes in suspenders, martinis and amazing food?? A darn good time at Brass House, that's what! 

I can only be honest in stating that my husband's uncle "Spud" & father of the groom (age 50+) told us about this place while at the reception and when we walked in I griped about being one of the youngest people in there. My husband quickly corrected me by reminding me of my age and politely told me to "chill".. I am so glad I did. We started at the bar ordered a couple cocktails and some food. I got the fritto misto (what I would have ordered at Olive & June) and my husband ordered something with beef..both were grand. 

As the night progressed and people started to head to their second or third stop of the night the place thinned out. By this time two uncles and three cousin's showed up to party with us..well they were there already just on the other side. We moved down towards to front and had a ball. It was great fun!

I was unable to snap my own video but found one on you tube that helps share my experience:

I can't wait for my next visit to Austin because I am certain there will be something new for me to try! 


#Fall is in the Air & JerryBuilt Burgers has "Pumpkin" Fever

by G&G in , , , , , , , , ,


JerryBuilt Burgers: Made for the People by the People!
— Carly -- Director of Operations
Image: JerryBuilt Marketing

Image: JerryBuilt Marketing

JerryBuilt Burgers has got "Pumpkin" Fever and it has spread all over their menu! Come out this Saturday to try out their fall menu items, which are available at both the West University and Woodlands JerryBuilt locations, include fresh-baked pumpkin bread, an assortment of pumpkin beers, an autumn harvest salad with toasted pumpkin seeds and a spiced pumpkin pecan shake! 

The Autumn Harvest salad is the bomb and to my surprise the house dressing was made by the Director of Operations! I had the pleasure of chatting with Carly and JerryBuilt's PR executive Laura who are both  truly amazing gals. The house dressing consists of local honey, sweet onion, sugar, garlic and white balsamic. The toasted pumpkin seeds, goat cheese and cherry tomatoes really made the salad sing. Not to mention that the tomatoes are grown from 50 year old seeds, which means no GMO's..don't you love that?!..I do!

Autumn Harvest Salad

JerryBuilt's Pumpkin Patch and Farmer's Market will take place at the West University location on October 25th and 26th. Pumpkins of all sizes and a variety of delicious fall produce and merchandise will be available from local vendors, including Riviera Fresh Produce. Any customer that brings their kids to JerryBuilt's West University location from October 25th through Halloween will receive a free pumpkin while supplies last

The "Pumpkinator" from Saint Arnolds

JerryBuilt has a philanthropic spirit and I love any organization that gives back! All proceeds from the pumpkin patch will benefit the Houston Humane Society in support of the symbolic orange ribbon that represents Opposition to Animal Cruelty. 

Another special new menu item at JerryBuilt is Katherine Whaley's "Kat's Mac' N' Cheeseburger, (KTRK-TV)" . Katherine was last month's Homegrown Burger Ambassador Contest winner. As the winner, Katherine's creation will remain on the menu throughout 2014 and $1 of each burger sold will be donated to Kids' Meal Houston! 

Carly, Director of Operations - carly@jerrybuiltburgers.com

Hope to see you this weekend. The weather should be perfect!

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