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Food Heads

I woke up yesterday feeling super groggy… I felt like a truck hit me @_@. But, luckily Shara took me to Food Heads on 34th, and that made me feel a lot better =).

First Impression.

First thing I noticed was the ambiance. The insides are warm and inviting; there’s so much seating, and every spot seemed like the perfect place to have a nice chat with a friend =). It’s always nice to see a chalk board menu, it tells me that the chefs are making at least some effort to change up the menu or add new items.

The Food

food heads

I ordered the chicken eggplant sandwich, with a cup of squash soup, and a Root ginger ale to drink. I was impressed with how quickly our order came out, and it was delivered straight to our table.

I was really pleased with the sandwich overall. I would describe it as a very.. crafted, planned, and perhaps… “artistic” sandwich. Although the composition of the sandwich was quite loose, the flavors seemed to mesh quite well.

Was glad to see that it was on poppy seed bread, toasted nicely, and covered with a very generous amount of olive oil.

The chicken was a tiny bit on the dry side, and the eggplant could have been cooked a little longer, but it worked because of the tasty balsamic vinegrette they put on it.

I was afraid that the goat cheese was going to be overpowering… but it was light and complimenting!

I have to say that the squash soup was perfect. Thick, hardy, and perfect for the cold weather.

On a side note, the ginger ale was very powerful. My friend Bernard warned me of the strength of it… but I really liked the experience! It’s a true ginger ale, It’ll burn you =). Make sure to drink it in a cup with plenty of ice.

Shara recommends the grilled portabella and blue cheese =).

Overall

I really like this place! However, personally, I don’t think I’d chose this place over Fricano’s on most occasions. I definitely recommend this place if you want to chat and get to know someone better =).

When i visited the first time I did not take any pics of anything, even the food, sorry =). I went back and ordered to go, that’s where I got this snap:

I’ll do very quick review for now since I don’t have food pics.

First Impressions:

First off… what’s Argentinian food? Let’s have wikipedia answer that for us.

My take on the cuisine is… think of Mediterranean food. Olives… feta cheese… salads? Then replace feta and salads with “meat and potatoes.” Hearty would be the best way to describe it.

To be honest it looks mad shady from the outside, but my friend and I were pleasantly surprised to find it so cozy and romantic on the inside.

Their empinadas are magical… light puff pastry crust, hearty beef and olive filling, and a nice dipping sauce (chimmichuri). Soup of the day, Creme of asparagus and spinach, was suprisingly light and refreshing for a creme based soup.

My gnocchi entree was interesting to say the least, I don’t think i’d get it again. But my friend’s shepards pie looked awesome! I’d definitely get it as an instant pick-me-up if I was having a bad day.

Dessert made up for it =) they have a lovely display of all their desserts… and you must get one when you go! I highly recommend the Raspberry tart.

Overall

Great place to take a close friend, great food and experience of the price =)!

Olivia’s

-Olivia’s

I really regret not bringing my DSLR, but whatever =).

I really don’t know what to say about Olivia’s right now. First off their restaurant looks fabulous on the inside. Very modern, and I like that their kitchen is so open to the public. They print their menu daily, and everything changes based on what is locally available that day. I like that, but I feel that they’re boasting it a little too much.

A lot of gourmet places that I’ve been to over crisp their fries to the point that they are pretty much like those canned potato strings, but Olivia’s fries are god like. They’re crisp alright, but they have a depth to them, and they’re perfectly seasoned. I also loved the aioli (mayonnaise) sauce that came with it.

I made a mistake and got their risotto… I really didn’t think that was worth 24 bucks, but I seem to jump on items that have words like “fresh farm egg” in their description.

The fresh egg yolk in the middle which was divine, but after that was gone I was left with a big bowl of over powering parmesan porridge. My friend Bernard got a whole snapper, cooked simply with butter, salt, and better to perfection.

I felt we left  just “satisfied” and not “wowed” which was a disappointment cause it was SOOO expensive.

My recommendation would be to arrive at 5:15~, the kitchen opens at 5:30, and the restaurant looks gorgeous with the sunset lighting. Get their fries, if they have sweetbreads… please get it.

Gordough’s

gourdough's

Gourmet cupcakes are in now days, so why not gourmet donuts? When a friend told me that he could barely finish 1 donut from here, I thought he was a pansy. But, after taking a few bites of this trailer’s beautiful mounds of fried dough and heavenly(or devlishly) sweet toppings, I retract my earlier thought.

First of all, South Lamar, much like South Congress, displays Austin’s truly funky vibe and feeling. It’s truly the ideal place for a humble donut trailer.

The wait is for even 1 donut is quite long, but that’s because the guy in there starts to fry your donut the moment you order it. Imagine fresh Krispy Kreme, and then imagine a hershey’s candy truck smashing into the building…  No idea what I’m trying to get at here… hopefully you get the picture.

We got 4 donuts, the ones above are the dirty berry, son of a peach, and puddin’. Out of the 3, puddin’ was my favorite. It’s a donut both stuffed and topped with cream cheese icing(tastes like vanilla pudding), cream, nilla waffers, and bananas.

Most donuts are based of the same batter, which is a good thing because I love the distinct  “crispiness” that Gourdough’s donuts have. It balances perfectly with the smooth texture of their toppings and fillings.

But, after a few bites… you’ll realize just how terribly wrong these things are. They’re so rich and decadent that I truly doubt I’d ever eat more than 1, and I’m normally a gluttonous fat ass when it comes to food like this. Ahh!

We thought the bacon donut was going to be god like… but I would only call it “decent.” One would think the bacon and maple syrup icing would complement each other, but the sweetness of the maple syrup was overpowering. I’m going to suggest… that a fried egg would take this donut to the next level. Sort of a gourmet Mcgriddle if you will.

Overall

Seriously… these things are just wrong, they shouldn’t exist. They’re almost… too good to be true.

Definitely recommend this place for any occasion. Fed up with midterms? Forget the stress by devouring a Gourdough Donut.

fry master

The owner is a really nice guy as well. Support your local businesses… he’s there every day just to share his wonderful, loved filled donuts with you.

Hot F***ing Churros

DSC06418

After going downtown on Halloween, my friends and I made the oh-so-familiar trek down to La Mexicana.

I actually ate Habenero earlier that day… so my stomach wasn’t so up for another round of barbacoa / breakfast tacos. I opted for a tres leches instead, the waitress laughed.

Half way through our meal, Jane went to up see if there was anything coming out soon, and came back to the table with good news, “Fresh churros are going to be out in 5 mins.”

My mind wasn’t even prepared for the awesomeness came soon afterwards. Crispy on the outside, steaming and moist on the inside… sugar and cinnamon all over my fingers and mouth.

AHHHH! *am I tearing up by remembering the experience?* yes I am, hah!

Dip that shiet in some chocolate caliente (hot chocolate), and you’ll have the ultimate combo to fight the cold weather.

50 cents a pop? WOW.

And as a lesson for most of you out there… if you’re going to regular a place, tip your waitress well! Another table tried to get in on the fresh churro madness, and they gave them old ones.

Oh, and don’t forget about the donuts… omg the donuts. You can tell their deliciousness by just TOUCHing them.

*End rant*

Jane loves fried food.

Jane loves fried food, I’m pretty sure she was in pure bliss that night.

Tam’s Deli

I keep hearing that it’s tough to find good asian food in Austin. I admit that this city’s chinatown is no where even close to Houston’s…. but there are a few places where you can satisfy your cravings.

On the topic of Banh mi, or vietnamese sandwiches…. I’m not an expert, I’ve grown up Don’s cafe, the place behind it,  and one of my best friend’s dad would always bring back banh mi for lunch when I went over to his house to play(good ole’ times).

I haven’t been to Bite Mi on the drag, nor do I intend to go. There’s no way in hell that a place on the drag will be better than Tam’s or my other favorite, Baguette house.

bqq pork

Tam's interior

Like many of the other places I review, the insides are small and cozy. The thing is… there’s some BEAUTIFUL photography on the walls, and I mean GORGEOUS. the owners have good taste!

Sit down anywhere you like, and you’ll be handed a menu. I went in expecting to just get banh mi… but I saw salt & pepper squid and I immediately opted to order that as well.

salt & pepper squid

salt & pepper = fried. If you like fried calamari… this is HEAVEN. The only thing I was disappointed with was the portion size. 11 bucks for that little bit? I wanted so much more.

As for the banh mi? We both got bbq pork, and they were spectacular, I would say that it’s better than Don’s! The bread is warm, slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Not hard/chewy. The bbq pork was quite good, but the real kicker was that in addition to the traditional “special” butter, there’s this savory white sauce that seems to bring the whole sandwich together. It mellows out the heat from the jalapeno perfectly!

I know this may be too in depth for a friggin sandwich, but that how I felt!  SimplyDelicious.

Brief Summary
YUM.

Location.
Go north on lamar… for quite a while. Tam’s will be immediatly on the left after you go under this freeway. Lol, google map it!.

Upcoming nightmare review: Spaghetti Warehouse
EWWWWWWWW!

Habenero is good anytime.

I know the most popular place for breakfast tacos around here is Juan in a Million, which is a fantastic joint by all means, but I think Habenero packs a stronger punch.

habenero

I’m a sucker for places where the owner seats customers and works the cash register. To me it’s as if he’s saying, “Try my food, I know that you’ll enjoy it.”

Habenero is really tiny, so I’d probably never bring a party bigger than 6 to eat inside. Luckily there’s a park right next store, so order some tacos to go and enjoy the nice weather!

The thing is, you’ll want to eat inside because you’ll get the best chips + salsa combo EVER, for free! Their salsa is just magical, and I pretty much douse every single thing I get with it. It’s smooth, light, tangy, and spicy…. Mmmmm!

Their prices are super low, you’ll get a fantastic meal for around $5, around 8 with tip because you’ll be seeing the same waitresses every time you go back =).

Things that I like:
Migas Plate – Eggs, cheese, tortilla chips, pico, and beef cooked together. Hearty ass breakfast right there.

Barbacoa Taco, Barbacoa Plate, Barbacoa Tortas (awesome sandwich!) – I love barbacoa (shredded beef), Chipotle’s is a cheap knock off… get the real stuff.

Chorizo and egg taco – Chorizo is mexican sausage… and it’s really effing good with eggs.

afternoon snack

If you call in your order will be ready in 10 mins! Their number should be in everyone’s phonebook!

What I usually get on the go:
If I’m in the mood for all tacos, and I’m moderatly hungry, only $6 bucks.:
2 Barbacoa Taco
1 Chorizo and egg Taco
1 Migas Taco

Rating?
I’m putting an end to my rating system… how bout this instead:

Quick Summary
Cheap, Fast, Hearty… it’s pretty difficult to beat that combo, I definitely recommend Habenero. In fact, I’ll take you there whenever because I’ll be wanting to go as well.

Location:

Oltorf and South first street. From I-35S, exit oltorf, turn right on oltorf… go down, you’ll pass an HEB, and Habenero will be on your left before you hit 1st.

From Guadalupe, go south through downtown, eventually guadalupe will turn into south 1st street after you pass the river. Go down to Oltorf and turn left. It’s across the street from a churches + popeyes right next to eachother.