« November 2013 | Main | January 2014 »

December 30, 2013

Taste of Italy in Dallas TX

Arcodoro Pomodoro: many years ago, I used to spend time at Arcodoro, their previous location; my GF at the time was a waitress there.  Lori and Efisio Faris were always good to me and I learned a lot about real Italian food from them.  I was excited to find they have reopened at the Crescent Court. 

arcodoro pomodoro golden back door dallas italian restaurant 

We entered using "THE GOLDEN BACK DOOR".  (use self parking and take the elevator up, the door allows entrance through the kitchen!  ask for your parking ticket to be validated before you leave)

kitchen at arcodoro dallas italian food

Yes, it's all THAT fresh. 

check in on yelp get a free bellini

We used the Yelp app check-in and received free bellinis!  #2 son was not passed out at the table, he is often uncooperative for pictures (makes faces, hides his face, thumbs down signs etc). 

walrus boy arcodoro pomodoro dallas

This is a very nice restaurant.  The two other tables near us both spoke Italian, not english.  Everybody was very well dressed and one lady wore a fur.  #1 son brought it down to our level with his table side walrus impression. 

beef carpaccio pomodoro arcodoro dallas italian restaurant crescent court

Kat LOVED this beef carpaccio with portobello and truffle oil.  Arcodoro was where I learned to appreciate carpaccio, and it's just as good as I remember. 

tomato buffalo mozzarella basil italian pomodoro dallas

My only complaint, the tomato was not that good... I know, it's Winter time...  but I still get good tomatoes from my local Trader Joe's and my Dad had stacks of them at his place in Dallas, his greenhouse is nearly overgrown with delicious fresh winter tomatoes. 

moretti on tap arcodoro dallas italian beer

On tap!

pizza dallas pomodor arcodoro italian food

The Pizza was delicious, rotisserie chicken, red onions, smoked mozzarella and sundried tomatoes

Traditional Sardinian Seafood Soup pomodoro dallas

Kat loves a good seafood soup and this "Traditional Sardinian Soup" was perfect!

Highland Park Village Christmas lights 2013

We also sought Italian food in Highland Park Village at Patrizio's

retired judge holds court at patrizio's dallas

There was a 45 minute wait.  I found Kat a seat at the bar while I cornered the kids out of the way.  These three gentlemen made her feel welcome and shared conversation.  One was a retired Judge, she was networking!

stuffed artichoke over polenta patrizio's italian restaurant dallas tx usa

artichoke stuffed with crab and goat cheese, fried, and served over creamy polenta. 

patrizio's dallas italian restaurant

The kids always love Patrizio's.

pizza dallas highland park patrizio's

Pizza was delicious, and the tomatoes were really good. 

patrizio's dallas italian restaurant

#2 son being uncooperative again. 

I did have an issue with the hostess. I’d asked her to check how much longer the wait was after 45 minutes had elapsed.  She had given our table away to another party and crossed my name off the list. She insisted I already had a table, I assured her we did NOT. Then she was rude to me about it. She made me prove it and challenged me to produce our buzzer… meanwhile we'd all been waiting patiently in the bar area. Not once did she apologize for the mistake.  She insisted that I had turned in buzzer (#15), but she couldn't account for the buzzer I had in my hand (#32).  She finally gave in with "do you STILL want a table?!" 

tiramisu dallas higland park patrizio's

the tiramisu went quick!

scardello's cheese shop dallas

we made our usual stop at Scardello Cheese shop. 

rolf beeler dallas scardello's cheese holzhofer

We scored a new Alpine Style Cheese from Rolf Beeler, Holzhofer.  Will do some side by side comparisons later this week.

outside the perot museum dallas

We visited the Perot Nature and Science Museum

makerbot 3d printer dallas perot

Kat was enamoured with the Makerbot (3D printer)

strangeway's dallas beer

We also enjoyed a beer at Strangeways and met up with an old friend. We both worked at Hooter's 20 years ago!  He's now in Los Angeles, turning his auto hobby into a career at http://www.motoiq.com/About.aspx.  I sold Jeff my old welder, his first, when he was still in High School.

clown foot clementine beer strangeways dallas

Our home away from home in Dallas, Aloft

dallas aloft two queen bed room

#2 son LOVES hotels.  He spent a good part of the day whining "can we go to the hotel NOW!"  He was happy to reach his goal. 

aloft dallas starwood double queen room accessible

We had a great view of the Omni Hotel.  It's covered with color shifting LED lights that they like to watch when the sun goes down.

downtown view from aloft dallas

aloft lobby dallas pool table

#1 son was looking forward to a game of pool in the lobby. 

dallas aloft starwood lobby

He beat me. 

aloft downtown dallas pioneer park

Every stay at Aloft Dallas is capped with a walk across the street, to climb on longhorn cattle at Pioneer Park.

pioneer plaza dallas longhorn sculptures

20 years ago, I lived down the block.  I remember when the first longhorn was placed.  Never in my wildest dreams did I consider I would return to see it completed and bring kids along... 

dallas longhorn sculpture pioneer park

dallas texas cow sculpture longhorn downtown pioneer parkpioneer park dallas texas

pioneer park cowboy dallas scultpure


Christmas 2013, a taste of Italy

schuster family dallas  

We spent Christmas at my Dad's place.  It's our tradition and it's easy on us. 

christmas tree pickle hunter

big tree covered with ornaments, a pile of presents arranged around, and a pickle hidden in there somewhere...  no early peeking!

wheel of italian cheese pecorino

My Dad and his wife went to Italy this past summer.  They brought us back some Pecorino!

pecorino italian cheese

doctor whol christmas socks weeping angels

Doctor Who has been common table talk this past year.  Christmas also honored the Doctor. 

christmas 2013

christmas waffles

The kids look forward to a waffle breakfast any time they wake up at Grandpa Schuster's house. 

kat saves the christmas pie with chopsticks

Dad: uh-oh, I wasn't supposed to put the almonds on yet. I just screwed up the pie!
Kat: I can remove them for you
Dad: I don't know how you're gonna do it. There's a lot!
Kat: Do you have chopsticks?

And there she is carefully removing every almond slice with chopsticks. The pie has been saved! Christmas meal is back on track!

fried whole turkey christmas

bird has been prepped for the fryer.

grandma schuster's shrimp salad

Kat and I helped make "Grandma Schuster’s Shrimp Salad".

christmas cajun deep fried turkey

the big bird going down slowly...

cajun fried whole turkey christmas 2013

whole turkey fryer christmas 2013

turkey tender shiner bock digital infrared thermometer

Kat and I controled the fry temp and enjoyed the outdoors with a Shiner. 

christmas turkey fried 2013


happy wife, happy life, with a fried turkey

Men, take note.  Happy wife, happy life.  One sure way to make your wife smile, Cajun Fried Whole Turkey!  Works every time!

schuster christmas table 2013

all the fancy table jewelry set and food being served. 

gift exchage christmas 2013 italian in dallas

finished the gift exchange.  We had a large stack this year.  Many gifts had been hauled back from Italy!  We are looking forward to all the balsamic vinegars, and sea salts, etc etc.  Christmas from Italy. 

christmas dalek 2013

christmas tardis dalek doctor who 2013



December 23, 2013




Lost Creek Country Club GC redemption.

Kat had amassed a stack of Gift Certificates from her silent auction winnings.  We've been working at unloading them, Lost Creek Country Club GC redemption night! 

moscow mule copper cup mug cheers!

Moscow Mule happy hour before making our way down the hill.  We assembled at a friends house in Lost Creek, they are members of the country club. 

greek artisinal cheese 

the cheese on the right was shipped direct from Greece, a whole wheel of it.  It's quite good too. 

lost creek country club dining room austin tx

I don't think they do much dinner traffic at the club.  We were the only people there and the halls were mostly dark (lights were off)

lost creek country club dining room austin tx

but we had fun and made the best of the meal.  Beef tenderloin was cooked perfectly. 

Winter Solstice Lanter Parade with the Minor Mishap Marching Band

homemade led lanterns

I made LED lanterns for us from misc stuff laying around the house, old aluminum scraps, PVC tube sections etc. 

lake austin ladybird lake winter solstice 2013 lamar bridge austin tx

we gathered at the Lamar St pedestrian spiral at dusk. 

austin lantern winter solstice 2013

minor mishap winter solstice let there be light lantern parade 2013

The Minor Mishap Marching Band was assembling below.

Minor Mishap Marching band 2013 winter solstice parade

as the sun dipped below the horizon, the music started. 

minor mishap let there be light winter solstice 2013

minor mishap marching band winter solstice 2013 austin tx

minor mishap marching band winter solstice 2013

let there be light winter solstice lantern parade austin lamar st bridge

there was a lot of dancing and shaking going on...

austin skyline winter solstice downtown ninjastyle graffiti

then we crossed the pedestrian bridge in parade format. 

minor mishap marching band winter solstice 2013 let there be light lantern parade

homemade lantern winter solstice austin 2013

downtown austin at night winter dec 2013

our home made lanterns for the minor mishap winter solstice parade 2013 austin texas

winter solstice let there be light lantern parade minor mishap 2013

winter solstice december austin texas 2013

another nice evening in ATX. 

It's Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas Prime Rib

if you invite me over to your house for a Christmas Party, I just might take pictures of your food.  It's what I do. 

Cameron Hughes lot #300

and if you collect rare French wines, we just might open some of your juice!  (It's really some Cameron Hughes Lot #300 that we brought, but we did also enjoy some French vino rouge)

Christmas Kale and Beet Salad

I warned you about more food pics...  have you ever seen a Kale and Beet Salad so much into the Christmas spirit as this one?  "Ho-Ho-Ho!" said the salad.

prime rib torch flame

take THAT you prime rib!

Prime Rib

Prime Rib perfection and GIANT portions.  THANKS!


fondue torch chin grab

The dinner concluded with a chocolate fondue.  The torch came back for some finishing touches, prompting the guests to grasp their chins. 

Christmas dinner kid's table

The kid's table was rather raucus.  We heard the entire room erupt into "what does the fox say" sing-along.  The daughter graduated to the adult table, and was spared the song.  She's had enough of it (as we all have).  The boys enjoyed the fun.

it was a nice Christmas evening. 

December 20, 2013

Linus & Lucy at Eanes Moment of Silence Assembly

#1 son had been preparing to play this for his school for a long time.  He was very nervous when the time came to perform.

piano recital eanes elementary west lake hills austin tx

westlake austin eanes

Eanes Elementary Friday Assembly performance 2013


bedheaded unshaven morning me

and yes, that's me unshaven and bedheaded early in the morning...

mulberry Winter Menu tasting 2013

mulberry austin winter 2013 menu tasting


I didn't get a picture of the snack portion of the meal.  It was served from a plate with multiple portions on it.  You had to grab one off with your hands.  Sure, it's a sandwich, and sandwiches are handily eaten, but we didn't have a side or bread plate to set it on.  Once you plucked it from the server, you had to finish it to free the hand holding it.

The gentleman to my left was on a date, they were the last to be served.  He had mostly been talking to his girfriend, can't blame him for that.  He hadn't noticed that we had grabbed our sandwich from the plate.  So, when the server extended a plate with two sandwiches on it, he naturally reached to take the plate.  He grabbed it, and tugged.  The server tightened his grip and tugged back.  A brief tug of war with a double sandwich snack prize!  It was quite comical and a bit unfortunate.  The server repeated what he'd said to a few other people, "I'm sorry, but we're all out of plates".  This struck me as odd since it was only the first course and the seating was limited to the amount of tickets sold for the event (25).  Anyhow, the sandwich snack was good enough, but the tug of war was more memorable.  I'd suggest they order a few more small plates...  the number of plates needed to issue a finite amount of people a known amount of items could easily be summed in advance. 

All images below are shown in the order served, as from the menu above. 

mulberry austin winter menu

beet salad mulberry austin restaurant

risotto truffle mulberry austin wine bar

I almost never order risotto.  It's almost always crunchy (undercooked).  This was no exception.  There were six of us at our table.  A lady looked at her husband's risotto and exclaimed "WOW!  You're so lucky, look at that big slice of truffle you got".  One by one, the four other people at the table chimed in, "OH! I have one too".  She looked at her dish closer and eventually figured the few small black flecks to be her truffle serving, and she made a frowny face.  A similar scene was about to unveil once again.

wulberry wine bar winter 2013 menu

"What are all those white cubes on yours?", she asked her husband.  He used his phone to light the plate.  We could all see no less than twenty white cubes along with his kale.  A quick menu reference indicated they should be "Roasted Pear".  The other five people at our table started to poke and prod our kale, searching for our elusive white cube of roasted pear, we came up empty.  I later discovered one...  still, this was my favorite savory item served.  It was delicious and I don't think I really suffered any loss from my short pear situation.  But I'd think Mulberry could do a better job with consistency. 

chili chocolate dessert mulberry wine bar gastropub austin

I don't usually order dessert, but I was glad to have this Chocolate chili pie.  I've long been a fan of Ancho Chili Pie and this one was perfect.  Not overly sweet but still flavorful and decadent.

mulberry austin gastropub wine bar restaurant

December 16, 2013

Christmas Party Season is here!

IP Law Christmas Party at the Goodnight

Work Christmas parties are often lame sort of affairs.  But Kat's firm puts on a nice Christmas party.  It helps that they are all really nice people that we enjoy spending time with.  I don't often say that about people in the legal profession... 

bowling austin goodnight

The event was at the Goodnight.  You can bowl, watch Sports on TV, karaoke, or just enjoy the food that was pretty good too.  And of course they have a decent draft beer list...  if you're into that sort of thing. 

bowling at the goodnight austin

We haven't bowled in a year.  But we did OK at knocking down pins by rolling balls.  It was fun.

bowling at the goodnight austin


We had our first round of family Christmas:

Merry Christmas

My mom is about to depart for Nebraska. She spends the Holidays with my sister. We exchange gifts with her before she leaves

bodum glassware christmas gift

Troy got some Bodum glassware for his new apartment. 

metal cock

I love this metal cock, it's perfect.  Thanks mom!

handmade bag

Kat got a bag that was handmade by the daughter and my mom. 

Different ways to enjoy BEER in the 78704 (SOLA and SOCO)

Gourdough's Public House: 

gourdough's beer tower austin 78704 s lamar

at Gourdough's Public House, you can enjoy your beer from a tower on your table. 

sucking beer straight from the tap

tap beer no glass, straight from the source

gourdough's saucy cock

Their food IS donut based, those savory garlic donuts are really good.  The "Saucy Cock" (above).

gourdough's austin grandma's chicken dumpling soup

#1 son really likes their chicken dumpling soup.

gourdoughs mother plucker austin gastropub

Their version of chicken and waffles is called the "Mother Plucker", and it was quite good.  I also really enjoyed their fried oyster po-boy, using the savory garlic donut as the roll. 

hefewizen beer tower gourdough's austin 78704 sola



perla's soco 78704 austin clear tented porch beer

At Perla's, you can enjoy your hefewizen beer in a giant transparent tent enclosing their front patio for the winter.  The sun came out and the light in there was amazing. 

draft beer perla's soco 78704 austin

Pretty beer. 

milf watering hole austin perla's 78704

Troy and I were about the only guys there.  Several tables filled with groups of women.  I guess the guys were all some place watching football?  I'm oblivious to the sport schedule.  It was a regular milfapalooza at Perla's on Sunday afternoon. 

dudes drinking hefeweizen at perla's soco austin 78704


ass on south congress soco austin 78704

We stepped across the street and Troy found SOCO street ass. 

Continental Club :

the continental club south congress austin tx 78704 soco

planet casper continental club free show sunday austin tx soco 78704

PLANET CASPER sunday afternoon free show.  You can enjoy your beer with live music in the 78704.

bartender at continental club austin soco 78704



abgb austin beer garden brewing 78704

Beer is best enjoyed as close to the source as possible.  It doesn't get much closer than this! about 25 FT from the tanks where it's made!

abgb industry pils austin beer garden brewing 78704


joe ben clark swervin' ervin abgb wile bill's holidaze show

Our friend Joe Ben Clark was playing the part of "swervin' ervin" in Wild Bill's Honky Tonk Holidaze Show.

wild bill's honky tonk holidaze show abgb 2013

wild bill's honky tonk holidaze abgb 2013

krampus abgb wild bill's honky tonk holidaze show

That Krampus dude was KREEEEPY.  He framed Santa, and they all got jailed up in "Nuevo Dallas".  It was some good laughs, and music too. 

wild bill austin 78704 abgb bad santa i shuck fit up

At ABGB, I enjoyed beer with Wild Bill. 

anchor christmas ale growler central market westgate

Troy had his first taste of Anchor Christmas Ale at Central Market, also in South Austin. 

Those are some good beer options if you find yourself parched in South Austin. 

Quiet Company House Party 2013

We hosted the annual Quiet Company Holiday House Party again.   

troy squishes up some rio star ruby red girlfriends

squishing some girlfriends for GF Pomegranate Punch. 

keri b punches it

Keri helping to mix up a bubble punch. 

quiet company house party 2013 austin

quiet company holiday house party 2013 austin

Taylor Muse of Quiet Company as heard on NPR

Quiet Company was recently featured on NPR ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.  Their most recent album quickly shot to #13 on the itunes rock chart from the exposure.  Taylor Muse (as heard on NPR) 

mine, not mine punch cups quiet company austin house party

punch cups: MINE, NOT YOURS!

quiet company holiday house party white elephant gift exchange austin 2013

The White Elephant gift exchange was a lot of fun again. 

quiet company austin house party 2013 white elephant gift exchange

The talking deer head was the most prized item and was quickly stolen, and stolen again. 

marvin the sad robot lap dog

The dogs enjoy all the new friends that allow them lap time. 

spam white elephant gift exchange quiet company house party austin 2013

Daughter got spammed. 

hunters with prize deer austin

The deer became locked on the 2nd steal.  Troy was quite pleased with his trophy. 

come with me deer

quiet company austin band house party 2013

And Quiet Company sounded good.  A good time was had by all. 

Merry Christmas!

Tapasitas Happy Hour walkthrough (more tapas in austin)

tapasita's austin menu tapas bar best happy hour in town


We traditionally go to Plucker's for Kat's birthday.  They always send an email with an offer for a free meal on her birthday.  That was our plan once again, we did receive the email from Plucker's, but as we were walking out the door (with kids, dressed to go out for dinner) I saw I had another email from Plucker's, explainging they had closed for the day to have an employee party... 

So, we quickly regrouped, figured we could make happy hour at Tapasita's if we rushed.  It's not far from us at all.  We arrived at 6:45.  We made it simple, "bring us everything on the menu with a star" (* indicates $5 for happy hour). 

we sat back and enjoyed each of the dozen (12!) happy hour items. 

Best Happy hour in Austin!  pics below are in the order that they landed on our table. 

tapasitas salmon skewers tapas austin

buffalo shrimp skwere tapa tapasitas austin tx

papas tapas tapisitas austin

salmon tartare tapasitas austin tapas

octopus tapas at tapasita's austin

brussel sprouts with gorgonzola cream tapasitas austin

stuffed mushrooms tapas tapasitas austin

chicken meatballs austin tapasitas tapas

roasted beet salad with goat cheese tapasitas austin tapas

raw gulf oysters on the half shell tapasitas happy hour austin

PEI mussells tapasitas happy hour austin tapas

churros with chocolate sauce tapasitas austin tapas

everything was really good and our server did a fantastic job making us feel welcome. 

fresh cookie birthday tapasitas austin

and they even gave Kat a free dessert!

animal champagne at tapasitas austin

AND the Manager came over and offered her a free glass of bubbles.  This really pleased the wife and brought out her animal spirit.

tapasita's austin texas tapas happy hour best

Definitely our new favorite happy hour.  Thank you Tapasitas


December 09, 2013

Sunday Funday Surf and Turf feast.

blue point bluepoint oysters from CT central market austin

I found some Blue Point Oysters (CT) at Central Market.  I've come to enjoy the champange and oyster pairing, so we did.  I use a vintage stainless steel Volvo hubcap as my oyster serving device. 

maple crown royal breakfast of champions

a friend brought another pairing for us to try, Maple infused Crown, with bacon and OJ chaser. 

live oak hefewiezen growler from central market

PROSIT!  some hefeweizen, why not?!

filet mignon on the salt plate

I put our salt plate on a table top burner to keep it hot.  Cooked the meat right there.  It was fun.  Beef steak  went first. 

sunday night surf and turf feast

chilean sea bass on the himalayan salt plate

the Chilean Sea Bass was PERFECT!  no seasoning required at all, just slap it on the hot salt plate and flip once. 

salt plate surf and turf austin west lake hills tx

West Lake Hills Winter Wonderfest 2013

Westlake Chamber of Commerce hosted a Holiday event for us here in the neighborhood. 

west lake hills austin texas honey ham

Ham soup and sandwiches by Texas Honey Ham.

pot belly pig west lake hills tx

Petting zoo, uh-oh, I think he can smell that pork belly I just enjoyed at Searsucker...

baby potbelly pig bites man west lake hills tx

now he wanted to see what I taste like!  I guess it's only fair.  (just a nibble)

fluffy chicken west lake hills austin wonderland

westlake petting zoo

nothing Bundt cakes! west lake hills tx

delicious cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes

mobile loaves and fishes austin tx

We donated several coats to Mobile Loaves and Fishes, my mom also does some volunteer work for MLF.

mrs klasson small wonders eanes west lake hills

Mrs Klasson was there with a cute puppy.

tiny train west lake hills chamber of commerce tx

Tiny train too!

westlake train

pinkberry and noodle & co west lake hills austin tx

with a cup of Pinkberry in one hand, he spun the Noodles & Co wheel and won a $100 meal! 

thank you West Lake Hills Chamber of Commerce. 

bouncy jump house face plant

face plant!  that's why the say to go feet first!

Kendra Scott jewelry and Chandon at Searsucker Austin with green eggs and ham too!

moet chandon imperial brut austin searsucker bar restaurant

Chandon provided the champagne for a Kendra Scott shopping event at Searsucker

moet chandon cocktail searsucker austin

paul schuster austin tx searsucker restaurant

Happy with our bubbles, time to view the baubles. 

kendra scott jewelry popup store searsucker austin

kendra scott jewelry and chandon champagne searsucker austin

kendra scott jewelry austin searsucker restaurant


searsucker austin green eggs and ham pork belly

Searsucker's "green eggs and ham" is delicious!

kendra scott austin lumix m43 searsucker

I've started using a Lumix Micro four thirds (m43).  I like it. 


Barley Swine Austin menu and walkthrough.

we FINALLY made it to Barley Swine!  They now take reservations and it's all chef's choice for one price. 

Barley Swine menu dec 7, 2013

(BIG)  and below, you will find an image of each item, in correct order.  They even started us with complementary champagne and gave us an additional non-menu item. 

barley swine austin gastropub

barley swine food pictures 2013

barley swine best restaurant 2013 austin

barley swine small plates austin 2013

barley swine fancy food austin

barley swine austin 2013

barley swine restaurant austin tx

barley swine savory food austin tx

barley swine fine dining casual austin tx

barley swine chef's choice $60 twelve courses 13

barley swine foodporn austin tx

barley swine, you want to eat here

barley swine dessert pastry austin tx

barley swine austin tx

This was an amazing meal.  Everything tasted great and the pace was timed perfectly. 

barley swine open kitchen austin 2013

We also stopped by an older Austin Beer joint, The Horseshoe loung.  $1 Lonestars. 

horseshoe lounge austin beer bar

horseshoe loung austin dive bar

birthday $1 lonestar beer

Bartender gave her a free one, for her birthday.



 Sullivan's Steakhouse invited us to their RE-opening party, and it was good....

sullivan's steakhouse reopening party sullivans austin

YES!  that IS an ice sculpture draped with crab, shrimp and oysters!  all delicious. 

steak tartare and prime rib slider sullivan's austin steakhouse

steak tartare and prime rib slider (above)

sullivan's steakhouse reopening party

crab legs austin sullivan's steakhouse

CRAB!  I probably had a pound of it!  and their crab cakes were fantastic as well. 

moscow mule austin steakhouse sullivan's cocktails

I ordered a round of drinks for all the girls at our table.  We made new friends.  Amazing how free drinks can do that every time!

signature cocktail sullivan's steakhouse austin knockout

Sullivan's also provided their signature cocktail, The Knockout!

live music sullivan's steakhouse austin the lost counts

and the band played on....

We really enjoyed our evening out at Sullivan's

December 02, 2013

Jonathan Richman at the Continental Club Austin TX 2013

Red Volkaert Saturday Matinee at the Continental Club, free show every Saturday at 3:30.

Red Volkaert Continental Club austin tx 

Jonathan Richman played at the Continental Club for three nights this past week.  We made the final show.

Jonathan Richman Austin tx Continental 2013

No two Jonathan shows are alike.  He rambles, rants, and changes up the lyrics.  Some songs drag on for extended amounts of time as he freestyles new lyrics and does his goofy dances. 

jonthan richman and tommy larkins

The room was packed full of people and soon became very warm.  J. Richman apollogized for the temps, he made the club turn off the a/c or anything that might make a hum or rattle sound.  I heard that on Thursday eve, he even made the bartender turn the beer cooler off. 

He's not fond of cell phones either.  He even has a song about how he refuses to get one.  He might ask you to put yours down, if you forget to your flashlight is on and pointing at him... 

Jonathan Richman and Carla Austin continental club 2013

BUT!  this was a first for us, Carla was allowed on stage to do her own funny dance.  She was so happy up there as she moved her hips and swung her arms in synch to the music. 

carla dances at the continental club jonathan richman 2013

Carla at the Continental club jojo 2013

jonathan richman at the continental club austin 2013 soco

jojo jonathan richman austin tx continental 2013

and Tommy Larkins... he doesn't care.  He just keeps the time.  Jonathan asked Tommy's opinion a couple times.  Tommy just shrugs it off, keeps slapplin' those skins and tappin' that foot. 

We also managed a night out at Paggi House.  (It wasn't all turkey this Thanksgivukkah) 

paggi well house bar austin

started with cocktails in the Well House. 

paggi house redfish with fennel four ways and bone marrow

Redfish with fennel four ways and bone marrow (above), scallops (below). 

scallops paggi house austin tx fine dining

paggi house austin fine dining 2013 tx

I also enjoyed some Italian from Piedmont.  That was one of the things we pledged to learn more of in 2013, Italian wine. 

Fried Whole trukey for Thanksgivuhhah 2013

we've been frying the big bird for a few years.  the results have been mixed, not fantastic.  I did a bit more reasearch, considered NOT frying a bird (this was not an option for Kat).  We decided to make a better effort this year. 

The recipe says to never attempt a bird over 15lb...  I got a 22 lb bird.  I didn't pay all the extra $ to get the "never frozen, organic, free range" bird.  I got a cheap, frozen, Butterball.  There is no need to brine a Butterball, they are pre-brined.  I did inject him with some butter, garlic powder and cayene.  AND!  I also injected him with Duck Fat! 

fried butterball turkey

The main reason turkey is usually lacking in flavor is lack of fat.  It's a lean bird.  Maybe you've not yet experienced Duck Fat fries, but they are quite popular in some restaurants and I've come to understand that duck fat is healthier than butter

so, we filled the oil to the correct height, got it up to 385 degrees, killed the flame and lowered that bird. 

fried whole turkey thanksgivukkah 

Bird boiled in the oil till temp dropped to 270 and we reignited the flame, and maintained a temp around 280 for 1 hr and 15 mins. 

fried whole thanksgivukkah turkey 

fried whole turkey austin westlake texas

Then we let it rest for about 15 mins.

thanksgivukkah dreidel 2013

We have concluded we have some Jewish ancestry.  This year was the perfect time to put a bit of Hebrew into our tradition, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah; Thanksgivukkah!  We had a menorah, I said the traditional prayer and lit the candles after the sun went down...  and, Kat and I applied some festive "art" to our respective chalkboards.

thanksgivukkah art paul schuster

happy thanksgivukkah

thanksgivukkah feast austin

That Turkey was the best EVER!  The breast meat was moist and tender.  You could cut it with a fork.  Even the cold leftovers are good and moist.  We also enjoyed a side of salmon, brined and baked under ginger and Rio Star Grape Fruit, and a Pork Loin (sous vide) with caramelized onion and balsamic syrup.

parsnip celery root celeriac au gratin mushroom gravy

some of the sides above (left to right) creamed brussel sprouts with pecorino cheese, celeriac au gratin, mushroom gravy (mushroom stock, shiitake and cremini mushrooms, porcini powder (thanks Craig) and cream), and puree of parsnip and celery root. 

it was a good feast, we were thankful and happy. 

The next morning, we played Dreidel.  #2 son said "Let's NOT play video games today!  Let's play dreidel all day long".