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May 26, 2014

Memorial Day WKND 2014, friends and food...

la condesa austin interior

la condesa austin mexican fine dining

don't tell morrissey we ate lamb on the way to his peta show

La Condesa (above) and Lambert's for pre Morrissey fixins.

lamberts bbq austin happy hour

lamberts bbq smoked meat drawer kitchen picture

I like to poke my head into the kitchen if I can, and I did. Now we ALL know where the smoked meat drawer is... ha!

w hotel wet deck

We enjoyed a stop at the W Hotel Wet Deck before the Orthy and Royal Forest show. Thanks to Chef Nadine for hosting.

w hotel secret bar red room

la condesa bar austin margaritas $10

Memorial Day week in music: Morrissey, Orthy and Royal Forest

Morrissey at the Austin Music Hall May 24th

morrissey austin music hall 2014

I'd been tracking the set list from recent Morrissey concerts, knew he was doing the same songs each night. We only got three Smiths songs, but I knew that going in so I wasn't disappointed. 

morrissey austin music hall 2014

The show was better than I had expected. This was the third time I'd seen him. Wasn't the worst Morrissey show, but not as good at the 2007 show I saw at the Back Yard.

morrissey austin music hall 2014

Living Room Live Sessions at the W Hotel:

Orthy

 Orthy band austin w hotel living room sessions

orthy austin band music w hotel living room

orthy band austin W hotel sessions

The Living Room at the W Hotel is our favorite place to catch live music. The sound in there is perfect! It's never too crowded that we can't find a table near the stage and we get service during the show. We really enjoyed both Orthy and Royal Forest, brought home some vinyl too!

Royal Forest

Royal Forest band austin w hotel living room sessions

royal forest band austin w hotel living room sessions

royal forest band music austin w

Royal Forest band austin w hotel

May 19, 2014

Finn and Porter ARW week 2, round 3

The beautiful wife and I had worked demolotion both saturday and sunday at our wimberley property. It was time for the Austin Restaurant Week 2 reward.

w hotel living room fireplace

yes, it was in the 80's outside (May in TX) but that A/C in the W hotel works really well. Kat likes to warm her bones by the fire in their Living Room. 

Then we went on to dinner at Finn and Porter:

finn and porter sushi and steaks austin hilton

They greeted us with some sparkling wine.

tartare trio finn and porter

We started with a Trio of Tartare, each served over a tempura shiso leaf.

Then we dove into the Austin Restaurant Week menu, two savory, one sweet per person.

grilled sake oysters finn and porter austin

Sake Grilled Oysters
Asparagus, Spring Onion, Pickled Mushroom, Soy Butter

duck rillete finn and porter austin

Duck Rillette
Brioche, Picked Vegetables, House Made Mustard

pan seared gulf grouper finn and porter austin

Pan Seared Gulf Grouper
Sugar Snap Peas, Grilled Radish, Salt Roasted Beet

finn and porter steak austin

5 Oz Filet
Feta Creamed Corn, Green Beans, Peppercorn Demi

strawberry shortcake with balsamic syrup finn and porter

Strawberry Shortcake
Whipped Mascarpone, Balsamic, Basil

Mother's little Ducker... a story about decanting the Shafer

duck shaped antique carafe

We found this decanter while browsing antiques in Gruene last weekend. #2 son has been urging me to use it. He keeps asking me "Don't you want to drink some wine?".  Like that's what I need, a little voice urging me to drink more wine...  We finally gave in and filled it with some Shafer One Point Five.

wine decanter

He announced "I will be the DUCKER!". I wasn't sure what he was talking about. He explained that the decanter resembled a duck, "The DUCKER is the person that pours the duck". 

porcini dusted sea scallops on himalayan salt plate

We used the salt plate for Porcini dusted Sea Scallops and Shiitake mushrooms.

iphone photography at the table

photographing the photographer and the duckish decanter.

youngest sommelier

shiitake mushrooms on salt plate

the mushrooms were especially good...

shafer one point five 1.5 duck decanter

and the Ducker did pour, until it was all gone.

cheers!

EELS at the Paramount and Pizza at DUE FORNI

We saw the EELS at The Paramount Theater

paramount theater austin texas

Yes, it's really ornate and beautiful.

the EELS at paramount austin tx

The sound was perfect. Eels did a great job performing and entertaining us.

Mark Oliver Everett Eels austin 2014

Pre-show bites:

due forni pizza oven austin

We enjoyed pre-show eats at Due Forni with some friends. The pizza ovens feature a turntable spinning the pizzas and food pots as they cook.

due forni pizza austin

Their signature pizza, the Due Forni. We enjoyed it, along with the octopus salad (below)

due forni octopus salad austin

Ginger Beer- homebrew

we have been enjoying our homebrew; Ginger Beer!

ginger beer homebrew

it's hard to find the words to describe how good and refreshing this stuff is. It does have a small alcohol content so it's not for kids. It's very refreshing over ice or used to make some really special Moscow Mules. 

home made ginger beer

uchiko ARW week one, round two

We've had the idea to take the kids to uchiko for a special dinner for years. This is the first year I've seen it participating in Austin Restaurant week, so I jumped on the reservation and scored the table.

uchiko kids

#1 son is the most adventurous eater of the three kids. The daughter doesn't really like sushi and #2 son doesn't like anything.

koviche uchiko austin sushi japanese

We started with some koviche (fresh diver scallp, tomatillo, kalamata, black lime), #1 son can't wait to dive in.

uchiko austin restaurant week menu 2014

Each of the three courses has three choices. we ordered three ARW meals. That enables us to have everything on the menu! Kat loves this method of ordering.

kat uchiko austin

uchiko branzino

uchiko shag

uchiko yokai berry dinosaur kale

uchiko

The daughter admitted, "OK, this IS pretty good". Meanwhile, #2 son ordered his third bowl of plain rice...

uchiko sakana mushi

uchiko dewbee chicken

uchiko mori bacon

Then, we hit the dessert course. all the sudden #2 was was ready to participate...

uchiko iphone food photography for beginners kids

#2 son: WAIT, WAIT WAIT! let me take a picture! (frames food in his iphone camera), I need more light! (Kat uses her iphone flashlight to brighten the sweet subjects).

and then the plates were scraped clean in a very short time.

uchiko fried milk

uchiko sweet corn sorbet

uchiko tobacco cream

uchiko austin restaurant japanese farmhouse kids

Take the kids to uchiko, scratch that one off the list.

 

May 12, 2014

ARW at Botticelli and don't hug my flowery cactus

uncooperative dick-tator

I made reservations for two at Botticelli's for the first night of Austin Restaurant Week. Kat was about to fly to Los Angeles and asked if we could also include the kids with our meal before she had to leave. This resulted in outdoor seating as they were fully booked inside.

botticelli biergarten austin tx italian food

#2 son refuses to cooperate with photographs unless he feels he can mess it up somehow, like making faces or wearing his sunglasses upside down. 

botticelli's austin soco happy hour on sunday patio beer garden

The bonus to dining on the back patio area instead of the upscale indoor dining room... Happy Hour all night on Sunday back there! You now have to ASK your server for the HH menu, it's a great list of $5 cocktails. 

austin restaurant week botticelli's 2014

Botticelli's is one of the best ARW options as they give you three savory courses for $37. Most places assume you want to end your meal with dessert and you only serve two savory courses followed by a half hearted sweet course. 

botticelli's austin restaurant week 2014

...and the portions were ample.

botticelli's soco austin restaurant week italian

tiramisu botticelli's soco austin

We did order tiramisu for the kids. It didn't last long...

blublocker boy austin

The crazy up/down temperature so far this year has prompted all sorts of blooming. This cactus that predates our ownership of the lot (it's wild) is one example. It's covered in bright yellow flowers and all sorts of bees buzz around it all day.

yellow cactus flowers austin texas

cactus blooms west lake hills austin tx

bee in cactus flower westlake tx

And the rattlesnake said
I wish i had hands so
I could hug you like a man
And then the cactus said
Don't you understand
My skin is covered
With sharp spikes
That'll stab you
Like a thousand knives
A hug would be nice
But hug my flower
With your eyes -Antsy Pantsy

Mettle and theYelp Elite party at Getaway

Mettle- East Austin Bistro:

mettle austin rhubarb julep

Just when I say that I'm just about over this whole "Craft Cocktail" trend, I was re-interested during a recent Happy Hour sampling at Mettle. The Rhubarb Julep (above) was refreshing and I thoroughly enjoyed my Mexico '68 (shown below).

mexico 68 at mettle happy hour austin

shandy austin happy hour austin tx

They serve Kat's favorite summer beer. Shiner Rubyred (ginger and red grapefruit beer) as a Shandy, over a cube of frozen lemonade.

The $5 HH food was good as well.

mettle brussels sprouts happy hour food austin

Brussell Sprouts with crispy rice, apple butter (above), Caramelized Cauliflower with quinoa, almond, pomegranate (below)

mettle happy hour food austin

Yelp Elite party at the Getaway:

yelp elite party austin getaway

sephora makeup booth at yelp elite party austin 

make up booth by Sephora

donkey kong game at getaway austin

30+ years later and I'm still trying to beat that Donkey Kong!

austin eastcider yelp elite party

Eastciders is really good if you don't care for the overly sweet ciders usually produced in the US.

M. Ward at Gruene Hall

gruene hall new braunfels tx oldest dance hall

The historic Gruene Hall, is the oldest dance hall in Texas, built in 1878 and has not seen many changes since. One positive change, they no longer allow smoking!

texas oldest dance hall gruene hall

M. Ward live tour Gruene Hall tx 2014

M. Ward played for a sold out house.

m. ward gruene hall texas

m. ward tour 2014 gruene hall

He didn't hold back on displaying his skill on the guitar! We enjoyed a nice selection of material old and new.

mozie's gruene tx

We enjoyed a pre show dinner at Mozie's.

 

May 05, 2014

Intent to Marry, #2 son

I found this in #2 son's backpack...

kindergarten love note

Mente Clara CD release party- Wanderlust

Mente Clara have a CD! 

Mente Clara jazz austin

You can order it via their bandcamp page: https://menteclaramusic.bandcamp.com/

brazillian jazz from austin tx mente clara

They sounded great!  it was a great show. We enjoyed it with friends.

a day of Brunches, Mexicans, and Mothers

We decided to celebrate Mother's day a week early this year (it just fit the schedule better this way).

cinco de mother's day 2014

We took my Mom to La Condesa for brunch.

cinco de mayo la condesa brunch 2014

la condesa mole chicharones chicken dumplings

Chicharones over chicken leg with masa dumplings and mole sauce. 

la condesa austin block party cinco de mayo mariachi

La Condesa was also hosting a Cinco de Mayo party in the street. It was rocking!

cinco de mayo austin la condesa block party 2014

lamberts bbq austin brunch

Then we crossed the street and enjoyed a 2nd brunch at Lamberts.

lamberts austin brunch bbq

circle brewing austin beer brunch lamberts

lamberts patio courtyard austin

lamberts crispy pork ribs brunch austin

crispy pork ribs and Circle Brewery beer.

lamberts bbq austin sauce

Lamberts makes their own sauces, the spicy one was pretty special.

swatch watch austin 2nd street district

and somehow the two older kids got swatches out of the deal...

annie ray photo booth

Photographing the photographer.

la condesa block street party cinco mayo 2014 austin 2nd street

austin skyline may 2014

The weather was just gorgeous!

Trace W hotel austin patio brunch

and for brunch #3, Kat and I met up with some friends that were downtown.  The patio at TRACE is a great spot to enjoy the perfect weather. 

W Hotel Austin Living Room Vinyl

Kat stopped to enjoy the Living Room at the W Hotel.

then we made our way to the Mente Clara CD release party...

(yeah, file this one under Best Sunday Ever)

Annual (-ish) AMH crawfish boil

We were picking up a few things from our local HEB (grocery) when Raul (meat/fish guy) ran up all excited to tell us about the crawfish he was getting in for the weekend. We wasted no time and put our name down for a bag (29lb). Invited a few local families to come join us.

crawfish boil austin modhouse amh 2014

Photographing the photographer.

austin crawfish boil 2014 amh

it was a successful boil. less salt and more spice this year was a good move.

crawfish boil of 2014 amh

amh eanes kids

the kids ate well too.

The Pizza at Backspace is sort of special.

We stopped in The Backspace for a quick bite before trying to make the sold out Quiet Company show at Holy Mountain.  

backspace meat slicer austin best pizza

All the ingredients are fresh and of the highest quality. The meat is sliced to order on a hand crank machine, the oven is wood fired... it's almost like going back in time. The place is really small, just a few tables. 

th backspace austin wood oven pizza

backspace pizza austin  

508 tequila bar

We also made a brief stop for fun and games at 508 Tequila bar. 

austin frost bank building night skyline 2014

We arrived at the QC show about 8:20. Listed door time was 8 PM. BUT, we found a line, doors were NOT open. While we patiently waited in line, employess came out and smoked next to the line... it's like we were trapped there to endure their 2nd hand smoke. We finally got into the venue around 9 PM. At nearly 10 PM the first band had not yet taken the stage, there were two bands scheduled before Quiet Company...  Realizing QC was not going to start before midnight, it proved to be a bad fit for us.  We finished our one beer, decided that was enough for one night and came home. win some, lose some.