It feels a bit warmer today, so we decided to check out Jo’s coffee stand. Though the coffee was better at Houndstooth, and the breakfast taco was just okay, it seems like a quaint place to hang out on a sunny day.
This place is the mecca of all Whole Foods. We’ve seen some slick, new Whole Foods stores, but this one is of Texan proportions. The variety of foods goes far beyond the average location, and there are additional offerings like a juice bar, BBQ stand, taco stand and what appears to be a gigantic walk-in, refrigerated beer closet.
We arrived early to avoid the lines, though they seem to move pretty quickly. The ramen is solid (was a chicken shoyu broth) -- I would have liked the noodles slightly chewier, and could have done without the raw, chopped onions that were included as garnish. But coming from West Palm, which is completely void of a ramen place, these bowls of soupy noodles made us very happy.
In the South Congress area. I’m loving the whimsical neon signage in Austin. Also, baby cowboy booties.
It’s too bad that it’s so cold and rainy, as this small food park area seems like a nice place to sit and relax. The weather, however, did not put a damper on our enjoyment of this very delicious donut. We got the Miss Shortcake: a donut topped with cream cheese icing and sliced strawberries. The donut had a nice texture -- delicate and slightly crispy on the outside, and fluffy and doughy on the inside.
After refueling at the donut truck, we headed a couple of blocks south to warm up with a cup of coffee/tea.
I was only able to get a 5:15pm reservation at qui, a popular restaurant by Top Chef winner Paul Qui. There are two prix fixe menus -- the regular and vegetarian menus -- both offering up modern Japanese fare with European and Filipino influences. We obviously both went for the regular menus, and Jon got the beverage pairing. Every course was creative, super delicious, and a delight to eat. My favorite dishes were the almond gazpacho (marcona almond, pedro ximenez gelee, pea tendril, and foie gras), and the yellowtail seared on white charcoal, then dipped in a midorizu sauce. At $65pp for the prix fixe, this meal was well worth the price!
Whimsical sumo wrestler chopsticks and simple pottery by Keith Kreeger added pleasing, aesthetic touches to our meal.
During the first week of January, music venues all over the city offer free shows featuring local bands. We settled on The Mohawk, which is supposed to be a good place for live music.
As we wait for the first band to start, the group next to us is having an in depth discussion about mustaches and beards. One of the guys, who has a mustache, is wearing a t-shirt with a handlebar mustache on it. Come on now.
It was a lot of fun discovering Austin’s local bands (Good Field, The Deer, Little Brave and Molly Burch), but we had to call it a relatively early night after a long day of being on our feet.