Hannah: Dinner at Chez Nous was delightful and everything was magnificently delicious. The special appetizer was Saucisson en Brioche, which was, oddly, a kind of introduction to a food I ran into a lot in Austin. They’re locally referred to as kolaches (but are actually klobásníky). Spicy jalapeno smoked sausage baked in a slightly sweet dough. I admit they became my go-to breakfast immediately.
Back to the french food! After that substantial appetizer, my entree arrived: perfectly crisp and moist Confit of Duck Legs with Apricot Compote. The succulent duck with fruit was everything I wanted. I think duck as a food kind of moved up in my estimation after that dish.
But the real star was the little mushroom timbale that, along with pommes dauphines and a roasted tomato, comprised the “side dish” to the duck. The mushroom was a savory custard that smelled intoxicatingly of mushroom and truffle. I was sure the promise of the aroma wouldn’t be met in the flavor….how could it be? But I was wrong. That thing was one of the best things I’ve *ever* eaten. And its tininess made it even more memorable, because it left me wanting more.
MOONSHINE PATIO BAR & GRILL
Dinner at Moonshine was a more casual affair. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the late Spring in Austin. The beer was good (I drank a local IPA that I, sadly, can’t remember the name of), and the chicken and waffles was great.
The chicken was boneless, had a nice healthy spice and the combo of maple butter and chipotle gravy (with warm syrup too!) may sound….not appetizing….it actually worked very well for me.
FONDA SAN MIGUEL
Dinner at Fonda San Miguel was special because the restaurant is beautiful, our team got to eat together, and I had a drink that absolutely loved. The food was good, but I ate very light because I wanted to have room for dessert, which I didn’t end up having.
So my dinner choice, which was what they call “tostadas compuestas surtidas” was three small tostadas, one each topped with chicken, guacamole, and cochinita pibil (pork baked in banana leaf.) They were very good and I would recommend them as an appetizer, or for a light dinner!
The star of this meal, though, for me, was the Pisco Sour. The version they make at Fonda San Miguel is a Peruvian, so it uses Peruvian Pisco, lime juice, a little simple syrup, and an egg white to make it foam. Dotted with a drop of bitters, it’s so refreshing and light and cooling and tasty and one of those drinks that you know you could drink with ease and relish all night and you would be so very sad the next day. My dining companions explored all parts of the menu in their choices, and everyone was very happy with their meals.
My solo lunch at Downtown Burgers was on the last day of the conference when everyone was just trying to grab a quick bite between final sessions. Directly behind the convention center is this adorable burger shack with a few umbrella-ed tables out front. My bacon cheeseburger and fries with a cold can of Dr Pepper made me feel patriotic…I did my duty as an American! It didn’t hurt that the burger was awesome, the veg nice and fresh, the bacon crisp, and the beef flavorful. The fries were hot, crisp, and salty. All in all a worthy example!
EASY TIGER BAKE SHOP & BEER GARDEN
Last but not least, a quick coffee and breakfast pastry from Easy Tiger.
The coffee was just a house brew and the pastry (a Tiger Claw) is a bear claw with a spiced nut filling. Seriously spiced, like someone took your favorite chai and made it into a food. I loved it. My photo is actually of the ones still for sale, because I was so eager to eat mine I forgot to take a picture!
My final analysis: Austin, you are a friend to foodies!