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Entries in Barley Swine (1)

Friday
Oct312014

that austin weekend

Months later, and Austin--and all of the amazing things we did there--are still on my mind.

The food truck scene really is something to talk about (even though they don't actually get driven anywhere, making them faux food trucks in my disgruntled opinion). Out of the six or so that we sampled, the clear victor among the very worthy contenders was Mmmpanadas. How good was it, you may wonder. Well, consider the fact that even though Michael and I are die-hard carnivores, we still talk about their soyrizo and brie empanadas with dreamy-voiced nostalgia. Yes. That good.

The bar scene is great. As I previously mentioned, the ambiance alone would make Whisler's a must-visit. The tasty drinks don't hurt either. Half Step stood out for me among all of the tempting options on Rainey Street. I had a really memorable dessert cocktail there that I still wish I'd gotten the recipe for. Weather Up takes their drinks seriously--if you're into "sippers" as I like to call them, this is the place for you. But I think if you only had time for one drink (the second stop should be Whisler's but just in case...) then it has to be Midnight Cowboy. Speakeasy-style craft cocktail bars seem to be a dime a dozen these days, and Michael and I have been to our fair share. This one really nails it. I almost felt like something illegal was going on in the backroom, and the drinks made me wish I'd had on a flapper dress and very red lips.

Food-wise, I just cannot shut up about Qui. I love it so much I almost wrote an entire blog post about it--and am still tempted to, in fact. I have very strong feelings about restaurants, and this is the first one I've ever actively wished existed in the city that I live in. What Paul Qui did to Filipino food was incredible. And to be able to enjoy dish after dish in such a beautifully designed restaurant with such perfect service... It was one of the best nights of my life.

Our follow-up dinner the night after, at Barley Swine, was nothing to sneeze at either. It's an excellent introduction to tasting menus--14-15 courses at a very reasonable price. Michael and I agree that we may like Catbird Seat a teensy bit more, but Barley Swine has a laidback, playful attitude with their dishes that sometimes leads to misses but overall makes for a memorable and very enjoyable meal.

I guess what really stands out for me about the trip is how I want to do the entire thing again. Michael struggles with me not wanting to order the same thing twice, much less eat at the same restaurant unless it is a true and serious love. But with Austin, I would do the entire trip over again, each one of those bars and those same dinners and ending it all with that wonderful Farmers Market that had a gorgeous lake view and adorable kids and beautiful wildflowers. I bet Michael would insist on Barlata for tapas again too.

But there are so many other places to eat and drink... I know a local would tell us that we've barely scratched the surface. What a dilemma. We'll just have to duke it out when we visit again. Which I hope will be soon.

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