Happy 2014!

Hello, 2014!

It’s been nearly 4 months since my last post and I am so so ashamed.  But I have been doing things, and here is the post to prove it!

I had to travel a bunch to Grand Rapids, Michigan (which is a tundra right now, I’m glad I haven’t had to go lately) for work and it’s actually a pretty cool town.  There’s a bunch of good craft brews along with some good places to eat.  My favorite place is the Winchester (http://www.winchestergr.com/) where my coworkers and I shared this awesome roasted cauliflower appetizer.  Notice the dramatic presentation of the whole head stabbed through with a large knife.

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The mussels with tomatoes and sausage were pretty good too.

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Airport Chiles margarita? You betcha.

I also had this weird spaghetti pie thing…

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As usual, I’ve probably eaten at Tacodeli another 50 times, but here are two of my favorites, the Delibelly (pork belly special, only on Saturdays) and the Heather (refried black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole and fried cheese).

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While we’re taking an adventure back through my cell phone pictures, I can’t help but throw this one in there:

Photo cred to Tammy Carlson!

Photo cred to Tammy Carlson!

My buddy Liz and her bff Tammy saw Taylor Swift in LA FROM THE PIT and I die a little every time I see these.  Liz, I still cannot contain my jealousy.

BUT back to the food because I guess that’s why you’re all here.

I ate at Qui (http://www.quiaustin.com/) and met Paul (again!)

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I decided to try getting Ramen NOT at Tatsu-ya and went to Daruma Ramen (http://www.darumaramen.com/), a new-ish downtown little sister of Komé.  Overall I enjoyed, but still couldn’t come close to topping Ramen Tatsu-ya.

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Swung from trapezes into lakes.

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Went golfing?

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Had Golden Tickets at dear Cheer Up Charlie’s (http://cheerupcharlies.tumblr.com/), and am heartbroken it has to move from east 6th.

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Austin was weird and awesome.

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At some point, some friends and I had brunch at Hillside Farmacy (http://hillsidefarmacy.com/), which is one of my favorite brunch spots, and not just because it’s super close to my house.

the sunny coast (croissant, cheese, tomato, scrambled eggs)

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buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy with scrambled eggs

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big breakkie (fried eggs, arugula salad, bacon, home fries, toast)

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mac and cheese (mornay, breadcrumbs, herbs, poached egg)

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shrimp and grits

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Every Sunday I was a staple at B.D. Riley’s Pub (http://bdrileys.com/) on 6th Street downtown, as it is the official Austin bar for watching New England Patriots football.  Pretty much always ordered the bangers and mash, but all their pub food is excellent.  (GO PATS BEAT THEM COLTS!)

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I finished a cross stitch project.

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Took a few road trips (Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, San Diego).

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There was a trip to Houston for a friend’s wedding (YAY JORDAN AND BOOMER!), where I had brunch at Benjy’s (http://www.benjys.com/)

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And short rib hash (slow cooked short ribs, french fry hash cooked on a flat top, covered in spicy hollandaise, topped with a fried egg, side of steamed spinach).

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When my parents came to visit, we checked out the new pizza place on East Cesar Chavez, Bufalina (http://www.bufalinapizza.com/).  Although we waited awhile for the table, the pizza was excellent.  Thin crust and just as I remembered from my trip to Rome.

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Margherita (tomato, basil, mozzarella, parm) and Fresca (prosciutto, arugula, meyer lemon, mozzarella, olive oil, parm) pizzas.

For my 25th birthday, my lovely friends took me to my favorite Austin restaurant, Uchiko (http://uchiaustin.com/uchiko).  We ordered a TON and it was all amazing.

Brussels sprouts (fish caramel, lemon, chili)

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Some fish crudo, I forget 😦

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Wellfleet oyster (taragon, asian pear sorbet, green tea)

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Nigiri with picked peppers

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Kanpachi crudo (amberjack, avocado, truffle oil, green apple, microgreens)

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Salmon nigiri, nasu (eggplant, tomato, arugula, cocoa nib)

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Geoduck (raw and grilled, raw snap peas, watercress puree, red seaweed, pea broth)

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Mushrooms with a poached egg, mushroom dashi, cilantro

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Sushi roll with white tuna, avocado, black sesame seeds

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Avocado sashimi with yuzu kosho and tamari

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Parsley root (dashi, smoked cheddar, flowers)

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Jar jar duck (rohan duck, candied citrus, endive, applewood smoke)

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Pork jowl (brussels sprout kimchee, romaine, preserved lemon creme fraiche)

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Sweet corn sorbet (polenta custard, caramel salt, lemon gelee)

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Olive gelato (chocolate ganache, lemon curd, marcona almond)

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Fried milk (chocolate milk, toasted milk, iced milk sherbert)

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Toasted rice (pear, verbena, plum)

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Relax and Let it Happen fielded their first sand volleyball team, and of course we took home the title.

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Before we knew it, it was ACL weekend(s) again!

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MS MR in the late night show.

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The National

Here’s a lovely pic of my old roomie Ashlee and I the few minutes we finally managed to meet up.  Yeah, I’m wearing the hamburger shirt.

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Also won a raffle for free tickets to see Phoenix play a show in a local high school gym for PBS’s “Artist’s Den” music show.  That was incredible.

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Then there was the Shouting Matches show at Stubb’s

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Oh, and then I went to VEGAS for a kickball tournament (also where I had both the worst and BEST buffet experiences of my life).

Ceiling at the Bellagio.

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Dinner at Fix (http://www.bellagio.com/restaurants/fix.aspx) at the Bellagio:

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And brunch and dinner at Bacchanal Buffet (http://www.caesarspalace.com/restaurants/bacchanal-buffet.html) at Caesar’s Palace, which was the most incredible feat of presentation and variety I’ve ever seen.  Just LOOK at the variety on my first plate at dinner:

Best buffet in this country.

Best buffet in this country.

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In case you forgot, I’ve also been in SCHOOL!  My first semester was a success and I learned a bunch.  Here’s a watermelon carving my professor did during class:

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There were lobster rolls from Garbo’s (http://garboslobsteratx.com/), drool.

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We discovered NHL14 and a lot of THIS happened:

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Hot and sour soup, steamed pork dumplings and the most amazing roasted duck I’ve ever tasted from First Chinese BBQ (http://firstchinesebbq.com/).

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THE RED SOX WON THE WORLD SERIES.

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Celebratory oysters and lobsters from Quality Seafood (http://qualityseafood.wordpress.com/):

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Brady freaked out over a piece of rubber poultry.

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Then I took my first trip to New Orleans for a kickball tournament!  Had a deep fried softshell crab poboy, beignets from Cafe du Monde (http://www.cafedumonde.com/):

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Some killer shrimp and grits and an oyster as big as my hand from Superior Seafood (http://www.superiorseafoodnola.com/).

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And this AMAZING pulled pork benedict with cajun hollandaise from Surrey’s Cafe & Juice Bar (http://www.surreyscafeandjuicebar.com/).

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I loved New Orleans and can’t wait to go back again.  THREE FOR ONE DRINKS, why is that allowed, Bourbon Street?!

We had a killer view of the Formula 1 race in November at the Circuit of the Americas track here in Austin (the only F1 track in the US currently) and even went up to the tower for some great panoramas.

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Then before I knew it, it was Thanksgiving!  My lovely brother came for a visit and we cooked turkey with all the fixin’s.

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Look at this meat clothesline we ordered at Top Golf (http://topgolf.com/austin/)!

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We watched the University of Texas women’s volleyball team smash A&M in the NCAA tournament.

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Brady was THIS cute…

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We welcomed Austin’s first In-N-Out Burger!!!

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Went to Dealey Plaza where JFK was shot in Dallas before the Beyoncé show.

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Ate at Barley Swine’s little sister Odd Duck (http://oddduckaustin.com/), look at this awesome chicken fried egg with roasted mushrooms and homemade hot sauce.

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Got addicted to the Godfather sandwich at my new local pub Gourmands (http://www.lovethysandwich.com/).  Best Italian grinder I’ve had in a longggg time.

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Brady stepped foot into the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

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Christmas in San Diego is never too terrible.  Especially when the weather is a perfect sunny and 70.

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And finally, I said goodbye to my only Austin house and took the plunge into home ownership.  Terrifying but so awesome at the same time.  Sadly this will be the last post with the old kitchen as the home page header, the new kitchen will be in the spotlight!

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I wish you all the happiest of New Year’s and that this year is the best one yet.  Cheers and keep on eating, y’all!

Until next time…

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3 thoughts on “Happy 2014!

  1. Jenna!! Can I please come visit you this year?? Your pics are making my mouth water. I also miss you and Brady and want to see all the wonderful things in your life down there!

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