Refrigerator gets here today and we can finally start eating in, which I am actually looking forward to at this point! Here is a quick rundown of our latest dining experiences:
Shoal Creek Saloon ~ Along with Blacks, the standout of my most recent dining experiences. I ordered the shrimp po boy "Reynoldo Style." I received one of the most magnificent sandwiches I have ever had. The waiter and his friend actually clapped when I ordered this sinful delight. On a big crusty french roll sat a generous helping of juicy fried shrimp. Reynoldo Style meant it was topped with grilled onions and jalapenos and I also asked for cheddar cheese. It wasn't nearly as greasy as it sounds, or maybe the bread sopped it up. The japalenos gave it a big kick, and at times I dipped it in their sweet/tangy tartar sauce. With my husbands help I finished one half, and sadly couldn't bring it home for leftovers since we have no refrigerator. I'm counting the days until I can get back there to order it again.
Chilsolm Trail - The pork ribs were super greasy and contained about 90% fat and 10% meat. I wasn't a big fan of the ribs or the sides.
Black's - OMG out of this world brisket. I am still fantasizing about it. Moist, juicy, flavorful and everything I had hoped it would be. I also had a side of banana pudding which was good, but could have used more bananas.
Gueros - Close to home so we hit it in a pinch. Tamales were dry even with a helping of queso on top, while the tacos were a little better. My margarita was really good though, I think that would be the only reason I'd go back.
Cuba Libra - What a great place! With 10 or so variations on mojitos and a huge selection of rums for your own tailored cubra libra, we loved this find. I had a few raspberry mojitos while my hub and friend tried one that was a cross between a cuba libra and a mojito, and we shared an appetizer sampler plate which had veggies samosas, huge coconut shrimp and a chicken quesadilla. The samosas and shrimp were the best on the plate. The shrimp were fresh and not too greasy. We also had the bacon wrapped jalapenos stuffed with shrimp and cheese. Even my friend who doesn't like bacon OR jalapenos loved these. They weren't too spicy and the shrimp and cheese cut the heat.
Halcyon - After a long night of bar hopping we hit Halcyon for some s'mores. They provide a large plate of marshmallows, two wrapped Hershey bars, graham crackers that we roasted tableside. I can't wait to head back for this nostalgic treat. :)
Alamo Drafthouse - Oh sweet Alamo, I now see what the hype is all about. My friend visiting from SF couldn't figure out why this place hasn't gone nationwide. The sangria was a bit fruit punchy but light enough for me to have two glasses and still want more. The fried pickles were spears instead of chips which was a nice change, and the mozarella sticks were ooey gooey goodness. My husband had the Enter The Dragon pizza which he devoured (I had a few bites and loved the jalapenos on top), and I had the Smokey and the Bacon with a fried egg on top. I wish the egg was a little more on the runny side, but I'd order the sandwich again in a heartbeat.
Vivos - Their Mexican Martini was too loaded down with orange, so it tasted as if I was drinking diluted orange juice. I can't tell you what we ordered, because the food was that unmemorable. Not bad, just not remarkable. I did like the ambience, but since the food and drink was a bust for me, not sure if I'll return.
Green Mesquite ~ We were fairly unoriginal here with me ordering the brisket plate and hub ordering the brisket sandwich. The brisket tasted like old cafeteria roast beef. Compared to Black's, it was the McDonald's of brisket. Tough, grey, unflavorful, blah. We tried to spice it up with the sauce, but it was sickeningly sweet and actually made it worse. On the plus side, my potato salad was picnic style and just how I like it, and the fried okra was good. We ordered pecan pie for dessert as this was the first place in Austin we had ever eaten a meal and still been hungry, and it was alright as pecan pies go. The flavor was there, but the crust was very soggy and it had an unusual consistency.
Maria's Taco Express ~ My barbacoa taco was very bland, and my al pastor didn't live up to some others I have had around town. I did like the queso and the chips, along with the live music. I think we may have just ordered the wrong thing because I know I've seen the place rec'd a lot.
Thundercloud Subs ~ Sadly, we weren't fans and didn't finish our sandwiches. I had a turkey sandwich on whole wheat, my husband had the Italian. The meat wasn't a very high quality and the sandwiches just seemed flavorless.
Chuy's ~ I wasn't a fan of this place for dinner, but we hit the place up for their $3.00 margaritas and nacho bar. The nacho bar has queso, ground beef, beans, several salsas and it's complimentary. A great deal and pretty filling.
Austin Java ~ The "Junior Mint" is a mocha-mint coffee drink of deliciousness. My husband loved the Vietnamese Latte (I thought it was REALLY sweet), though they automatically iced it instead of serving it hot which we both thought would be better. Their specialty, the Java Chai Latte is in the running with the Chai Green Tea Latte at Jo's for my favorite in town.
Daily Juice ~ We split a large Manic Organic here which was pretty steep at $7.00. It was, however, the best smoothie I have ever had in my life. Growing up in Northern California, I like to think I know my smoothies. :D It was a delicious mixture of bananas, organix soymilk, vegan dark chocolate chips, pecans and organic vanilla. I can't wait to head back there to try their fruit offerings, yum yum!
If you've gotten this far, thanks for reading! I'm having a blast eating my way through my neighborhood. :)