Restaurants & Bars

New Year's in Austin

DoobieWah | Jan 4, 201210:18 AM     1

Drove in from Houston on New Year's Eve.

Got in a little later than hoped for, but fulfilled the plan to hit John Mueller's new rig on S Congress. Unfortunately, we were too late for anything but sausage, but as I have reported elsewhere, the hand printed, lamentably crossed out "PRIME RIB" sign will haunt me until I can get back there.

The sausage was OK. The beef sausage was great, the pork was not my favorite, but I WILL most definitely be back.

We attended a wedding rehearsal dinner at The Shoreline Grill. The dinner was for 275 people, so it was appetizers and then a buffet with a pasta dish, chicken parm, sliced beef tenderloin and sauteed green beans and creamy mashed potatoes. Really good, but I would love a crack at the full menu.

Nice rooms. Great service. (Excellent Scotch.)

Perfect venue to ring in 2012.

On New Year's Day, (and none too early, I might add), we asked the concierge at the Four Seasons for a short walk to a great burger. He recommended Jo's Coffee on Second. I had the chili cheddar burger. Requested medium rare, got medium well. The chili was good but with black beans, (and I would hazard, a coffee component?), it was interesting but I didn't love it ON a burger. Maybe BEFORE a burger, or ALONGSIDE a burger, but not ON a burger. Also, remember this was New Year's Day, and a Sunday to boot, so the buns weren't as fresh as I would bet they usually are. The fries were very similar to what I make at home. I'd eat there again.

I didn't have their coffee though as I had seen the Caffe Medici at the base of the Austonian on our walk over. I have been to the one on West Lynn since shortly after they opened, and I have always described them as "the best cup of coffee I ever had". That has not changed.

We had unbelievably perfect weather for the outdoor wedding behind the Four Seasons. Truly amazing. The black tie reception in the ballroom was again served buffet style to accommodate the 375 wedding guests. We missed the appetizers, but the modified wedge salads, Lobster ravioli, braised beef ribs/mashed potato martinis, etc. were excellent. Good job by the hotel to make it a terrific event.

The next morning, we got up and checked out around 10am, (after a quick jaunt over to Medici again). We started getting a little peckish on our way out of town, so we stopped in Manor at a little joint on the side of the road called La Plaza, intending to pick up a couple of breakfast tacos for the ride back to Youston. Then I decided a little iced tea would help to start to rehydrate me, so by the time the tacos came, we had decided to go ahead and eat in.

I bet not too many of you guys have been to this little joint but believe me, you're missing something here. The two ladies working at the time couldn't have been more gracious. Let me 'splain: First we ordered three breakfast tacos for the two of us. They gave us four. (Happy New Year.) While we were sitting there eating, I noticed a sign I had missed earlier that said, "BARBACOA DE CHIVO, ENERO 1".

So I had to walk up and ask, "That's goat barbacoa, right?". She confirmed.

"But only yesterday, right?". She told me she had some left; would I like to try?

Not just "YES", but... well, you know.

So she brought me a nice cabrito barbacoa taco.

Gratis. Would NOT let me pay her for it.

I will be stopping there again. (Awesome green table salsa also.)

Happy New Year Austin. Stay weird. I'll see you next time around.

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