Food Finds II


Sandeez Hamburger Hut
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Sandeez opened in 1979 and has been the go-to burger joint for Lake Travis residents since. It's fitting that gourmet Hopdoddy hamburgers remain in the heart of the city as these basic burgs fit the laid back lifestyle of lake go-ers.
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It's a come-as-you-are, wipe your greasy hands on a pile o' napkins kinda place. Picnic tables sit under a shaded area in front of the T-shack joint with a drive-thru for those seeking to opt out of lunch rush hour. But, I suggest you make it a true dive-in experience to see the bucket list of burgers menu, tin walls and various maps of the lake showcasing the area's development over the years.
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It's comparable to Southwell's--the burger spot across the way from my high school. There's no Kobe beef, horseradish-infused ketchup, arugula or brie, but there's a mean burger and fries. And sometimes that's all you really need. The only thing missing to make this summer meal complete was the shaved ice from a spot down the road, which William and I were disappointed to find closed for Monday. Next time.
my order: classic hamburger // william's: The Buffalo -- fried chicken, mayo, onion, ranch, lettuce, tomato, onion ring and buffalo sauce
next time: The Gancho (fried chicken, mayo, lettuce, tomato, jalapenos, swiss, and homemade ranch) // breakfast tacos cooked on the same grill as the greasy patties
good for: a pit stop on the way to or from a day on the lake, an all-American lunch, or a break from your diet

Sustainable Food Center Farmers' Market  // The Zubik House
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In celebration of the temperatures reaching the 60s Saturday morning (thanks to the Friday showers), my mom and I decided spending the morning outdoors was a must. When thinking of a brunch in walking distance, I recalled to mind the downtown farmer's market put on by Austin's Sustainable Food Center.
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The European style of open air markets has always been attractive to me, and this one was equally as charming with a unique Austin flair. Tents were lined up with local food goods--honey, chocolates, cheeses, frozen pops, coffee, fresh produce, and jams were all available for tasting and/or taking home.
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The market travels to different locations throughout the week, but the "queen bee" of the Sustainable Foods Market circuit is the one at Republic Square Park on 4th and Guad, just about a dozen blocks south from Kappa. We peeked in the tents until we reached a breafast trailer, Kubik House, serving up gourmet kolaches.
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I got a sweet and a savory kolache and a cup of jo from the Texas Coffee Traders tent to wash it all down. That, along with the idyllic weather and the perfect company, made for a spectacular Saturday morning.
my order: gruyere & ham kolache w/ fried egg and blueberry balsalmic kolache // meems's: Czech Benedict - smoked pork shoulder, local fried egg and fresh basil on grilled kolache bread
next time: Truffled Asparagus Benedict // bacon, apple & brie kolache
good for: a place to take your pup and have a picnic in the park sitting on the steps of the federal courthouse à la S & B in Gossip Girl, also: a treasure trove for thank you and housewarming gifts

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Lamar is probably one of the major streets I frequent the most. I had passed by this trailer, Picnik, and it never failed to catch my eye. One day after work, I decided to see what it was all about. I failed to realize the trailer promoted the Paleo, aka caveman diet, in which you only eat fruits, veggies, nuts, meat and seafood.
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I was underwhelmed by the menu options and equally underwhelmed by the food. Its charming name and curb appeal drew me in, but my Picnik experience wasn't all I hoped for. It was also way too pricey to be mimicking the diet of a caveman.
my order: house salad
next time: no next time, but I hear the butter coffee blend isn't half bad
good for: cavemen/women?

Elizabeth St. Café
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My brother Chris came over after church one Sunday to make my family bánh mí sandwiches. Growing up on turkey, pb&j or grilled cheese sandwiches, I was unaware of this Vietnamese variety and was just reacquainted with them Elizabeth Street Café this summer.
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I first fell in love with the place with the pink door when Mollie and I stopped in for an afternoon snack during her visit here in July. We quenched our thirst with herbal green tea and shared a refreshing avocado lime tart off the bon-bon menu.
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The decor inside and out is just as vibrant as all the flavors that make up the French-Vietnamese cuisine they serve. Some dishes, like the macaroons and french onion soup, are strictly French. Some are straight up Vietnamese like the pho dishes. And some infuse flavors from both cultures like the pork and shrimp crepe, served lettuce wrap style.
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If you have an eye for detail, you'll appreciate the little things here like the tray of vietnamese condiments that comes with your food, the graphic prints in the menus and matches, and the eclectic dishes your meal is served on.
my order: avocado lime tart w/ guava, blackberries + mango curd // iced jasmine green tea // crispy gulf snapper bün // pork + shrimp crepe w/ bean sprouts, lettuce wraps & nuoc cham
next time: keffir lime fried chicken bánh mí sandwich // house-baked brioche french toast w/ chai ice cream poached korean pears & brown sugar syrup
rating:    1/2
good for: petit déjeuner, lunch or dinner when you've got a bad traveling itch; the boulangerie feels like a sweet escape to Paris and the feng shui of the interior imitates that of any Asian culture

épicerie austin
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Nestled away in the Rosedale neighborhood lies the closest semblance to a small French grocery right here in Austin. Don't let its tucked away location fool you into thinking it's a secret hideaway; épicerie has generated a more than healthy buzz since its opening a few years ago.
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Inside you'll find a supply of artisan products, cured meats, and over sixty cheeses (all beautifully displayed). Coupled with the grocery store is the café where you can dine in the am or pm.
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This combination reminded me of Houston's Revival Market with a Tiny Boxwoods slant when it comes to ambiance. Match made in heaven if you ask me.
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Just as I'm drawn to the open air markets of France, I also find the idea of small groceries to by idyllic. Grocery shopping is no longer a chore but rather, a celebration of fine foods.
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Most dining experiences are generally the same--peruse the menu, place your order, wait patiently, and eat once served; so, it's the little details during your experience that make one establishment stand out from the rest. At épicerie, it was the friendly staff eagerly offering to let Julianne and and I sample their fine cheeses, the transparent dispenser I served my iced tea from, and copper accents that did it for me.
my order: quinoa salad w/ grapefruit and yogurt // julianne's: vermont cheddar cheeseburger
next time: fried green tomatoes w/ smoked shrimp + spicy pickles &amp // beef pastrami sandwich
good for: hitting the side patio for a romantic evening date or watching the sun pour through the windows at lunchtime while picking up your favorite cheese (mine's gouda) and bottle of wine for that evening

On a closing note, I'm pleased to announce that BOD has made its Instagram debut. Follow me @bridgetsowndiary for post updates and previews!


Evan Rauch said...

This is going to be the death of me if I end up in Austin.....