Sunday, January 25, 2009


The interior of Péché brings you back to French belle époque days. The bar even alludes to bohemian tastes of the late 19th century by tempting poor, idealistic, warehouse district loitering university students with the green fairy.

Unfortunately, the blaring music fails to transport us away from the center of Austin, TX and ruins its potential to charm us.

As grad students who just finished finals last Fall, we thought that a little bit of absinthe wouldn't hurt. Well, it's really an acquired taste. Perhaps artists and writers back in the day couldn't afford better libations. Good thing we only ordered one glass of it, but I stupidly ordered the moules with absinthe broth anyways, completely abiding by my self-imposed law of ordering dishes unique to the restaurant.

Absinthe and Meloncello
The moules with absinthe was a bit unsettling. I was glad there wasn't alot of broth to start with. I was grateful that it did come with amazing fries, possibly the best in town, and good aioli. I rewarded myself with each bite of mussel with 2 fries. I suspect that the tarragon or herbes de provence broth might be safer and wiser choices.

Moules in absinthe broth and Frites with herbes de provence aioli
My best friend ordered the delectable and adorable trio of sliders, which I eyed throughout my absinthe-filled meal.
Trio of Sliders-beef with bleu cheese and onion relish, crab with aioli tartine, and pork confit with celery root slaw

Strawberry Shortcake

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Work Lunches

Our boss at work is very generous and has taken us out on several lunches. Apparently, we're all food lovers.

My first work lunch outing was at Roaring Fork. I had the salmon BLT with amazing spiced fries. The sandwich should have been on sturdy buns rather than regular toasts that couldn't sustain the heavy salmon and gigantic glob of mayo. This is a restaurant that tries too hard to match its equally trying-too-hard to appear sophisticated clientele. I can't scoff and dismiss this restaurant entirely because I did enjoy the meal.

Salmon BLT with spiced fries

The 2nd lunch outing was at Gumbo's. This place is awesome. I miss Cajun food, which is more accessible in Houston than in Austin. The Cajun spiced butter that accompanied the bread was savory goodness.

For the fish dishes, you can choose from their daily catches and have them cooked in 1 of 5 styles. I ordered the red fish with crawfish and jambalaya in herb beurre blanc sauce. Tender and flavorful, I really can not complain.

The desserts were all good, but the Louisiana chocolate bread pudding was the absolute stand out.

New Orleans-styel custard

Chocolate Bread Pudding

Strawberry Cheesecake

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ausin Trailer Park and Eatery

I wasted away my undergrad years at UT not exploring Austin eateries because I didn't venture away from campus much. As chance would have it, I'm back in Austin getting my M.A. and have turned over a new leaf. I'm practically inhaling all the food that crosses my path. I comb through South Austin on a weekly basis for new food finds. Trailers have been popping up like crazy on S. 1st and S. Congress this year!

My first food trailer dabbling started Fall 2008 with Torchy's Tacos and Shuggie's Burgers & Shakes (when Shuggie's still had seafood) at the South Austin Trailer Park Eatery.
I love how Torchy's makes creative taco fillings. However, I wish they would cut down on the grease. I ordered to-go twice and both times I found the tacos dripping with oil. The tortillas were soaked! I absolutely love their queso, but the chips always come drenched in oil as well.

Baja Shrimp-battered shrimp, cabbage slaw, pickled onions, queso fresco, creamy chipotle sauce
Dirty Sanchez-scrambled eggs, guacamole, fried poblano chili, escabeche carrots, shredded cheese, poblano ranch sauce

green chile queso with guacamole, queso fresco, cilantro and diablo sauce

When Shuggie's first opened as a burgers and seafood joint, I had a big question mark in my head. Seafood from a food trailer in Austin, TX???---Gross! Thank heavens I was wrong. My catfish po-boy couldn't be better. It came with pineapple coleslaw and jalapeno-onion "chow-chow" on toasted philly roll. The fish was nice and crisp, and the slaw and chow made the fried concoction light and summery--a surprising 180 from Torchy's heavy-handed tacos.

Catfish Po-Boy- with pineapple coleslaw, jalapeno-onion chow-chow on toasted philly roll

Unfortunately Shuggie's nixed the seafood po-boys and have now concentrated on their burgers. I haven't been back since my honeymoon with the po-boy. I see they now have a weekend brunch menu with shrimp and grits...hmmm...I'll definitely make my way there this Saturday or Sunday!