Sunday, October 17, 2010


There's an article in the NYT about the revival of punch in cutting edge bars and cocktail menus. The writer speaks of one bartender/historian's interest in Charles Dickens era punches but I love punch and I'm certainly not old enough to know anything about Charles Dicken's recipe.

My parents did a lot of home entertaining when I was younger. My Dad was a Naval officer and parties at home were a given. My mom had a huge crystal punch bowl and beautiful little matching crystal cups with handles In the punch with rum and various fruit juice and ice would float slices of oranges, lemons and limes. It was always beautiful and even as a young girl I was allowed to have a small glass of the party punch. I loved it because it made me feel so adult like to carefully hold one of those crystal containers but the refreshing and sweet elixir from that punch bowl was like nothing else I'd ever tasted or had on a regular basis. Sure I drank a lot of Hawaii Tropican Punch as a kid but this was different. It wasn't as sweet and sticky. It was light and the hint of rum just added enough bitterness to my 9 year old tastebuds.

I don't know when punch fell out of vogue but I'm glad to see it making a come back. And if you can find places doing it in beautiful crystal punch bowls with lovely delicate crystal mugs, definitely give it a shot!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Food are E are no longer...

the only loves of my life.

Two months ago we adopted two adorable schnoodle pups that we named Diesel and Dexter. It all happened when I saw a picture of Diesel online late one night (the second pic) on pet finder from a shelter in South Carolina. I melted. I never had anything other than a fish as a pet as a kid. My allergies were so bad as a child, chances were good I'd never know the soft purr of a housecat but there were a lot of hypo-allergic dogs out there and well I always thought I'd be a dog person as an adult anyway. I also always knew I wanted to adopt a pup from a shelter. There were so many dogs in need of good homes, but would I ever find a puppy in need that was also not going to aggravate my allergies?

WELL, not only was the dog in the picture unbelievably adorable, but she was one of those hypo-allergic dogs (with hair instead of fur)!!!!! I felt it was all meant to be. We applied to adopt, crossed our fingers, and I looked at her little pictures on line everyday. When we learned we were approved and Diesel would be a part of our fmaily, we also learned she had another brother. Dexter, we adopted sight unseen but if we could keep part of the family together, I really wanted to do that. I'm so happy we got them both. I didn't care what Dexter looked like, I knew that E and had a good life to offer to any dog so I was happy to open my heart to another lil furry dog as well.

I won't lie, the first three weeks were a bit hellish. They were so young 8-10 weeks when they arrived that we had no choice but to get up at 3am and walk them. But now at 4 months, I feel like we've all fallen into a nice routine. Finally they're getting the hang of going outside to use the bathroom and sorta kinda getting the leash thing. I'm hopeful they will outgrow the puppy biting thing as they continue to grow. And grow like weeds they're doing!

Not only are they both adorable, loving and sweet towards me and E, but they really like people in general and other dogs. We really won the pet lottery when it comes to pups with personality. You'll often find us walking the streets of Kenmore and Fenway and they've developed a fan base. Sometimes when we're walking, people we don't even know will come up and say hello to them by name.

Our favorite food place is definitely Berryline. Not only do they allow us all in the place when I want a sweet treat, but they very cheerfully give me two sample size berryline yogurts for Diesel and Dexter to enjoy as well. SO nice! As a result, the Fenway area Berryline is kinda like our "Peach Pit". But even before the pups, I often would go in for some tangy frozen froyo. If you haven't checked it out, you really should. Go. Besides you might run into me and the furry kids getting our Berryline fix.

Monday, August 9, 2010


With my new "diet" restrictions (somewhat Paleo with frequent dairy stops), dining out hasn't held the same appeal for me it once had. Menus are a little tricky to navigate, and my weakness for empty carbs in the form of bread and pasta have been well documented. So if I'm gonna blow a night on food, it better be damn good. That said, Grotto did not disappoint on the food end of the bargain. But that's really only half the story. Perhaps it's best to start at the beginning.

E saw that Grotto had a lobster pasta special but upon closer inspection of the menu on-line, we realized it was part of the regular menu line up. The menu looked fantastic though with plenty of offerings for both of us. So E made a reservation a week in advance and we both put some effort into our attire that day. For me, it meant actually combing my hair and for E it meant looking like her usual cute self.

We arrived to the small basement space and had a very awkward first encounter. Neither of us was certain if she was a hostess, manager, server. But the first person who greeted us wasn't anything other than harried. She waved her hand to two tables off to the side of the door and in the middle of the dining room and told us to take either of these two places. And she went off, not to be seen again. Um, ok. E was not pleased. She had called and made this reservation a week prior and wasn't happy 1.) that the tables were in a really akward place in the dining room 2.) we were kinda waved off. We stood there for a bit, pondering if a change of tables would be possible. We were told by a waitress (we think she was a server) that those open tables in more optimal locations were already reserved for larger parties. So we sat. And a choice had to be made. Either I could move the table back so E wouldn't get constantly bumped by the people at the table behind her or we could leave it were it was and I wouldn't get bumped constantly by the people who worked in the restaurant trying to serve the table behind me. We made the choice to move the table towards me which resulted in me being bumped on the back of my seat thru-out my meal. It wasn't really a big deal for me (which is why I made the choice to kinda take one for the "team") but I did reflect with E on the fact that I'm not a big person. I'm 5'2 (ish) and weigh 120-125 (ish) so if I was any bigger, this table and seating arrangement would have not really worked well.

Regardless, I was ready for a nice meal and looking forward to having some tasty empty carbs! One of the things about the menu was that it was kinda heavy for the summer. Fondue, cheese garlic soup all of these things were listed as appetizers. And a lot of rich sounding pastas and heavy meats for mains. For our appetizer I ordered the garlic, parm and truffle soup and E ordered the only summer sounding item on the menu, the mozzarella, tomato and arugula salad. Only thing was that it ended up not being all that summery afterall. The server let us know before the dish came so we were aware but I was really surprised at how the dish was described compared to what truly arrived. It was basically a grilled cheese sandwich with some nice sundried tomatoes and dressed greens. It was a nice dish but again fairly heavy. The soup was lovely. Rich and creamy. I wish that it had a bit more truffle going on but eh, it was still pretty darn good. E also ordered a fairly reasonable wine. She said it was usually over $100 but at Grotto it was only around $60. Seemed like a good deal to me but I don't really drink so I had a few sips but as to how good it was, well, that's really lost on me.

For our mains we ordered the braised short ribs with gorgonzola and gnocchi (me) and spaghetti bolognese (E). Again, heavy dishes but really nicely executed. The pastas were both clearly homemade. The gnocchi was feather light and the pasta for the bolognese was cooked perfectly al dente. I loved both dishes. But by then E and I were stuffed from our appetizers. So we only had a few bites before dessert.

And of course we got dessert! Well, I should say I had dessert. I ordered the banana bread pudding and E ordered the molten chocolate cake for me to eat, of course. The desserts were very good. Not especially note worthy but good and a nice ending to a really lovely meal.

We still had an entire bottle of wine at the end of the meal and were relaxing and talking a bit after our dishes were cleared but I clearly got the sense that the staff was a little stressed and were really wanting us to go already. I can understand that in such a small place it's hard to maneuver around the tables or turn tables when there aren't that many but making us feel rushed after I was bumped into constantly wasn't cool. Even if someone had just said to us, here is your check, please take your time and poured us more wine, I would have thought, "well how very gracious". It wasn't the case.

So overall, I enjoyed the food quite a bit and found it to be an excellent value but the space lacked "romance" for me and the service seemed a little all over the place. I would absolutely go back to Grotto but next time, I think we'll specify that we want a corner table.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dry Cupcakes, Crossfit, a Brief Brush with Lipo 6, and Discovering Quinoa

What's with the odd comments in Chinese that I get on this blog? Anyone else getting this too? Since they're all in a language that I can't read, I assume they're either spam or porn related and delete them. If you happen to be leaving legit comments to me in Chinese and haven't seen your comment pop up, I apologize.

I've been around. I haven't had any culinary revelations to speak of so I've been keeping my trap shut. Lately Boston has been disappointing me in the dining out arena. This happens to me every so often. But lately it seems to be an epidemic. I recently tried Rocca and Zocalo and both really sucked ass. Like sucked so hard. A meal at Sorelina was really damn good, but my main dish (pork chop) was a bit on the dry side and not worth the cost. Sorelina is pretty as hell. I wish I had just stuck to appetizers and pasta. That seems to be where they shine. Anyway, nothing really blowing up my skirt these days in the world of food.

Speaking of not blowing up my skirt, I've come to a general conclusion about cupcake culture in Boston. The cake part is ALWAYS dry. I've been to the Buttery, Sweet, Lindells, and had a Kickass Cupcake and so I feel fairly comfortable making this statement. I don't ever doubt the tastiness or the quality or care put into the products and sometimes I find myself craving a cupcake so I'll indulge but the cake is always a tad dry to me. Maybe the assumption is that you have a glass of milk (or a glass of wine) with the cupcake? I dunno. I've tried the cupcakes at all the major suppliers of this trend in Boston and found the cake part is always dry. Now before you go getting your panties in a bunch and telling me that it has to be me. When we went to Austin we found a cupcake place (well Airstream Trailer really) called Hey Cupcake and those cupcakes were not dry. Even after they had sat all afternoon waiting for us to sample them. Nope, not dry. I'm telling you people, dry cupcakes is so totally a Boston thing. Anyone had thoughts on this? Please don't beat me. Okay... Moving on.

As some of you know I've been doing Crossfit for a little while now. And while I suspect I'm getting stronger, I haven't lost any weight. The other day I was in class with a couple of guys and they were joking that they just walk in and lose weight. Nope, not me. And I've got about 10-15 lbs I could stand to lose. So in a fit of desperation and after being advised by a very gay South End man on the benefits of it, I decided to try Lipo 6. I did it for about 3 weeks and stopped. I did notice I lost weight but for me it came at a price. For one thing I couldn't have coffee. And I'm in love with my nespresso maker. Seriously, I might very well die without the sucker. So that was a true bummer. I also noticed feeling a little depressed while I was on the stuff and lastly, my lymph nodes in my neck began to swell and become painful. I'm not 100% certain that the last thing is a symptom of Lipo6 but I do know that I stopped taking them and my neck began feeling lots better. Granted I'd love to lose some poundage b/c I've been putting in the Crossfit time but it wasn't worth it for me. I realized something during those 3 weeks; I'm unwilling to damage my overall mental and physical health to be thin. "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels" is a freaking lie!!!!!

And lastly, I'm back to trying to be fairly carful with my eating habits but not overly restrictive. I've discovered the joys of quinoa. Seriously this stuff is damn tasty and good for you too. Lately I've taken to making a big bowl of it and mixing it with feta cheese, mint, tomatoes, pine nuts, raisin (prums work too), parsley, avocado, white miso paste, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Infact this is what I'm about to dig into for lunch right now. I like quinoa and since I am debating going on a Paleo diet for a bit, I hope I can continue to eat it. Seems to be some mixed opinions on whether quinoa is Paleo allowed. It is a seed and not a grain so I think it makes the cut. The feta in my salad probably would not. Lucky for me the steak I'm gonna have for dinner is definitely Paleo approved. Perhaps I'll give it a shot.


Monday, April 5, 2010

There Aren't Enough Cuss Words to Describe How I Feel

...about Ben and Jerry's selling out and doing an exclusive flavor with Walmart for Walmart Super Centers. Super Center!?!? Seriously the only time I've ever seen Supercenters are in rural or semi rural locations where they've blown away all the local mom and pop grocery/hardware/knickknack stores. Secondly, it's Walmart. WALMART?!? Yes, the Walmart that has a record of treating its own employees like crap giving them such small salaries that they can only afford to shop at Walmart. The same Walmart that refuses to give its employee healthcare or allow them to unionize and the very same Walmart that takes down small businesses at any cost/price. Yeah THAT Walmart.

Sigh. I'm so disappointed with B&J right about now. Not only do I dislike Walmart immensely but even if I didn't feel as strongly as I did about them, there are no Supercenters near me so I can't even try this new flavor and well that as a life long Ben and Jerry's lover that really sucks. It sucks hard.

So thanks for a whole lot of nothing Ben and Jerry's. Way to keep a loyal fan(s) happy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Finn Jr.

I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of our household. My sourdough starter that I named Finn Jr.

I got the idea for making a sour dough starter from a Twitter pal named "Finn". He started tweeting about his sourdough starter dying and having to start a new one. I got curious and asked him if a very infrequent non-baker such as myself could create a sour dough starter and only use it once and a while? He said yes. Finn claimed that sour dough starter took little to no time to take care of and was worth it.

I did a little bit of online research and found this recipe: Beginner Sour Dough Bread It was not only simple but also very comprehensive in the steps. Other recipes I found online seemed a little bit vague or called for yeast (I didn't have any) or even potato starch. King Aurthur (my flour of choice btw) goes as far as to sell a sour dough starter kit online. I think it was only $35 or something but still it seemed a little bit lame and cheaty.

I also chose this recipe because I loved the idea of using the "wild yeast" in the air and all around us to create my sour dough. It seemed like a super neat science experiment and as a kid who excelled at science fairs (I went to regional in 9th and 10th grade) that seemed really neat to me.

And so I began. I used the instructions I found online as my chief guide but after three days I was a little skeptical that the sour dough had fermented enough or produced enough yeast. My Twitter friend Finn said that he had been feeding his starter ("Veruca") for 12 days and it was now time. So I asked him if he thought my starter was ready? He confirmed what I thought and said no. So I've been letting "Finn Jr". grow and grow. Last night he became a rebellious teenager and we woke up to him trying to escape the safety of his jar to explore the world (thus the picture above this posting).

He seems to be doing just fine. Lots of bubbles and activity for sure! See:

Speaking of which, I need to go feed him again now. I'm going to make my sponge with him on Sunday and if all goes well, I will be able to share my first loaf of sour dough bread from Finn Jr. on Monday with some friends we're having over for dinner. I'm actually going to be sad when it becomes time for me to put Finn Jr. into the fridge and I don't have to feed him everyday but like all children, he will need to move out of the nest and learn to fend mainly on his own.

But I certainly am one proud mamma for now!

Monday, March 22, 2010

CSA Update

This year E and I opted to not do a CSA. I enjoyed it in the beginning but our CSA quickly started going downhill. They never put together our orders and every time I'd have to take a solid 30 mins to pick out what I wanted. Where's the fun in that? And I didn't feel like our CSA had the widest or best selection. I wanted to like them, I really did. And well I tried.

But don't worry, I'll still be hitting the farmer's market hard this summer :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010


March is one of my favorite months. To me, it's always been the beginning of spring. Here in Boston, it still feels like winter (except for the past few days but it was a bit of a fluke, a lovely fluke but a fluke nonetheless) but I don't care. March = Spring in my book.

Also, March is my birthday month. Let me be clear about exactly what day my birthday falls on, Saint Patrick's Day!

When my family adopted me, my mother and her side of the family were all filled with glee. Why? Well they're hardcore Irish Americans and any child born on Saint Patrick's Day was meant to be theirs.

I grew up with the luck of the Irish always on my side! Or least always with birthday cakes with green frosting and every Saint Patrick's Day birthday card ever produced given to me at least twice.

This March I was extra lucky and gifted with a new Nespresso maker from my very thoughtful parents. This is the model they got me:

Granted it's not the fanciest of all the models but since it's mainly me using it, I don't need a lot of bells and whistles. Oh man, I love this machine so damn much. The espresso is fantastic. We're talking crema on top and amazing flavor. And the milk frother is straight out of the Jetson's. It froths and warms my soy milk in what feels like seconds. And the container never gets hot. If you like espresso based drinks, I recommend giving Nespresso machines a shot. There is a Nespresso store here in Boston and it's really a relaxing and being zen lil spot. I went there to get new coffee capsules and was treated to an espresso while I shopped. It was lovely. The entire experience of owning this machine and visiting the store has been awesome thus far. I'm fairly certain that my new espresso machine and I will have a long and happy relationship!

This year for my birthday dinner with my friend Walter (who also has a birthday on the same day as me), we opted to go to Lineage. It's a place I've been to before and never been disappointed with the service or the quality of the food. It was a nice meal with two of my favorite people, E came along this year. Since this year our birthdays fell during restaurant week, we opted to order off the RW menu. We had a steak with a salsa verde that had me absolutely come close to licking the plate clean. I also enjoyed the parsnip soap that I ordered as my starter. But it was almost too rich and buttery for me. Luckily Walter and E were there to help me finish it off. The 4 desserts we tried were good but fairly unmemorable. Overall a lovely birthday dinner!

And lastly, E and my friend Ed had arranged to have a pizza party at Picco for me. As is well documented here in this blog, I love pizza and I love Picco. Plus they got me a birthday cake from Eldo cake house in Chinatown. I really do have great friends. Thanks you guys!

A great time was had by all!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bye Texas!

I already miss you. Thanks for the food memories!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dallas Parent's Style

My parents made the move to Dallas when I graduated from college. So even though I sometimes go to Dallas to see them, it's far from my "hometown". Infact, I'm so unfamiliar with the city that sometimes I'm shy to tell people where my folks live, because they always say "which part of Dallas?" and honestly, I haven't the foggiest idea. I do know that GWB and Laura Bush are neighbors (ick) and that my Mom and Dad are very happy in Dallas. And honestly the latter is all that matters to me. They've really embraced this town and culture. Infact, as I'm sitting here typing this the family is sitting around watching a Johnny Cash Live in Concert DVD. No lie.

I enjoy visiting my parents very much. It's something that I don't get to do very often. It's a visit that always includes good food and a long soak in my mom's amazing jacuzzi tube.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, my Mom was a very good home-taught cook. Even with my entire family coming in for a visit, she made some awesomely tasty meals with a white chicken chili the first night including a cold bok choy salad (I need the salad recipe!), holiday cookies and chicken on the grill the second night. The third night my parents' hosted a small cocktail party complete with my Mom's sweet and sour meatballs (yum) and shrimp cocktail, which is my fave. It was a good time with a hired guitarist singing some tunes for the guests' enjoyment. It was a lot of fun.

Our last night in the big D, my parents wanted to take us to Fort Worth so my nephews, both 5, could see the Longhorn sauntered down the street and then take us all to the restaurant Reata.

The restaurant is a favorite of their's for the food and decor. Inside it pays homage to the movie Giant. A fantastic movie that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys epic old movies. It has Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean in it...Seriously, that should be enough said.

My parents reserved a large glass room for the fam to sit in. The room happened to be in the center of the ground floor dining room (my Dad later told me that there were actually 5 floors to this restaurant) so we were able to look out at the decor which included movie pictures, a wax statue of James Dean, plenty of horse saddles and various other cowboy and other Giant memorabilia.

I ordered the chicken fried steak with black pepper white gravy. One of my favorite meals that I can't often get in Boston for sure. I also got a field salad as a starter but it wasn't really worth mentioning. However, the chicken fried steak came and it was immensely. It came served with mashed potatoes and crisp garlic green beans. It was delicious! I felt a little guilty about going to a "fancy" restaurant and getting something that isn't fancy at all. But it was really quite good. The crust was good and crisp and the gravy was flavorful and rich. The greens were fantastic and not to be a disregarded side. The potatoes I also liked however they were not as amazing as the rest of the meal. Plus they had been flavored with blue cheese as was the mac and cheese (a side that was ordered for the entire table to share). And even though I'm a huge fan of blue, I know that it's strong flavor doesn't agree with E at all. So it seemed odd that the menu gave no mention of blue cheese in either the mac and cheese or the potatoes. Oh the mac and cheese! First of all it had blue cheese (yum!) and there were shards of bacon strewn in it as well (double yum!).

Overall, I was very pleased with my meal choice but sadly too stuffed to even consider dessert but if I had been interested in dessert, I would have asked for the Texas pecan pie. I had a feeling that it would be have been amazing and possibly had chocolate involved somehow.

A very nice end to our week long stay in Texas. Sadly, we head home back to Boston tomorrow and while it will be nice to get back to our home, etc. I will miss seeing my family and being able to spend time with them. Oh yeah and the close to 70* weather isn't bad either ;)

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I took a week off from the chill of Boston and headed west to see my folks in Dallas. E and I decided to take a couple of days and visit Austin. I'm in Austin right now. I'm loving this lil town. And culinary wise, it's been really good to us.

We arrived at the Austin Motel last night. A place I highly recommend for people looking for a bare bones, reasonably priced lodge. It's in a really great location with plenty of fun shops and good eats all around (more on that in a bit). The service is friendly and warm and since they were the first people in Austin to truly greet us, my initial impression was a good one.

We were excited to finally arrive and wanted to experience some good BBQ. In Boston, we have a couple of decent BBQ joints but nothing that is really crave worth in my book.

So after doing some Chowhound research (Yelp reviews are completely not useful. The level of snark and meanness just makes me think all places sux inclu. my own lil amazing shop, but I digress..) we found two places that sound promising: Mann's and Rudy's. So off we went. Unfortunately we arrived at Mann's only to find that they had closed. They close at 8pm. Eeek too early for us. Oh well so off we set to Rudy's.

Rudy's is a little overwhelming at first glance. It's set up almost cafeteria style but with three stations where you order your meat choices. When it was our turn: we already decided on ribs and brisket, we were helped by a young man by the name of Brad.

Let me just say service means everything to me and Brad was great. He was really into making sure we made the right meat choices. And started us out by giving us samples of everything including the sides. He patiently told us what each thing was and asked what we thought. He was a knowledgeable and really personable guide. We decided on the moist brisket, St Louis Ribs (based on Brad's rec), creamed corn, coleslaw and pinto beans. Unfortunately the St Louis ribs were sold out and so we went with the baby back ribs. After filling out our massive order of food, Brad topped it off with what had to be half a loaf of white bread.

We got all this food plus a soda for myself and beer for E for less than $30! Quite the bargain. And how did it taste? AWESOME! Ok so the babyback ribs were not a fave for either of us but they were absolutely smoked properly with a wide pink smoke ring and a good amount of char on the outside. But the most amazing part of the meal was the moist brisket. The white bread came in handy as I made myself a lil sandwich with the brisket, a little BBQ sauce, coleslaw and pickles. Oh man, I really had died and gone to meat heaven. The brisket was so delicious. It was melt in the mouth tender but with burnt bits that provided a bit of good texture change.

I decided that I wanted to marry the moist brisket.... Yeah, I liked it that much.

A great evening overall.

Today we woke up and went to check out but before we did so, we thought to ask the motel staff for a breakfast place recommendation. They said the placed next door had great food that included grits. Say no more! E wanted grits. Sadly, I don't remember the name of the place but it's right next to the Austin Motel and is very cute with a modern 50's motif.

The service was friendly and helpful especially since plain grits were not something on the menu. They typically put goat cheese and herbs into the grits and well E wasn't down for that. The server said that she didn't see them having a problem making them plain for her and so we ordered. Simple eggs, bacon, toast and grits for E and shrimp and grits plus a side of bacon for me. We also shared a fruit bowl (pineapple, grapes, cantaloupe) that was nice too.


Everything was super delicious and there was a ton of it too. That seems to be a overarching theme to food in Austin and dare I say Texas? Food servings are very large...Not something I'm complaining about!

E and I spent a really nice day wandering around and getting a feel for the city. For snacks we got cupcakes at "Hey Cupcake". This place is nothing more than an air stream trailer. Actually, we saw that there were plenty of food trucks and rv's. It was kinda rad to see so many food carts. In Boston we hardly have any. The cupcakes were $2.50 (Boston people who complain about the price of cupcakes take note, it is a fairly standard price). E opted for a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting and I got a red velvet one. Both were really fantastic. Moist with plenty of tasty frosting. Another plus for me? The chocolate one didn't have a butterceam frosting but a really nice sugar and milk frosting. I tend to not enjoy buttercream so I was really into this. Also the red velvet one had an exceptionally well done cream cheese frosting. Later, we also split a slice of pizza from a place called Home Slice. It came recommended to us by a local who told us that they annually take a trip to NYC to study the pizza scene. Neat. We got a slice of the Marguerite to try. It was very good. The crust was nicely executed. Crisp and chewy where it needed to be. Good air bubbles in the crust but not enough char because the crust was a bit blonde and could have been cooked a bit longer. The toppings were good and we were pretty happy with the rec.

We were suppose to head back to Dallas tonight but we opted to try and stay for one more night. Asking the good folks at the Austin Motel to hook us up with a room. We made a bit more and got upgraded to the "Mediterranean" suite. It's a bigger room with one side of the room wallpapered in a cliched Mediterranean scene. It's a little campy and fun.

For dinner tonight we decided to do Tex Mex and again used Chowhound as a resource. E said that Jorge's looked good. She was able to make a reservation on Open Table so this time, we knew it was open ;)

When we arrived, E told the hostess that we had a reservation on Open Table and she kinda shrugged saying that sometimes it didn't work for them. Seemed odd but she looked anyway and sure enough there was our reservation. The hostess lead us to a table but quickly accessed that we'd be sitting next to a huge table of crazy acting children and their passive parents. So she led us away to a corner table that was perfect. We were given menus and looked over while we munched on very good chips and salsa.

We did sit for quite a bit of time and noticed that not only did we not have any silverware but we also didn't seem to have a server. Drink orders were not taken, nothing for literally 10 minutes. E finally got up and spoke to the manager who very quickly took care of the problem. But honestly we were upset about it at all. We just wanted to order.

E got a sampler entree and I got the chicken enchiladas. Again the portions were huge. And again the food was massively tasty. I didn't really love the taco that was part of E's dinner because the shell had been fried and the grease from the beef filling had made the taco a bit soggy. I tend to enjoy steamed corn tortillas for my tacos so it's more of a personal preference than anything else. But I really enjoyed my chicken enchiladas. I got them in a red sauce that was very flavorful as were the refried beans and rice that came with our dishes. We were both very satisfied. As witnessed here

We got our check and saw that they had given us a 50% off discount for the wait we had. It was a very pleasant surprise and one that we weren't expecting.

Overall, Austin has really embraced us and we're kinda enthralled. Infact so much so that we've been contemplating if a move might be possible for us. Let's just see what happens.