Order Up: March Madness

12 Mar

Oh Austin, March is the month that we love to hate you.  This month, out-of-towners make up most of the population of Austin due to South by Southwest – the digital portion and the music portion have both become equally hot tickets.  We realize Sx is one of those uniquely awesome Austin events and it pumps a ton of cash into our local economy… but (and you knew there would be a but), it’s hard to get excited when you don’t have a badge. When SXSW descends, traffic sucks, working downtown sucks, and inevitably, in its wake, tons of people decide Austin is THE place to be, which ultimately crowds the rest of us out of our beloved city.

But we just can’t quit you, SXSW. Despite the annoyances, we’ve got nothing but love for the tons of cool shiz that happens around town each March. gimme more


Holla atcha girls!

1 Mar

It’s been a busy time, so forgive us for the silence. We’re trying to balance life, work, blogging and eating… and sadly, those last two sometimes just lose out. It wouldn’t be quite the same if I blogged about that can of Progresso soup and empty Fig Newton wrappers in the garbage, now would it?

Despite all the hubbub, we would be remiss if we didn’t drop in a little entry to give some love and shout outs. First, Two Chicks wants like to extend a very heartfelt congratulations to Paul Qui for kicking ass and taking names on Top Chef: Texas last night! Most peeps around Austin know the wonders of Uchiko — and A has had a fantastic and delicious experience  there (B has yet to go) — so we can only imagine the crowds that will be clamoring for a table now.

Way to represent Austin, Paul — not only were you talented and funny, but your poise under pressure did a lot to wipe away the ugly memories of a certain recent Texas politician’s foray into national politics! (And way to represent the Motherland; pinoy pride all the way! – A.)

Secondly, we want to give much love to Ned & Co. over at Foreign and Domestic; B’s experience there tonight was beyond fantastic. Two Chicks has been there once before–we broke our F&D cherry at last year’s Austin Restaurant Week. Since that time, we’ve stalked them on Twitter, driven by the building like a surly ex-girlfriend and thought back fondly on our meal (okay, full disclosure: B did most of that; A just laughed at her). But why neither of them had thus far returned is anyone’s guess (perhaps because a return trip would lead to another, then another, then another, and neither of our bank accounts or gastrointestinal systems could handle that much beef heart, duck fat and pork belly? Just a thought). But a call from a friend prompted an unplanned visit by B and it turned into the best decision ever. Well, at least of the week.

Sadly, the duck fat fried chicken is no longer on the menu (I’d been dreaming of it since ARW), but the meal was no less awesome: beef heart tartare, parpadelle w/truffle butter and poached egg, and an apple and cherry strudel. But the surprise of the evening came when the servers returned to our table with not one but two more desserts, gratis. Honestly, we’re still gobsmacked. But whatever the reason, thanks! You made B’s day.

photo credit: Edward Casabian/flickr (B was too busy eating to take photos)

Kome’ on down!

25 Jan

Happy (very) belated new year! Surely you’ve noticed, both chicks of Two Chicks have been a little quiet in 2012 — please don’t take it personally. This year is shaping up to be a big year for both of us. A is pregnant with her first kid — a little tiger cub who will undoubtedly be schooled in the ways of good cuisine and frequent blogging. B is planning her wedding for the fall, and has, quite often, found herself overwhelmed at the sheer amount of decisions to be made and money to be paid. So, forgive us, because we certainly didn’t mean to leave you hanging.

Now, let’s get moving on what you came here for — the food! Our latest excursion was to Kome’, a shiny new Japanese sushi kitchen on Airport Blvd. Continue reading

Local Love: Dive Bar & Lounge

26 Dec

Two Chicks (and assorted others) finally made the pilgrimage down to Dive Bar & Lounge for a long overdue happy hour a few months ago.  Dive Bar, a little unassuming bar on Guadalupe and 17th, has been open for less than a year and has already gained quite the loyal following.  It’s low-key, relaxed and a place you want to kick back and have a good time.  They’ve got regular happy hour specials, a boatload of fun events like karaoke night and music trivia night, and, of course, some great beers and cocktails.  It also helps that we think a couple of the owners are pretty awesome too (hi to Jim and Bev)!

Stop in and have a drink or two and stay for the laid-back Austin vibe! And for you Anglophiles out there, start out with a Pimm’s Cup at Dive and go across the street for some fish and chips at Dog and Duck Pub! It makes for a nice little evening. We won’t promise you any discounts if you drop our name, but it might nonetheless be fun if you walk in and shout, “Two Chicks sent us!” Make sure you take video if you do.

A delicious, thirst-quenching UFO White.

 Happy holidays from Two Chicks!

I need a what for these greens?

1 Dec

I’d never in my life needed a handful of napkins to eat a salad… until the giant bale of veggies from Turf and Surf Po Boy, a trailer near 2nd and Colorado. It’s one of a handful parked in a lot each day — the others include Chi’Lantro (sometimes), Kebabalicious, Snap Kitchen (a new entry) and a coffee trailer whose name I’ve never noticed. Truth be told, I think it’s a bit (or a lot) ridiculous to order a salad from a po’ boy trailer, but on my first go round, I actually did order a po’ boy, and, umm… yeah. It was upsettingly huge and unweildingly messy. The flavor was good, but I would’ve had to unhinge my jaw like a python to get the entire thing in my mouth. Even after dumping three-quarters of the lettuce, what seemed like two full tomatoes, a handful of onions and cucumbers, I was still left with a veritable po’ salad… not to mention a load of soggy bread. All of that for about $12 — did I mention this place has a wonky pay structure? I’ll get to that later. gimme more!

A Thanksgiving date with bacon

29 Nov

Happy post- Turkey Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday everyone!  It’s time to take those stretchy pants, bottles of mace, and free shipping coupon codes and trade them in for the usual 8-5 grind minus the leftovers.

My friends, I had a Thanksgiving date with bacon and it was actually pretty good.  When is bacon not good, you ask? I’m sure there are times, but thus far in life, I’ve been lucky enough to have avoided them. While hanging with my in-laws, I had a bacon-wrapped date as a fun little appetizer during Thanksgiving meal number one.  Normally I find dates to be overly sweet, but the bacon’s saltiness and smokiness cut through the sweet date to make the little morsel rather tasty.  It was a nice change before the usual Thanksgiving dishes.

Did you have a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings?  Perhaps it was a gourmet meal worthy of commentary by Tom Colicchio and a photo spread in Food & Wine.  Better yet, maybe it was an eclectic feast representing your family’s varied palates?  Or did you have one new culinary experience like I did?  Let us know what your favorite part was (and if the answer is ‘all of it,’ that’s cool, too. No judgement). Whatever meal you shared with loved ones this past holiday, Two Chicks hopes it was highly delicious and worthy of your stretchy pants.


Order Up: That ain’t zombies on the horizon!

21 Oct

There are many things Two Chicks would love to do; were it up to us, we’d spend our weeks blowing off work, visiting food, wine and beer festivals, and taking so many pictures bystanders would think Lindsay Lohan had arrived with our meal. Even locally, we find new restaurants, trailers and food-related events almost daily that make us gleeful. But fate conspires to keep us away — in this case, fate takes the form of a dwindling bank account and personal obligations. Such is life, right? But we feel its our duty to pass along the juiciest tidbits so others can play foodie (if only for the day). Check out these awesome events that are on the horizon; we encourage you to attend so that we can live vicariously through you!

1) For the rest of the month, The Carillon is having a fabulous deal called Taste of October.  They’re offering three tasty courses for the low price of $29 (a steal!) if you dine between 5:30-6:30pm.  If you’ve never been to Carillon, it is so worth it; Two Chicks ventured there before this blog was even a glimmer in our eye and enjoyed an amazing meal and stellar service.

2) The Gypsy Picnic Food Trailer Festival kicks off this Saturday, October 22 at Auditorium Shores. This second annual event will feature live music and 40+ food vendors (trucks, trailers and good old-fashioned food carts), and according to the local weather folks, it should be a beautiful fall day in the ATX. A attended last year and had some tasty food, though – full disclosure – she wasn’t terribly impressed with the overall organization. Still, rumor has it they’ve made significant improvements since that time, so check it out. It’s a great concept and there should be an awesome buzz.

3) If you’re looking for something to quench your thirst – and your raging hops addiction – Austin Beer Week begins this Saturday and runs through Saturday, October 30.  There are a ton of participating pubs, restaurants and other venues, and it’ll give you a good excuse to spend your weekend sloshed and waist-high in beer foam (as if you didn’t already have one). ABW shines a huge spotlight on the awesome array of local craft brewers in and around the ATX, so not only will you enjoy some good suds but you’ll be supporting local business, too. B has particular love for Black Star Pub and Brewery, which is just down the street from her house and represents the first cooperatively owned brewery in the country. We ain’t just a music town, people.

There are a plethora of delicious events scheduled for Austin and the surrounding areas in these next few weeks, so go forth and feast! Maybe (just maybe) we’ll see you out there.


ARW Day 2: Foreign & Domestic

18 Oct

Foreign & Domestic, do you like us? Check yes, no, or maybe because Two Chicks likes you… we, like you, like you. Both of us agreed F&D is our new de facto foodie crush. Just thinking about them makes A unbelievably giddy; she’s been daydreaming during work and doodling their name in her Trapper Keeper with a glitter pen.

The restaurant is what one might call cozy; located in the cool but unpretentious North Loop neighborhood, it’s housed in a small stone building with an even smaller gravel patio area. B lives walking distance from it and watched the owners move in and overhaul the previously abandoned building. The inside is light, airy and modern, with a warmth generated from a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and candles throughout. Arriving a little before 6:30pm on a weeknight during Restaurant Week, we weren’t able to secure a table but were happily steered toward two seats at the counter. Normally we would balk at not having a real table, but the counter was a blessing in disguise. We had a full view of the kitchen and saw our meal prepared from start to finish. We have no doubt that, had it not been so busy, we could have enjoyed some great conversation with the chef-owner. As it was, one of them did overhear part of our conversation and jumped in with the name of a Bon Appetit writer that had escaped me at that moment. Interactive dining, hooray! gimme more!

ARW Day 1: Braise

17 Oct

Editor’s Note: Another Austin Restaurant Week in the books and Two Chicks is properly stuffed. This time around, we let our bank accounts do the choosing, so we opted for just two restaurants, Braise and Foreign & Domestic.

A had been eyeing Braise since ARW 2010, hoping that they would again participate; and wouldn’t you know it, the foodie gods answered her prayers!  The restaurant is housed in a multi-use development in the new and improved East 6th Street area.  While the mixed -use development is the hip thing around town, both of us were irked at the rather plain-looking building. The restaurant anchors the corner of an apartment complex, but its sign blended a bit too much into the neutral toned brick, causing A to pass up the place three times before finally spotting it. Still the neighborhood was peaceful and parking was easy; as B waited at the front door, A left her irritation at the door as we entered the cozy, dimly lit restaurant.

We immediately delved into the menu and fell prey to the wine pairing option for an additional $20.  In hindsight, A could have done without the wine pairing but it was nice of them to have it as an option.  She just doesn’t down her booze as quickly as others (*ahem* B) so she was extremely behind each time they brought her a new glass.  She resembled that kid who holds up the entire class being dismissed for recess because she’s the last one to turn in the pop quiz. gimme more!

Country Fried Pflugerville

6 Oct

It’s been a long couple of weeks, with me traveling eyeball deep in work and the Mister suffering through two root canals and a tooth extraction. Despite having just come off the heels of a delicious Austin Restaurant Week (more on that later), I decided to treat him to dinner as a way of saying thanks for holding down the household duties… mostly. I mean yes, it’s a mess, but he didn’t burn the joint down; he even went to the grocery store a couple of times and bought actual food and necessary toiletries, instead of bubble gum, M&Ms and tube socks.

Anyway, I had a $40 gift card and asked him to choose where he wanted to go. After tossing around a few places, he settled on an old favorite of his, Springhill Restaurant in Pflugerville. Needless to say, it was a stark change of pace from Wednesday, when A and I finished up restaurant week at the heavenly Foreign & Domestic. But what Springhill lacked in sophistication and geographic desirability, it more than made up for in pure, unadulterated deliciousness.

gimme more