Order Up: Austin Restaurant Week, Fall 2011

24 Sep

Hello hungry readers!  It’s that time of the year when you can spend two gluttonous weeks taste-testing some of Austin’s best restaurants without ending up in the poorhouse.  The fall version of Austin Restaurant Week begins this Sunday, the 25th; week one runs through the 28th while week two stretches from October 2-5.  Two Chicks are polishing up our list of places to hit up and so far some top contenders are Paggi House and Foreign & Domestic; but as always, it’s proving a challenge to narrow things down.  We may have to resort to a brutal game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to make sure every place gets a fair shot.

What places will you be trying out? Drop us a comment and let us know!  We hope to see peeps out and about; look for us to be stuffing our faces and snarking with the wait staff!

-A

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It’s BACON!

19 Sep

You can wrap it around a filet, crumble it on a salad, add it to a sandwich or simply fry it up and eat it plain. But even an amateur aficionado knows there’s no such thing as just plain bacon. Whether it’s peppered, maple smoked or covered in chocolate, it’s a slab of salty, porky goodness that goes with just about anything. Think of your favorite, most comfortable shirt… but way tastier.

So when a little restaurant down the street from my office opened up by the name of Bacon, I had to be there, and on opening day, no less. I went with several of my co-workers, including — wait for it — a vegetarian! That’s right, this place takes care of them, too, extending its porcine arms to welcome even those who don’t partake. Bacon, my friends, is love.

gimme more!

Everyone Here is High!: Eating Crested Butte

12 Sep

I came home tonight with a handful of beets in my shopping bag – the Mister and I are doing our level best to eat better, in part due to my upcoming participation in the Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure (shameless plug). As I sit listening to them roast, I can’t help but laugh at the irony of eating what is normally considered a cold weather food at the tail end of the worst summer in Texas’ history. But it is getting cooler, however incrementally, and waking up to lower temps reminds me of my summer vacation to Crested Butte, Colorado. A friend and I did the 14-hour road trip in one day, and after crossing three states and climbing 12,000 or so feet above sea level, I was determined to put down some tasty local fare. Unfortunately, the beets I’ve got roasting in my oven will likely be better than just about everything I tried while breaking down the Butte.

gimme more!

Rolling on the river

30 Aug

This summer has been INSANELY hot in Austin.  Being outside is like taking a stroll in an Easy-Bake Oven, minus the delicious baked goods. In order to cope with the heat, sometimes you need to get creative; let’s face it, you can only stay indoors so long before cabin fever sets in and your sofa cushion becomes perfectly molded to your posterior. For my husband and I, thinking outside the box means burrowing underground… deep, deep underground. Not with a shovel and bucket, mind you, but spending a couple of hours  at Longhorn Caverns, in Burnet County. It stays a cool and lovely 68° all year round — like Barton Springs Pool, but less wet.

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Holy shawarma!

22 Aug

Two chicks has had quite a bit going on in the last few months; A is working hard, traveling and getting some extra schooling. I am working hard, traveling and planning a wedding. I’ve also started a new job in a swank office in the heart of downtown Austin. Not only is my new company pretty awesome, but I am literally a half-block away from a beautiful bevy of food trucks! If you know anything about me, you know that I started taste testing my first week in; six weeks later, I’ve already developed a couple of regular go-to joints. One such place is Kebabalicious, which is as much fun to say as it is to eat. Ignoring the obvious question (no, there are no actual kebabs on the menu), this little blue truck makes my belly happy.

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Tacos y mas: Eating San Diego

31 Jul

Mention San Diego to people and some will tell you where the best beaches are while others will tell you where the best fish tacos are served.  I, of course, listen to the second group since it has everything to do with what I can put in my hungry belly and nothing at all to do with the fact that I dislike sunbathing and large bodies of open water, and that my swimming skills are limited to a very poor doggie paddle.

One of the great things about traveling to new and unexplored places is experiencing these places through food. If I’m to judge San Diego solely on that attribute, it would earn a solid D. Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time but my food experiences left much to be desired.

gimme more!

What I did for my summer vacation

5 Jul

You’ve probably been wondering where we’ve been the last couple of weeks, right?  Well, Two Chicks went on vacation!  Ok, so we didn’t go together but we went nonetheless.  I enjoyed a long weekend in San Diego with the hubby while B road-tripped with a friend to Crested Butte, Colorado.  And yes, we were aiming to get away from the current hellfire temperatures of Austin so don’t judge us because we know you were thinking the same thing. It’s sometimes hard to enjoy a meal when you’re sitting on the surface of the sun.

We hope you didn’t miss us too much because we’ve got some great meal-time adventures to share.

And in honor of B’s road trip, I’d like to share a list of regional delights from my own rambling adventures earlier this year:

1) Virginia –  Route 11 Potato Chips makes awesome Dill Pickle flavored chips.

2) Raleigh, North Carolina – Though a franchise, The Flying Biscuit Cafe feels like grandma’s house albeit a hip, Southern grandma.

3) North Carolina – Cheerwine – a delicious, highly caffeinated soda.  Rumor has it this soda contains more caffeine than Mountain Dew, which makes it perfect for road trips.

4) Northampton, Massachusetts – Dream-worthy pancakes can be had at The Green Bean, not to mention bottomless coffee. They even let you choose your own mug!

5) Northampton, Massachusetts – For healthy and delicious eats, Paul & Elizabeth’s is where it’s at.

Two Chicks wishes fun, safe travels to our readers, and reminds you to pack those drawstring pants, load up on antacid and get your eats on. We’ll be back soon with a full recap of all our fun!

– A

Gettin’ down when you’re high: Eating Denver

15 Jun

A friend recently took a trip to Denver and it reminded me of my business trip to the Mile High City late last year.  For four days, I was trapped in a hotel attending seminars and presentations with only a distant view of the snow-capped Rockies on the horizon.  Anyone who’s traveled for business is undoubtedly familiar with the sub-par hotel food and drive-thru meals that make up the bulk of the trip; it is the lucky few who can take a business trip and enhance their experience by finding good, local eats. This post, my friends, is for the latter group.

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Welcome to the Tenderloin: Eating San Francisco

11 Jun Hey Ladie's

“How much would it take to get you here?” The Grecian-featured man in suit and tie leaned back in his rickety wooden chair, eyes locked on to the tall, black women sitting across from him. She was dressed for business as well, in black slacks and a patterned shirt with oversized cuffs and collar. Both were facing a steaming plate of Sailor’s Hash – a scrambled egg concoction with hash browns, garlic shrimp, jalapeno, onions, cheese and Dungeness crab, topped with a liberal portion of smoked salmon. That was the first dish that caught my eye on the list of extensive offerings at Taylor Street Coffee Shop, and I was excited I was able to see someone else ultimately enjoy it.

As the women leaned in to answer him, my focus shifted to the table behind them, and directly across the very narrow aisle from me and the Mister. A very fashionable mother with two toddlers – the little girl of about 5 had thin lips, porcelain skin and big, wide eyes. She wasn’t happy, nor was her brother, and whatever words their mother was attempting to soothe them with (in French, as best I could tell) were not working. Their mood only brightened as they nibbled at the array of food before them – fresh strawberries, kiwi,oranges and apple slices; platter-sized buttermilk pancakes and a giant bowl of Fruit Loops. I couldn’t help but smile.

gimme more!

F’burg is the Word

3 Jun

The first and last time I was in Fredericksburg was close to a decade ago when I went with some girlfriends.  We did girly things like window shop in antique stores and gushed about how adorably quaint the town seemed.  This trip was definitely on the other end of that spectrum, unless you count as girly repeated snickering and dirty comments about sausages, and a volley of comments about the need to dig crawfish brains from beneath our fingernails. Don’t ever say we aren’t charming.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Two Chicks and their respective menfolk made the hour and a half drive out to the Hill Country for the Fredericksburg Crawfish Festival.  While tempted, we sped past the roadside stands advertising fresh peaches, tomatoes and homemade jams and jellies; we were on a mission for a heaping helping of mudbugs, and our experience left us saying laissez les bon temps rouler!

gimme more!