BLESS this dish, bless, bless, bless.
Best new chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbonne created this Potato Gnocchi with Pastrami Ragu and like an old Italian grandmother, I want kiss both of them on the cheek. I honestly don’t have much to say about this one except make it and snarf it I guess. One thing I did do and that’s because I’m kind of a tired bones panda at times and didn’t feel like making from-scratch gnocchi (I know you won’t judge me for that) I bought the chilled version from Whole Foods Market and followed the directions for perfect pillowy gnocchi. This made it extra splendid in my eyes because it was so fast to make after a long night in the kitchen and got me in front of the TV quicker to geek out of over So You Think You Can Dance. Yes, I used to be a dancer (obviously not the caliber of those lovely ladies and gents) and lurve that show. I know, I’m a serious nerd. Don’t even get me started on Star Trek, comic books or Star Wars. Reason #4,567 why David and I are such a good match. Oh and speaking of, this is a David favorite and I remember that because he said it about 10 times; 8 while eating it and twice while getting seconds. If that doesn’t compel you I don’t know what will.
Our friends Kari and Mike have been talking about Drink.Well up on North Loop for quite some time and their really good Kobe Beef Burger. So, for Sunday family dinner we decided to treat ourselves and give it a try. Holy kobe burger, I love this place.
In an unassuming building just off North Loop, right down from a house that has a guillotine in front of it (don’t let this deter you, but only in Austin right?) is Drink.Well. A dimly lit, we were told former realtor company building, that’s snuggle tastic. The decor is modern with whimsical touches throughout such as wheels welded to steel poles to create a very unique place to set your drink, plus fun, local art along the wall and Uno cards as “numbers” for the staff to deliver your food to the table. Like a typical pub, you order drinks and food at the counter. We were here on a a lazy, rainy Sunday but I would want to see it on a weekend night, as I’m sure the line could get pretty long? Not sure, but will gladly go back and investigate if I can get all of their food again.
We started with House-Cut Potato Chips & Dips which are thin and crispy Kennebec potatoes, with a choice of dips which we chose Onion & Summer Herb (smoky), Warm White Bean Pesto (savory). I could eat both of those dips off a an old shoe. Since I’ve been pregnant I’ve been doing the typical cravings like a mad woman and one of mine is hot wings (the other is spaghetti and meatballs and milk. Not together mind you.). The wings are crispy good and we got them smothered in the buffalo hot sauce which was just hot enough and a great little chicken wing if I do say so myself.
Now. to the main event, the Kobe Burger. Woo child, this was good. Straight from their menu:
TEXAS KOBE BURGER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 .50
Akaushi beef burger, cooked to order* with cheddar, roma tomato, house-made pickles, lettuce and smoked onion marmalade. With house-cut potato chips or side salad.
Go Half-Hog (Add bacon OR pulled pork): Add $1.50
Go Whole-Hog (Add bacon AND pulled pork): Add $2.50
Other add-ons (Fried Egg or Avocado): Add $1 each
The one thing I should have done? Add a fried egg. Dangit! Oh well, I will next time. The burger was cooked perfectly and mixed with the onion marmalade and cheddar, it was almost a perfect burger. Right now it’s a 9.5 but maybe with the fried egg I’ll give it a 10. Either way, you have to give it a try.
Finally, because sweets are also on heavy rotation right now I ordered a house made Twinkie that had a strawberry creme filling in the middle. YUM! I knew I should have ordered two just for my piglet self.
I love the neighborhood feel of this place along with the whimsical touches, excellent staff and great pub food. Let’s just say it’s always a good time to Drink (and Eat) Well at Drink.Well.!
You know you always have that one place that if you can’t think of where to go or just want to pop in for a quick snack and glass of wine, you go there? That’s Mulberry for David and me. We happened upon it one night when looking for a place to go and the moment I walked in I knew I was going to love it. It’s a small place with an excellent patio outside and cozy little nooks and crannies to get close to your loved one on the inside with a very unique horseshoe shaped bar that almost expands around the entire room. Plus, they have an excellent vino selection that is affordable and interesting without being too off-center or dare I say it, snooty. Oh, get the Justin Cabernet for me if you can!
Most importantly? The food! Every time we go there the food is consistently good. I can’t recall everything we’ve had there but some mainstays when we go are the Cuban Sandwich; Meatballs; Devils on Horseback and the FoieBerry Burger. Why this little beauty isn’t being raved about more I don’t know because it’s a perfect small bite of burger. Two buttery buns, ground beef and foie gras with a berry style compote smothered on top…perfection. Now, I will always say our pies are the best anywhere hands down (shameless, shameless www.thepiesociety.com) BUT they make a darn good Chocolate Hazelnut Pie and given that sweets are my middle name these days, it’s an awesome end to a meal.
We also just went there for brunch and I had the Eggs Benedict which wasn’t the same old, same old dish you get over and over again somewhere else but a delicious egg with perfect hollandaise sauce, tomatoes and spinach all on top of a crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside Ciabatta roll. It’s the little differences and upgrades they do that make this place one of our favorites. If you are visiting or live here in Austin, give them a try: http://www.mulberryaustin.com/
Ok, ok, I know I can’t just skim over the fact that I haven’t posted in a month and a half but lambs, it’s for a very, very, very good reason…we’re cooking up something that can take oh, give or take nine months. YAY! A baby Kealey! Can you believe it? I know we can’t, and this might get a little personal but I hope this can inspire other couples, since I was told it would be unlikely for me to conceive. I have endometriosis, which as any woman with it knows you’ve probably been told it would be difficult, if not impossible, to have children. David and I had embraced the fact that it probably wouldn’t happen for us, so you can imagine our surprise when we found our little EPT test turned out with a plus sign instead of negative. We are over the moon but alas things have been busy, busy around here getting ready for him or her…more on this next week.
So now that I have the energy to start cooking again, I’ve been going bananas in the kitchen especially with a coffee. Maybe it was the first trimester no coffee policy but I’ve been enjoying java again in the second and it seems like on everything. One oldie but a goodie I made for a dinner party this past Sunday was the Coffee-Rubbed Cheeseburgers with Texas Barbecue Sauce. I knew it wasn’t just me who thought these were amazing, as everyone loved them. I’m telling you that rub would be amazing on anything but with the smoked gouda, barbecue sauce and coffee-rubbed hamburger patty it is a trifecta of flavor happiness in your tummy: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Coffee-Rubbed-Cheeseburgers-with-Texas-Barbecue-Sauce-353870.
Next up, and I’ve made this twice in two weeks so take that for what you will, is the Coffee-Cured Pork with Sunchoke Pickle Relish from Food & Wine magazine. Oh goodness lambs. This was amazing. The baby is kicking me right now as I type this, haha, I love it and maybe it’s recalling how good this was? David was a HUGE fan of this one. What I liked about it was it’s very easy to make and then you just sit it and forget it until you pull out the nom, nom, nommy pork. Now the sunchoke pickle relish is a wee bit more intense but is fun to make or at least I thought so. I guess I’m just a Southerner at heart since I love canning and pickling. This was awesome on top of the pork since it had a hint of vinegar and sweet to it, kind of like a South Carolina style-pulled pork sandwich. I have jars of it to last for a while, unless I sit and eat it all with a spoon this week, which is highly likely.
I’ll be back up and writing a little more frequently now poodles, I promise you that. Big hugs.