Friday, July 25, 2014

Fried Okra Recipe



My uncle grows fresh okra in his backyard, so lucky me that I got to try out this fabulous recipe for fried okra!

Please note that I didn't have any cornmeal on hand so I used whole wheat bread crumbs - yum!

Serves 4
15 minutes prep time
15 minute cook time
30 minutes total

Ingredients
  • 10 pods organic okra, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 organic brown egg, beaten
  • 1 cup organic cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, soak okra in egg for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, salt, and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  4. Dredge okra in the cornmeal mixture, coating evenly. 
  5. Carefully place okra in hot oil; stir continuously. 
  6. Reduce heat to medium when okra first starts to brown, and cook until golden. 
  7. Drain on paper towels.

Found this recipe at Allrecipes. ENJOY!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lovely Lenoir - Restaurant Review

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Lenoir has one of the most wonderful prix-fixe menus we've ever experienced, and at a fabulous $45 per person! Fresh food, a good variety of choices, medium sized portions (not too small or too large), inventive flavors, beautiful ambiance, and a very nice wine list make this one of the best restaurants in Austin!

On any day but Sunday, you can choose three items from the menu no matter what category they belong to (Field, Sea, Land, Dream). I chose a salad and two seafood courses. The octopus was the best I've had in Austin!

Love it, and can't wait to return! Parking can be challenging, but it's well worth the effort!

Turf N' Surf Po Boy Food Truck - Restaurant Review


This is a super fun food truck that I've loved since they had a location at 2nd and Congress. This new location sports a new truck (very reminiscent of the old) in The Picnic Food Trailer Park on Barton Springs. It's one of my new favorite food truck parks because of the ample parking, real bathrooms, and tables with shade and fans.

Ralph, the owner, of Turf N' Surf (in the black shirt and hat), is super friendly and has lots of great suggestions about what to order. I always get the fried oyster tacos ($14), and my sister ordered the blackened monk fish tacos ($15) because Ralph said that its taste and texture were similar to lobster - and it was! We also got the sweet potato fries ($4). The portions were all very large - we had to take most of the fries with us. We shared the tacos, which were fresh and excellent, especially with the flavorful veggies that they were loaded with (slaw, red onions, tomatoes, greens).

I look forward to many more visits to Turf N' Surf!

Pho Thaison - Restaurant Review


Heard about this restaurant through an acquaintance who is a relative of the owner. Was excited to potentially find another go-to restaurant for Vietnamese food. We tried it out during lunch on Tuesday.

The restaurant needs some remodeling. Everything looked old and shabby and the vinyl booth seats were repaired with what looked like black duct tape. There were a lot of flies in the restaurant.

It took a while for our food to arrive - at least 20 minutes, which is quite long if you have just an hour for lunch.

The shrimp spring roll ($2) was a nice way to start off my meal. It was soft and yummy, and I really enjoyed that they served it with warm peanut sauce. My chicken pho ($9) was average sized and came with all of the usual sides (bean sprouts, jalapeño slices, basil, cilantro, and a slice of lime), but I did have to tear off a few slimy leaves from the herbs. 

My husband's chicken vermicelli ($9) was about half of what other restaurants served, and the fish sauce was way too sweet. It wasn't enough for him and he ended up finishing my pho.

The restaurant served a complimentary bite of dessert with a small cup of green tea to end the meal - a nice touch.

Overall, pricier than other comparable Vietnamese restaurants, and the food isn't good enough to justify the higher price. Wouldn't order the vermicelli again, and it's usually one of the dishes we crave. Disappointed.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar on Anderson Lane - Restaurant Review


Tried Hopdoddy Burger Bar for the first time this past Monday. Met a good friend and her son for an early lunch. We were able to order right away. The restaurant was clean and staff were friendly, although the ordering process is not obvious to anyone new.

I ordered the Continental Club ($8 or $9 - turkey burger with bacon, arugula, Provolone, and pesto on whole wheat - I had them leave off the mayo) and the Truffle Parmesan fries ($6.50). I felt that the burger could have been really great - it's a wonderful combination of flavors. However, the turkey patty was too salty for my taste, as was the Parmesan and chive topping on the fries - I ended up scraping off the topping before dipping the fries in the truffle aoli, which was really yummy.

My friend ended up taking half of her burger and fries home - the portions were filling. Her son liked the grilled cheese that the restaurant offers for kids.

There are so many interesting burgers that I'll probably try a different one next time, and get the regular fries or a different side.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Royal Blue Grocery - Review

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What a wonderful place! I've been a loyal customer since this location's opening. I have lunch at least once a week here - everything is always so fresh and interesting (fabulous grass-fed beef burgers on Wednesdays for just $5, and Thai Friday for just $8). Also pick up wine, beer, eggs, milk, breakfast tacos, chips and salsa, and veggies.

The customer service here is so great that if they don't have a veggie in the case, they'll check the kitchen for me to see if they have what I need in the back - just awesome and has saved me from having to make a run to Whole Foods just to get one jalapeño pepper!

George is a truly amazing business man, and his store makes such a contribution to the community! So happy to see so many new RB locations opening up!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

El Alma - Restaurant Review



The interior of the restaurant was too hot and there were too many flies buzzing around! Did not enjoy the experience.

The food was okay but not so amazing that I have to return.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

La Condesa - Restaurant Review

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Love the collection of salsas, and the ceviches are always excellent!

Chicken is always too salty! I've started getting the fish or opting for a restaurant that isn't as salty.