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Archive for the ‘Nites Out’ Category

2014-03-14 20.05.43

A tall Bloody Mary awaits at El Arroyo.

1624 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78703

Known for catchy signs, which are commemorated in photographs along the interior walls, El Arroyo anchors the west end of the popular 6th Street downtown area.  It’s almost up against Mo-Pac (Loop 1), across 5th street from the Mean Eye Cat. 

I tried the Tacos El Pastor (pork with pineapple), they had very lean cubes of pork with a good about of achiote pepper flavor.  Not greasy at all.   My dinnermate had the tamales, which are a pain to make at home, and they were spiced in the right ways.  I’d say fairly authentic Mexican fare!

The “fish” is Tilapia, including the ceviche, which is not my favorite (maybe it’s a Southern thing, it’s certainly foreign to this Canuck!)  I wanted to try their ceviche but was not going to eat Tilapia.  If you like it, go ahead and try it.

El Arroyo can also entertain you with live music on select evenings (check the website).  I hear this is a great place for breakfast on the weekends.

 

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Uncorked is a cozy converted house on the east side of downtown Austin hosting a globetrotters’ gauntlet of wines. Choose your glass by country or use the icons on the wine menu to find a pallet pleasing wine. I’m not a wine savvy person but I know I prefer sweet, fruity flavors if I’m enjoying a glass in good company. The staff are more than helpful and friendly, just ask if you don’t know what to try!

uncorked moscato midnitechef.com

My first choice was right up my alley.

uncorked moscato midnitechef.com

A sweet moscato with peachy floral notes. This went down very easily. The second glass was a rose and a little dry. From what I do understand about wine, start light and work to darker older vintages. Thanks to Jordan Winery for the class at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop!

rose

If you are looking for a special night with your sweetheart, Uncorked should be on your list.   Not just for Valentine’s Day (which is this FRIDAY), but any time you need to spend some time to converse over wine and nibbles.   The view of the high rises of downtown Austin is a splendid backdrop for your evening.

Uncorked is located at 900 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702

(512) 524-2809

uncorkedtastingroom.com

 

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The Village in North Austin (on Anderson Lane near Mo-Pac/Loop 1) has been slowly gaining interest and new businesses are moving in steadily filling in the few remaining gaps. The Goodnight is one of the newer kids on the block and is perfect for a date night with your sweetie, or meeting up with friends. A long plentiful bar centers the dinning area. Four billiard tables are flanked by two ping-pong tables in the rear. There are bowling lanes for the adventurous types! The staff are friendly and the food is diligently prepared, although it’s pub grub. Albeit, tasty pub food. The menu includes many fried items, salads, burgers and hot sandwiches, plus a few entrees of the beef/chicken/fish sort. For a light snack I recommend the Chef’s Board, featuring Antonelli’s Cheese Shop and local nibbles. Vegetarians have a few options but are all heavy on carbs. The Cheese Steak has moist meat on a soft roll.

What to order: For your date night I recommend the Farmer’s Market Pizza to share. It comes topped with roasted mushrooms, goat cheese and spicy arugula.

    Address: 2700 West Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78757
    Phone number: 512-459-5000
    Hours of Operation: Sunday-Thursday 11am-12am, Friday-Saturday 11am-2am
    Takes reservations: Yes
    WiFi: Yes
    Website: http://thegoodnightaustin.com
    Happy Hour: Monday through Friday – 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm – $7 Pizzas, Megamugs of beer and select cocktails.
    Late Night Happy Hour: Friday and Saturday after midnight – $3 wells, $3 shots of Fireball Whiskey or Jameson Whiskey, $2 PBR or Lonestar cans.

But wait… THERE’S MORE!

Bowling
Monday through Saturday – $30 per lane per hour after 4:00 pm.
Friday and Saturday – $15 per lane per hour after midnight.
All other times, including all day Sunday are free to play.

Pool, Shuffleboard and Table Tennis
Thursday through Saturday – $4 per hour from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm; $8 per hour from 7:00 pm to close.
All other times are free to play.

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*I was offered a tasting of Carino’s gluten-free menu as sponsorship for this post. My thoughts and comments are my own.*

Carino’s, located along I-35 in Round Rock, has expanded their menu to include gluten-free entrées and pizzas.

Making a good gluten-free pizza crust is a tall order, but the chefs at Carino’s pulled it off with the help of Udi’s.  You get to choose up to five toppings for your specialty pizza ($12.99 for a medium, plenty to split with a friend).  I ordered mine with artichoke, bacon, spinach, chicken, and extra cheese and you could have fooled me… it didn’t taste like a gluten-free pizza!

I invited my friends to try out the pizza with me.  They were equally impressed.

If you like soda, try the raspberry Italian Soda with cream!  Not too sweet for my taste and you get refills for free, good deal since I drank three of them.

The entrées on the gluten-free menu are mostly some kind of meat with vegetables.  There is gluten-free pasta, but I didn’t try it on this trip.

Carino’s

2600 N. IH-35 Round Rock,TX

512-238-8288

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After a long morning in Georgetown, I took my Dad out for lunch to Jack Allen’s Kitchen.  I’ve been hearing great things about chef Allen from other AFBA Members, so I had to feed my curiosity.  JAK sources as much as possible from Texas farms and producers, which gives me those warm hippie fuzzy feelings.

fish tacos Jack Allens Kitchen

Baja Style Fish Tacos

My father, being the adventurous type like me, ordered Baja Fish Tacos, a dish he claims he could not find at home in Alberta.  He vacations in Mexico and the Caribbean, I was surprised he hasn’t encountered a fish taco yet.  However, this is Texas after all,  and we do things weird in these parts.

Chicken Enchilada Jack Allens Kitchen

Chicken Enchilada

Forgive me, but in my moment of gluttony I forgot the name of the dish I had (!!!).  It resembled chicken enchiladas in stacked form, with a fried egg on top.  It was as if I was eating the circle of life, smothered in a creamy chipotle sauce.  Damn fine dish, what ever it was.  Both of our dishes would pass as gluten-free thanks to the corn tortillas.

Paired my chicken with a pint of Independence Brewery Stash IPA, it was dark and smooth, just how I like my water slides.
Key Lime Pie (to die for!)

Key Lime Pie (to die for!)

Finished out the lunch with a slice of heaven, a key lime pie slice that is!

Our server was very knowledgeable of the entire menu, including the beers on tap.  Jack Allen’s Kitchen is perfect for any occasion to celebrate with locally sourced fare.  Reservations for dinner are recommended.  Lunch crowd was not bad at all during the week, but I would guess the weekends are busier.

Jack Allen’s Kitchen

2500 Hoppe Trail, Round Rock, TX 78681 

512.215.0372

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On the hunt for peppers on your burger?  I found three around town and I’ll tell you which one was my favorite.

First up is the Oasis Hatch Chili Burger.

oasis hatch chili burger texas

The Oasis

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The bun was big and dry, the burger was dry too.  Come for the views of Lake Travis (and yes there was water in there), however the incredibly slow service may irritate you.

Second were the Hatch Green Chili Sliders I found at Round Rock Market Days.

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Hatch Green Chili Truck

These little babies had a creamy sauce and juicy slider patties, topped with roasted hatch chili peppers.  Perfect quick lunch while on the go at the market!  Saw the Rockin’ City Rollergirls there too.

The last one I want to share with you is a Poblano Burger from Louisiana Longhorn Café in Round Rock.

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Louisiana Longhorn Café

Louisiana Longhorn Café

The Poblano Burger was on the special menu, and it was loaded with toppings.  The Cajun fries were tasty but a little greasy.  It had fresh pico de gallo and avocado to compliment the peppers.  All held together with cheese!  Our server brought out a pitcher of ice tea, none of that annoying tea to sweetener ratio control required, you can refill at your own pace.  The décor was full of purple and gold (LSU), mirrors, and odds and ends.

Even though I enjoyed the Poblano Burger with the added avocado, I have to say my favorite pepper burger was the Green Hatch Chili Truck’s hatch sliders.  It’s great to see a few trucks around Round Rock after the Trailer Park went vacant this summer.  Sucks to lose a spot to hang out with the dog and kids, while eating a variety of foods.  I hope to find the Green Chili truck again!

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Need a quick no fuss lunch option under 10 bucks? If you’re in north Austin (ok, way NORTH) I’d suggest stopping at La Tapatia. It’s a tiny taqueria on the south bound frontage of Research Blvd (Hwy 183).

la tapatia drinks austin texas

Typical selection of sodas are available, as well as beer. The chips and salsa are nothing to write home about, probably not freshly prepared in-house, not that I’d expect it here.

la tapatia austin texas

There’s a jukebox that randomly wakes up to flood the cement-walled eatery with Latino folk music. A bit loud when you’re sitting right next to it, and startling if you’re not expecting it. Restroom was clean and well maintained but didn’t have a changing table, just a heads up if you tote along ninos.

torta de lengua la tapatia austin texas

Lunch for myself was less than $5 (not including tip). The lengua was very soft and sliced thin, very few clumps of pure fat, in fact I only found one. Needed a little salt, or I’m just craving salty tongue right now for some reason. Very filling lunch option for those with smaller appetites (and wallets).

La Tapatia is located at 13450 N Hwy 183 Austin, TX 78750

For more Mexican Restaurants click here! For more Austin Restaurants click here!

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