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Posts Tagged ‘lunch’

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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Austin Restaurant Week: Copper

I had no idea Copper existed until today. It’s Austin Cake Ball’s boutique cafe nestled next to the CPK in the Domain shopping center. The special for the week is a $17 three-course lunch consisting of an appetizer, lunch entrée, and a cake ball. A great way to try out the incredibly fresh flavors happening there.

I had the Truffled Deviled Eggs, Pancetta Salad, and Tiramisu cake ball. Not too filling, exciting flavor combinations, and a delicately sweet kahlua infused treat ended the meal on a high note.

I will be back, you should check them out!

2013 Copper Domain Austin - ceviche

Shrimp Ceviche

2013 Copper Domain Austin - german chocolate

German Chocolate Cake Ball

2013 Copper Domain Austin - tiramisu

Tiramisu Cake Ball

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There have been many restaurant turnovers in this spot on the corner of Burnet and 183/Research Blvd, but I hope Joe’s will stick around.  I had a filling lunch for $6.99, Ziti Bolognese with a side salad and warm bread with seasoned olive oil.

The decor is not that appetizing.  Fake grape vines and plastic grape bunches hanging on lattice attached to the length of the walls is not really “Italian” to me.  There were a couple of TVs with sports showing.  A chunk of tile on the wall next to the door was missing.  It was clean though.  One waitress attended the few tables that were occupied.  Boxes of supplies were stacked in the back corner in front of the small open kitchen.

Joe’s offers catering services, I wonder what the pizza is like?  The office often orders pizza for staff meetings, I’ll have to go back and try the pizza first.

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My colleagues asked me to join them for Cheese Steak Thursday at Delaware, I declined with a mouthful of this salad….

  • Red lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Orange Bell Pepper
  • Garden Tomato
  • Garlic Naan “croutons”
  • Sweet Onion Dressing

The lure of cheese is sometimes overwhelming.  However, I’m trying to eat less gluten to see if it helps my rosacea situation.  See that pie looking thing behind the plate of salad?  I’ll be writing about it as part of my review of Babycakes by Erin McKenna.  Stay tuned for it!

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Tino’s is at the north end of the Arbor Walk shopping strip where Loop 360 ends at North MoPac (Loop 1).  We were in the area for lunch and picked Greek to try something different.  Bring your kids, if they like Greek, this is not a high-brow type of eatery.  The concept is simple, stand in line with a tray and pick either a platter (about $7.49) or a wrap (about $6).  I went with a platter of Gyro meat, salad, tabouli, (one) dolmathe, and tzadziki.  To round out the high price tag I got a pita and a fountain drink for a total of $9.68 with tax.  It’s like a Greek Subway shop.

Everything tasted as it should, but I could not overlook the value of this meal.  In my opinion, the price was a little high for the quantity of Gyro on the plate.  I was glad to see the roasting spit and a carver slicing my order seconds before they handed my plate over the sneeze guard.  The cashier was not as happy to see me.  Note to the wise: you will have to ask for a receipt copy.

For those who do not like lamb, there are chicken and vegetarian options as well.  The gyro is very mild and does not resemble any other lamb I’ve eaten.  If I offered it to my children, $50 bucks says one of them devours it without blinking.  If you’re not in to betting on your child’s taste buds, there is a kid’s plate on the menu ($3.50 meat and rice or potato and a pita).

The dolmathe was the best item I chose.  It was only rice with a spiced sauce in a grape leaf, I guess I’ve developed a flavour for the hot and spicy Mexican foods in Austin.  This is a project to recreate at home and include ground lamb in the rice mixture.

Tino’s offers fast food without a deep-fryer and I would visit again for lunch.

10515 North Mopac, Austin, TX. 78758  tinosgreekcafe.com

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A modern made-from-scratch bakery has landed in the Arboretum, it’s the Blue Baker. The line to order lunch wraps around the plexiglass enclosure housing bakers making bread.

Not to worry, the line moves quickly because there is a small army of blue aproned staff to receive your orders.  Merchandise is displayed to the hungry folks waiting in line, ready to be plucked off the shelves.  I cringed a little at the sight of loaves of bread for sale, I found my competition!  Well, not exactly.  My bread is different, it’s made with love!

I ordered the D’Vinchee pizza for lunch.  You can smell the pizza oven doing its work while salivating over those pesky loaves of challah, rosemary bread, and fendu.  There are cookies too, but beware if you have nut allergies!  Also ask if the chicken salad contains nuts, as many other places add nuts to it.

Being in the Arboretum, this is not a cheap lunch by any means.  My 13-inch pizza was $12, and another $2 for a drink (with free refills).  The pizza was good overall but it had no sauce on it.  I’m a saucy girl so this was the only disappointment.  The amount of toppings applied was enough to satisfy a grumbling tummy.

Will I go back again? Maybe.

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Toss the following:

  • steak, cooked how you like and sliced (leave off for vegetarian option)
  • spinach
  • tomato
  • red bell pepper
  • cheddar cheese, cubed
  • croutons
  • jicama shards (those are the white pieces)
  • italian dressing

A view of a half-eaten salad that I decided was tasty and wanted to share it with you.  Too bad your screen isn’t scratch’n’nibble!

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Grandma’s brown bread made an excellent vessel for my home-made Panini.  Roast beef, Munster cheese, and big slices of tomato were squished between buttered slices of bread.  I used a small pot to press the sandwich in the pan.  It turned out so well that I had to make another round for us.

Also, on the side was a macaroni salad inspired by one of the catered salads I’ve had.  Here’s what I made:

Macaroni Salad

  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 1/3 cups dry pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • fresh basil leaves (mine were tiny sprouts from the garden, no need to chop)
  • 1 fresh mint leaf, chopped fine
  • balsamic vinegar
  • grainy mustard
  • olive oil
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • white pepper (to taste)

In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, pour in some vinegar and equal part mustard.  Add tow to three times this amount of oil and a pinch of salt.  Put on the lid and shake until it emulsifies.  Set aside.

Drain the pasta well in a colander, then run a little cool water to stop the macaroni from cooking.  Pour the macaroni in a large bowl.  Add the tomato, basil, mint, salt and pepper.  Pour the dressing from the jar over the salad and toss to coat.  Keep covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

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Lunch Box

In my lunch box today…

Tomato Basil Soup from Randall’s (Safeway)

Salad:

tomato

zucchini

radish (garden)

basil (garden)

arugula (garden)

peas (garden)

beans (garden)

croutons made from French bread

Italian dressing

It was missing red onion and maybe some cheese.  That would make one smashing salad!

What did you have for lunch today?

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The Koi greet everyone with open mouths.  They are happy to stay off the menu.

We requested a table at the back.  Word of advice, put in your order while your waiter seats you otherwise you are forgotten and you will fear they will never come back for you.  And the hot tea does not come with a small pot, it is simply a cup of tea.

Sushi Sashimi Lunch - Ichiban Austin

Hubby ordered the sushi sashimi combination lunch platter.  The nigiri is a fine selection of fish and a piece of imitation crab.  “That’s not right.” he said half way through lunch.  Houdini (aka the waiter) stopped by to see if we were still alive.  Hubby explained that imitation crab should not be on the plate or the menu should say something about it (it simply says 5 pieces of chef selected nigiri).  Not only did the server get an earful, he also spoke to the manager.  He knows what real crab is and it’s not the hotdog shaped atrocity he found himself facing at chow time.

I was embarrassed but I know the reason behind the action, in fact,  I AM the reason.  Hubby has picked up a taste for real crab in the time we’ve been together.  He wanted to go off at the restaurant like Chef Irvine does on his show, something like “You can’t serve fake fish at a SUSHI bar!”.  Point taken by the manager, he offered to replace the “crab” with salmon and forgo the $1 surcharge for swapping out the piece.

Special Combo - Ichiban Austin

“Just go with the flow.”  That’s my take on life, and in this situation I ate the damn imitation crab.

I thought that the Dragon Roll mentioned in the possible substitutions for a California roll was the one pictured on the menu of rolls.  On the picture menu it was called Red Dragon I saw no other dragons on the menu and went ahead and ordered it.  Nope, it’s the OTHER dragon roll with eel if I’m not mistaken?  Not what I was expecting.  Did I try to send it back?  No, I just ate it anyways and chalked it up to trying my first eel roll.

The House Roll, which was imitation crab roll dunked in tempura and fried, was good.  The crunch from the tempura helps mix things up a bit, textural wise.

Don’t mind having to take off my shoes to eat lunch.  As far as sushi places go, you might get a better sense of authentic Japanese/Korean dining here at Ichiban due to the ambiance, but you can find comparable service and platters elsewhere.  Lunch prices are decent (starts at $6.95 per person, bento boxes were $8.95 and up).  If we go back for another special lunch, I will try the bulgogi bento box.  Parking is a little tricky, I didn’t know it was a one way loop and went in through the exit confusing the lady leaving at the time.   The green carpet is a little distracting, but most older restaurants have tacky décor.

Ichiban Restaurant 7310 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757

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