I love trying new restaurants in my new city. I hate being the one to pick the restaurant! I’ll probably forever be playing the “I’m new to Austin. You pick!” card. Because hello, it’s true!
But a few weeks ago, my friend Carrie & I were planning our Wednesday lunch date and I picked! Go me!
How did I pick Satellite Bistro & Bar?
I got a coupon in the mail for it! Score.
Satellite Bistro is located down south in the Circle C area. It was an easy location to find, which is always a win as I’m learning my way around the city. They have a large outdoor seating area that is perfect for enjoying the spring weather. Inside, I really loved the fun, retro decor. The bright colors make it a great lunch spot with friends or family.
For lunch, I had the Shrimp Asian Noodle Salad. It’s noted on the menu as a house & guest favorite. The waitress immediately told us that it’s her favorite thing on the menu. I love it when the wait staff validates my food choices.
Shrimp Asian Noodle Salad:
Jumbo grilled shrimp atop chilled noodles tossed with mixed veggies, mango, avocado and ginger soy dressing topped with a crispy wonton (from Satellite’s menu).
This salad was DELICIOUS! The shrimp was well-seasoned with a kick of spice. I loved the combination of the creaminess of the avocado against the crunchiness of the veggies.
I would like to try other entrees at Satellite, but this salad was so good that I may just keep going with it! I even went back the next week with my aunt.
So if anyone is down near Circle C and wants to grab lunch, I’m your gal. :)
When I came to Austin in February to find an apartment, my aunt & uncle tried to take me to Torchy’s Tacos for lunch. There was literally no where to park! It was jam packed to brim. So we gave up and went somewhere else. But I made a mental note about Torchy’s.
So my aunts & uncles and I tried again recently and made sure to go right at 11 am.
Success!! Yummy yummy delicious success!!
As I often do when at a new restaurant, I ask someone who works there for suggestions.
She suggested the Green Chile Pork soft taco as it is their most popular. And I knew right away about my other selection….the Trailer Park soft taco!!!
Both tacos were very flavorful and I recommend them.
The Trailer Park taco though…..yes, you want to get it trashy!! Fried chicken, green chiles, pico, cheese, and QUESO! Hold the lettuce, get the queso.
That’s a no brainer!
Be prepared for a lot of restaurant reviews now.
Austin has a ton-o-restaurants! And since they are all new to me, it becomes blog content.
My friend, Carrie, and I have become Wednesday lunch buddies. For our first Wednesday lunch, we went to the Hula Hut.
Hula Hut sits on Lake Austin. They have a huge patio overlooking the lake. You really have to sit outside! It was a cloudy day when we went, but still very peaceful.
Hula Hut would be a great place to meet up with friends on a hot summer Saturday or after work drinks. I can only assume it gets quite busy on the weekends.
Hula Hut serves Tex-Mex food with a Polynesian twist. Hence the tacos surrounded by beach decor. Just go with it.
Sit a spell. Enjoy the view. And daydream imagining that you were rich and could afford a house in the hills.
For lunch, I went with the Pork Tostadas. The pork was pretty good. I really enjoyed the crunch of the slaw and sweetness of the pineapple salsa.
I was most excited about the Skinny Ritas. Only 150 calories!!
Get a Skinny Ritas and then you won’t feel bad walking over to Mozart’s for dessert. :)
I would definitely recommend Hula Hut though! Go for the vibe, view, drinks, and energy. Enjoy!
Before I went to Dean & Deluca in Charlotte, I had brunch at Cafe Monte. Cafe Monte is located in Philips Place, but it’s a bit hidden behind the Hampton Inn & Suites. Sarah and I had to drive around twice to find it. We went into this restaurant blindly as neither of us had been there. I just knew I wanted brunch and I knew we were seeing a movie at Philips Place later (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close).
I was so pleased with Cafe Monte! It’s a quaint French bakery and bistro. The decor is very clean; loved the wood floors and yellow walls. It was bright and inviting, which is always great for a brunch place.
For brunch, I always go with some egg dish, whether it’s a scramble, omelet, or in this case…Benedict Monte.
I love eggs Benedict so much. For Cafe Monte’s version, it was croissant, smoked ham, two eggs, tomato, asparagus, and Hollandaise sauce. YES! Let’s all get on board with serving eggs Benedict on top of CROISSANTS! So much better than English muffins! It’s tastier and easier to cut. Success!!!!
My Benedict Monte was also served with a hash brown potato patty. This potato was a bit bland to me, so I passed on it.
After devouring my brunch, I patiently waited 10 more minutes for noon to arrive!!
Mimosa time!! A tip that I learned from my friend, Kat…order your Sunday brunch cocktail well before noon! Pre-ordering your cocktail for noon lets you beat the rush. If you wait until noon to tell your server you want a drink, you’ll have to wait forever for the bartender to get through the rush of orders.
The early bird gets drunk.
After my dinner at Soul during my vacation in Charlotte, Sarah took me to Amelie’s French Bakery for dessert. I’d heard about Amelie’s when I lived in Charlotte, but sadly never went there. Sarah had recently raved about the salted caramel brownie and said I HAD to go.
Salted caramel brownie. Are there 3 better words in the world??
Amelie’s is in the NoDa area and was only a few minutes from Soul. It’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I was seriously experiencing foodie visual overload. Oh to be young again! Wouldn’t it have been awesome to WORK there and learn how to make all of these things?
I wish that I would have had more time to make a decision of what to order. It was 10 pm on a Thursday night and it was still PACKED and there was a line, so I had to hurry.
After we ordered, I looked around a bit. Amelie’s is so fun and eclectic. There were no seats in the front room, nor in the room to the left. I figured that we may just have to eat our treats at home. Amelie’s is actually HUGE though. So many small, cozy areas with a few seats for romantic conversation…a quiet place to read/blog….or most likely…a place with tables for students to stay up all night, caffeinated & sugared up to study.
Oh I wish that there had a place like this when I was in college! My studying was just done at the Borders coffee shop. I want to study in a French bakery!!
So what did we order??
Sarah went the (award winning) salted caramel brownie:
And I went with…..
Wait for it…..
Hazelnut Chocolate Tart!
It was simply….perfection.
Happy Friday everyone!
A few weeks ago, I went to Charlotte, NC for my birthday and to visit friends.
And to meet this little guy.
My friends, Kelly & John, had their son, Conley, in November. He’s so cute! And Kelly’s already lost all her baby weight plus some. Whaaaaat?!
First up, after a SIX HOUR delay, I finally arrived in Charlotte. My bestie, Sarah, picked me up at the airport and we immediately head to Soul Gastolounge for dinner.
Soul is a very chill, tapas restaurant in the Plaza Midwood area. It’s been voted one of the best restaurants in Charlotte. It was such a nice night out (in January even!) that we were able to eat outside at 8 pm. I immediately needed a drink after being in airports since 5 am.
Sweet Heat cocktail: tequila, jalapeno simple syrup, fresh squeezed lime juice.
Jalapeno simple syrup!!!!!! This cocktail was so rocking! I need to figure out how to recreate it. Ah-mazing.
I also ordered the white bean & goat cheese dip. It was good, but not worth giving up the stomach space.
That was reserved for:
Pork belly tacos topped with watermelon & balsamic vinegar.
I’d never ordered pork belly before. But they talk about it on Top Chef all the time, so I knew I needed to try it.
DELICIOUS!! If you haven’t tried pork belly before, go for it. Immediately.
Sarah ordered another complete winner too:
Polenta & mushrooms. I was skeptical of this one. I’ve never been a fan of polenta/grits. But maybe I’ve just always had them cooked poorly. This dish was so creamy and yummy. I could have licked the bowl clean!!
Finally, Sarah and I split some sushi. I really can’t remember which roll we got. I believe it was the Crunch roll. A+ for presentation on it!
If you’re in Charlotte, rush out to eat at Soul!
And don’t forget to Cheers! me with your Sweet Heat cocktail for telling you about this place.
Shortly after New Year’s, my friend Amy & I went to dinner at Luciano’s in Mulvane. It was our delayed Christmas get together. I’ve long heard that Luciano’s is a great Italian restaurant and worth the drive from Wichita to Mulvane. It is a small restaurant, so I would advise that you make a reservation.
The restaurant has a nice decor, but a bit cramped. I’m glad that we were placed in the back room so that I didn’t feel on display to the diners that were waiting for a table. Now, when I think of a restaurant that does reservations…I think dress nicely! But it pretty much ran the gamut of attire; jeans & nice tops (Amy & I), dress up folks, and a guy in a sweat suit next to us (which highly annoyed me).
Since dining at Luciano’s was a holiday gathering for Amy & I, we took advantage of the 5 course meal. I did the added wine pairing with each course.
Course 1: Formaggi Trio
Cheese plate featuring Parmesan, Romano Pecorino, & fresh Mozzarella with Kalamata olives. I love cheese, so this was right up my alley. I combined the cheese with the bread we had. I’m not an olive fan, so I gave those to Amy.
Course 2: Pappa al Pomodoro
Tuscan Tomato Soup. Very tasty…it was chunky, which is how I like my tomato soup. And the small portion size was perfect.
Course 3: Pasta Salmone
Flakes of salmon blended with cream & farfalle pasta. I do love salmon and it was cooked well, but I wasn’t too thrilled with it added to my pasta. I would have preferred a plain pasta. The sauce was wonderful though.
Course 4: Pollo Con Crema
Pieces of chicken breaded and sautéed served in a cream sauce and paired with asparagus. This chicken course was why I choose the 5 course menu. Chicken is not on Luciano’s regular menu. The waiter said that Luciano rarely does chicken, but when he does it is phenomenal. How could I say no to that?? It was so delicious!!!! I’m not sure why they sliced the asparagus so thin though. It was hard to stab with my fork.
Course 5: Dolce Della Casa
Chef’s choice of dessert–chocolate mousse. Delicious!
I highly recommend Luciano’s for a special occasion. Make a reservation and for goodness sake, don’t wear a sweat suit.
Tuesday was my birthday!
It was a reason to eat cake.
Or cookies, if that’s your thing.
My parents offered to take me out to dinner on my birthday. My Dad asked where I wanted to go. I immediately said the Copper Oven Cafe.
I had dessert on my mind.
The Copper Oven Cafe & Bakery has been around for a number of years. My parents used to eat there quite a bit when my Mom worked near there. She said she likes to go there because the clientele is oldddddddddd. So it makes her feel young. :) So, I must have felt like a toddler there then. Which was nice, since I’m not pleased about turning 33.
The Copper Oven has a hometown, small cafe vibe. I’ve never had bad service there. Everyone is very friendly. For my entree, I went with the dinner special of Chicken Pot Pie served with a side salad and steamed veggies.
I had a Fattoush salad first, which I failed to photograph. It was really tasty. They cut their croutons up very small, which I hadn’t seen before but enjoyed.
My chicken pot pie was DELICIOUS. The crust was very flaky and a good filling. There was no crust bottom though which was a little disappointing. It was more like chicken soup with a flaky topper. I wasn’t a fan of the vegetables on the side. They were bland to me, but my Mom enjoyed them.
I thought it was a bit heavy to have a roll on the side with the crust. But, the roll ended up coming in handy to dunk in the pot pie filling.
And the real reason that I chose the Copper Oven Cafe for my birthday dinner…
I knew that I could try a little of three desserts.
My selection: Red Velvet Cupcake
Can you see the border on this cupcake liner???? It’s AWESOME!! You don’t have to dig into the cake to get the liner off. The owner said they are called skirted cupcake liners. But I’ve googled them & can’t find anywhere to buy them. Does anyone know????? The owner said he gets them from a restaurant supply store up in KC and they aren’t cheap though. I wonder if I could pay him to give me some. I’m obsessed with finding these liners!
My Dad’s selection: White Buttercream Cake
My Mom’s selection: Brownie
And yes, I made sure that none of us ordered the same thing. :) I actually like my Dad’s cake the BEST! I took a huge bite of frosting….with virtually no cake on the fork. That’s how I like it. :)
All 3 desserts were very good though! If you live in Wichita and need to take dessert somewhere and don’t want to make it….stop by and get some from the Copper Oven Cafe!
If you’re a food blogger, do you write your posts right away? Or do pictures sit around FOREVER until you finally post? For me, it’s very hit or miss. Sometimes, I’m very disciplined and post the next day after I go somewhere or bake some sugary goodness.
And sometimes, I forgot that I have pictures from a restaurant on my cell phone from…oh months & months ago.
I not-so-recently went to Larkspur Bistro & Bar with my friend, Angela. Larkspur is one of my favorite restaurants in Wichita. Great ambiance and a good spot to linger with a friend (or date) over a bottle of wine.
Does anyone else take a picture of their wine to remind them later that they liked it? It comes in handy when you’re at the liquor store and need to remember what you like.
When at Larkspur, I always get the chicken pistachio. It is so good with that cream cheese sauce.
For our sides, we split the fresh asparagus and Yucatan fried potatoes.
Why don’t more restaurants serve fried potatoes?? They were delicious!!!
Finding these pictures on my cell is making me crave some Larkspur! And wine….
I recently went to Mike’s Wine Dive with my friend, Amy. Amy and I first went to Mike’s Wine Dive about a year ago and it was awesome!!!! She’s been back several times since, but it was just the second time for me.
They have a 13 page menu of wines they offer by the bottle. It’s intense. It’s just a one-pager for wines by the glass. So go when you want to settle in for a while!!
I knew that we’d only be there for a short time. I ordered a glass of Manifesto Cab Sauv. I was informed by the waiter that they only offer Manifesto by the bottle now. Ummm okay, well I’m not paying $35 for a bottle when I can buy a bottle at the liquor store for $16. And by the way, you still list Manifesto by the glass on your online wine menu, Mike!
I settled on the La Flor de Pulenta instead per the suggestion of my waiter. It was still very tasty, so no biggie.
On to our appetizer, we ordered the bruschetta topped with basil pesto, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and Balsamic reduction.
This “bruschetta” was super tasty! Love love loved the Balsamic reduction on it. Although, I’ve never had bruschetta with soft hunks of bread like this. I thought bruschetta was a way to salvage stale bread, no??
Moving on to my entree…..last time, I got the Lobster, Shrimp, and Crab Macaroni & Cheese. It was excellent that first time I went to Mike’s Wine Dive!
This time, it was pretty ick and very disappointing. You know when you use crappy cheese and not enough cream….so that the cheese melts into goops of grossness? Yeah that happened. :/
With the changes in wine and to the quality of the entrees, perhaps that explains why we got a table right away on a busy Friday night. Also while we were there, a guy’s chair BROKE on him as soon as he sat down. And he wasn’t a big guy. (I would have been SO mortified if that happened to me!! Although would have been nice to get a free meal out of it…)
I looked online after our meal and have found that Mike’s Wine Dive changed management over the past few months. Well, new manager….get your act together!!! I would try Mike’s Wine Dive again since my first experience was so good. But I doubt I’ll risk ordering the Lobster Mac & Cheese again.
The most entertaining part of dinner happened in the restroom after Amy & I ate. There was the DRUNKEST middle-aged lady in the restroom. She asked us what we’d ordered to eat and we told her. Well, that opened the door for her to tell us her life story:
1. She’s on a date with a guy, but doesn’t know if she likes him. But she’s been dating him for SIX months.
2. She’s an admin assistant at an attorney’s office. And we should come by work some day and visit her. It’s the attorney’s office with the nice aquarium in the lobby…..like we should know where it is based on that?!
3. Her roommate is a contestant on Dancing With the Stars and we should come see her dance!! Wait what?! We finally figured out it was just a local Wichita version of it.
4. Her husband left a couple of years ago after he reunited with an old flame from high school that he found on FACEBOOK! FB is evil, y’all!
5. The old flame from high school is now……wait for it…..a professional female wrestler!!!
Ha….oh my goodness. We were trapped in the bathroom with this lovely nut job for over 10 minutes. Amy finally had the sense to fake a call on her cell phone and we got out of there.
So…..Mike’s Wine Dive…..great wine selection…..just okay food…..interesting bathroom entertainment.