Monday, June 3, 2019

U.S. Adventures: Austin

A few weeks ago, we made a super quick trip to Austin to see some good friends and see a concert. Of course there was food mixed in, and here’s where we went (yes, that’s right, there is no barbecue in this post, get over it). 

We ate dinner at a hip place called the Odd Duck. It’s a shared plate/tapas type place with a very energetic atmosphere and a super eclectic menu. Probably my favorite dish of the night was the redfish ceviche ($14). It had a great lime flavor and had cilantro, olives (yum!) and carrot curry. Very interesting flavors—lots of acid. They recommended we just mix it all together, including the chips and we did. It was delicious. Oh, and you gotta love the Paloma drink here ($10). The drink itself was super good with tequila, aperol, grapefruit, tarragon and ginger—but the coolest thing was instead of a salt rim, they put a salt foam on top. You got a little bit with each sip, but it was a soft texture instead of the crunhy salt—it was much milder and softer taste too. It was really good. 

Next we had the seeded homemade pretzel sticks stuck into broccoli queso ($8). Also, totally delicious. Think of a really good soft pretzel in a really thick rich broccoli cheddar soup. Really a kind of genius idea if you think about it. So much better than the generic nacho cheese and more interesting than beer cheese.

We also had the antelope tataki ($12) with leek aioli, cabbage, sesame and rosemary crackers. Also really good—I am pretty sure I have never had antelope tataki before and it was tender and flavorful. The aioli added a nice brightness to the dish.  The basic bread plate ($7) here was also really tasty—local sourdough bread with cultured butter and flaky sea salt. It was simple, but really good as well. And a nice addition to dishes that weren’t particularly carb heavy.

We had some Asian style goat nuggets that were on special as well. They had a great, slightly spicy, slightly sweet flavor. The texture of the meat varied, some pieces a bit chewy—but when you got a good one, it was pretty tasty. Even if one of our friends seemed disturbed about eating goat. There was also a pasta dish ($19) that has a goat chili on it as well as goat feta, cilantro and radish. The noodles were thick and eggy and the toppings gave a unique flavor for a pasta dish. Lots of goat on this menu.

Dessert was tasty too—it was like a deconstructed chocolate cake—hunks of cake with sweet potato caramel pudding and orange marmalade. The chunks of torn cake were really good—super fudgy tasting. And I ended up liking the sweet potato with it more than I thought. Especially the crisp chips on top. Overall, I think I prefer sweet potato in a dessert it seems.

Odd Duck is a unique place—really trendy and lots of good bites and flavors. Certainly some better than others, but worth checking out. 
At my insistence, we also went back to Home Slice Pizza. Last time we waited nearly 2 hours to get seated so we went early, not knowing what to expect. It turns out on Easter (the day we were there), it is not crowded at all. We sat outside and ordered some knots ($4.50 for 4) (a lot of them actually because our friends’ kids love them). They are good, but they are not the reason I go—to me they are just pizza dough in a knot served with marinara. Not much luring me in here—give me some garlic butter any day.

The pizza though, the pizza is amazing (around $20-25 for a large depending on toppings). It’s New York style and is really, really good. Super thin but with just the right amount of toppings so it doesn’t fall apart when you are eating it. And they literally put the perfect amount of toppings on it in my opinion and sauce—not so much that it makes the crust mushy. Love this pizza and wish we had one near us. Brozinni is our closest place serving great New York style pizza for me, and it’s nearly in Greenwood, which is a pretty long trek for me.

All in all, it was s super quick trip, but as always, we ate well (and don’t worry hubby was there longer than me and had some barbecue too).

Odd Duck
1201 S. Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

Home Slice Pizza
501 E. 53rd Street
Austin, TX 78751

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