The Best Spots in ATX to Caffeinate and Get Your Work On! – 2018 City Guide

This guide to the best Coffee Shops to #WorkFromCoffeeShop in Austin is part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s 2018 City Guide. #atxbesteats

February 22, 2018 

I’m the biggest sucker for latte art and if any of you have ever grabbed a cup of coffee with me, you know that I beg (and bribe) Baristas to “make my drink look pretty please!” #sorrynotsorry

I’ve also been known to scout out coffee shops with WiFi since I work remotely on occasion.  I can appreciate a solid spot with an excellent choice of pastries, savories, lattes, adequate table space to spread out my laptop and other goodies, as well as feel like I’m somewhere vacation-y.

Thanks for stopping by to hear what I’ve got to say about my favorite caffeine-providing locations where you can also work and/or study around the ATX!

First up, an East ATX gem, Sa-Ten Coffee & Eats. 

Discovering this beautiful Japanese coffee and eats “mecca” in The Canopy was life-changing for me. I live only a mile away and am happy to boast that I’m a frequent flyer 🙂 Perhaps, I’d like to call myself their “Ambassador of all things yummy.” Because there are quite a few small businesses and art studios in the area, you’ll see people hosting meetings and talking strategy (as well as conducting some business deals). Nevertheless, Sa-Ten makes for the perfect spot for you to have a productive day working, meeting up a friend for a lunch/dinner/coffee date, stay warm with a hot bev in hand (cool off with an iced coffee during most of the year in Austin), or nourishing yourself with their ever-so-tasty bites.

Second location off of Airport Blvd. is NOW OPEN – Their new location is HUGE, has lots of seating options and tons of power outlets. While the Canopy location is so close to my house, the Airport location is just a tad bit further away and more of my vibe.

My fave: Almond Milk Latte with a splash of hazelnut. Try a peppermint mocha as well. Check out their monthly specials which are always perfection. Oh, and their Turkish Mint tea is great if you want an herbal tea.

WiFi: Yes, it works well and rarely kicks you out

Other Bevs: They’ve got beer, wine, and Juice Society!

Grub: Tons of options (toasts, curries, katsu, potato wedges) and they also have pastries from Quack’s and stroop waffles from Stroopclub

Bike Racks: Yep

Parking situation: Parking Lot for all of The Canopy and the Airport Blvd. location has parking as well as spots in the neighborhood and sometimes at the bakery next door

Website: http://www.sa-ten.com/

Address: 

  • 916 Springdale Road, Building 3, Suite 101
  • 4917 Airport Blvd.

Specialty Creation – they make their own syrups and come up with the best monthly specials. This was the nutella latte.

Peppermint mocha (check out that art)!

Half of the space at the new Sa-Ten off Airport Blvd. – lots of seating!

 

Walton’s Fancy and Staple – the cutest spot for sandwiches, salads, epic desserts and of course, COFFEE!

I can’t recall the first time I laid eyes on Walton’s, but I do remember it being love at first sight. If you like feeling like you’re in an earthy garden with succulents and floral arrangements surrounding you all while nibbling on a macaron and sipping on a Turkish mocha, then Walton’s Fancy and Staple is the place for you!

Located on West 6th street, in the heart of all the excitement Austin has to offer, this little haven will quickly become your go-to spot for an indulgent latte and a perfectly-crafted sweet treat. I’ve worked from there many times as they have a quiet area in the back as well as counter space in the main dining area. It might get noisy during the lunch rush, but you’ll figure out a way to stay here a while.

My fave: The Turkish Mocha was to die for – not sure if they make it anymore. They know what they’re doing, so you won’t go wrong with a latte and syrup of your choice.

WiFi: Yep!

Grub: I order the “Fancy Lunch” and generally have half of a Ham on Pretzel and a side caesar salad. Get a dessert, please – macaron, slice of cake, whatever…just get something!

Bike Racks: In the vicinity or you can do what I do, lock my bike to a street parking sign.

Parking situation: They have street parking all around that area but you’ll have to pay the meter.

Website: https://www.waltonsfancyandstaple.com/

Address: 609 W. 6th Street

Turkish Mocha!

 

The Baristas know what they’re doing at Fleet Coffee! 

Being an Eastsider, I passed the building where The Lost Well is located everyday and suddenly saw some activity going on at the far end of the place. After a lot of curiosity, patience and sleepless nights with anticipation, I came across an article in Eater Austin (I think), about Fleet Coffee. Reading that the owners are the best-of-the-best when it comes to Austin Baristas, I started stalking that location for an opening date. It opened in mid-2016, and I fell in love. What a place! It’s gorgeous, quaint, intimate and serves up the most unusual coffee “cocktails” you’ll ever get your hands on. Love their newly added patio with additional seating. Don’t let the tonic water in the E.T. scare you – that concoction is v good! They had a fruity pebble milk/treat at one point and they update their menu with new seasonal items regularly. If you want a good ‘ole dairy-free latte, they make their syrups in-house and they have a local almond milk (Dulcis), which is so good!

My fave: Cappuccino or a butterscotch almond milk latte

WiFi: Yep!

Grub: I think I’ve seen pastries. There is a taco truck in the parking lot and Gourmand’s is across the street.

Bike Racks: In the vicinity

Parking situation: They have street parking on Webberville

Website: http://www.fleetcoffee.com

Address: 2427 Webberville Road

Cappucino – that blue with the art – wow!

 

Houndstooth – serving up your dose of caffeine now on the Eastside off of MLK!

I’m not going to lie – when I heard a rumor that Houndstooth was planning a location on the Eastside, in the newly developed Platform apartments, I screamed! I have visited the Downtown location after going through the torture of finding a parking spot where I could pay the meter but only after having to circle the block probably 5 times before finding a spot on the street. I guess the downtown location caters more to those who work in the Frost Bank Tower and other walkable areas? Nevertheless, their third location in Austin is now open and I’ve already dropped in 3 times since they had their grand opening! Y’all, Houndstooth baristas KNOW how to make you a coffee drink. And don’t forget the super hi-tech fancy new espresso contraptions they have at their new location that keeps the temperature just right!

They have beer on tap, wine and other beverages too for all of you who aren’t coffee drinkers. Soon, they’ll be open until midnight! Woot woot! I was determined to enjoy a pretty drink (it was way later than I typically have caffeine, but whatever)!

My fave: An almond milk decaf honey latte. Oh, and the one time I had the stunning Rhum Nut Cappuccino (pictured below).

WiFi: Yep! Come with a fully-charged laptop though since they only have USB outlets for juice.

Grub: They have pastries (cookies, scones)

Bike Racks: In the vicinity

Parking situation: If you turn in to the Platform, there is retail parking behind the building Houndstooth is located. The location downtown is such a pain to access by car. Find a metered spot though. Can you believe the parking garages and parking lots are $10+ compared to $3 for 3 hours at a meter?

Website: http://www.houndstoothcoffee.com/

Address: 2823 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Suite 101

Rhum Nut Cappuccino. What a beauty!

Mocha cookie and a decaf honey latte!

The non-coffee line up!

Love the aesthetics!

 

Vintage Heart – they know the way to my heart!

If you’re looking for a quiet, comfy, inviting space on the Eastside, Vintage Heart is your place. I’ve seen this place expand and get a makeover the last three years, and while it is a little known gem, it should soon become your go-to!

If you want to wind down your workday and turn up the heat on your evening, stop on by for Beer and Wine and enjoy their beautiful outdoor patio! They’ve even juiced the patio with power outlets for your laptop powering needs.

My fave: An almond milk lavender vanilla latte.

WiFi: Yep!

Grub: They have La Patisserie pastries (cookies, scones), Green Cart sandwiches, and quite the selection of food trucks in their outdoor lounge area – including Boteco! They’ve got Stroopclub Stroopwaffles. They have cheese boards during happy hour!

Bike Racks: Yes!

Parking situation: Behind the shop, street parking, and a couple spots out front if you need to grab and go.

Website: https://www.vintageheartcafe.com/

Address: 1405 E. 7th Street

Lavender Vanilla Latte!

 

Out of this world Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden

Even if you don’t live in South Austin, you should RUN, not walk, down to the new Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden off SoCo. It’s a magical place. There is no other way to describe all the feels I had while pulling in to the parking lot.

Their space is large, bright, and green with the coziest corners and lots of seating. They have a huge outdoor area with plenty of picnic tables, high tops, and fire pits. Stop by for food from some of my favorite food trucks in town, to a cocktail or beer flight, or all the caffeination options!

My fave: An almond milk latte with caramel, Irish Coffee, Cocktail Flights

WiFi: Yep! Perfect place to work as they’ve got power strips on the walls.

Grub: Pastries from Quack’s Bakery and three food trucks out front with plenty of seating all around. Be sure to get you some #newschoolBBQ from Leroy and Lewis, the freshest seafood from Quality Seafood, or some tacos from an Austin staple, Pueblo Viejo.

Bike Racks: Nearby

Parking situation: A huge parking lot and street parking off Pickle

Website: https://www.cosmiccoffeebeer.com/

Address: 121 Pickle Rd.

Love the cabin look!

Irish Coffee

Latte and if you want booze, then an Irish Coffee

 

There is no shortage of Coffee Shops in Austin these days. I remember when there weren’t so many at all. But with such a large percentage of the workforce having the ability to work remotely, more and more places where you can work and caffeinate have popped up.

Others I’ve definitely been super productive from over the years, but I don’t have pictures to give you all the latte love are:

Wright Bros. Brew & Brew – 500 San Marcos St.

Cenote – 1010 E. Cesar Chavez & 6214 Cameron Rd.

Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors – 1111 Chicon St.

Stonehouse Coffee and Bar 1105 S. Lamar Blvd. 

Seventh Flag Coffee – 1506 S. 1st St.

Stouthaus Coffee Pub – 4715 S. Lamar Blvd., #102

Merit Coffee – 222 West Ave., Ste. 120

Nate’s Baked Goods and Coffee – 401 Orchard St., Suite B

Thunderbird Coffee – 2200 Manor Rd. & 1401. W. Koenig Ln.

Barrett’s Coffee – 713 W. St. John’s Ave.

Of course, this list isn’t meant to be comprehensive. I have alot of favorites not mentioned, but I took the liberty of focusing on those that are perfect for work, studying, a mid-day boost, or to fill yourself up with #atxbites.

You can betcha I’ll be adding and updating this in the months ahead, but until then, I hope you enjoy my recommendations!

Cheers!

-Shveta

Don’t see your favorite on the list? Let me know in a comment below.

This guide is part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s 2018 City Guide. Check out more of the best eats in Austin, curated by Austin food bloggers, on the full list of guides.

TLC Austin – Everybody Needs Some #TLC

You know I was born and raised in wayyyyyyyyyy south Louisiana right? If you didn’t, now you do! I’m pretty sure I was the first of Indian descent kiddo born in lil ole Thibodaux, LA.

Growing up there, we had crawfish boils all the time. I mean, as soon as it was crawfish catching time, our neighbors would have us all over for the most epic boils. <drooling about those potatoes and corn in the boil right now>

A bunch of us food bloggers were treated to a new take on a traditional seafood boil as well as tons of other really yummy and approachable Texas Comfort Food at the newly opened TLC Austin at Lamar Union last weekend! #media

The space is family-friendly, large, full of TV’s, a gameroom, and a beer hall feel (they’ve got 30 beers on draught) and their cocktails are creative and spot on! Not to mention the food was ridiculously good and super fresh.

Need a place to watch the Super Bowl? TLC should be your spot!

Nomsssss

We started with a tower of oysters and shrimp cocktail. Sorry y’all, I was unable to get a picture but these were SO GOOD and fresh! The shrimp cocktail was really really good and usually I steer clear of them and lean towards the fried stuff.

We were served tons of apps for the table:

Hushpuppies with crawfish etouffe dipping sauce!

Deviled Eggs with bbq yumminess on top!

Fried Okra – I liked them lengthwise!

Oysters Rockefeller – woah, I’d eat that spinach base ALL DAY!

Then the Main Courses started coming out and we got full real quick from all the absolutely delicious sandwiches and chicken fried steak!

They’re large and affordable (in my opinion):

The Enlightenment – all the veggies in this one and that bread is perfectly toasted!

Pork tasso with a pretty egg on top!

Fried Green Tomato BLT – SAY WHATTTTTTTT?!?!

DKR – roast beef sandwich – you must dip it into the tastiest au jus!

The hubs said this was his favorite Chicken Fried Steak ever! And those mashed potatoes and brussels were a really nice addition!

And last but not least, the boiled seafood with amazing cajun spices came out:

Snow Crab, King Crab, Shrimp and P.E.I. Mussels – and don’t forget about those potatoes, corn and BUTTER!

They have an entire portion of the menu dedicated to The Boil – pick your seafood, pick your spices and pick your sauce. I personally love Texas Heat and Cajun Spice and all the lemon garlic butter! But that’s just my cajun roots coming out 🙂

No meal is really complete (although you may not have room in your tummy for anything else), without some dessert. And in my world, CHOCOLATE!

Enter all the sweet treats:

Up top: Chocolate Brownie Middle: Fruit Cobbler Bottom: Texas Pecan Pie

Drooling yet?!

All in all, this is quite the hang out for watching a game or two, nomming on some really delicious food and drinking a bev! The kids will love it too as there are indoor and outdoor games for them to enjoy while you get in some adult time!

Would love to dine at TLC with all of you soon!

Bon Appetite,

Shveta

February, 2018

Who Said Recovering From Surgery Meant Eating Boring Food?

I started to have a slight panic attack in the days leading up to my foot surgery. What was I going to eat?! I mean Snap Kitchen would definitely be in the picture and breakfast was simple (oatmeal or smoothies), but that would be only 2 meals and I need 3!

So anyway, foot surgery is NO JOKE y’all. The pain meds made me so nauseous that I was drinking Ensure for the first week — ashamed to say it y’all. I always associated Ensure with being in my 80’s. But whatever works and kept me from passing out. Pro Tip: The strawberry flavor of Intrust (generic Ensure) tastes like a strawberry milkshake from McDonald’s – or at least the version I remember when I was in my single digits and didn’t eat breakfast but had milkshakes (hehe).

So the sweethearts at Prep To Your Door found out I was having surgery and so kindly provided me with a week of free meals to help with the healing.

Heard of them? I’ve had their creations before and was contemplating a subscription, but finally pulled the trigger last week.

They prepare #plantbased meals in beautiful mason jars, and they’re ready to grab and eat wherever and whenever! I’ll say one thing, it’s made my need to figure out what to eat so much easier since these beauties get delivered to your door on Mondays!

Enter all the veggies and LOADS of flavors. I’ve enjoyed quite a few delicious dishes the last 2 weeks! And all from bed while I heal up 🙂

Strawberry Coconut Oats – these were creamy and topped with apples!

Thai Chopped Salad

Chickpea Cesar Salad – the seasoned chickpeas though!

Apple and Arugula Salad

Daal Basmati – just like my Mom’s!

Brussel and Kale Chopped Salad – loved the added almonds!

I’ve made the most of my healing process and required time off my feet for 2 weeks – don’t get me wrong, I’m so ready to get this cast off.

But, it’s been quite a humbling experience and I feel so good about eating these deliciously prepared, mindful and nourishing dishes from Prep To Your Door!

Interested in giving it a try? Just sign up on their website and then email them at info@preptoyourdoor.com and let them know I sent you! You’ll get 50% off your first week!

ATX_Bites Version 2.0 coming at ya soon!

xoxo,

Shveta

January, 2018

ATX Bites’ Guide to Dining in Scottsdale/Phoenix

Oh my goodness – what a food scene in addition to quite the natural beauty in Scottsdale and Phoenix!

We had some time off during the holidays and wanted to ring in the new year somewhere else, so Scottsdale it was! It was a rather quick choice for me being that I’d been a few times for work and heard the food scene was up and coming.

Planning a trip with enough restaurant options is always a challenge and stressful but I made the most out of all of your recommendations and Yelp, too!

Brunch/Lunch

Farm and Craft

First up on the brunch list was Farm and Craft.

The Old Town Scottsdale location is not only an absolutely beauty, but with the outdoor seating area, it was so bright, lit and quite the happening spot for humans and pups!

I mean check out these pics and that quote on the wall – #goals

Cali Chicken Bowl and Turkey Wrap – YUM!

The entrance and outdoor seating

gah, so pretty

“All I want is food and affection” – TRUTH!

Bar with windows opening up to the outside bar top

Dreaming about the Cali Chicken Bowl

*Pro Tip – they have reverse happy hour everyday from 9PM-Close.

We got these yummies that same night as when we brunched there 🙂

Up front is the Avocado Lime Hummus and in the back is the Wild Mushroom Flatbread!

Daily Dose

On our way out for the day to Sedona, we stopped by Daily Dose for a hearty breakfast before the 2-hour drive and 2-hour hike ahead. Hardly had to wait 20 minutes even though this place had quite the crowd outside waiting for tables. (We have no issue sitting at the bar and in fact, prefer it – so we did)!

I ordered the Turkey Sausage and Polenta Bowl and hubs had the Flannel Hash (not pictured b/c he inhaled it faster than I could take a snap). The bowl was DIVINE! There is a bed of white beans below all of this goodness and the polenta are fried!

Turkey Sausage and Polenta Bowl

Olive & Ivy

Gah, what a beautiful spot on the waterfront in Old Town Scottsdale. You’ll want to walk around in the area before or after anyway because it’s just too pretty there. They had this really cool art installation going on too and apparently the installations rotate out with the seasons!

Ask to be seated at a table out on the patio or close to the patio along the windows. You’ll want to look out while you’re nomming. This place is HUGE though and there are many areas with different vibes to enjoy your meal.

I had the Mediterranean Salad (no tomatoes) and hubs ordered the Chopped Chicken Salad. We’d rate these as 5-stars on the favorite salad list of ours!

Up front is the Mediterranean Salad – loved the very light dressing on it.

They had an extensive pastry selection and I didn’t get anything but really wanted to! I did pair my salad with a refreshing glass of Chenin Blanc though!

Postino’s

A foodie friend of mine who just visited the area suggested Postino’s for it’s food and incredible deal on bevs – $5 glasses of wine and pitchers of beer before 5PM everyday! WHAT?!?

Indeed it’s true! I had an amazing glass of a French rose ($12 usually) but for $5!

Ordered the Farmer’s Scramble and hubby had the Roast Beef Panini on Ciabatta.

My scramble was so creamy and yum. There were a couple kinds of cheeses mixed in. The mixed greens on the side were totally woah! I had a bit of the panini and the roast beef was excellent!

Blanco Tacos & Tequila

Our first stop as soon as we landed in Phoenix was Blanco Tacos & Tequila at the Biltmore Fashion Mall area as it came highly recommended.

Don’t pass on the chips and salsa – those chips were some of the best I’ve had and the salsa was definitely something special!

We shared the combo fajitas with Carne Asada and Pollo. They were the best fajita meats I’ve ever had y’all. I don’t know if they seasoned it with some native red or green chile but dang, I’m drooling just thinking about it. We had them with corn tortillas which came in the cutest wrapping nice and hot!

Hubs has been doing this “perfect” gesture with his hands in my food pics lately.

SO GOOD!

Coffee

My trips are never complete without checking out cute coffeeshops. I found quite a few on our trip!

Cartel

Their location in Old Town Scottsdale was packed with people hanging out and working as well as just chit-chatting. There are a few rooms to sit in though so space wasn’t an issue. I really liked the Cardamom Capuccino I had at Cartel. Seemed like a unique drink and I really loved the fresh ground cardamom on top!

Berdena’s

Shortly after drinking the cardamom cap above, we walked past Berdena’s and it stopped me in my tracks. All the prettiest, modern, clean vibes at that place. It reminds me so much of Fleet Coffee in Austin.

First visit, I got a Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie to avoid another cup of caffeination! It was a decent size cookie and here is a picture of it with the pretty orange table and chairs outside as well as a sneak peak in!

Chocolate Chip Walnut

Intentionally stopped by on day 3 for a latte – and they have HONEY LAVENDER!

Isn’t the tile gorgeous?

Sip Coffee & Beer Garage

Interesting name right? We totally ended up here randomly because it was our last day, we were sitting out at a park in the Arcadia area, enjoying the weather and I needed to pee! And before heading to the airport, I wanted some caffeine. Enter Sip Coffee & Beer Garage.

You can go through the drive through and grab you a bev, or go in – I’d suggest going in. Love the feels in this space. I had a hazelnut iced latte – looks like they make their own hazelnut and bottle it. I think…I really wanted the hubs to have a beer because their beer list was loaded up with all the super rare craft beers. He was “detoxing” from vacay alcohol consumption I guess though because he didn’t get anything even though his eyes lit up at the sight of the list.

Love their logo!

Dinner/Happy Hour

AZ88

Our first night, we dined at AZ88 for dinner. It’s in Scottsdale and had a very interesting vibe to it. More like a scene from a club but I think the white chairs and the loungy feel of it reminded me of Miami.

They’re known for their cocktails and their wings. These aren’t just your usual wings. They were so good! We had the teriyaki (comes with waffle fries – so crispy).

I had a Moscow Mule – it had cucumber puree in it and it was very very good! Hubs had an Aged Old Fashion and then another cocktail – he’s quite the cocktail aficionado and while he enjoyed his drinks, he said he had better elsewhere.

Regardless, I’d suggest dining at AZ88! The wings and burger were excellent!

Buck’n (teriyaki wings)

Burger Au Poivre – loved the black peppercorn and burgundy sauce!

Citizen Public House

I found Citizen Public House on Yelp during my pre-planning days and it came highly rated! Made a reservation just to be sure we got a table and I booked it for 5:30 so we could take advantage of Social Hour until 6PM.

Probably was too early because we had this epic charcuterie board and were full! They’ve got $5 glasses of special wine and a great deal on cocktails too so definitely check it out. It’s in Old Town Scottsdale and it’s a beautiful space with great service!

It got pretty full for dinner service so that was a good sign. Wish we had more room in our tummies to eat dinner.

Charcuterie Board – it was really good – there was an apple butter on it that paired so well with the gorgonzola!

Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlour

If you want to go into downtown Phoenix, go and have a cocktail and dinner at Bitter and Twisted! Get on the waitlist if you’re like us and saw a bit of a line at the door. Yelp has the Waitlist function and we only had a 20 minute wait before getting a spot inside. They have a doorman and at first glance, you’ll think this place is a bit pretentious. After going in, you’ll appreciate the limited access as you won’t have people swarming around you if you sit at the bar like we did.

Their cocktail menu is beautifully illustrated and HUGE so try to take a deep breath and flip through for your favorite spirit. The last page was our go-to since it had their best sellers on the list and it made the choice a bit easier. I went with the Lemongrass Collins and it was perfect. Hubs loved his Old Fashioned!

The Lemongrass Collins – large right?!

Go in hungry because you’ll want to eat their Chef’s creations! I had the Chish and Fips (yes, I spelled that right) and hubs ordered the “Dragon” Dumpling Burger. The menu has an Asian flare to it and the Chef has really nailed it! Sadly, I wasn’t able to take pics of my food because it was dark and a pic wouldn’t do it justice. The burger quite possibly is the best burger we’ve ever devoured. It was a burger that tasted like the tastiest dumpling! Enough from me…just go…trust me!

Anyway, as you have probably gathered, we ate and drank our way through Scottsdale and Phoenix. It’s always fun exploring new towns and experiencing the culinary scene!

If you need more recommendations for your future trip, just let me know. I have a list of others I’d love to hit up on my next visit. Hope this was helpful!

Until next time, Bon Appetite!

-Shveta

January, 2018

 

Winter Is Coming – to Andiamo Italiano!

I live for the chance to try Andiamo Italiano’s seasonal menus! Their Winter Harvest Dinner is this Thursday, December 21st so hop on over to their website and get the deets!

Dining with fellow foodies is always such a blast at Andiamo. Daniela, #bosslady and Owner, is the ultimate host and so attentive. She will walk around and get to meet you and know you so you’ll want to go back all the time.

I mean come on, it is my favorite Italian restaurant so I might be a bit biased, but Chef knocks it out of the park everytime I dine.

Andiamo hosted a group of us last night and we filled our tummies with all the new winter dishes:

Grilled Zucchini stuffed with cheese and capers – ADDICTIVE!

The creamiest spinach polenta!

Cold Green Bean salad with gorgonzola and walnuts – I ate my share and more!

The softest potato pillows aka GNOCCHI!

Linguine with truffles and pecorino cheese – so flavorful and delish!

What a rack – Lamb Chops in Pomegranate Juice!

Omg chocolate chip and ricotta mini cakes!

 

Drooling yet? You should be.

Andiamo only serves Italian wines from small vineyards in Italy – and Daniela knows all the owners and wine makers. I never go wrong with a choice of wine there. NEVER!

Head on over for dinner, date night or a solo dinner. You’ll absolutely love your experience and the food and I guarantee you’ll be a frequent flyer like myself!

 

Bon Appetite and Happy Holidays!

-Shveta

December, 2017

Oui Oui Gimme Everything Le Politique!

I’ve dined at Le Politique twice in the last week – once for brunch and once for dinner with my coworkers. Both experiences were great with outstanding food and drank!

First off brunch:

The short rib hash – with an egg on top!

Quiche Lorraine!

Legation Burger and Pommes Frites – I’d eat this everyday!

Love their custom cheese boards!

OH MY WORD, YOU MUST EAT THIS PAIN AU CHOCOLAT!

 

Dinner time grub:

A custom cheese board and Escargot to start!

The Boudin Blanc – really really good!

I’d say go in for brunch or dinner soon so you can see what all the hype is about. Let me know your faves! Oh and please, eat a pain au chocolat and get a capuccino!

Bon Appetite!

-Shveta

December, 2017

ATX_Bites’ Guide to Dining in Denver

Planning a trip to Denver and want to know where to eat? Did you know the food scene in Denver is bumpin?! Did you also hear that the next season of Top Chef is in Denver?!

Here I am sharing my most recent trip to Denver and all the eats and drank I enjoyed! And keep in mind, this is just scratching the surface —

Breakfast

Snooze, An A.M. Eatery

Snooze, An A.M. Eatery was born in Denver back in 2006 – we in Austin only got our first bite of Snooze a little over a year ago! I usually prefer to eat at the Denver locations only for authenticity’s sake 🙂

Their menu can be a bit intimidating but a few of my favorites are their boozy coffee drinks, the hashbrown cake, pancakes, and the benny duo. If you’re feeling “healthy,” they have tons of options like the egg white scramble I enjoyed here with a side of bacon (because their bacon is perfectly crispy just like I like it):

They always have some fun syrups to add to your coffee drink of choice. Being that it’s fall, I got the Pumpkin Spice because #basic:

You can always get a pancake flight if you don’t want to commit to any one pancake! You can do the same with the Benny Duo (pick two benedicts)!

We didn’t want a flight – just a bite or two or three of the Chocolate Chip Pancake with Strawberries on top:

Pro Tip: You’ll have to wait at many of Snooze’s locations so go early or closer to closing time.

Jelly Cafe

I don’t typically eat donuts but when I go on vacation, I tend to crave them. Especially the donut holes at Jelly Cafe! Just as Snooze has a wait for a table, so does Jelly Cafe. That’s the whole point of the Donut Holes – order you a bunch of them to hold you over until it’s time to get your grub on.

And, enjoy a Bloody Mary while you wait…

 

Carbon Cafe

We totally just ran across Carbon Cafe in LoHi and fell in love with the ambiance, music, plethora of seating, drinks (coffee, beer, wine, booze), breakfast hashes, toasts, sandwiches, Wu Tang Tots and Doughnuts from next door neighbor, Habit Doughnut Dispensary.  Pretty much fell in love with Carbon Cafe 🙂

The Mushroom Avocado Toast on 7-grain bread was so good I ate it two days in a row (not ashamed of it)!

The latte in the picture is HONEY LAVENDER y’all! They have at least 10 different super creative syrups available for all your latte spiking needs.

And leave room for a doughnut (minis available at Carbon) or full-size next door at Habit Doughnut Dispensary. I couldn’t resist the pretty pink Raspberry White Chocolate Doughnut. And the doughnut itself is Brioche! NOM!

We had no room for the Wu Tang Tots but they’re totally customizeable – think of them like making your own nachos!

Brunch/Lunch

Root Down

I love to support community-focused restaurants and when I came across Root Down, I was intrigued by everything they encompass. They use sustainability practices such as growing their own 4,000 sqft garden providing about 20% of their own seasonal produce, sourcing up to 50% of their ingredients locally, using only certified humane animal proteins, composting and recycling, etc.  So much goodness in one neighborhood-centric restaurant!

I was excited to try all of their fresh ingredients and my bestie is vegetarian, so Root Down seemed to be the natural place to fill our tummies.

No brunch is complete without a cocktail right? 🙂 I enjoyed the special cocktail of the day, Down the Rabbit Hole, which was made from fresh carrot juice, Gin, lemon juice and thyme. It was super refreshing and absolutely delicious. And pretty too, right?

My best friend ordered the Masala Tofu Scramble but subbed eggs for the tofu. I ordered the Roasted Beet Salad with cured salmon on the side. The Masala eggs tasted just like my Mom’s Indian breakfast dish! And the roasted beets (golden and red) was divine! Loved the salmon on the side for some added protein (although the salad was big enough that I could have gone without the protein).

Closeup of the Roasted Beet Salad

Masala Eggs (bottom left)

We had no room for dessert but I bet we would have loved it all! Oh and they have bottomless mimosas for brunch 🙂

Dinner

Linger

I ate at Linger back in 2014 on my first visit to Denver with my husband and we were so blown away by the diversity of the menu as well as the beautiful location and views from this LoHi spot! The plates are meant to be shared and the menu spans the continents and various street food from each.

Because I loved the grub so much 3 years ago, we made reservations for dinner on my bestie trip!

You’ll get a bowl of popcorn upon arriving, so take that into account. It’s seasoned with cumin, paprika and a few other spices and I found myself stuffing my face with them even before we ordered. It’s kinda like chips and salsa, if you know what I mean – SO ADDICTIVE!

We ordered the sweet potato waffle fries (because I order fries always), Dahi Puri “Perfect Bites”, Pad Thai, Korean Fried Chicken Bao, and Tom Yum Soup. My favorite was the Dahi Puri mostly because it reminded me of my Mom’s except honestly (don’t tell her I said this), these were the best I’ve ever had. They didn’t crumble in my hand before I popped one in my mouth.

Sweet Potato Waffle Fries

Dahi Puri “Perfect Bites”

Pad Thai

Korean Fried Chicken Bao

Tom Yum Soup

It’s upstairs right next to Little Man Ice Cream in LoHi and has some pretty epic views of Denver at sunset and night! Go up to the rooftop if you enjoy the breeze and an outdoor view of the city. It’s really breathtaking!

El Five

Make a reservation at El Five as soon as you decide to visit Denver. Book a table for sunset on the west side of the restaurant. Thank me later 🙂

The restaurant is HAUT! Up on the 5th floor in LoHi (around the corner from Linger), this spot is reminiscent of a club in Vegas or NYC.

Grab a drink at the bar and enjoy the best views of downtown Denver. I think the views at night under a full moon was pretty dope – I can’t imagine the view at sunset!

So the menu is Mediterranean Tapas – I’m drooling just thinking of it honestly. They feature food and flavors from 10 counties in the Mediterranean.

We enjoyed the Cauliflower Yuka, Chicken Kofta, Charred Baba Ganoush, and the Green Sofrito Paella. Do not leave the restaurant without having dessert – especially the Dragees (dark chocolate hazelnuts dusted in powdered sugar). Trust me, they’re worth it.

Save the paella for the next morning and have it for breakfast – that’s what I did. It’s loaded with superfoods and guaranteed to satisfy your tastebuds.

If you love wine like I do, then get a glass. They have quite the selection. Cocktails looked really good too.

Sorry in advance for the weirdly lit pics – it was dark in the restaurant and I did my best 🙂

Wine with a view! That’s the moon at the top left corner of the wine.

Amuse Bouche – manchego cheese and other flavors that were ridiculously good!

Charred Baba Ganoush

Chicken Kofta

Green Sofrito Paella

Cauliflower Yufka – tastes like a thinner, tastier samosa

Dragees

I swear we didn’t just eat our way through Denver 🙂

Enjoy your next trip to Denver and let me know if you need any suggestions other than the ones here!

Bon Appetite,

Shveta

November, 2017

Falling Into Love With Revelry Kitchen + Bar’s New Fall Menu!

You know how you have one or two go-to spots in Austin for that consistent great food and experience? Revelry Kitchen + Bar is that spot for me and the hubs. The staff have been there from the beginning (their 1st anniversary is coming up) and they keep their menu fresh and seasonal. Quite unusual for East 6th Street and what people know as the “bar” scene in Austin.

Revelry’s Beverage Director, Alana, is simply a genius when it comes to creating new seasonal cocktails. We tried out the new “If Figs Could Fly” and Pomegranate Margarita because the hubs loves an old fashion and I love pomegranate.

“If Figs Could Fly” – Bulleit Rye, house-made fig-maple simple syrup and plum bitters – the hubs loved it!

The Pomegranate Margarita was perfection – not too sweet, not too tart!

Of course, Chef Dominique always whips up super creative cajun-inspired bites with seasonal ingredients, like the Blackened Redfish Sandwich, Cauliflower Hummus and NOLA Style BBQ Shrimp.

Blackened Redfish Sandwich with fennel-apple slaw – so legit!

NOLA Style BBQ Shrimp – be careful, these have the shell on them but you can eat it if you want! Spicy and tasty!

Loved the cauliflower hummus with veggie chips and veggies!

Next time you’re on the Eastside and want some solid food at a normal time or even late, head on in to Revelry Kitchen + Bar. The cocktails, draft beers, wine and food is all on point. They have happy hour all week long as well as daily specials! Their brunch on Sundays for #SundayFunday is one of the best in town!

Hope to see you soon for a bite or two!

-Shveta

October, 2017

ATX_Bites’ Guide to Dining in Portland

I finally went to Portland – it’s been high on my list for years and we took the plunge and planned a trip there!

Of course, PDX is known for the food scene in addition to the brewery and vineyard and coffee scene, so I had a rather lengthy list of spots to hit up in the 4 days we were there.

Here are some highlights and feel free to message me if you want more details!

Crema Coffee and Bakery on Ankeny:

Cheddar Corn Biscuit was perfectly flaky and savory!

Honey Vanilla Almond Latte – love the coffee bean in here!

Dinner at Pok Pok off of SE Division Street is a must—

Order a Salted Plum Vodka Collins – it’s heavenly!

Chinese Broccoli with crispy pork belly (top), Papaya Salad PokPok (left), Khao Soi (right) – you’ll love them as much as we did!

While you may have to wait to get seated at Pok Pok, hop on over to Whiskey Soda Lounge and order a Lord Bergamot – you can thank me later!

Blue Star Donuts – leave room for a donut or two – you’ll regret missing out!

No visit to PDX is complete without a Blueberry Bourbon Basil donut!

Brunch at LeChon before heading over to the Portland Saturday Market—

Fried Chicken – you had me at fried chicken – and then you add a jalapeno cheddar biscuit and an egg – woah!

The most perfect Strawberry Salad with mango, edamame, spinach and a citrus vinaigrette!

Dine at Bollywood Theater for a fun, casual, super authentic Indian meal —

The Gobi Manchurian was super delish!

Order Khatti Rolls!

Don’t leave without some Bhel Puri!

For sure, you’ll want to brunch at Tusk or you’ll have some serious FOMO—

The cutest coffee mug with HEART coffee and a side of toasted almond creamer — y’all they offer that free of charge!

The Breakfast Sandwich with avocado comes on an soft sweet onion roll – this will have you swooning!

Frittata with potatoes, zucchini, cheese curd, broccoli and cumin – holy wowzas!

You can’t leave without devouring this Toast with Beet and Labneh!

Marukin Ramen serves up a no-frills ramen—

Pork and Chicken Ramen b/c rainy Portland nights!

Grab you a few cold craft brews and be sure to order this epic meat and cheese board at Commons Brewery

The epic Deluxe Monger’s Board

 

So as you can see, there is a ton to eat in Portland – we didn’t even make a dent. Hope you’ll enjoy all my recommendations and feel free to suggest some of your own for my next visit!

Until then, bon voyage!

-Shveta

October, 2017

Old Thousand – dope Chinese now available for lunch!

Old Thousand has been serving up some modern Chinese food on the Eastside of ATX and when I heard they were starting lunch service, I had to make my way there to try out their new menu!

Dined with @atxeatsandtreats and we shared the following (I didn’t eat it all by myself y’all) —

Forbidden Rice – such a beautiful and flavorful dish with the goji berries and citrus-chile vinagrette

Khao Man Gai Spring Roll – the braised chicken thigh, pickled cabbage, mint, carrot and all the other goodies in here had me wishing I didn’t have to share!

Never leave Old Thousand without eating their Brisket Fried Rice!

Nommmmm – Dan Dan Mian with ground pork, chili oil and preserved black bean was out of this world!

Prices are reasonable and you’ll have leftovers! Head on over…invite me for a lunch date 🙂

Get you some #dopechinese,

-Shveta

October, 2017