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 openedย TLC Austinย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย  Pretty much fell in love with Carbon Cafe ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย  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? ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Grizzelda’s Sunday Brunch Buffet – NOM!

The Sunday brunch buffet at Grizzelda’s is a must! You can even listen to the DJ Vibing with 90s vs 80s or Cher vs Madonna!

I finally made it in a couple weekends ago and it won’t be my last time to go. The buffet is $20 for all you can eat, also pancakes and eggs made to order, $5 Margaritas and $10 Mimosa Pitchers. Quite a steal for all the best Interior Mexican food you can eat!

My first plate with all so much yumminess! And a Mimosa in the background and fresh corn tortillas.

Second plate of more goodness – but, ordered over easy eggs to put on top.

Enter, the over easy eggs

Plate 2 with an egg on top!

And last but not least, Mexican Chocolate Pudding – so perfect!

 

Stop in the next time you want one of the tastiest and affordable buffets for brunch — make reservationsย  on Grizzelda’s site if you can plan ahead because they get packed!

Happy brunching,

-Shveta

October, 2017

Austin Daily Press Starts Bar Menu at The Wheel!

Two of my neighborhood faves have partnered together to offer a Bar Menu at The Wheel daily from 5PM to close with yummies from Austin Daily Press!

I had the pleasure of trying out all of the items on the menu: Grilled Queso Fresco with a Seasonal Fruit Salad, Crispy Pork Belly with Grilled Broccoli, Fried Brussel Sprouts with Marinated Feta, and the September monthly special, The Princess of Mushroom Kingdom (chicken edition).

If you haven’t enjoyed an ADP entree before, head on over soon. They’re mostly a scratch kitchen and use local produce for their grub. I love the names of their monthly specials, like The Princess of Mushroom Kingdom pictured here (but with fried chicken instead):

That’s a huge fried queso fresco on top!

Did you know for every Monthly Special you purchase, a meal is provided to someone in need through Mealshare? Just another excuse to eat for a cause, y’all!

Here’s everything pictured in this overhead shot:

ADP is opening a second location off of E. Cesar Chavez soon so be on the lookout as their empire grows!

Bon Appetite,

Shveta

October, 2017

Brunch with AustinOnBudget at Eureka Austin

I’ve been a long time fan of the food and beer selection at Eureka since they opened in Austin a year or so ago!

When asked if I’d like to join for brunch, it didn’t take much convincing.

Brunch isn’t complete without a bev! The Weekend Thyme (left) and Bloody Mary (right) were legit!

Avocado toast with a hard boiled egg, diced tomato, chimichurri and watermelon radish was one of my favorite avo toasts to date!

We loved the Steak and Eggs (top) and Chilaquiles (bottom). The steak and eggs had firecracker aioli and kale inside. The chilaquiles weren’t soggy at all – they had feta, sour cream, purple onions, avocado and pico of course!

You had me at Fried Chicken! The Fried Chicken and Sweet Cornbread was a nice twist on a chicken and waffle. And some crumbled bacon in there for a nice surprise! The Bread Pudding French Toast (bottom) was a nice sweet bite after all the savory!

 

Next time you’re downtown at brunch time, or nearby, or far away but want a good brunch, head on over to Eureka. You’ll be totally happy with your decision ๐Ÿ™‚

Bon Appetite!

-Shveta

October, 2017

Getting “Knotty” at Knotty Deck and Bar

I don’t know if y’all have noticed, but the hotel scene in Austin is really starting to pick up their restaurant game! Perhaps it’s all the competition (man the restaurant business is so cutthroat right)?!

A few food bloggers and I dined at Knotty Deck and Bar at the Renaissance Austin Hotel earlier this week and I was blown away with the freshness of the ingredients, flavor of each dish, and the concept. Did you know they source their meat products from local farms and ranches, they have an on-premise garden and they pride themselves in having a scratch kitchen? I had NO IDEA!

Chef Chris who moved from Florida to take the position as Executive Chef, has been onboard at Knotty Deck since they opened a few years ago. He really knows what he’s doing and we thoroughly enjoyed our entire experience and everything we ate (which was ALOT)!

The bar staff make super creative drinks and they even randomly started barrel-aging a few spirits (totally unintentional really).

This Negroni was delish

Rye Fashioned – my hubs would love this one!

Of course, I had to get a glass or vino!

The Tex-Mex Charcuterie, Wild Boar Spare Ribs, and the Fried Pig Ears were a wonderful way to start our dining adventure (and night of spoiling)—–

Fried Pig Ears – and that fried egg!

Yasssssssss to charcuterie! They have a bee hive on the roof where they source their honeycomb!

Wild boar spare ribs and the side salad — so good!

Enjoy their deck if you can — it’s absolutely stunning and a beautiful view of the preserve below. I can’t wait to go back one evening when it cools down a bit. They’ve got a huge fire pit that makes for a perfect place to warm up and/or make s’mores!

Next up, more yummy food —

 

Lobsta!!!

Diver scallops!

Veggie Cavetelli

Ugh, I can’t remember the name of this fish but it’s rampant in the ocean and really tasty!

And although we had no more room in our tummies to eat anymore, a few highlights from the brunch menu came out and I’ve gotta go just for brunch now —

Knotty Patty Melt – grassfed beef, oaxaca, house bacon, hash brown, grilled onion, 2 farm eggs, picante aioli on rye bread!

Knotty Fries – pulled pork, farm fried egg, redneck cheddar, picante aioli, grilled onion

Lastly, out came dessert and we were beyond blown away…took some to-go because I didn’t have the heart to throw away the leftovers or leave it behind.

Chocolate and hazelnut HEAVEN!

Crumbled cake with meringue and edible flowers — isn’t it gorg!

Sweet Potato Cobbler – OMG!

Y’all, you’re depriving yourself of an amazing meal — go dine there now. You won’t be disappointed. It’s not even too far north, for those of you who don’t venture out of Central Austin.

Enjoy and until we dine together (soon),

Bon Appetite!

-Shveta

August 2017

Prince’s Hot Chicken from NashVegas comes to ATX!

When Prince’s Hot Chicken says they’re coming to Austin, you do what you can to get your a** over there to eat the HOT chicken! As an Envy Ambassador, I had the opportunity to devour some Prince’s Hot Chicken this week and takeover @findyourenvy ‘s IG account while I was there! Such a fun event and definitely one I didn’t want to miss!

It was hosted at Independence Brewing’s taproom by October Family Craft. The venue was perfect for the occasion and I loved the table setup! As part of our ticket price, we were treated to a Family Style meal and Indy Brewing beer tastings and pours.

I mean, how cute is this setting?

While the meal was being prepared, we were treated to samples of Independence Brewing’s Stash IPA, White Rabbit Wit, Austin Amber, and Power and Light Pale Ale. All were great for palate cleansing and cooling off the heat from the chicken we consumed shortly thereafter!


Then the food started coming out – potato salad, baked beans, seasoned fries, ranch dressing (to cool off that HOT chicken), pickles, the works! The potato salad was just like I like it – mustardy and less mayo. The seasoned fries were so addictive. Loved the crunch and the spice on them! The baked beans were sweet-ish and really helped to temper the upcoming heat from the chicken.

I only caught a pic of the fries – rest was on video!



Then plates and plates of HOT chicken. Mild, medium and hot were the levels of chicken. The guys at the table started with the hot. Not sure why! I mean, after that heat, everything was bound to be hot. Even the potato salad.
Genius that I am, started with the mild. So glad I started with the mild, y’all. Even the mild was quite hot. The medium was hotter and the hot, I could only eat 2 bites. All in all, I probably ate 1 and a half pieces of chicken given that I took too long taking pics and I had to cool down before I continued ๐Ÿ™‚

I present my plate of yumminess! Hottest chicken on top, then medium, and then mild.



After we all died from the heat (yes, I’m generalizing and probably being a tad bit dramatic, but seriously the HOT chicken is hotter than anything I’ve eaten), we watched 3 brave souls eat a piece of the XXX Hot. It was soooooo black from the cayenne sauce, y’all.

XXX Hot Chicken




The night’s event was put together by October. Love that they’ve started this new series of events, Family Craft, which aims to highlight those families behind some of the country’s most inspired craft breweries and restaurants! I look forward to attending their next event!

May, 2017