Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Krause's Biergarten in New Braunfels, TX

I've mentioned before of the many Texas towns founded by German settlers, and this weekend we stumbled across another that is uniquely the same.

In the town of New Braunfels is Krause's Biergarten, mimicking all one might expect to see in a true German biergarten. Beer is flowing, kids are running around, and food is served like hot pretzels, beer cheese, schnitzel, and more. You feel like you're outside, but you're not really outside. It's perfect for those hot summer days that we all know are right around the corner. And better yet, go on a Saturday when the weekly Farmer's market pops up with lots of local vendors.

148 S Castell Ave
New Braunfels, TX

* Image courtesy of the Austin Chronicle *

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

J.McLaughlin Shirtdress

Without even opening the message, I smiled and let out a happy sigh when my inbox showed a subject line of "Shirtdress Refresh." I LOVE the shirtdress.

**Images courtesy of J.McLaughlin**

Friday, March 31, 2017

Peoples Pharmacy

Peoples Pharmacy is another one of those iconic Austin institutions (founded in 1980!) that you hear so much about and ultimately have to make your way there. And when I heard this holistic pharmacy made sandwiches at their in-house deli, I just had to give it a try.

The curry chicken salad sandwich was perfectly flavorful with complimentary flavors to the chicken, all in the right proportions:

And the veggie sandwich did not come light, it was packed full of goodness:

Pop into one of the six different Austin locations to check out some of the great products on display - from food to cosmetics, all sourced with a natural and nutritional approach. And being the holistic wellness center that they are, Peoples carries Kombucha on draft! with free samplings...

And of course, don't forget to refill your prescription while you're at it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Classic Austin Eatery Instituitions

Austin may have just recently hit the list as one of the top towns in the U.S., but this city has been buzzing for quite some time. And there are plenty of places that have stood the test of time where you can find old Austinites, the true locals. Here are some favorites, just to name a few:

1607 San Jacinto Blvd

Along with some of the other nearby towns, Germans made their way down to Texas in the late 1800s and thus a pop up of German food and beer took over. Some have stood the test of time, and Scholz is no exception. After all, when you're in Austin and you have food inside with a music venue outside, it's hard not to meet your market. Add the campus next door, put the Longhorns on the TV, and you've got a line out the door.

603 Barton Springs Road

There's a reason Sandy's is frequented by well known names, both celebrity and politician alike. Pull in through the drive thru or walk on up, order a good old burger, fries, and a shake. Finish it off with a custard in a cone, and who isn't smiling from ear to ear.

2938 Guadalupe St

In Texas, there are Tex Mex options a-plenty. So when you encounter a Tex Mex restaurant that is over sixty years old, you know it has stood the test of time. And having married into a native Austinite family, I love that there is a place where we can say that family has dined there for at least four different generations. El Patio is well known for the chalupas.

2808 Guadalupe

Then and now, horse carriage aside, not much has changed at Dirty Martin's over the past 90 plus years. When we first moved to Austin, my husband kept telling me that I couldn't call myself an Austinite until I had a burger at Dirty Martin's. So one day we finally went, ordered our food, surveyed the memorabilia on the walls inside, found a seat outside on the back patio, and waited until our number was called. The food came, delicious, and the milkshake was hard to share, although share I did. It was a great experience, memorable, and I appreciated the understanding of why I may now call myself an Austinite.

 5621 Airport Blvd

I find joy in hearing the stories of times past. One of my favorite stories is when my mother-in-law tells me about how her sister used to park herself at the wooden bar inside of Quality Seafood and order oysters on the half shell along with a glass of champagne. So nowadays when we stop into Quality Seafood for some fresh deliciousness, unbeknownst to my husband, I look over at the bar and I picture the young version of the woman I knew as Marcia and it makes me smile. There are many things about Quality Seafood that make me smile, but knowing just a mere glimpse of the previous lives once lived there, I find even more respect in a wonderful place.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Day Trip to Blanco, TX

One of the things that brings me back to Blanco each year is the annual Lavender festival where I have been introduced to some lovely products, but each time I go back, I remember what a wonderful town it is on its own.

Starting with the center square, Blanco is like any other old classic Texas town. The beautiful, almost intimidating County Courthouse stands tall and proud right smack in the center of it all. It's magnificently breath-taking on its own.

410 4th Street
A perfect stop for lunch, Redbud Café offers a plethora of soups, salads, and sandwiches. I lean towards the Reuben, the husband likes the French Dip, the Fish Taco is delicious, and of course there is always the Pimento Cheese. And during the lavender festival, they take it to another level with lavender dishes, both to eat and drink. The lavender tea is a must.

49 Main Street
Open every day of the week from 7am to 10pm, El Charro provides that classic Tex Mex comfort food that we all love. For breakfast you can get eggs any and every style. Lunch provides tacos, tortas, gorditas, and a few classic plates. Dinner offers just over 50 different options to choose from - enchiladas, flautas, fajitas, and more!

231 San Saba Court
And just right on the edge of the outskirts of town, make sure to stop in and visit the genius behind one of Texas's finest beers, Real Ale. Take a tour if you want, or just visit the tap room and enjoy some of their refreshing product on-site. Some of my favorites include the year-round Fireman's 4 Blonde Ale and Rio Blanco Pale Ale, or the seasonal Oktoberfest and Coffee Porter. Yum, yum, delicious!

So go to Blanco, walk the town square. Take in, enjoy, and indulge.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Loofah Scrubbers Soap

It's winter. Things are dry. Hands are dry. Skin is cracking. You need a fix.
Recently a friend introduced me to Loofah Scrubbers Soap by Bar Soap Brooklyn. It's soap with a loofah already molded inside, and it's amazing!
So, got dry skin? Go ahead, give it a try...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Snowmen in the South

Down in Texas we don't get much snow in the winter, so we have to get creative...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bourbon Bombs

Recently I came across a new brand - No. Four St. James. A Texas brand with a London address? Sounds perfect for Slone Ranger! After all, we both share previous London Pride with current Texas true. Even cooler, catch the story of their name:
"We’re often asked about our name, and just as often we’re happy to explain. From 1836 to 1844, Texas was a proud republic—a country of its own. Like other sovereign nations, the Republic of Texas maintained foreign legations (small embassies) abroad. The Texas Legation in London, England was located at No. 4 Saint James’s Street. Nearly 170 years later, we’ve taken that address for our name."
But more importantly, their products are really cool. Especially the Bourbon Bombs, I'm not sure if Santa is going to be putting those in my stocking or my husband's - hopefully both!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas in Fredericksburg

The Christmas Pyramid
Fredericksburg, Texas is a German town, so it is only fitting that come Christmas time, the town decorates its main square with a 26-foot tall Christmas pyramid.
Christmas pyramids were initially used as a sort of woodworker's storybook, capturing attention in both children and adults alike. And watching the figurines go 'round and 'round on this magical tiered mountain truly is a delight. You have to see it to believe it...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Deep South Barrels

Looking for a cool Christmas gift? Check out Deep South Barrels. They're not just decorative, they're actually useful!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Post-Thanksgiving Turkey Pot Pie

So what happens after Thanksgiving with all of that leftover turkey? Turkey pot pie, of course!

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1/2 cup of flour
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

3 cups chicken broth
1 cup of milk

1 bag of frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 cups of turkey leftovers, chopped

Pie crust
2 cups flour
1 stick of butter, cold
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Start by making the pie crust... Combine Flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut butter into cubes, then add to the dry ingredients. Using your hands (or a mixer) blend together the ingredients - mixture will turn crumbly. Add the water and blend to form a dough. Divide dough into two balls.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over the stovetop. Add the chopped onions and cook until browned and translucent. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and stir.

Add the chicken broth and milk to the saucepan and mix all the ingredients together. Lastly, add the peas, carrots, and turkey, and stir to combine.

Roll out one of the dough balls into a square or circle depending on your baking dish of choice. Place the crust into the bottom of the dish. Pour the turkey mixture filling into the dish. Roll out the second dough ball to cover the top of the pie. Crimp together the bottom and top edges of the pie crust. Cut holes, slits, or a design into the top of the pie to vent while cooking.

Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove and let cool. Happy Eating!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Grand Reopening of Hudson's on the Bend

*** UPDATE: As of February 14, 2017, Hudson's is closed indefinitely. ***

In a recent exchange of hands, Hudson's on the Bend has made a big come back!

Last week I was able to get a sneak peek at the soon to reopen Hudson's on the Bend and ya'll, the food was incredibly delicious! I don't even know where to begin, but I'll try...

First up, I was greeted with a Venison Tartare served atop a sweet potato chip with fermented chili and black lime. I've had my Tartares, but Venison?! It was truly Hudson's, and it was truly amazing.

Right behind the first tray was a second tray coming around with a tasting of a pop-in-your-mouth sized house Fried Okra. You can't get much more Southern classic than fried okra...
Or can you? Coming out of the kitchen next, hot from the fryer, was a perfectly salted buttermilk Fried Chicken. It was addictive, too addictive. And the accompanying tomato was just the right touch.

In true Texas style, another tray carried around a Corn Tamale stuffed with smoked short rib and drizzled in salsa verde and crema. A wonderful bar-be-que Tex-Mex marriage.