I suppose I *should* have called this article “A Primal Taste of Austin” since there was quite a bit of cheese consumption involved, but whatever. My blog, my rules.
First off, I love Austin. If you’ve never been, go. Just go. I was brought here by the military, met my husband here, had my first home here, got married here, and made some the best friends I’ve ever had here. Hell, I found Paleo here. And it just so happens I’ve had some of the best food I’ve ever eaten–in my life–here in Austin, too. Between post-yoga lunches at the flagship Whole Foods, colossal omelets at Magnolias, dinner and a movie at the Alamo, late night runs to the Monument Cafe for chocolate pie, cupcakes at Galaxy, fancy schmancy dates at III Forks…yeah, I belong here.
We flew down for the long weekend to take care of some personal business, but clearly re-exploring this culinary Mecca was also on the agenda. I wish I could have spent a week or two (or forever) going street by street, sharing all of the glorious food I know and love as well as all of the places I’m sure I missed in the three years I lived here…but alas, I had three days.
In a city full of Tex Mex and food trucks, it might seem a little daunting for we modern Cavefolk, but I don’t think I know of more Paleo-friendly place on Earth…and yes, I’ve been to Boulder.
We got in super late on Thursday night, and after a wee 5 hours of sleep (NOT OK), I had to get up early to make it up to Georgetown tax office. Before that, though, I ran down to The Carillon for breakfast and, more importantly, coffee.
I had the Tejas Benedict (sans croissant)–poached eggs, a big hunk of ham, Brie, and hollandaise. You could put a good hollandaise on an old shoe and I’d eat it, but this was outstanding. By the end, the Brie had melted into the remaining sauce and I was left with an ooey-gooey layer of awesomeness that I not-so-daintily cleared away with a spoon.
After I was done with…you know, all the paperwork…Ross and I took a walk and popped into Annie’s Cafe and Bar for lunch. I got the Harvest Salad with Salmon, while Ross opted for the non-Paleo (but still gluten free) Pork Pork Enchiladas smothered in Salsa Verde.
My salad came with a horseradish vinaigrette that I could have drunk with a straw. The salmon was awesome, too–goat cheese and salmon are one of my favorite combos…um, probably ever.
For dinner we met up with old friends at their house in Round Rock. Jasmine was the one who first introduced me to Paleo three years ago, and they put out an awesome spread–Turkey Soup, Sweet Potato Tots (!!), and…naturally…wine and cheese.
Saturday morning we all went to Crossfit for a little workout…my quads were pulp afterwards. Brunch was a The Monument Cafe–you know, the origin of my beloved pie? All of their food is locally sourced, with most coming from right out back where they grow all of their own produce and chickens.
This menu was admittedly harder to navigate than most, but we settled on the Rabbit Rillette as a starter (SO good), while I opted for the shrimp and grits as an entree (minus the grits, which aren’t Paleo…but if you’re just looking for GF, this would be a great treat). Also had some of their wine on tap, which I found OUTSTANDING.
I love pretty much everything on their menu, but I needed something fierce this morning. I opted for the Magnolia Omelet (avocado, olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and salsa) while Ross got the Popeye (spinach, bacon, ham, mushrooms, onions, and sour cream).
Dinner was downtown at a new-to-me place, La Condesa. It’s a quirky, modern take on Mexican classics and I actually changed my order three times before I settled on a huarache with pork belly and tequila poached pears…totally Paleo if you just leave off the corn tortilla, and who needs it when they give you so much delicious meat? You guys know I LOVE my pork belly 🙂
We started with the Cangrejo Tostada (crab, tomato, chipotle mayo, mango, grapefruit…nix the corn chip). Ross had the Borrego, and we also split an order of yucca fries with tomato jam.
Again, I wish I would have had more time…but now it’s back to Colorado, my pups, and my day job. Got all my meals prepped for the week last night, but after my little culinary retreat, all this plain roast chicken just isn’t going to cut it 😦
If anyone’s hiring, let me know!!