A (Paleo) Taste of Austin

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.

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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.20130121-084025.jpg

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.20130121-084055.jpg

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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.20130121-084111.jpg

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. 20130121-084043.jpg

My plate was a couple of yard eggs, pile of bacon, and broccoli. Ross had pastured pork chops, fruit salad, and broccoli. Oh, and coffee. Lots of coffee.20130121-084137.jpg

Dinner Saturday night was with our friends at Max’s Wine Dive. I actually started my bachelorette party there and I’m told it was a pretty good time 😉20130121-084200.jpg

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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.

We said our goodbyes over Irish Coffee at the Driskill–always a favorite. Don’t you fret, Austin, Im job hunting…sooooooo if anyone wants to give me a job over there, my bags are packed 🙂20130121-084843.jpg

The next morning, Ross and I walked off our hangovers decided to get a little exercise and took a stroll down to another of our old haunts.20130121-084222.jpg

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).20130121-084208.jpg

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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 🙂
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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.

On the way back to the hotel, I came to screeching halt outside the Roarking Fork when I noticed the Flourless Chocolate Cake on the window menu–just chocolate, eggs, cream, and sugar. SOLD.20130121-084236.jpg

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!!

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4 responses to “A (Paleo) Taste of Austin

  1. I was born and raised in Austin. I now live in Round Rock and was thrilled to see your write up today!! Magnolia’s – heck yah. The Monument – freaking amazing!! I love their coffee mugs. 🙂 This is the greatest city/cities in Texas!! If I was made of money, I’d hire you to be my personal chef.

  2. Pingback: Braised Apple Stuffed Pork Loin |·

  3. I love love LOVE Austin, TX. I’ve only been once and for just 3 days, but what a wonderful place. I loved the people, even though some super green/vegans weren’t very nice, but the hippies and musicians on the street were the coolest! I loved the food and the vibe i would not mind living there! I only wish it was close to the ocean… i’ve lived close to the ocean all my life. I’m excited for you that you had such a good time and that you enjoyed some awesome food. I hope i can make it there again soon!

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