I love to visit Austin. LOVE. L - O - V - E. It's such a cool city with so many different places to try. You can find something to satisfy whatever you are in the mood for. I have an ever growing foodie bucket list for Austin and I was able to recently cross off a couple of places as well as try a couple that weren't already on the list.
Let's start with a rather random bucket list selection. I can't even remember how this place ended up on the list. But after a long travel day it seemed like a good quick option. You might be saying to your self "Don't you mean kebob?"And I honestly had the same thought. But there is a difference (I think). Kebap is meat that's cooked in a vertical rotisserie. I've never seen meat cooked vertical before. You pick your carb (bread, tortilla or salad), your protein (beef & lamb, chicken, veggie patty, falafel), veggies, and sauce. I went with a falafel kebap and the house sauce that was made with yogurt and dill. It was pretty tasty. The house sauce was the perfect accompaniment to the falafel. I didn't quite cross this one off the bucket list because I do plan on going back to try the beef & lamb.
For this adventure I was trying to find a place that was near a retro video game store. Along with my foodie adventures I do a little game hunting for my hubby. I started with an appetizer, the Pou-Peer Sod, which were spring rolls with vermicelli, shrimp, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, and cilantro. It was very fresh and light and was served with a sweet and sour sauce topped with ground peanuts. For my meal I ordered the Beef Pud Puk, which was a stir fry of sliced beef with veggies like broccoli, mushrooms and baby corn. The veggies were perfectly cooked and had a good crunch to them.
I ended up at this downtown eatery at the suggestion of a colleague. We got a table out on the patio and it was a beautiful spring day in Austin. I ordered the salmon and it was served with a pork belly fried rice. The salmon was crunchy from the good sear it had on the grill. It was also nice and flakey from being cooked to perfection. The pork belly fried rice was a smidge on the greasy side, but overall it was a great side dish to the salmon. For dessert we walked next door for some froyo at Berry Austin, which just so happens to be owned by the same people. It was a nice ending to a great dinner.
I've already been to Elizabeth Street Cafe when I first started traveling to Austin and wrote about the awesome pho here. I definitely had plans to go back and try something else and I was, again, blown away. I ordered the Niman Ranch Pork Belly Steamed Buns and they were fantastic. It was a perfect small bite to start dinner off right. It had cucumbers and cilantro along with a slightly spicy sauce. My main course was the Bahn Cuon, which was a rice flour noodle with twice cooked pork, mushrooms, sprouts and crispy shallots. It was like a giant fresh spring roll bursting with flavor in every bite. And of course I had to try the strawberry lavender macaroon. It was heavenly and had a great balance between the fruity strawberry and the flowery lavender.
Bufalina was featured on Food Network's Best. Pizza. Ever. so of course it was on my bucket list. I had to try the margherita pizza that Chef Anne Burrell recommended. It's a simple pizza, but that's what made it a really great pie. With just a perfectly seasoned tomato sauce topped with fresh homemade mozzarella cheese, basil and parmesan cheese it was delish! You'll have to plan your trip there because they are only open for dinner Wed-Sun and can fill up pretty quickly. It's totally worth it.