“I love Austin for vintage shopping, creative art work, great food, and awesome tunes. What more could you want from the capital of Texas.”

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Great Picks at “The Picnic”

Good Day,

Down Barton Springs Rd “The Picnic” food truck park hosts a handful of amazing local food trucks. I commute Barton Springs often and can’t help but rubberneck as I drive by to try and get a quick peek of the food trucks for the day.

My roommate and I eventually ventured here on a beautiful sunny afternoon, and I found myself drawn to an individual food truck by the name of Gambino’s Gourmet Exchange-the Southern aroma was comforting, and the Creole and Cajun spices left a tickling tingle in my nostrils and soon enough my mouth was watering something fierce. My roommate waved me on to order, generously treating me to lunch and I happily went with the Gumbo Of the Day. 
For the life of me I cannot remember what it was, but boy my taste buds do! I am salivating just thinking about it! The Gumbo of the Day comes in a small plastic bowl with generous portions of their homemade Andouille Sausage sliced up and ready to take you on a flavorful adventure! The afternoon was early, and the park was not too busy, so the fella working the truck brought out the bowl of what would soon change my life in the form of a rich, dark and delicious chunky gumbo. He happily told me what the gumbo of the day was and a bit later came back to ask how it was! “How thoughtful,” I remembered thinking, that’s not the type of behavior of just any average food truck! Also, average is not the right way to describe this treasure. Outstanding, Fantastic, The Bee’s Knees, and Superb all sound aboutright, and Gambino’s Gourmet Exchange sure is doing it right, fresh and authentic.
 Their yelp bio says everything from their gumbo to their pickles, right on down to their hot sauce is all hand made from scratch and I ain’t lying when I say you can sure taste the difference that labor of love makes!
My roommate decided to go with probably the most exciting food truck out there that day. “The Mighty Cone” caught both our interest initially, but I have a tendency to go with my Southern Roots. I sure was glad when my roommate bit more off than what he could chew. These things were huge, and he had ordered two! Lucky me! “The Mighty Cone” is a food truck that serves cone shaped soft tacos with fillings like the all too famous and my roommate’s fantastic pick, the Chicken Avocado Cone. They also serve up the Shrimp Avocado Cone and the classic Avocado Cone. Also, yes, the avocado is deep fried to pure deliciousness and adds the perfect amount of crisp in every bite. 
Also if you are looking for a fantastic dessert, I highly recommend you dash as quickly and cautiously as you can right across the road to grab two fistfuls of Churros. The warm, cinnamon bliss comes from the small food truck Raspas Locas Y MAS and is fried and dressed fresh to order! Definitely worth the stop if you are in the area!
Get on down to Barton Spring’s “The Picnic” and get a taste of Local Austin! 
 
Cha

Going Loco for Papalote!

Tortas, Tacos & Tostadas…Oh, My!

When my best friend comes into town, there are usually two things guaranteed to happen. We are either going to be on the couch ravenously eating delivery pizza, and binge-watching Netflix or we are going out for tacos and an adventure. Today was one of those “Tacos and Adventures” visits.

My friend, Peaches, groaned hangrily at me in the car to hurry and decide on our taco destination. We were leaving our climbing adventure at Castle Hill’s Graffiti Park, and our thighs burned with a brute reminder that neither one of us had physically exhausted ourselves since P.E. in middle school. Tired and starving, my typical response to her whines would be a groan back that she should pick somewhere, but not today- no, today was different.

Best Tacos In Texas 2017

Good Day,

Wild Salsa Shrimp Tacos!

Some say the “Taco,” a staple of traditional Mexican cuisine, dates back to the 18th or 19th century and in the silver mines in Mexico. While tacos do not have a very long history, I don’t think anyone truly knows their origins. If I were a betting man, I most definitely would say the taco has Hispanic roots, lol.

If you say, “Hey Trey, describe a taco to me in your words.” I would say without hesitation, “A taco is an unbelievable treat of tasty, creative goodness wrapped up in a corn or flour tortilla!”

I really can’t explain the flavor of a taco, but each of you know that when you see the word “taco” anywhere, the mind goes into what I call the “Full Tilt Boggy!” The word “taco” sends our thoughts running amuck with visions of delicious toppings, meats, and cheeses. Truth be told I never get sick of tacos, and I can never get enough of them ever. They are addicting! One is not sufficient, three for sure isn’t, and ten might be just right. I am in LOVE with tacos. I have spent the better part of the year eating tacos with Celebrity Chef David Hollister and watching David cook a bunch of tacos. David’s love for tacos unquestionably matches mine.

Michi Ramen

There’s something so comforting about a big warm bowl of ramen. Also, no, get that instant dried noodle package out of your mind! I am talking about the good stuff. The creamy, filling and authentic noodle soup that’s beautifully piled high with delectables of your choosing that range from tender grilled pork slices called Chashu, roasted nori which is seaweed, blackened garlic oil, woodear mushrooms and green onions. Now imagine all that goodness hiding a bounty of ramen noodles that have a perfect chewy texture marinating in a steamy, savory, stout, pork broth. Mouth already watering? Good! What I just described is my absolute favorite go-to Ramen order, Shoyu Tonkotsu, otherwise known as the signature “Michi” ramen created in good ole’ Austin, Tx.

Head as fast as you can into Michi Ramen! This Ramen House describes themselves as “traditional…with a Texas flair.” With a dish like their “Texas Ramen,” that features smoked BBQ pork ribs and comes with a side of Texas toast, jalapeños and pickles- who can argue with that? Also, Veg-Heads not to worry! They offer options to make your ramen vegetarian or vegan! After slurping up your meal, they offer twelve different Mochi ice cream flavors, featuring a rotating seasonal flavor.

When I first moved to Austin in 2015, I became obsessed and ate at Michi Ramen at least a few times a week for a month or so before trying ramen anywhere else. I still haven’t found a ramen joint in Austin quite as tasty as here. I loved these delicious noodles so much I named my beloved cat after the place!
The best part is with a donation of a packaged non-perishable food item that the restaurant donates to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas; they thank your kind soul with free Mochi! That should make not only your heart feel good, but your stomach too!

Michi Ramen started as a food truck back in 2012 and was voted the Best Ramen in Austin just two years later. With their great beer, wine, and sake options and happy hours throughout the week, I would say all the more reason to celebrate their success! You can check out the brick and mortar location on North Lamar, pick up to-go at their South Lamar location or check them out in San Antonio!

Until the next joint!

Cha

Buzzin at Buzzmill!

Turning twenty-one was suppose to change everything. No longer would my friends and I wander around late at night, scratching our heads, puzzled on what to do because everything has closed. No longer would bold, black Xs mark and signal my youthfulness to the masses. No longer would I jealously chug water as my friends tipsily giggle an order for more rounds. I planned to rage- paint the town red some might say.

Pssh, what a fail that plan was. My birthday rolled up on me so quickly (on a Monday no less) that to celebrate I merely accompanied my friend to my favorite hangout, “Buzzmill,” for my first legal alcoholic beverage at that magic midnight marker.

Let’s Go To Arpeggio!

Hello Foodie Fans,

Arpeggio Grill.

A good friend invited me out to lunch for Mediterranean cuisine by his job one afternoon, but considering the twenty minute or so drive out there, I wasn’t exactly sold. That is until he started to describe the place to me. He talked of low stained glass hanging lights, the mural painted walls and even the option to sit on the floor with cushions and enjoy your meal, it was called Arpeggio Grill.

He then dropped the bomb, they had a $7.99 lunch special.

Obviously, I met him up there and was happy to rediscover the location to one of my favorite hookah lounges was right next door. The inside was definitely warm and cozy. The upbeat, casual greetings of the staff member behind the line of food instantly put a smile on my face. He happily answered any and all of my questions I had about the food and I confidently filled my plate with items I could barely pronounce.

Donut Fear, Gourdough’s Here!

The night air was cold in Austin and with no groceries in the fridge, my brand spankin’ new roommate and I decided to skip out on an H.E.B. trip so we could try out an apparent “Austinite” favorite for dinner, Gourdough’s Public House, the South Lamar location. We were celebrating surviving our first month in Austin and getting our rent paid on time. I honestly can’t name a better occasion for a “donut burger” than that. Oh yeah, you totally read that right, a donut burger. Gourdough’s-with its laid-back, dim, cozy cabin vibe, is all about donuts. From various burgers with donut buns to donut-battered and fried entrees to belly busting dessert donuts. You name it, they got it here.

Texas Best Brunching Places Of 2017

Good Day Brunch Hounds,

Fixture FW

If you love brunching as much as I do then you’re going to love my Brunch picks. I’m a brunching monster, a real life brunching hound! I’ve been brunching for decades and for me, it just gets better and better with age. Most people want to eat brunch, have a few drinks then leave. Brunching is an art form not to be confused with just eating and drinking. If one chooses to brunch correctly, then one must have the proper brunch plans. One doesn’t just say, “let’s go brunch, pick a place and let’s eat!” No sir, there are brunching rules, regulations, and guidelines that need to be followed in order to brunch correctly and to properly enjoy your brunching!

Button’s

When I was a young buck, my mom, Carol and my dad, Barney would haul us to Shady Oaks Country Club or River Crest Country Club for Sunday brunch, or what they called Sunday Brunch. Not trying to sound ungrateful at all, but it was always the same old buffets, in the same old places, listening to the same ol’ people, talk about who knows what! Why I was extremely grateful to live and eat in the lap of luxury like a king-tut, it was still torture to me-sitting there smacking on the same ol’ food! I was always trying to come up with excuses about why I need to leave the table. I was so full of dried mini toast, and rack of lamb with that nasty sticky green jelly. I always managed to get up and go get into trouble. I always told myself when I got older Sunday would be Sunday Funday NOT Sunday Bumday.

So that being said let me explain my brunch rules, regulations and guidelines!

Max’s Wine Dive

First, you must choose a location with a great atmosphere, and friendly folks. This place you choose must have a chef-driven menu with lots of choices. They must have a fantastic selection of spirits and know how to mix fantastic cocktails. Servers must be on point, friendly, and have an extensive knowledge of the brunch menu and options. Last, but not least. You-Can-Not under any circumstances, take an angry or hateful person to your Sunday Funday Brunch.

It just messes up the entire brunching atmosphere.

Brunch options are in no certain order I love all of these locations and yes I drive to Austin and Dallas to BRUNCH. Please be sure and check the hours before brunching.

 

 

 

1. Little Red Wasp/Fort Worth

2. Bird Cafe/Sundance Square Fort Worth

Independent

3. Independent Bar & Kitchen/Dallas

4. Sear Sucker/Austin

5. Flight Restaurant & Cigar Lounge/Eagle Mountain Lake

6. Button’s Restaurant/Fort Worth

7. Fish Creek/ Willow park

8. Bread Winners/Dallas

9. Del Frisco’s Grills/Fort Worth/Dallas

Horseshoe Hill (Saturdays)

10. Taco Diners/Fort Worth/Dallas

11. Meddlesome Moth/Dallas

12. Yucatan Taco Stands/DFW/Houston

13. Reata Restaurant/Fort Worth

14. Horseshoe Hill/Fort Worth Stock Yards

15. Revolver Taco Lounge/Fort Worth

16. Lucile’s Stateside Bistro/Fort Worth

17. Social House/Fort Worth/Dallas

18. Fixture Restaurant & Social Lounge/Fort Worth

19. Max’s Wine Dive/Fort Worth/Dallas

20. Cork & Pig/Fort Worth

21. Restaurant 506 Sanford House/Arlington

22. Cedar Grove/Dallas

23. Henry’s Majestic/Dallas

Thirteen Pies

24. TruFire Kitchen & Bar/Southlake

25. Thirteen Pies/7th Street Area/Fort Worth

26. Mash’D/Fort Worth/Dallas

27. H3 Steak House/Fort Worth Stock Yards
My brunch choices are some of the BEST in Texas, hope you enjoy. Remember my RULES:

First, you must choose a location with a great atmosphere, and friendly folks. This place you choose must have a chef-driven menu with lots of choices. They must have a fantastic selection of spirits and know how to mix fantastic cocktails. Servers must be on point, friendly, and have an extensive knowledge of the brunch menu and options. Last, but not least. You-Can-Not under any circumstances, take an angry or hateful person to your Sunday Funday Brunch.

It just messes up the entire brunching atmosphere.

God Bless Love Y’all

Trey (Chow Down) Chapman

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