Tag Archives: The Mighty Cone

Eating Our Way through Texas

Recently, my mom and my grandma visited Austin. We had such a fun time touring the city and of course, sampling the local cuisine…

Our first stop was The Mighty Cone trailer on South Congress Ave. I ordered a shrimp cone, but Mom and Grandma opted for the “classic” Hot and Crunchy Chicken Cones – chicken breaded in sesame seeds, almonds, chili arbol flakes, sea salt, sugar, and corn flakes, topped with mango slaw and chipotle aioli, then wrapped in a warm tortilla. While they weren’t the easiest things to eat (at one point Grandma confused the cone with the tortilla and took a bite out of both), they sure were tasty. Mom was glad to have checked the iconic food trailer off her Austin bucket list (she had wanted to try a “the chicken cone place” ever since I sent her the recipe, which was featured in Food & Wine).

Mom and Grandma enjoying their first Mighty Cone

The next day we went to Fredericksburg and shopped around. We were in awe of all the culinary novelties at Der Kuchen Laden – a kitchen store located in what was formerly the Fredericksburg Hospital (weird, right?). And then we went on a hunt for the perfect Christmas ornament for Mom’s friend Debbie. We finally settled on one, but I can’t reveal it here, just in case Debbie is reading along!

In the courtyard outside Der Kuchen Laden

For lunch, we went to Rather Sweet Bakery and Café, where Christian and I dined no less than three times on our honeymoon (yes, it’s that good). Mom and I saw Rebecca Rather – the Ina Garten of Texas – in the courtyard!

A cup of watermelon gazpacho at Rather Sweet

After touring the Japanese peace garden at the Museum of the Pacific War, we decided to give our feet a rest and get some coffee at the Java Ranch, where they “don’t dial 911″… (only in Texas!)

Don't mess with Java Ranch

Feeling a bit adventurous, we drove out to Becker Vineyards for an afternoon wine tasting. Mom tasted a Viognier for the first time, and Grandma sampled some of the lighter red grapes, like the Prairie Rotie and the Claret.

Outside the Becker Vineyard tasting room

To finish the day, we feasted at the recently-renovated Fredericksburg Herb Farm, that featured a new dining room, an expanded spa, and a B&B. It was totally different from when Christian and I had lunched there during our honeymoon, but the food was still decadent!

Housemade ciabatta with chive butter at the Herb Farm

Three Generations of Bastron women at the Herb Farm

The following day we toured the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. It was a poor year for wildflowers, due to the fact that we’ve had very little rain. But it was still fun to tour the grounds and to “hunt” for bluebonnets.

Hunting for bluebonnets at the LadyBird Johnson Wildflower Center

Our grand finale was a southern brunch at Olivia Restaurant. Their chef, James Holmes, was recently featured in Food & Wine. Little did Mom and Grandma know that they would be dining at not one, but two Food & Wine-acclaimed Austin restaurants that week. We Bastron women have a talent for sniffing out good food, wherever we are.

Olivia Benedict: braised flatiron beef, poached farm eggs, hollandaise, biscuit

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10 Reasons to Love Austin, TX

Everyone has their reasons for loving Austin, TX. There are the usual suspects, such as live music and Barton Springs Pool, but we’d like to share our own list of favorites. Anyone who’s ever lived on a small budget knows that you’ve got to create your own fun, and our list reflects the lifestyle of two graduate students trying to make it in a big city. The beauty of Austin is that if each resident wrote a list of why they loved the city, we’d end up with hundreds of thousands of different lists. That’s how much Austin has to offer. So if you see something missing from our list, add it in the comments section, or better yet…send us a copy of your own list, and we’ll put it on our blog!

1. Town Lake Trail – We’re blessed to live in Central Austin, just a short walk from the Mopac bridge entrance to Town Lake Trail. As a Minnesota native, Sarah maintains that the body of water encompassed by the trail is not a lake, but she still enjoys running around it each morning. Who needs a gym membership when you can hike, bike, run, and canoe right outside your front door?

Turf n Surf Po Boy (2nd Street & Congress Ave)

2. Food Trucks – What could be better-suited for a graduate student budget than dinner from a food truck? Much more glamorous than they sound, there are literally thousands of food trailers dotting the Austin landscape, serving up every kind of cuisine from breakfast tacos to duck confit. Here are a few of our favorites: The Mighty Cone, The Peached Tortilla, G’Raj Mahal, Turf n Surf Po Boy, and La Golondrina (corner of Airport Blvd and 51st Street).

Max is available for adoption from APA!

3. Doggies! – This one goes hand-in-hand with Town Lake Trail. We’re never bored running around the “lake” because we get to look at all the amazing dogs go by. Austinites love their canines, and they’re out in full force at Town Lake on Saturday mornings. We sometimes volunteer to run with dogs hanging out at the Austin Pets Alive! adoption table. Another great thing about Austin and dogs…you can bring your pets nearly everywhere. Dogs are welcome on most patios, and even inside some stores. It’s fun to meet so many furry friends when we’re out on the town.

Foodie heaven

4. Whole Foods Market – WFM is like Disney World for foodies, and its flagship store and corporate headquarters are located right here in ATX, just a few blocks from our home. We can’t afford to shop there with any degree of regularity, but just being in their space is like entering a world of food zen. Oh, and did we mention the “wow” policy? Anything we want to sample…free of charge. Now that’s customer service!

5. Alamo Drafthouse – We love this place so much that when faced with having to see a movie elsewhere, we usually pass. Where else can you get waited on by professional staff, served food prepared by a certified chef, and watch some badass films? And their pre-show programming is hilarious. We’ll take soundbites of Mark E Mark and old episodes of Julia Child over relentless advertising any day.

Happiness on a bun

6. P. Terry’s Burger Stand – California-style burgers, hand-cut fries, and chocolate shakes always put smiles on our faces. To the tune of less than $10 for two people…that’s enough to make us want to jump for joy.

7. KUT – We are so lucky to live in a town that has such amazing and varied radio programming. They play over 40,000 songs each year. Over 40,000! Sometimes we’re hard-pressed to hear the same song more than once a year, let alone once a day. We have eclectic tastes, and it’s great to have local DJs that can channel our same vibe. Hayes Carll? The Black Keys? The Texas Tornados? How about all three?

8. Thundercloud Subs – To quote the master sandwich-makers themselves, “Straight up genius on a bun.” That about sums it up. If they ask you, “do you want Thunder Sauce on that?” say yes.

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"The best part of waking up!" (and walking two blocks and paying $2.50)

9. Local coffee shops – Yea, we have Starbucks in every major neighborhood, but we also have Caffé Medici, Houndstooth, Mozart’s, Flight Path, Thunderbird, Cafe Caffeine, Lola Savannah, Dolce Vita, Little City, Halcyon, Juan Pelota, Pacha, Epoch, and about a dozen others to boot. And they all serve delicious brew.

10. Biking – Austin has miles of trails and bike routes that are mapped out for the cyclist’s convenience. If you wanted to, you could avoid traffic altogether, but most Austinites are acutely aware of cyclists, and they respect them on the road. Some residents spend more money on a bike than they do on a car. Crazy? Perhaps. Cool? Definitely. Tree-hugging granola heads? You bet.

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