Friday, March 1, 2013

Eating Our Way Through Austin

It's amazing I didn't come home from QuiltCon 20 lbs. heavier. The food in Austin, Texas is amazing and I sampled a little bit of everything. Luckily, I walked the city quite a bit, so I guess I walked off those extra calories. And did I mention it was a great place to buy souvenirs if your first born is named Austin? I especially had to have a "Keep Austin Weird" shirt, because I've been doing that for 21+ years.

We ate at Manuels on Congress Street twice. That really says something about the restaurant as there are plenty of wonderful dining destinations in the city, but the menu options had us returning to sample more. Their guacamole was really good. And they had food presentation down pat.

Beth ordered a ooey-gooey chili con queso. It was heaven. Nothing like melted cheese spiked with tomatoes, onions, and poblano peppers. Sign me up!

Grilled shrimp and veggies with more of that creamy guac. The black beans were especially good with that dollop of decadent crema.

The food trucks and trailers in Austin are bountiful. I heard from more than one person that they enjoyed their meals from these mini restaurants. I ate this delicious cheeseburger and fries at Downtown Burger, which was just across the street from the convention center. It was my splurge for walking 20+ blocks that day. I also tried the Vietnamese food truck and ate a delicious chicken, herb, and vegetable dish, but I forgot to get a photo.

Our last night we ate at The Backspace, which was recommended to us by Lizzy House and our hotel bartender. The restaurant is small, but packs a punch with its Neapolitan-inspired menu. The Brussels sprouts were amazing. Wood fired and topped with lemon juice and bread crumbs.

We were told to definitely try the meatballs, so of course we did. They were delicious with a mixture of lamb, pork, and beef. Cooking in a wood fire oven has to be tricky, but the chefs had it down. The tomato sauce was good too.

My pizza was to die for. The crust was so good. Mine was topped with ricotta and other cheeses and then a pretty amount of arugula. I'm still dreaming of this pizza.

Lookie here, I wasn't the only one snapping pics of their food. We also got plenty of photos of everyone using their phones at the table. And some of us got a little twitchy when our batteries were low.

Smoked Dr. Pepper barbecued chicken. Spicy, but delicious. I'm not a fan of Dr. Pepper, but I assumed it would make a great barbecue sauce. This restaurant was called Moonshine and we ate there twice as well. This was the only barbecue I got my hands on in Austin.

Buffalo meatloaf with mushroom gravy. Those little ramekins hold roasted garlic mashed potatoes. And if you're into veggies, the squash and tomato saute was really good. The carrots were glazed with booze? and brown sugar.

This steak dish was the special that evening. That ball o' stuff on top of the spinach is bacon jam. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

Hot skillet apple pie with maple ice cream was big enough to have leftovers for breakfast. Or so I'm told. I save my dessert calories for all the other stuff.


  1. I am all ready for a return visit to Manuel's.

  2. Yum... Now I want to get up and find something rich to eat...

    And someday I really am going to try my hand at bacon jam.

  3. oh gosh, the Austin food was sooooo gooooood. i'll go back just for the food. glad you had a great time at QuiltCon!


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