Category Archives: AFBA

AFBA City Guide : PIZZA

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Great Pies in AUSTIN… in no particular order

Salvation

Salvation 2

Sum it up: Salvation Pizza is awesome super thin crust pizza at it’s finest! Very fresh ingredients and friendly waitstaff.

Personal Favorite: Bacon Asparagus and Jalapeno

Seating/Vibe: They have outdoor seating and as well as a small indoor area to sit.

Dog Friendly: Yes, outside

Happy Hour: Yes 4-6pm daily

Delivery: Yes

Location and Phone:

624 W 34th St
Austin, TX 78705
Neighborhood: University of Texas

(512) 535-0076

Spartan Pizza

The Hades TheHelen

TheZeus

Sum it up: Spartan Pizza’s are unique and delicious! They have a great sauce, I think it has rosemary and thyme in it…???

Personal Favorite: The Hades, The Helen, The Zeus

Seating/Vibe: They cook out of a vintage silver trailer

Dog Friendly: Yes

Happy Hour: Check Facebook for deals

Delivery: Yes

Location and Phone:

1104 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702
Neighborhood: East Austin

(512) 484-0798

Rounders

rounders

Sum it up: Rounder’s Pizza’s are quite tasty, full of flavor, and huge!

Personal Favorite: Mushroom, sundried tomato, bacon, and garlic

Seating/Vibe: Neat Vegas style decor

Dog Friendly: Yes, outside

Happy Hour: Yes and check Facebook for deals also free garlic knots with meal

Delivery: Yes

Location and Phone:

1203 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78703

(512) 477-0404

Entoteca

enoteca

Sum it up: Great little Italian Restaurant and Deli, great food all around and lovely pizzas!

Personal Favorite: PROSCIUTTO

Seating/Vibe: Warm and friendly

Dog Friendly: Yes outside

Happy Hour: Not sure

Delivery: No

Location and Phone:

1610 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
Neighborhoods: 78704 (South Austin), SoCo (S. Congress Ave.), Bouldin Creek

(512) 441-7672

Pint House

pint house

Sum it up: Pizza’s are not amazing but they are good for drinking beer and hanging out.

Personal Favorite: M A R G H E R I TA, T H E A R M A D I L L O

Seating/Vibe: They have large picnic table seating. They also brew their own beer. *Note : Their are two different lines for beer and pizza.

Dog Friendly: No

Happy Hour: N.A

Delivery: No

Location and Phone:

4729 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78756
Neighborhood: Rosedale

(512) 436-9605

For a day trip: Flat Creek Vineyard

flat creek

Sum it up: Wonderful wood fired pies, the crispy crust has a slight corn flavor, it’s really unique. I love the salt addition to the crust as well, very nice! Great wines too!

Personal Favorite: M A R G H E R I TA,

Seating/Vibe: Lovely big open spacious room, some out door seating, wonderful waitstaff!

Dog Friendly: Yes, outside

Happy Hour: N.A

Delivery: No

Location and Phone:

24912 Singleton Bend E Rd
Marble Falls, TX 78654

(512) 267-6310

Mandola’s

parma2

Sum it up: Brick oven pizzas are great here, I often crave the Parma! Sinfully good!

Personal Favorite: Parma

Seating/Vibe: Lively, lot’s of seating indoor and out.

Dog Friendly: Yes, outside

Happy Hour: Yes

Delivery: No

Location and Phone:

4700 W Guadalupe St
Ste 12
Austin, TX 78751

(512) 419-9700

Or

12815 Shops Pkwy
Ste 400
Bee Cave, TX 78738

(512) 600-8500

or

4301 William Cannon
Bldg E-1
Austin, TX 78749

(512) 524-2222

Here are some I have heard GREAT things about from multiple people but haven’t had the chance to try myself. Give them a try!

Pieous

pieous

Saccone’s

saccones

House

house

East Side Pies

east side pie

Photo Courtesy of East Side Pies

Backspace 

backspace

Photo Courtesy of Backspace

Team Zesty Bean Dog Takes FIRST PLACE Judges Pick in The Food Experiments Taco Experiment in Austin Texas!!!

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Wow! I’m still so freaking excited that Evan and I won first place in the professional judges panel! I’m even more excited to announce that my two best friends (Liz and Kyle of Sous Me Alchemy) placed first in the public vote AND they will be going to Brooklyn to compete in December (we may have to pack it up and be your food groupies Liz and Kyle)! We both competed last year in 2011- ZestyBeanDog winning 3rd in Judges Pick. Ever since that day I knew I wanted to win first place!!! Our friends the Holy Smokers took 2nd Judges and 2nd Public this year, last year they were the Public champions and went to Brooklyn! Way to go everyone!

ZestyBeanDog made taco that was the “buzz of the afternoon” according to the judges. We made a Pecan smoked duck taco, topped with a duck egg and Brooklyn Lager aioli, a Yuzu Serrano quick pickle slaw, and corn tortilla crispies fried in duck fat all on the bed of a warm homemade flour tortilla (made at 5am that morning). We used all local ingredients from Austin TX. We were even told that our taco was a “smokey, ducky, juicy, crispy BLT of a taco which made the judges swoon”.

The days leading up to the big event recap:

  • Friday, we started preparing things and collecting our last min needs like charcoal and wood chips, etc.
  • Saturday I made a final shopping round to the Cedar Park Farmer’s Market, prepped even more evan deboned the ducks, I popped a pork shoulder in the oven (because we all have to eat too and that was the dish we made last year). Yes I know that may be crazy to cook two major dishes at once but it was worth it and the pork shoulder cooks itself basically! ;) Smoked 4 ducks over the evening. Made the duck egg aioli and duck fat crispies! Even made a duck liver pate with all of the innards from the duck (thanks for that Lori)! Then sweet sweet SLEEP! (with a time change)….
  • Sunday 5am = tortilla making time (it took me 5 tries to get these little things down over the course of 2 months). Slice 4 ducks, chop slaw, make yuzu sauce, and pack it all up! I know I must be forgetting something oh yes my camera (Lori and Dave go get it). Set up table and food, crack open first Brooklyn Lager… and prepare for the calm before the storm! Over 300 people came, the event sold out and reached capacity! There was even a CELEBRITY there Matt Lillard, from Scream, Scooby Doo, Ect… apparently he’s now producing his first movie: Fat Kid Rules the World and he tried our smoked duck tacos AND said it was amazing, he tried to come back for seconds… but we were out, I hope he voted for ZBD! Keep in mind this is event is going on all at the same time as SXSW, Austin’s Biggest event each year!
  • When we got home we celebrated by opening a Brooklyn Black Ops (we won 3 last year at this event) and I made a pizza from scratch, sometime you just have to have pizza! Then we crashed hard! Competitive cooking takes it out of you! I’m still tired!

I put a lot of thought and effort into the vision of this dish as soon as I got that email from The Food Experiments telling me that Taco time was nearing! After several experimentations (some being slight failures and almost even changing our dish) we decided we had to do smoked whole ducks. My husband Evan was my biggest critic and that helped us win no doubt about it (even though I wanted to stab him with a fork a couple of times…). We work great as a team and when I want to give up or take an easy way out, he won’t let me no matter how much I fight it! Thanks for that E! Also thanks for rolling out of bed first thing in the morning and deboning 4 whole ducks :) I’d also like to thank our friends and family that came to support us and watch it all go down, we really couldn’t have done it without you and of course the Brooklyn Brewery Food Experiments team led by Theo Peck- you are all amazing!

We totally took this competition on at full force and it it paid off, big time. I couldn’t be more happy with our placing in this event, to me judges first place is what I wanted all a long, the top pick by well known food critics in Austin. They know food, they know what makes it balanced and successful, and they know how to talk about it! I truly feel ecstatic that they chose our dish because they thought it was the best of them all- and to me that’s worth more than any trip or prize. The judges panel consisted of Addie Broyles from the Austin-Statesman, Claudia Alarcon of The Chronicle and Zagat, Virginia Wood, Food Editor of The Austin Chronicle, and local Austin Food Blogger Stella Floyd of Stella Cooks . Thanks to all of them for their hard work!

We did win some pretty sweet prizes though from the oh so gracious sponsors: A 12″ Anolon Skillet, a 4.5 Quart Le Creuset French Oven, a WHOLE brisket from Franklin BBQ (the BEST BBQ in Austin), a Wusthof knife, the Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook, a Microplane, T-Shirts, some SWEET Chameleon Cold Brew, and BRAGGING RIGHTS!!!

I’d also like to give a shout out to Marx Foods for expediting me some Yuzu at a great price! Thanks guys!

We made it in the media:

Culture MAP

Food Experiments

MSNBC

Brooklyn Brewery

Austin American Statesman

AustinFoodBlogs.net

To All My Fellow Bloggers…. Thank YOU for giving me inspiration and supporting me through reading and commenting on my blog you are what fuels my fire! Sorry for neglecting my blog over the past month and not being as active as I’d like on your incredible blogs! Cheers and MUCH LOVE!

ZestyBeanDog Has Been Deep In The Test Kitchen…

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Sorry I haven’t been around much, I’ve been experimenting as you may already know. This is my second year to be involved in The Food Experiments Culinary Battle. I cannot wait for my husband and I to compete against Austin’s best amateur chefs!  This stuff isn’t easy but it sure is FUN. Last year I was not on top of my game at all, this year I’m more than ready- so look out! :)

Last weekend we went to the Houston Experiment because my friends Lori and Dave were competing. It was a great time and we tried so many great dishes and some not so great dishes ;) They made an awesome beer braised pork belly on a bed of drunken slaw. They didn’t place this time but I’m sure next year they will bring the heat  x100! The winner of the Houston Experiment were actually our table neighbors at the Austin Pork Experiment on 2011: Magic Hops / Pork & Grits Under the Influence. They had a great dish, and the public thought so as well! They will be coming to Austin to root on the Taco Experimenters as well as going to Brooklyn to compete! My friends Lori and Dave and my parents will also be coming up from Houston to support the ZBD, among many others in Austin! Much love to them!

Evan and I have been experimenting for the last month and half and I must say we are quite happy with our taco! It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser-no doubt! Tomorrow we will meet at the Gingerman for our “Meet and Greet” (aka sizing the competition up) with the other chefs. The grand prize is a trip to Brooklyn to compete with all of the other winners from around the world.

I wonder what’s in that smoker… You will find none of our secrets here so stop looking! ;)

If you live in Austin/or are going to SXSW this is the place to be on Sunday buy tickets in advance. You pick the winner, enjoy 25 sweet sweet samples of topnotch food and beer from Brooklyn Brewery. See you there! Now back to the kitchen (and work).

Everything you need to know about Austin’s Farmers’ Markets

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I truly feel blessed to live in a city that has so many great farmer’s markets at my dispose. Just about any day of the week there is a market open to get those farm fresh goodies you have been craving…rain or shine I might add! What’s your favorite market?

I’m going to list and talk about these by area, enjoy!

Photo Courtesy of: Johnson’s Backyard Garden

♦South Austin’s Markets:

Barton Creek Farmers Market 

Hours: Saturdays

9:00am to 1:00pm rain or shine.

Location: On the back side of the Barton Creek Square mall parking lot overlooking the city—at the intersection of S. Loop 1 (Mopac) and S. Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360). 

Details:

This is a great market that’s fun for the whole family and your pups! They carry a wide range of locally raised meats, locally grown produce, internationally prepared food, artisan breads and baked goods, as well as artisan crafts and gifts.

SFC Farmers’ Market at Sunset Valle

Hours: Saturdays

Open Year-Round, Rain or Shine
9 am to 1 pm September – April

8:30 am to 12:30 pm May – August

Location:

3200 Jones Road, at the Toney Burger Center
Plenty (17 acres!) of free parking
Off Hwy. 290/71 eastbound access road, just east of the intersection of Brodie Lane and Hwy. 290/71 East Follow signs for the parking area (plenty!)

Details:

  • Dog freindly
  • This market has plenty of great finds, a few of my favorites are:

Austin Sea Veggies

Oma’s and Opa’s Farm

Pate Letelier

Photo Courtesy of :Rebeccamendations

South Austin Farmers Market

Hours: Saturdays

8am-1pm, year round

Location:  Parking lot of El Gallo Restaraunt on South Congress Avenue, across the street from St. Edwards University.

♦Central Austin’s Markets

Hope Farmers’ Market

Hours: Sundays

11am-3pm

Location: 414 Waller St. They are located in the heart of East Austin at the historic Pine Street Station. You can find them at the corner of East 5th and Waller St, just north of the train tracks.

Details:

The Sunday HOPE Farmers Market is a weekly gathering space for the Austin community to share:

  • fresh vegetables and healthy prepared food
  • artistic creations and live music
  • wellness workshops
  • community organizations and volunteer opportunities

SFC Market Downtown

Hours: Saturdays
9 am to 1 pm September – April

8:30 am to 12:30 pm May – August

Location: 400 W. Guadalupe, Republic Square Park
Plenty of free parking at surface lot next door and State Parking garage across the street.

Details:

  • Meats, produce, prepared foods, and artisan goods
  • Dog Friendly
  • Live music
Photo courtesy of: Melanie Haupt
Photo Courtesy of: From Maggies Farm

♦North Austin Markets

SFC – Triangle

Hours: Wednesdays

Open Year-Round, Rain or Shine
March – September, 4 pm to 8 pm
October – February, 3 pm to 7 pm

Location:

4600 Lamar (46th Street and Lamar), Triangle Park at The Triangle
Plenty of free parking at surface lot next door and The Triangle retail parking garage down the street.

Details:

  • Meats, produce, prepared foods, and artisan goods
  • Dog Friendly
  • Live music
Photo Courtesy of: SFC Owner

SFC – East Austin

Hours: Tuesdays OPENS MARCH 20th 2012

Open Year-Round, Rain or Shine  10 am to 1 pm

Location:

51st and Hwy 183 – YMCA East Communities Branch – 5315 Ed Bluestein
Plenty of free parking in the Y Parking lot and overflow parking near the golf center.

Details:

This market — and only this market – has a Double Dollar Incentive Program/Doble Dolares Programa. Come purchase $10 in fruits and vegetables with your SNAP – Lone Star Card, or your WIC Lone Star Card cash benefits f/v, and the Market Information booth coordinator will give you $10 DDIP / Doble Dolares money to spend on more fruits and vegetables. We will match your fruit and vegetable purchases every week!

There will be at least 10 fruit and vegetable farmers at this market on a regular basis, along with meats, eggs, cheese, honey, plants, and breakfast/lunch food vendors for a quick coffee and scone, or healthy lunch.

♦Cedar Park and More

Cedar Park Farms to Market

Hours: Saturdays

9am-1pm year round rain or shine

Location:

Lakeline Mall Parking Lot – Behind Sears and Dillard’s

Details:

This is my market (I live in Lago Vista). I love the variety here, it’s really great.

Some of my favorites are:

Johnson’s Backyard Garden ( I do a CSA with them and it’s great).

Smith and Smith Farms

CountrySide Farm Products

K & S Seafood

Razor Sharp will be there sharpening knives and tools.

Round Rock

Georgetown Farmers Market

Hours: Saturdays

8am- Noon the first Saturday in April, (4-7-12), through the week before Thanksgiving, November,(11-17-12), in the Scott & White Hospital Parking Lot at the corner of Oakmont & Univ.

Locations:

SEE WEBSITE FOR CURRENT LOCATION

Here are some great recipes using local farm fresh ingredients, enjoy! 

Easy and Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders with Sweet Potato Fries

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Austin Food Bloggers Hunger Awareness Blog Project

2011 Project Part 2

This is a great affordable recipe that’s healthy, fun for the kids to get involved with, and will satisfy!  See other posts from fellow AFBA participating in this project!

Makes: 6-8 Tenders and enough fries for 4

Prep: 15 min

Cook Time: 45 min

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breasts, sliced long ways into 3-4 slices per breast
  • 1 C. Panko bread crumbs, or regular breadcrumbs
  • 2 TBS flour
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Pam spray
  • 1 Large sweet potato, sliced into fries
  • 1 TBS olive oil or canola oil for fries, or you can use the Pam you used for the tenders.
  • Salt and pepper to taste for fries, you can also do a pinch or dry herbs if you would like but it’s not mandatory :)
  • Ranch or Ketchup to dip tenders in if desired
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut up fries, drizzle with oil and bake for 40 min or until done to your liking.
  3. Gather 3 bowls (one for flour, one for egg, and one for panko or breadcrumbs) place each ingredient into a separate bowl in that order put the salt and pepper into the flour and mix well.
  4. Cut up chicken in strips 3-4 per breast, longways
  5. Take one tender at a time and dredge in flour, then egg, than panko or breadcrumb, repeat until done with all the tenders. (This is the fun part for kids).
  6. For a crispy brown texture, heat large skillet on med high and spray pan and tenders on each side with pam and cook for 3 min on each side.  Then transfer to a baking dish and cook for 20 min or until done.
  7. If you don’t want to put on the skillet first you can just spray with Pam and then Bake for 25-30 min.
Serve with your choice of dipping sauce!

Did You Know That Hunger Is Problem All Around Central Texas?

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Here’s a little change of pace from my typical recipe post, don’t worry there is still a easy, healthy, and affordable recipe at the end :) I’d like to share something I’m involved with right now.

I recently was accepted into the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance, a tight knit group that’s mission is to work together with our peers to set a standard of transparency and fairness in food blogging. We will also support each other and our community through classes, social events, and philanthropy.  With that being said I’m not only super excited to be a part of this group but eager to tell you about our first philanthropy project with the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.  We were asked to blog, share our thoughts, and write about the face of hunger so here it goes.

If you haven’t heard of SNAP it’s the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-AKA “food stamps”.  The minimum one can receive is $16 per month and the average household in need receives around $275.  Some obvious disadvantages: I found it to be very unfair that if you are a convicted felon for a drug offense after 1996 you are completely ineligible for ANY benefits but you could be a convicted rapist or child molester and still qualify for benefits… Hmmm something is not quite right about that.  Also if you live in Texas be prepared to encounter the daunting task of filling out a short novel just to see if you may qualify (oh and if you don’t, don’t expect to hear back from them).  Not only is the paperwork ridiculously time consuming but I bet that there are some that are eligible for benefits (but are not applying) due to the pain of applying or not knowing how to properly apply.  I went online and started filling out the paperwork to see what it consisted of, 6 min later and I  had given up…

An Interesting Fact: Did you know that 248,544 are income eligible, but don’t receive (they aren’t applying) SNAP thus reducing economic activity… Central Texas misses out on $630,000,000 through lost economic activity.

Naturally, as gas and food prices rise more and more individuals and families are effected.

FROM SOMEONE THAT HAS BEEN THROUGH IT:

I interviewed a former SNAP client to get some uncensored opinions and asked these 5 questions:

1.  Q: Did the long process of applying dissuade you from ever applying or renewing your application?  A: “Yes, all the paperwork was a pain. “

2. Q: Did it help you and your family enough to make a difference? A: “It did help out a lot, what sucked is I had to lie & say I was seperated so I can get anything at all… then I find out theres couples or singles w/out kids, but no jobs who got a lot more than I did w/3 kids. =/”

3.Q: Have you ever been embarrassed or felt you were judged at the store when checking out? A: “Wasn’t too much embarrassed but did feel judged about it.”

4. Q: Was it easy for you to get help when needed? A: “Not really, too much paperwork & waiting. A lot of the info they ask for doesn’t seem necessary to me. Like I said I know people who are single w/no kids who don’t have a job & that qualifies them for emergency foodstamps. crazy huh.”

5. Q: Did you ever sacrifice feeding yourself or your family to pay another bill like rent or electricity?  A: “Yes we have had to sacrifice the feeding for bills… we would eat though…. go over to a family members house or something.”

This is a real problem, if you know someone that is in need of these benefits, let them know about the CAFB and SNAP!  If you don’t, you can make a DONATION or VOLUNTEER at your local food bank, any little bit helps!

Here’s a quick and easy recipe high in protein and nutrients that will make your dollar stretch and leave you satisfied!

Zesty Tuna Salad on Crackers or Bread

Serves: 4 for sandwiches, or several for snacks with crackers, can be refrigerated for 2 days.

Prep Time: 5-10 min

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz can of Tuna in water or oil, the large can(I used the tuna in water).
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 TBS plain greek yogurt or mayo
  • 1 TBS mustard
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zest
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • Drain tuna and empty contents into a medium bowl.
  • Chop produce and empty into bowl.
  • Add yogurt or mayo, lemon juice/zest, and mustard and stir mixture until mixed throughly.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Enjoy on bread or crackers!

THE FACTS:

  • About 48,000 different people receive emergency food assistance from CAFB in any given week.
  • CAFB serves nearly 300,000 people each year.
  • 41 percent of CAFB clients are children.
  • 95 percent of CAFB partner agencies say they could no longer serve their clients if the Food Bank shut down tomorrow.
  • More than a third of CAFB’s older clients go for extended periods without food.
  • 1 in 5 families served by CAFB experience the physical pain of hunger.
  • Almost half of CAFB clients have at least one working adult at home.
  • Almost half of the families CAFB serves have to choose between buying food and paying utilities.
  • 82 percent of CAFB clients are not homeless.

Source:  Hunger in America 2010: Central Texas Report

According to Feeding America’s preliminary data, 442,263 (17.8%) Central Texans are estimated to be food insecure.