Food is Forever, But Here’s A Little Food Wrap-Up

So,  as many of you may have figured out, this Eat It, ATX! was originally started as an assignment for a Fundamental of Digital and Online Media class I am taking at Texas State University. Although, this blog wasn’t my idea, I have really enjoyed creating it because I was able to choose a topic of my desire and heart: food. I particularly have found that I enjoy blogging because it gives me creative control. I like the ability to put what photos I want, go to eatery’s that I wish to try out and write the blog in my own voice. It makes the process of blogging so much more organic, genuine and fun to me. I additionally liked the aspect of blogging that it is conversational, even though I don’t have very many people actually reading my blog, it’s fun to speak and address my readers. Creating a blog has given me a new appreciation for bloggers. I now believe that reading a blog is a good source of true, honest information about a certain subject. For example, I currently am suffering from the travel blog and have the burning passion to go out and travel the world. I think now I will consult some great travel blogs for information on how to do so.

As of today, August 10, 2016, I have had 21 visitors to my site, and 56 blog views. To be frank, I didn’t have any expectation that anyone would actually read my blog because who am I really, so I am quite please about my stats. And, cool random fact: one of my visitors is from Norway. What’s up, Norway! I have never been there and do not know anyone from Norway, but how cool that blogs can actually connect people all over the world. I get it now. Blogs are a powerful way to connect and transmit information. It’s amazing the potential a blog can really have and I see why people have the ability to travel around the world, blog and literally work from anywhere. (With WiFi, of course) I think the coolest part about my blog experience has been my connections via twitter! Maybe, I am more of an Instagram girl, and partial to images, but wow! Twitter is a fantastic way to make connections. Every time I tagged a restaurant Twitter handle I received a like or a response! Even when I did a blog review over fellow blog, Love & Lemons, I obtained attention. People seem really appreciative that I am blogging and getting the word out about them. It’s cool to think I may have touched an eatery’s heart or they might have a brief moment of appreciation for me and my blog. So thanks everyone that responded to me via Twitter, you made me feel special.

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During my blogging experience I found that pictures/inserting a media clip have been the most effective tool. A blog can seem overwhelming and daunting to read if it is merely just a bunch of text on a page. A picture helps break up the content to keep the reader engaged and helps tell the story. For me personally, I want to be better about posting consistent, weekly content for my blog. That way if I develop some what of a reader base, they can know when to generally expect new blogs. After creating my own blog, I think that it would be fun to generate blog reviews for companies. I think my honest nature of writing could be beneficial to a company. I also think learning how to operate a WordPress site will only prove helpful to me in the future. Overall, it’s been a fun time eating and writing about it. What’s better than that, really? I just want to give a special shoutout to Texas State University, for always pushing me into real life application of skills. I know it’s a positive for me, and I do love you. Thanks to everyone that’s kept up with my blog, tried any of the restaurants I have suggested or just enjoying reading about my eating adventures. Cheers, and happy eating!

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You Snooze, You Win.

A few days ago, I decided to try a new Austin eatery called Snooze located on South Lamar. Snooze specializes in breakfast/brunch foods and is only open until 2:30 pm daily. They have great classic breakfast options like pancakes, eggs benedict, and tacos. They have a few great vegetarian options as they offer soyrizo (soy chorizo meat) and tofu. I went with my friend Alex, and we had a great time. I then interviewed her about her thoughts on Snooze and her personal diet. She piped in about her thoughts about the pescatarian lifestyle, too. Check out the video/vlog below!

Hey, Haymaker!

Hey guys! I apologize for the break in postings, but I am back and with an awesome local Austin eatery! This post is all about comfort and that comfort food that we all love so much! Being a vegetarian or pescatarian should not mean you cannot enjoy the deliciousness that is comfort food. Comfort food can be described as typically high in carbohydrates, and/or sugar that may provide you a sentimental connection to your home cooked childhood meals. That stick to your ribs, warm your heart kind of food. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you really haven’t lived and I am sorry for you. Although comfort food isn’t necessarily healthy for you, it’s nice to treat yourself every once in awhile to it. So, I decided to try a place in Austin called Haymaker. They pride themselves on serving good, hearty food inspired by the bars of the Midwest and Northeast. I personally love a good Midwestern bar as my family is in Minnesota. There is just a certain simplicity and good vibe in bars up North. For all you poutine lovers, they have that, too!

Haymaker Regionally-Inspired Comfort: Craft, Sandwiches, Beer, Poutine

Photo Credit: Patrick Y Wong

I will be frank in saying I originally went to meet some friends for a bomb happy hour special they have on Monday which is $2 dollar trash can beer. Check out the photo below for more incredible specials. Little did I know I was going to receive so much more than I expected! Okay guys so Haymaker has a vegan black bean patty, a grain burger, vegan Italian sausage, and vegan bratwurst that you can substitute on ANY of the main menu options. AND they have many grilled cheese options. I think I have died and gone to heaven. Can you believe the possibilities? Check out the menu for yourself. I have never been to a place that has so many accommodations for vegetarians and vegans. I really appreciate the fact that Haymaker does this, and takes the extra step to do so. My group of friends and I started with the homemade beer cheese to share as an appetizer. Wow! It had the consistency of pimento cheese and was scrumptious. It was also served with some well seasoned kettle chips. I highly recommend this as a starter. It’s a nice break from the traditional tortilla chips and queso that most places in Austin serve because there are plentiful Tex-Mex options. Okay, so on to the real magic.

After much debate with so many different menu choices, I finally settled on the patty melt with a black bean patty. I must toot my own horn here in stating that I hit the nail on the head! Wonderful, flavorful patty squished between cheddar cheese and Texas toast. It also had onions and pickles on it, which I think only adding to that classic, comfort taste. I cannot describe accurately all the happiness neurons that were firing in my brain after taking that first initial bite. The buttery toast had a nice crunch to it, but the inside was oh so soft and welcoming in my mouth. I am just amazed how much this tasted just like a normal, beef patty melt. Such an incredible choice for vegetarians! I can drone on and on about how good this was, but I will just keep it simple. One of the best comfort style meals I have ever had. Period. Go and try this place for yourself. I would love to hear what you think. Happy eating everyone!

Thundercloud Is Heaven

Okay so if you have ever been to Austin, there is a chance that you have heard of the Austin staple, Thudercloud Subs. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re welcome. One of my favorite sandwiches. Ever. It is considered the neighborhood sub shop in Austin as there are so many locations it is likely that you will find one right in your neighborhood. I live on Riverside right off I 35 and I have a T-Cloud (I affectionately call it) 2 blocks from me. I also adore Thundercloud because they are all about community and giving back to the City of Austin. They host what is known as the Turkey Trot every year on Thanksgiving. It is the largest 5 mile run in the State of Texas! Wow, pretty cool! They raise money through it for Carnitas of Austin, a non-profit that helps the homeless.

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Photo Credit: thundercloudsubs.com

I really enjoy that this sandwich shop is about healthy and local. They pride themselves on fantastic ingredients that are as local as they can be. They have their bread, (which I swear has crack in it, nah just kidding, but it is addictive) made fresh every morning from a local Austin bakery. They additionally buy as many ingredients from local farms and places in Austin and they only use organic eggs. They also have gluten free options, so that’s a plus. They are always on the front lines of being health conscious. They have some cool vegetarian options like a hummus spread, guacamole spread, and cream cheese spread. The shop offers a something called ThunderSauce, which is a delicacy according to many of my friends. I am not that big of a fan because it is a vinegar based sauce and vinegar and me aren’t friends. Well, let’s get down to what I order.

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Me indulging.

First of all let me just say that this sandwich shop is my happy place. When I walk in the door, I instantly feel elated that I am going to be treated to such an incredible, mouth watering sandwich. Once I make it up to the counter I order a large on wheat bread. In my opinion the wheat is better than the white bread, but I may just be biased. I then get both cheeses, American and Provolone. I then proceed to get lettuce, onions, sweet peppers, jalapenos, pickles, pepper and spicy mustard. This is the best combo I swear by it. I do recommend for all you first timers to eat the sandwich in the store. Often when I take it to go it will be soggy by the time I get it due to all the yummy fresh ingredients. It’s best to eat it right after it’s made in front of you. Well, there you have it folks. Basically this blog is just meant to get you to go to Thundercloud because it will change your life. Thanks!

 

Broke As A Joke, So Let’s Eat Spaghetti Squash

Hey guys. So, I’m pretty low on money this week and I couldn’t afford going out to a great Austin food place like I usually do. Have no fear though! I decided to create a how to cook spaghetti squash blog post. Spaghetti squash is a healthy alternative to your typically pasta based spaghetti dish. It is a low-carb pasta substitute and frankly, I prefer it to pasta. If you’ve never cooked it before, don’t be overwhelmed as I know the task can seem daunting. I’ve laid it all out for you guys with this helpful picture slideshow and make some delicious-ness. My tummy is so happy right now, guys. You’re gonna wanna make this!

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Here is a great recipe to follow curtesy of the Food Network if you need additional help with the dish! I hope you guys enjoy this meal. You can always add additional vegetables or meat to the recipe. I want to see what you guys come up with. Tweet me and let me see your dish. Bye for now!

A Veggie Burger Adventure

Alrighty folks! For those of you that have been to Austin, you may have heard of a very popular vegetarian and vegan restaurant named Bouldin Creek Cafe on South First. It’s a fantastic, hipster style establishment that has been winning it’s way into the heart of many Austin residents for many years. FYI all you vegetarian or vegan people that may be taking a meat eater friend or significant other with you, they are out of luck! Bouldin Creek Cafe only serves vegetarian and vegan food. So, no meat! Sorry. If you haven’t heard of it, I recommend it to any and everyone! I have honestly been to Bouldin (I call it this for short) many times and have merrily made my way through some delicious eats such as the grilled cheese, BLT and tempeh BBQ. Yum and more yum. However, I have heard about a notorious veggie burger that Bouldin is known for. It has been said that it is so good it has been deemed as one of the best veggie burgers in Austin. I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to try a potentially scrumptious veggie burger and blog about it. So, here I am because who can really pass up one of the best veggie burgers in Austin? I know I don’t have that strength.

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Let’s start with discussing the atmosphere and environment of Bouldin. I mean you don’t really expect me to enjoy a veggie burger if the energy of the place is off, do you? I am totally kidding. I really am not THAT big of a diva. Well, some days. But, in all honestly, having a nice atmosphere does what the food more enjoyable. It a fabulous place with a big open room to dine in and a side nook area if you want to study and drink coffee. One of my favorite parts of Bouldin is a huge patio that they inclose in the summer to make cooler. It’s fun because you can enjoy the outdoors, and it’s dog friendly. Sweet. Tonight I was treated by an awesome server named Jeff who kept cracking jokes. He said, “The veggie burger is dope. Can’t really go wrong with it.” I sat at the bar and got excellent service the entire time by this very entertaining server.  Overall, superb place to relax, grab a coffee, study, or eat.

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The moment you’ve all been waiting for, the veggie burger. Okay, so first of all the veggie burger is named “Veggie Royale.” I appreciated this because it instantly made me think of the classic Pulp Fiction and John Travolta saying, “A royale with cheese.” The veggie burger is made up of some magical concoction that does contain peanuts. Anyone with an allergy, beware. It is served on a grilled ciabatta bun, which is honestly the perfect combo with this veggie burger. I did opt to put non-vegan cheddar jack cheese on it because I do love a cheesy burger. Next, Bouldin gives you the option of a sauce for your burger. You can chose between chipotle-pecan pesto, BBQ sauce or basil aioli. Being from Texas, I went with my gut and picked the BBQ sauce. Go on, judge me. I will try not to be cliche, but I think that may be inevitable as I type these next words. To be real, I think this is my new favorite veggie burger in Austin. I really enjoyed it and scarfed it down. I feel like it was texturally balanced and the flavors all complimented each other. I would love for another to taste it and see what they think! Alright, off to more eating. Specifically Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy  ice cream before bed. It’s fine to be jealous. Cheers!

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P. S.- Bouldin Creek Cafe is also big fans of “Breaking Bad,” and use it cleverly in this sign. Makes me love this place even more.

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Blog Review Over “Love & Lemons”

Today, I am doing a blog review over one of my favorite food blogs: “Love & Lemons.” I picked this blog because it was started by two people who live in Austin, just like me. Their names are Jeanine and Jack. On their about page they state, “Our favorite thing about living in Austin: tacos.” I mean do I really have to explain why I love this blog. No, I mean I want to get more into it because I am genuinely and fully inspired by “Love & Lemons.” It is a cooking food blog that provides recipes and details about how to make some really delicious eats. I mean seriously. I often catch my hands pawing at my computer screen like a cat while I think to myself, “Get in my mouth.” A big plus for me is that most of the featured recipes discussed are vegetarian and healthy! So let’s get down to the reviewing.

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The layout of the “Love & Lemons” blog/website is just gorgeous. I really love how clearly and concisely the page is arranged with a nice big heading stating the name in a precious faded font that looks straight out of an old school cookbook. Tugs at my heart strings. It appears to be something like an 8 x 4 layout with solid sidebar content along with the main content on the left. I personally really enjoy this design combined with the page dividers at the top for quick access to other pages such as About Us. Jeanine is a big fan of color, which is something I adore about her. Every time you visit the page the newest blog is typically coupled with a bright and beautiful picture that draws your eye in to some delicately prepared food. That leads me to my next reason why this blog is darling. Please, read on.

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“Love & Lemons” Instagram game is on point. The most beautifully constructed food Instagram posts you have seen. I assure you. They often use an above angle of perfectly aligned food. Yep, they have it down. These well crafted posts motivate me to take more time in my personal and blog Instagram posts to feel like I am putting the best visual display possible forward. On the blog it says that Jeanine often will stand of a chair to shoot down to ensure the shot is nailed. I always love photographers that go to extreme lengths to get the shot. Also, what a cool gig! Taking photos of bright, fresh food that you made and showing it to the world. It’s amazing how far this blog has come since 2011. “Love & Lemons” has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Refinery29, SELF Magazine, Food 52, and Food & Wine. It that doesn’t inspire your food blogging ways, I don’t know what will. It sure energizes me!

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Now I know that “Love & Lemons” food recipes weren’t made for me, but deep down I like to think they were. I mean any kind of recipe or food you’re craving, they’ve got it. It spans from categories like seasons, ingredients, meal type, and even special food diets such as gluten free, vegan, etc. And the ingredient list is quite impressive! It includes over a 100 specific food ingredients! Jaw dropping, I know. My favorite part about this blog, even though I have a lot of favorite, is how obtainable the recipes are. I don’t ever look at a blog post or recipe and think, “Crap. There is no way I can do this.” Anyone can do these recipes! This is coming from someone who is still very much a beginner. And yes, the pictures of my food don’t always come out as pretty as Jeanine’s, but they are delicious. Delicious is by and large the goal, so win.

Anyways, my over review of “Love & Lemons” is yes, just yes. 10 out of 10. Go check it out guys! Be inspired, make some yummy food or just gaze upon incredibly well done photos of food. You’re welcome.

You’re So Kebabalicious

Very excited to post my first food adventure blog because it involved me eating. Yay! My favorite.

I decided to venture to a restaurant that I had never been to before called Kebabalicious. What a sexy name. It is located in Austin on East 7th and Navasota. Kebabalicious serves Turkish Style Wraps that have created quite a buzz among other Austinites. I first heard about Kebabalicious from a Jimmy Kimmel prank that involved punking it’s customers. It was actually quite hilarious. I additionally heard about this food joint from friends and acquaintances. When I told them I had yet to try it, I was often met with: “What! You’re kidding. You NEED to go! It’s delicious!” Okay, okay! Kebabalicious has gone from one food truck, to now two food trucks and a brick and mortar location! Wow that’s quite the growth since first opening in 2006. They have one food truck located on Congress and 3rd, the other is located on Barton Springs.

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Kebabalicious‘ brick and mortar location on East 7th and Navascota in Austin, Tx.

They have an impressive and extensive menu with plenty of scrumptious Turkish choices! See for yourself. Yum! My mouth is salivating just writing this.

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Look at all the choices!

After much debate, I went with the classic falafel wrap with spicy sauce and the zucchini fries. Both perfect vegetarian options! Upon waiting for the wrap to make it’s way into my mouth, I explored Kebabalicious and found an awesome backyard area. Complete with a spacious porch, backyard, ping pong table and an outdoor bar! If you’re looking for a cool spot to hangout and chill in Austin, you’ve found it. I fell absolutely in love. My advice: bring bug spray. (That’s anywhere during the summer in Austin, though)

The inviting and fun backyard at Kebabalicious.

The inviting and fun backyard at Kebabalicious.

My food arrived and it was beautiful! A delicately prepared falafel and some pretty fried zucchini fries. The falafel wrap was honestly incredible. The combination of the fried falafel balls, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, tzatziki sauce and the spicy red sauce made my taste buds happy. I scarfed it down! The choice of spicy red sauce was a nice coupling with all the other ingredients. Not too hot to drown out the taste of everything, but hot enough to feel relieving when washed down with a cold beer. Mmmm. The zucchini fries on the other hand were not my favorite. I liked the spices in the fried batter on the outside and the sauce was flavorful to dip into. However, the zucchini itself was mushy. I was expecting it to be firmer and I didn’t enjoy the texture. I only ate a few. It worked out fine though because I was so full from the fantastic falafel wrap, so no worries!

A Falafel Wrap and Zucchini Fries from Kabalicious.

A Falafel Wrap and Zucchini Fries from Kabalicious.

I would definitely go back to Kebabalicious. There is another vegetarian item on the menu that I have my eye on called the Hutspa Wrap that is on a fresh spread of babaganoush, so another trip will be in order soon. The staff at Kebabalicious was helpful and attentive. I spoke to an employee named Mike, a meat eater. For all you other meat eaters out there, Mike said, “My favorite is The Rustic because of all the love and care that goes into it.” Wow, Mike. Aren’t you cute?

Can you tell I didn't like it? Kidding, it was delectable!

Can you tell I didn’t like it? Kidding, it was delectable!

I highly recommend Kebabalicious to anyone in Austin that hasn’t tried it yet or anyone wanted some great Turkish food. I am craving it again after writing this. Is that even possible?

Overall, I would give Kebabalicious two big thumbs up. Great atmosphere and yummy food!

Overall, I would give Kebabalicious two big thumbs up. Great atmosphere and yummy food!

Well my first foodie adventure was a huge success and I’m hungry for more. Stay tuned!

If You Love Food, Let’s Be Friends

Howdy, y’all!

My name is Kelli Bechtol and I am in a relationship with food.  For all those wondering,  it is a healthy relationship and we are very happy.

I am a 24-year-old living life to the fullest in the beautiful Austin, Texas. One of my favorite things to do is eat. I enjoy trying all the new restaurants Austin has to offer, which is a lot. Can y’all believe how crazy fast Austin is growing? Pure insanity! Anyways, I am a pescatarian. Pescatarian…? Is that a religion? No, a pescatarian is someone that does not eat meat, but does eat fish, sea food and shell fish. So, basically I follow what is known as a ovo-lacto vegetarian diet with the addition of fish, sea food and shell fish. An ovo-lacto vegetarian diet means I eat much more than just vegetables. I get to savor food such as dairy, which means queso.  Austin has some superb, make your mouth water profusely queso. I’ll get into that more later though. I also eat fruit, grains, eggs, and nuts to name a few foods. Leading this lifestyle  has allowed me to be healthier and feel better about my carbon footprint on our precious Mother Earth. Don’t get it wrong though, folks! Just because I follow this diet does not mean I am deprived or missing out on food I crave! I get to eat  many different foods, all of them delicious and a lot of them nutritious. Did you see what I did there? Did I mention I am extremely cheesy? Just your friendly, food-loving cheeseball.

Yep that's me. Slurping my may through an incredible veggie ramen bowl from Ramen Tatsu-Ya in Austin, Tx

Yep that’s me. Slurping my way through an incredible veggie ramen bowl from Ramen Tatsu-Ya in Austin, Tx. Slurp Till You Drop!

I decided to create this blog because let’s not lie, I love eating and have a healthy appetite. I also crafted this for others out there like me that may be following a similar diet or for those of you living or traveling to Austin that may want ideas on fabulous places to eat. Hence, “Eat It, ATX” was born! I plan to focus on mainly ovo-lacto vegetarian food. I mean come on this is Austin and Austin is like the Tex-Mex capital of the world! I just HAVE to get my queso/cheese fix in every once in awhile. I will also be focusing on healthy options in ATX, and the best places to enjoy them. I will additionally feature restaurants that have fish or seafood specialities, because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be living up to the pescatarian name. I hope to experience and feature new restaurants frequently. They seem to be popping up almost every wee!. I totally get it that people want to sample what’s new and fresh. It’s exciting and going to the contemporary, modern places is fun! Atmosphere does play a part in a food eating experience, people!

Enjoying some wicked good, creamy Matt's El Rancho queso in Austin, Tx. Told you I like it cheesy.

Enjoying some wicked good, creamy Matt’s El Rancho queso in Austin, Tx. Told you I like it cheesy.

I will be proving my honest and raw opinion on food, not to be critical because I do not, I repeat do not have cooking experience. Okay, yes I can cook a few things. Spaghetti squash is my speciality. Let’s be friends and I’ll cook for you some time.  But, overall I do not have the kind of chef knowledge that is needed to work in a restaurant or be one of the harsh judges on Chopped. Am I right? Man, they can really rip people up. What I do have though, is taste buds. My magical eating sensors that like what they like. Hey, I can’t help it! Therefore, I will be following in my taste buds lead and provide a frank opinion. I apologize in advance if this offends anyone. Don’t you want your food reviews to be real and not just general and generic? I will likely generate an Instagram page for “Eat It, ATX” because food is absolutely stunning and can almost have a calming effect when stared at long enough. The world can definitely use more pretty food pictures. There really can’t be enough! The Instagram will also help visually document my food adventure experiences.

So, anyone that loves good food too, please join me on my food exploration journey through Austin, Texas! I plan to be updating this blog every one to two weeks. No guarantees. Well, let’s get eating!