Food Find: Terry Black’s Barbecue

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There’s a new barbecue joint in town, and it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump (or perhaps a shirtless unicycle ride, if you’re like most of our locals) from Barton Springs and Town Lake. Please welcome Terry Black’s.

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This Austin location hails from famed Black’s in Lockhart (and I would like to mention that if you haven’t heard of Lockhart, we need to seriously school you in Texas Barbecue 101).

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They have a huge buffet-style spread of sides, plenty of space indoors and out, and of course: Tasty, smoked meats.

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I’m not gonna lie, my favorite feature of this place is the abundance of Texas wine available. I know, I know, you should drink beer with barbecue, and they have that as well, but major props to them for having my beverage of choice. Next time you’re hungry after a drip in the springs, or after a relaxing walk over the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge, head here, and give them a try.

Fleming’s Debuts New Lunch Menu

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I recently got to visit the newly remodeled Fleming’s downtown, and gorged myself on their brand-spanking-new lunch menu, as well as their fantastic and abundant selection of wines.

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I admittedly had never been to Fleming’s, and was surprised by the sleek, sexy interior filled with windows, and enormous panels of glass allowing me to peer into the kitchen.

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I ate my way through tenderloin carpaccio, an ahi tuna tower (loved it!), prime ribeye steak, lobster rolls,  and even a prime club steak salad.

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At the end I passed on the creme brûlée trio in favor of just 1 bite of the flourless chocolate cake, because hey, I’m still focusing on eating low-carb, and I felt I could treat myself after the endless options they provided me in sticking to my diet, whilst still being decadent.

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If I was businesswoman, and needed to impress a client, I think I’d choose this place. However, I am not, and I think I will take myself here more often.

Do We Need Needles?

Stephen_AI’ve known Stephen Andrews of Morning Sun Acupuncture for years, and I’ve always considered him to be a kind, thoughtful, and incredibly down to earth person. He comes across as calm and balanced, whereas generally when people meet me (and I’m quoting a certain local weatherman here) I’m “like a hyperactive squirrel darting around” and it’s obvious that my mind is always racing. After a really bad week, Stephen offered to stab me with his magic sticks give me my first acupuncture session. I was a little skeptical, but I came out a firm believer. (Sorry for the magic sticks joke, I can’t help myself!)

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I was a little nervous, and thought that I might feel pain. Rest assured, there was absolutely no pain, not even for the needles that went into my scalp. Also, I didn’t even realize he was inserting them. He had this calm, effortless, and conversational way of nonchalantly applying them unbeknownst to me. He took great care to address my goals, and concerns: I was looking to lose weight, and also to deal with some rather powerful anxiety.

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The room was warm, comforting, and perfectly zen. In all of my constant worry, I was able to let loose, and he gave me a lot of great advice to help unify my mind and body in reaching my goals. Did I mention that he’s smart? He’s incredibly smart, and seemed totally dedicated to making sure I got what I needed, and had the tools needed to try some exercises at home to help with my constant, needless worry. At the end of it all, it felt like I’d just left either a yoga session or perhaps a really good massage. If you’re on the fence about acupuncture, allow me to tip you in the direction of it. I’m certainly going back for more.

Lucky’s Puccias Opens Brick & Mortar

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Lucky’s Puccias, that locally famous wood-fired Italian sandwich truck, has now moved up the street, and into their own at their first brick and mortar.

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My partner has been a fan of theirs for a while, and even donated to the kickstarter they launched to help them get the restaurant going! That’s dedication, and should tell you just how delicious their hot, crisp bread is; there’s nothing else in town like it.

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With delicious pizzas, bountiful salads, wine, and even gelato from Dolce Neve, this place is ideal for a decadent lunch, or casual dinner just outside of the hustle and bustle downtown.

An English Christmas In Austin

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Have you ever roasted a leg of lamb, popped a Christmas cracker, or even made roasties? (Are you wondering, in Gollum’s voice: “What are ‘roasties’ precious?”) If the answer is: Yes, to any of these questions, then this is the post for you!

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I damn near lost my mind when my British boyfriend decided to leave me, the ex-vegan, a @#%@ing leg of lamb, and told me to cook it for our Christmas party last night. Are you kidding me?! I am not a lamb-eater, and I don’t know if I’m eating the hand of the puppeteer from Lamb Chop, or god-knows-what, and I certainly don’t know how to cook it! Needless to say, I texted him in a panic. (Don’t fret, Dear Reader, because I will tell you how to cook a 4.5 lb. boneless leg of lamb in this post.) I was kind of stuck with All British ingredients, and very little knowledge of how to cook them, despite my stint living there which has absolutely nothing to do with this in any way.

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Now, the vegetables I could handle. (Okay, okay, Dear Reader, I’m becoming that Asshole Blogger that I hate so much when I’m trying to Google a recipe, and they bore me to death with the details.)

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The roasties, however made me a bit scared. There’s a trick to them. (Look at me being a tricksy blogger.)

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Which, luckily, I learned. (So tricksy.)

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Here’s a shot of it: The Beast that had me running scared. (F- it. I said I’d teach you lamb, you endure my photos of said lamb.)

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And,of course, we did some store-bought British stuff. (Can Walker’s just sponsor me already?)

IMG_1541Okay, fine. I’ll give the goods:

Leg of Lamb (Assuming Yours is ~5 Lbs.)

  • Remove the bone. Don’t ask why. My boyfriend did, so I don’t know?
  • Rub it with olive oil (I’m not Ina, I’m not saying use ‘good’ olive oil)
  • Stab it a bunch and put garlic cloves in the holes (more than 6)
  • Cover it in rosemary (In the words of Annie Ray: MORE!)
  • Add some water to the bottom, not a lot, like a splash you’d do in a glass of vodka.

The oven will be set for 375, and you’ll want to watch this. It may take 3 hours, just keep track of the internal temp on a meat thermometer (I totally didn’t). It should be 140-160, but my boyfriend came home to a happy 180, and it was still okay. Again, it takes about 3 hours or so, so don’t start this thing at the last minute.

Oh, the roasties (super delicious British delicacy that is not the same as roasted potatoes):

I shoved them in the oven when I figured the lamb had about an hour to go. (I did those roasted vegetables earlier, because I figured people wouldn’t notice the temperature as much – in case you’re wondering, about 30-45 minutes with balsamic and olive oil.)

  • Par-boil some peeled Russet potatoes
  • Shake them vigorously in a bowl (or strainer) – it’s necessary because it gives them a floury exterior: IMPORTANT
  • Drizzle, LOL JK, DOUSE! them with oil of choosing
  • Bake for about an hour

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I hope you enjoyed the recipes, and I hope you have a great year full of empathy, and forgiveness. Why do I mention that? Why not??

Class Pass: A New Way To Get Fit

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Class Pass just launched in Austin, and I am genuinely excited. Have you ever wanted to take a cardio rowing class? Perhaps you hoped to someday visit Ride Indoor Cycling? Maybe you’re more extreme (like me) and are just dying to sign up for a torturous session of boot camp at Heat? Class Pass charges a flat monthly fee of $99 that let’s you take a plethora of classes at places all around town.

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The site is super easy to navigate: You choose your neighborhood(s), activity, time, and date. You can input as much or as little information as you’d like, and once you spot a class you like: you reserve the spot. I’ll be taking my first class on Friday and can’t decide between Zumba and barre. Don’t wait until after the holidays to get in shape! Class Pass gives you so many options that you’re guaranteed to find something you’ll enjoy.

Disclaimer: I will be trying these services free of charge. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Eating East: Nasha Indian

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Finally! There’s Indian food on the east side! Nasha recently opened it’s very colorful doors, and I’ve already been twice.

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The first time I went, I was a little put off by the harsh lighting inside, but absolutely adored the outdoor patio (warning: acorns will fall on you). On my recent visit, I noticed that the indoor lighting may have been changed for the better. Hurray ambiance!

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Both time I had the Malvani curry, ordered desi hot, and absolutely loved it. It’s exotic, coconut-y, and bursting with flavor.

nasha-indian-austinMy friend grabbed the Millionaire curry, medium hot, and wasn’t quite as impressed, but still ate every single bite. (He can say he’s underwhelmed all he wants, but I saw him lick the plate.)

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The wine and beer are fairly priced, and overall it’s a great spot if you are craving Indian, but simply don’t want to endure the hassle of traveling to north Austin. Did I mention that they made Indian tacos? I’ll just leave you with that.

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