Hi everyone, I’m trying to write more but I haven’t gone to a lot places. Not as much as I use to. I really miss travel and can’t wait to get back to it when it’s safe. My first trip will be Italy and Amsterdam. This year has been a difficult year but I’m trying to make the best of it. I wanted to write another Christmas post about Austin because the holidays are my favorite. My first one was Christmas in Austin. Here are safe places to visit during the pandemic for the holidays:
Gibson Bar: This bar goes all out for Christmas. They have cute Christmas decorations outside and inside the bar. They even have holiday drinks. They have a big outdoor area, where you can sit enjoy holiday drinks and sandwiches from the delicious food truck (Luke’s inside out). I got a hot toddy cocktail (bourbon, lemon, honey, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) and my friend got a spiked apple cider. Of course, we got food too.
Edge Rooftop Bar: Have a beautiful view of downtown Austin while seeing snow fall. Well… fake snow. They do fake snow from 6pm to 10pm Wednesday – Saturday and reservations have to be made. It was fun to experience because there is no snow in Austin. My friend and I had beers, enjoyed downtown views of Austin, and pretended it was real snow.
Peppermint Parkway: It’s 35 dollars per vehicle. You get to enjoy holiday lights while you drive in your car. I was not able to experience it but a friend of mine went. She had a good time and I loved seeing her Instagram pictures. Maybe in 2021 I can visit.
I know Christmas is about to come to an end but I wanted to share Christmas places you can visit in the future. It will be a lot more enjoyable when it’s safer. Also, the weather is nice in December in Austin. Christmas outside is perfect in Texas.
Hi everyone, I am so sorry I have not written in a while. I think my last blog post was in June. A lot has happen since then that has kept me from writing. I was having a hard time concentrating because 2020 has been a difficult year. I’m going to try to post more often. I really want to post once a week. Today, I wanted to write about places you can visit in Austin, TX during COVID-19. When I get the chance, I try to meet friends outside where we can maintain distance. These are the places we have gone:
Cosmic Coffee and Beer Garden:
This place is located in South Austin. The majority of Cosmic is outside. Expect, when you need to order drinks. The food trucks outside do not serve drinks. The line is inside goes by really fast and they keep the doors open to let outside air in. Cosmic has three food trucks you can try. A Mexican food truck, BBQ food truck, and a wing food truck.
Also, located in South Austin. Lora has an amazing Patio. I really like going at night because of lights they have outside. Last time I went, I got the brisket sandwich and corn fritters. It was delicious. My friend had the burger and potatoes and she liked her meal too. You do have to order food inside but I felt very safe.
A new restaurant that just opened in Austin. Two hands started in New York and Austin is first location outside of New York to open. It’s located in South Congress and the patio is adorable. You can make reservations in advance. I ordered the lemon poppy seed waffle and it was not sweet at all. It was a really tasty waffle.
This past Saturday morning, I went to the first Austin Coffee Festival. I was fortunate enough to have gotten two free VIP tickets. I was so excited, I dreamed of coffee for weeks. The festival was located in Fair market near downtown Austin from 10 AM-4 PM. It’s free entry to the festival and you buy nine dollar coffee flights. For VIP it was $30 dollars to buy online and $40 dollars to buy in person. For the VIP you get unlimited coffee, cocktails, and access to the VIP lounge space. In VIP they had cold brew, dripped coffee, and they provided you with milk, milk alternatives, and sugar. They recommended that you bring your own mug to help not use a lot paper cups at the festival. However, I forgot mine. Outside the VIP they had free samples of some coffee drinks or food. They also had food and coffee that you could buy. Such as breakfast biscuits and pastries. I went outside to the food trucks and had a vegetarian quiche made with sweet potato crust. It was delicious and perfect with coffee. One of my favorite parts of the event is that you could bring your dog. I saw a lot cute dogs and it was amazing.
My recommendation for the Austin Coffee Festival would be to use the free entry instead VIP, walk around, and see what samples you can get with the nine dollar coffee flight. Then try the free samples and enjoy the event. The VIP was great because I got unlimited coffee/cocktails and my cold-brew was delicious but you can still enjoy the event without having to purchase VIP for $30 to $40 dollars. Especially, if you want to spend more money on food and buying coffee beans. I had so much fun at the event that I wish I spend more time there. Now, for the next Austin Coffee Festival in 2020.
Austin TX is known for having a lot food trucks. They’re everywhere, at bars, coffee shops, and they even have food truck parks filled with them. They have a variety of different food trucks from Indian food, Thai food, desserts, vegan food trucks, and of course taco food trucks. For the many food trucks in Austin, I wanted to write a blog on my favorite food trucks.
Dee Dee: a Northern Thai food truck and it’s located in the patio of Radio Coffee. It’s a husband and wife that run it. The wife is from Thailand and cooks her family recipes. My favorite is the pad kaprow. It’s spicy stir-fried pork with fried Thai basil and fried egg with jasmine rice. I usually order a green Thai tea to help with the spice. However, you can ask the staff to lower the spice. Also, you need to order the mango with sticky rice.
Patrizi’s: I recently just tired the Italian food truck and it immediately became one of my favorites. They make their own pasta and the servers explain the menu to you very well. I ordered the Cacio e Pepe. It had olive oil, pepper, and grana padano cheese. I added honey to the pasta and it was perfect. You can also add bacon and other options to the pasta. However, I tired my friend’s pasta and liked hers more. I think she ordered the Parizi’s red sauce.
Rosita’s Al Pastor: in my opinion they serve the best breakfast tacos in Austin. I think they make their own tortillas and they are delicious. They’re mostly know for their tacos a pastor. It’s 24 hour marinated pork and it’s a secret family recipe.
Ranch Hand: It’s a good place to eat healthy. I like to order the Rosemary garlic chicken salad. It has spinach, purple rice, sweet potatoes, apples, pumpkin seeds, and goat cheese. They are located by Native hostel. You have to order through the hostel not the food truck. Which is great because the hostel is so cute
If you want to experience food trucks, come to Austin. You will not be disappointed by the lack of food trucks. All you have to do is drive around Austin and you will find one. I hope this list can help you get a start on visiting some of them. My recommendation is to call the food truck before visiting because the hours can vary. If not look at the social media pages or the website.
Portland has been on my United States bucket list for quiet some time. This past January I decided it was time and I booked my plane ticket, airbnb, and convinced my boyfriend to visit Portland with me. I asked a friend for advice about what area to stay in and where to go. I also had the help of some bloggers. Portland has so many things to do and I made a list of some things to do. The majority of my list is food but that because Portland has so many options. These are some places you can visit in Portland:
Places to visit
Lan Su Chinese Garden: This place is gorgeous and a must if you come to Portland. It’s 13 dollars a ticket to visit. It was build by Chinese artisans from Suzhou. It’s the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. The garden was very relaxing and peaceful. Next time I want to try the restaurant and tea house.
Powell’s bookstore: This bookstore takes up the whole block. You can spend all day here. Each section is color coded and made things easier to find. The bookstore also buys your books.
Mill’s End park: It’s in the Guinness book of world records as The World’s smallest park. It is very easy to miss. It is in a middle of two streets. I had to have locals point it out to me. The park is so cute, it literally just greenery with a tree in a pot. It has a sign too.
Kennedy school: An elementary school that is now a hotel, brewery, restaurant, theater, and a bar. It was so cool walking around an old elementary school. My boyfriend and I ate at the restaurant had cheese fries and walked around. It was amazing to see an old school turned a night life hangout.
Gravy: Both the french toast and hasbrowns are the best. Locals recommended this place to me. I wanted to try Pine State Biscuits but they told me it would be crowded and that Gravy was delicious too. They were right because Gravy was delicious.
Pok Pok: A Thai restaurant that is really well known. I ordered the chicken curry and my boyfriend ordered the wings. We both loved what we ordered. There is a couple locations in Portland and its also located in New York.
Bend coffee: It was 10 minute walk from my airbnb. I had chai latte and a bagel. Both great. The place was crowded but the service was amazing.
Stacks: First place I visited in Portland. Its a library theme coffee shop. They serve breakfast tacos and pastries. I had to come here because it was a a 5 minute walk from my airbnb and they have breakfast tacos, which is big in Austin. The coffee shop was so cute and the tacos were delicious.
Blue Star Donuts: My favorite was the blueberry bourbon basil. It was so good that I got another at the airport before I left. When your in Portland, you need to stop here for dessert. There is more than once location in Portland.
Salt & Straw: There was a line when I went. It was worth it though. I had two scoops one of the strawberry honey blasmic with black pepper and double fold vanilla. I fell in love with strawberry honey blasmic with black pepper. I wanted to buy a pint but it was sold out. I really hope Salt and Straw comes to Austin. If you do not like waiting in lines, I would go early for ice cream or you can visit Ruby Jewel ice cream.
I feel like the majority of my list was food. Not only because Portland has so many delicious food options but I also love food. There is also amazing parks like Tom Mcall Waterfont Park and Peninsula Park to visit. Portland was a lot fun and I had an amazing time. The city has great public transportation and many things were walking distance from my airbnb in north Portland. I want to visit next summer with my sister to explore more Portland and visit Multnomah Falls.
I have been meaning to do this blog for awhile. Ever since my Coffee shops post. My favorite thing to order at coffee shops is vanilla lattes. However, I have been trying to cut down on sugar. Now, I try to order a drip coffee black. Its been difficult but an experience. There is so many coffee shops in Austin that it was not easy to narrow it down to three. After visiting many coffee shops, I narrowed down my three. Here are my favorite coffee shops:
Summermoon: They have a couple of locations in Austin and one location in San Antonio. The first location was on South First. They serve wood-fire fair trade coffee. Also, you need to try their moon milk.
Bennu Coffee: It is independently owned and offers high-quality fair trade coffee. Bennu has two locations in Austin and they’re open 24 hours. I like that they have unique drinks like the Pride and Prejudice. It has a blend of sweet chocolate powder and sauce topped with homemade whipped cream and dusted with chocolate powder.
Alta’s coffee: The coffee shop was named after Lady Bird Johnson’s (former first lady) middle name because she help conserve the lake. Now the coffee shop is located by Lady Bird Lake and it helps support the lake and the hiking trails around it. This is a nice place to sit outside when they weather is nice and enjoy a nice cup of coffee. The view is beautiful and it helps me feel like I am on vacation. Alta’s also has farm to table sandwiches and breakfast.
Back in March 2017 I wrote a blog post called, Brunch in Austin TX In my blog I talked about my 3 favorite brunch spots in Austin. Since then, one place has closed and one will close at the end of the month. Little Barrel and Brown closed and East Side Cafe will close tomorrow, January 31. I was able to go this past weekend and say goodbye. They both closed because they sold their restaurants. Since two places have closed, I wanted to make another blog of brunch places I like in Austin. I hope they stay open awhile so I can keep enjoying their brunch.
Hideaway Kitchen &Bar
They serve locally source southern food. Breakfast is served from 6:30 AM- 11:00 AM. You order when you come to the restaurant and a server will bring by the food. I ordered the egg and bacon biscuit and a Garden Mary. The Garden Mary is like a Bloody Mary but it uses carrot juice instead of tomato juice. I like carrot juice, so this was a must for me. The biscuit was huge and I could not finish it but I recommend it.
Blue Dahlia Bistro
Breakfast is served from 9 AM to 9PM. It’s perfect for that late day brunch. It’s a European-style restaurant with 2 locations in Austin. I have tired both their breakfast and dinner there and its great. I also love the environment of the restaurant. They even have my favorite dessert, Creme Brûlée.
Emmer and Rye
This place changes their menu daily. They serve seasonally inspired and local cuisine. Brunch is only on Sunday’s and its lovely. My meal I ordered had short rib, potato hash, tomatillo, and a poached egg. It was so good, I could eat this meal everyday. For brunch they have a pastry cart that goes around. It was an amazing experience to be able to see your dessert and choose it. The server was very descriptive and helpful about the desserts. My dessert was delicious but I completely forgot what I ordered. However, I recommend their pasty cart. It will not disappoint.
It was Sunday morning and I decided to go to the Farmers Market. It’s located on Muller in Austin TX. What inspired me to go was homemade chocolate chip cookies from Teddy V Patisserie. These are the items I bought:
It was a plant based energy drink that is a cold brew with caco. I got the flavor Midnight Mocha. It tasted like a coffee milkshake. I would definitely get this energy drink again.
Tamales from Tamale Addiction
I got 3 Chicken mole tacos from here. They were Delicious. Also, the staff was very friendly. I had so many bags with me and I had left my tamales and I went back and they had them.
Cookies from Teddy V. Patisserie
These cookies are huge. I got two chocolate chip and two chocolate chip with walnuts. They were amazing. They recommended that I warm them up in the oven before eating. However, I could not wait. They were delicious and I should of boughten more.
Dog Treats from Chow Hound Raw
They make raw dog food in house. They are located in both Austin and Chicago I decided to get treats for my dog. I got her some beef sticks and she loved them.
Lately, I have been checking out happy hours after work. They are fun, inexpensive (well depending on how much you drink), and a great relaxer after work. These are 3 of my favorites:
Peche: this restaurant serves French comfort foods and craft cocktails. The decor is amazing. It feels like the 1920’s when you walk into Peche. Happy hour is all night Sunday and Monday, 4:00-7:00 PM Tuesday-Sunday. They have 1/2 off selected food and $5 dollar cocktails.
Salty Sow: has a laid back setting. They serve American foods, cocktails, and craft beers. Their happy hour is 4:30-6:30 everyday. They have a menu specifically for Happy Hour. They have $5 dollar glasses of wine and great food for $5 dollars like the honey rosemary dipped fried chicken and their amazing duck fat fries.
El Alma: A Mexican cuisine and cocktail restaurant. When they weather is nice, I recommend sitting on their rooftop deck. Everyday from 3:00-6:00 PM they have discounted appetizers and drink specials. If you’re in the mood for a margarita come here!
Whenever you’re in Austin, check these places out.
This past Friday, I just had to visit Magnolia Table on my way to Dallas. I love the show fixer upper and breakfast foods. I asked my sister to meet me in Waco, she drove from Dallas to meet me. The restaurant does have a parking lot but it’s limited. I had to park behind another restaurant that is right next to Magnolia. I got to the restaurant at 10:45 AM and had to wait in line to put my name down. However, the service was phenomenal. Employees told me the wait would be about an 1 hour and 45 minutes for 2 people but if I requested a community table or bar seating it would be quicker. Of course, I requested for both. When I put my name down, I gave them my phone number for them to text me when my table was ready. Magnolia Table has a waiting area outside where you can get coffee, juice, and pastries. My sister and I got iced lattes while we waited. The restaurant also has a takeaway/gift shop area if you don’t want to wait for food. I visited the takeaway/gift shop area and got a pecan coffee for my brother and a rose lemonade for myself.
We ended up waiting an 1 hour and 20 mins and sat on a bar table. The food was quick and delicious. My sister and I just caught up, ate our food, and enjoyed the air condition, after waiting outside. I recommend the restaurant but if you don’t like waiting, try to go early on a weekday. I would recommend to get there when the restaurant opens at 6 AM or you can just get takeaway food and take pictures. I am happy I got to visit Magnolia Table and that my sister was able to join me.