Wednesday, May 2, 2018

TOUR DE FORKS

I try never to do more than one foodie post per week, nor talk about a restaurant I just mentioned recently, but I'm afraid it just can't be helped. You see, last night we returned to Cafe Malta over in south Austin, thanks to a very generous Christmas certificate from two of our kiddos which needed to be spent. However, this time, it was for a whole different experience! You see, twice a month, on the first and third Tuesday evenings, they set aside their usual menus and take those lucky few who managed to nab reservations on a Tour de Forks.


Cafe Malta is a Mediterranean restaurant, so on these special evenings they feature a menu from a different region each time. Thanks to the popularity of the Mediterranean diet, you are probably wondering "How many different ways can they serve veggies, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, and lean protein." Well, you'd be amazed. For one thing, did you realize there are 22 different Mediterranean countries -- from Albania and Algeria to Tunisia and Turkey -- with dozens of regions in every one, each having their own special way of preparing the local bounty? Last night we were transported to Abruzzo, a region in central Italy.


As you can see, there are always two menu options -- the meaty one and the vegetarian one. John ordered meaty, of course, and I ordered the other, then we swapped bites of each course, so we got to try a bit of everything!

Aperitif
The aperitif -- made with brandy, orange liqueur, red wine, fennel, clove and soda -- was awfully pretty, but a bit too much for a non-drinker like me. Fortunately, they just happen to serve one of my favorite dry ros├ęs, so I opted for a glass of that instead.

Firsts:

John's Grilled Lamb Appetizer
My Caramelized Onion Bruschetta
Seconds:

My Soup With Dandelion Greens -- So Bitter!
John's Pork 'n Beans Soup
Thirds:

John's Roasted Pork Shoulder Over Polenta
My Housemade Pasta With Porcini Mushroom Sauce
Finale:

Almond Cake Coated With Dark Chocolate
So. Did we moan and swoon over every single bite? Well, no (those bitter dandelion greens!). That would be unrealistic expectations.

But, did we have a grand adventure? Why yes, we did indeed!


Monday, April 30, 2018

A FUNKADELIC WEEKEND

 
Churro Waffles
It began with a Saturday morning meetup with all the kiddos, at The Funkadelic Brunch in the Sunset Valley area of Austin. The Funkadelic may look like a "fast food" joint when you enter, but believe me, it's not. It serves locally sourced, made from scratch comfort brunch cuisine from all around the world, so be prepared for a bit of a wait, and tables that are packed with people. Been longing to try Ebleskiver? Here's your chance!



The next day Hubby and I enticed son-in-law Nate's folks, who recently moved back to Austin, to come down our way for lunch and an afternoon of browsing the Wimberley Arts Fest, where we ran into our favorite funky friends, Fiber Woman and her Glass-Blowing Hubby.


The Muses may have to re-christen Fiber Woman, as she seems to have found a new passion -- making gorgeous enameled jewelry!


When we first started going to these art fests, they were held down in the center of town and you had to be shuttled there from an offsite parking area. Same was true when they outgrew that space and moved to the parking area of the Blue Hole Park. Both were hotter 'n hades when the sun was out. When the event outgrew that space as well, they moved it to Rio Bonito at Waters Point -- a lovely private resort and event center which got wiped out in the epic Memorial Day Flood, but which is finally back in business and the absolutely perfect spot for this event, with plenty of on-site parking and gobs of blessed shade!


The Music Tent


Baby Trees
The only thing missing? The thick rows of massive, several-hundred-year-old Cypress trees that used to line the banks of this river.

It still hurts to look at it, and remember.