The Souvenir Menu – Milano Café

To me, food tastes better on vacation. It could be because it is a vacation; lack of stress, better restaurant options when not pressed for time, or often just unusually good regional specialties. But, I am always astonished at how the humblest places in Italy seemed to have better food than many pricier places in [...]

The Souvenir Menu – Cool River Café

For many years I worked in north Austin and the Cool River Café on Parmer Lane was always a popular choice for lunch with a Sales Rep or Client. The restaurant and bar complex looks a bit like a Colorado ski lodge inside and out; tall ceilings, oil paintings, wood paneling and a large stone [...]

The Souvenir Menu – Holiday Champagne

As Christmas and New Year celebrations are upon us, I decided to do some research into Champagne. Though I really like the stuff, there are dozens and dozens of French Champagnes to choose from in anything from a reasonable thirty dollars to hundreds of dollars for the non-vintage brands alone. Styles vary from crisp light [...]

The Souvenir Menu – Aquarelle

Over the years, central Austin has had many restaurants situated in vintage houses; Green Pastures, Paggi House, Basil’s, East Side Café, Mars, and Starlight to name a few. Some are still going strong and others are just wonderful old memories.  I’ve always loved these kinds of restaurants. They are usually Chef owned, comfortable and romantic. [...]

The Souvenir Menu – North by Northwest

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had about six meals at North by Northwest. I’ve had a couple of brunches, a couple of dinners, one lunch and some drinks and appetizers. This frequency wasn’t due to a lack of creativity; but mainly because the folks here tend to do something a bit uncommon; they [...]

The Souvenir Menu – Chianti Classico

Years ago before I had made any real effort to know much about wine, I identified a Chianti in a blind wine tasting game simply because I thought it was awful. There was no pondering the aroma, no washing the wine over the tongue to catch the flavors.  I just said “gosh I hate this…..I [...]

The Souvenir Menu – Thai Cuisine

The majority of the restaurants that you find in the Souvenir Menu are the tried and true; places I really like and been to many times.  Sometimes it’s not an old place, but one that I’ve visited so often that it makes the cut. ‘Thai Cuisine’ is a modern, casual restaurant in a small shopping [...]

The Souvenir Menu: “The Athenian Bar & Grill”

Once upon a time I thought I hated Greek food, I don’t like eggplant, so Massouka was out,  growing up in Texas, I was not really used to the taste of lamb, dolmades were just, well different, and the desserts were too sweet. A Greek friend of mine thought this was outrageous.  How could I [...]

The Souvenir Menu – A movie, cooking demo and good food

Imagine being in a theatre watching a movie where the actors are eating a great looking pizza, slices so beautiful that you can smell them. That happened to me over the weekend at a screening of ‘Eat, Prey, Love’, but people were actually eating fragrant freshly made Pizzas Margherita while Julia Roberts was indulging in [...]

The Souvenir Menu – Coco’s Café

Years ago on an episode of the TV show Frasier, the father was offered Chinese leftovers; he made a face and asked “who has Chinese food for breakfast?”  The answer came back “about a billion Chinese people”. I remember that line particularly because so many times, I’ve asked friends out to dinner and heard “can [...]