The Souvenir Menu – Sullivan’s

Sometimes dinner in an old favorite restaurant is just the thing to set the world right again. I hadn’t been to Sullivan’s in while, but have pretty fond memories of many good dinners there. I invited a friend for a good indulgent meal, and a bruised wallet later I was a very happy man. We [...]

Harvest time at the Messina Hof winery

If you’ve ever wanted to help pick grapes from the vineyard and then squash them with your feet, now is the time to do it at Messina Hof. The winery’s 2010 Summer Harvest continues every weekend until August 15. I was fortunate to have been invited to their July 16 Moonlit Harvest Dinner and got to [...]

The Souvenir Menu: Dulces interior Mexican food

On Tuesday night I had planned dinner out with friends and the usual round of “I dunno, where do you wanna go” started. They suggested a restaurant at Lakeline mall. I said no. They said it was interior Mexican food (really) and that it had received some pretty good reviews.  I didn’t want to seem [...]

Austin Daycations: Fredericksburg Wine Tour

If you are looking for a summer getaway that is both time- and budget-friendly, the town of Fredericksburg is just down 290, a little over an hour west of the Austin city limits.  There are nine wineries and several tasting rooms in the area. Don’t have a designated driver?  There are a number of charter [...]

Brace Yourself, Bernardo is More than Just a Simple Campesino

I have been reading historical novels lately. It hasn’t been intentional, as I did not organize my reading shelf in this manner, and it’s not my usual habit. Whether it’s been by chance, by destiny, or by unconscious will, whatever one may want to call it, I’ve been completely engulfed by historical fiction and truly [...]

The Souvenir Menu: Authentic German at the Walburg Restaurant

I tend to eat a lot of different things each week; Thai, Japanese, Indian, Burgers, BBQ, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, etc., but sometimes I like a little variety. We have a couple of good Persian places and even an Ethiopian restaurant in town, but what we lack in Austin is a dedicated place for good German [...]

The Souvenir Menu: Why Guero’s is still one of Austin’s best

It seems strange to write about a restaurant that is so popular that further compliments just seem redundant, but my relationship with Guero’s Taco Bar on South Congress Avenue is a bit different. For decades now, Guero’s has been a frequent but temporary cure for home sickness. I moved to Austin from South Texas in [...]

The Souvenir Menu: Salad Niçoise with a Malbec rosé

In the book “A Year in Province”, Peter Mayle explains that in France, even the simplest questions on food can become a twenty minute plus discourse-or even an argument-about the correct ingredients and method. Such was the case with one of my favorite summer meals, salade Niçoise. I had always accepted that the salad that [...]

A Cultural-ist Challenge, Are We Up To It?

Returning home after a busy, sleepless week in New York City attending BookExpo America 2010 (BEA), I spent a whole day in a couple of airports among the usual business travelers and familiies initiating their summer vacations. I certainly had a book along with me, as I always do, even when not traveling, but it [...]

Rio’s Brazilian restaurant

Upon returning from a month trip to Brazil, I returned with new favorite foods and cravings I could not satisfy.  I was drinking liters of Guarana, a Brazilian soda similar to Fresca, and was breaking the bank and my diet trying to go to Fogo de Chao on a regular basis. With my tan starting [...]