Friday, June 19, 2009

I Love Avocados

Random food notes from the week:
  • I tried several other Izzoz menu items for a write-up for The Onion. Any of the tacos with braised meat are excellent, especially the Padre (braised pork with avocado and pineapple) and the Bob Bowman (roasted chicken with pico de gallo and tomatillo sauce). The tortas are good, although there seems to be a disportionate amount of meat-to-bun. That said, I very much enjoyed my tempura shrimp torta, and the garlic fries are yummy.
  • The Do Good Deli is a wonderful little basement outfit downtown. It doesn't have a retail store front, but they deliver downtown for free and take catering orders. Do Good derives its name from it's mission: it donates all of its profit to Caritas of Austin to fight hunger, homelessness and poverty. As for the food, the sandwiches are excellent, especially the Rockin' Roast Beef and the Keep Austin Veggie.
  • Finally, I've eaten a ton of avocado sandwiches lately, and my favorites so far have been Garden District's veggie and, suprisingly, Which Wich's avocado and tomato. Keep in mind, Which Wich leaves a lot of control up to the customer, but it's still a delightful treat. It might also have something to do with its proximity to my work place and my general happiness to have a lunch break...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Let Bananarchy Rule!

As if Austin didn't need another dessert cart...

Then comes Bananarchy. Take that clever name, plenty of Arrested Development references, and damn good bananas (that are fair trade, too!) and you've got one of the most unique of all the food carts around town.

Bananarchy is run by two recent UT grads with no business experience, but they've got a lot of heart. Their cart (and it's really cart, not an airstream or a trailer) is hand-painted and customers can write on the sides with chalk. So it's got a great DIY, homemade atmosphere that makes you feel welcome as soon as you walk up.

As for the bananas, you can choose from chocolate, peanut butter or vanilla dippings and top them with anything from Oreos to cinamon (and if you try Oreos with cinamon, let me know how that goes...)

They've also got a menu of specialty bananas that make all the decisions for you. Be sure to try either the Afternoon Delight (a vanilla banana with chocolate and peanut butter drizzle, covered in graham crackers and peanuts) or the Cold War (a chocolate banana dipped in Reeces Pieces and M&Ms). If you're really adventurous or just a big Arrested Development fan, The Gob is a mammoth banana (well, bananas plural). It's two bananas double-dipped in chocolate and covered in peanuts--just as Gob would have ordered it.

Right now, it's just the two girls working, so the hours are somewhat limited, but if you can make it to Lamar during the afternoon, it truly is a delight.

The Basics
Location: 706 N. Lamar Blvd., just two blocks north of Whole Foods
Hours: Monday through Friday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Accepts: Cash only
Rating: 4 stars
Bottom line: Bring on the revolution ... of desserts.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Home of the Hemp Burger!

Does that sound a little ... odd?

Okay, I haven't tried the hemp burger yet, but I have tried the avocado sandwich at Good Seed Organic, yet another food cart in South Austin.

But Good Seed is, well, good. Everything on the menu is organic and vegetarian, along with vegan, raw and gluten-free options. So they make food for all those complicated people. They also have an extensive breakfast menu that includes breakfast tacos (because what place in Austin doesn't serve breakfast tacos???)

But allow me to expand on lunch. The avocado sandwich was delectable, albeit messy for something I bought at a food cart. It's a open-face sandwich with piles of avocados, cherry tomatoes, pesto, mustard, raw cheddar, and sunflower sprouts. Alongside was a serving of Good Seed's signature yam rounds - "chips" made out of yams/sweet potatoes, served with an agave mustard.

I washed it all down with their specialty herbal tea, sweetened with stevia (an all natural, non-sugar sweetener). Much like my experiences at other veggie places, like The Daily Juice Cafe and Mother's, it was an altogether satisfying lunch.

Please be sure to stop by. I'm not sure how long they've been open, but I think they're not very visible at their current location on Oltorf, near the Lamar intersection. They're really nice and can answer any questions you'd have about their special menu.

The Basics:
Location: 1402 W. Oltorf, near the Lamar interesection
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Accepts: Visa and Mastercard, cash
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Bottom line: Meat was not missed, although my fork was.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Watch Out Torchy's

I've blogged quite about bit about Holy Cacao recently, but this is last post to mention them. I swear. They now have carrot cake balls. Not kidding. It's the best of their cake balls, probably because the carrot cake doesn't come out too sweet (like, say, the red velvet).

But I'd like to highlight Izzoz Tacos, the trailer sharing a lot with Holy Cacao. It takes some guts to open a taco trailer on South First, and Izzoz opened right next to the Torchy's-lead Trailer Park Eatery. I heard Izzoz's chef braises the meat daily, and I figured that was enough to give Torchy's a run for their taco-trailer-money. But we all know I'm not much of a meat-eater. So of course, I had to try the fried avocado taco.

Let me say, it is somehow better than Torchy's fried avocado taco. I still love Torchy's but Izzoz managed to out do them. This fried avocado taco comes with a pile of fresh arugala, bits of Cotija cheese, tomatoes, and a sweet, tangy sherry vinagrette. Then there's that crispy, lightly-fried avocado. It almost felt healthy. Then I remembered it was fried.

Still oh so good.

They have a menu full of other yummy-sounding items, including breakfast tacos. I'll have to try those some other time.

The Basics
Location: 1207 S. First St., in the same lot as Holy Cacao
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Accepts: Visa, Mastercard
Rating: 4 stars
Bottom Line: Seriously, Torchy's better watch out.