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Sips & Nibbles

Posted by on April 22, 2015

Have you eaten something so delicious this week that you’ve been thinking about it and/or talking about it ever since? I’ve had my fair share of yummy foods during the last seven days, but I’m that fickle eater, always looking for the next enticing bite. Here’s what tempted me:

What you see here is two very different forms of relaxation.

What you see here is two very different forms of relaxation.

I kicked it off last Thursday with family dinner out at Maudie’s TexMex. We live near Maudie’s Hacienda (Brodie Lane location), and it has become a favorite spot for family dining. This is one of the few restaurants where my super picky son is happy, most likely because of queso. One of the magical items guaranteed to elicit happiness in life: queso. Something that makes me happy is a frozen margarita swirled with either sangria or prickly pear, and Maudie’s is kind to offer two sizes (the large is pictured above). My son finds his state of bliss when his queso eating time is mixed with Minecraft time. Is it wrong to use both queso and Minecraft as bribes for getting good conduct marks at kindergarten? Wait, don’t answer that.

Yes, they tasted as good as they look.

Yes, these pork ribs tasted as good as they look.

I get together from time to time with my Bar-B-Crew, friends that I worked with for years until I landed in my current wonderful workplace. We catch up, tell stories, and laugh a lot, all while tucking into plates of smoked meats and sides. I tell ya, reconnecting over Texan comfort foods of brisket, pork ribs, and sausage is far more fun than over a salad. The Bar-B-Crew has slowly been tasting our way through Austin-area ‘cue, and this trip was to Terry Black’s Barbecue. We’re blessed with amazing barbecue in Austin, and that means we are spoiled and picky. I’ve read reviews that say Terry Black’s is absolutely divine, and I’ve read ones that say it isn’t fit to grace a picnic table. Newsflash, Austin, even our average barbecue is light years better than the rest of the nation’s average barbecue. I say that even if you aren’t Aaron Franklin, John Mueller, Tom Micklethwait, John Lewis or Lance Kirkpatrick, if you’re packing them in for meal service and your food is delicious, boy howdy you are doing fine in my eyes. And Terry Black’s is doing fine.

Moist brisket, green beans and Spanish rice from Terry Black's.

Moist brisket, green beans and Spanish rice from Terry Black’s. Photobombing in the background is a beef rib.

I recommend the beef rib, pork ribs and the lean brisket. This is the *only* time I have ever rec’d anyone’s lean brisket, as I am 99.99% loyal to fatty brisket. Y’all, Terry Black’s lean brisket was supremely delicious. There are some award winning sides as well, and I would be remiss if I didn’t implore you to order the green beans, Spanish rice and jalapeño cornbread. You know how you order jalapeño cornbread and then disappointment sets in at first bite when the peppers are mild little nuggets of green decoration? These peppers have some serious heat, and paired with the sweet cornbread the result is a flavor explosion. I should’ve ordered extra, to take home.

Boiled crawfish, corn and potatoes from Stuffed Cajun on Brodie Lane.

Boiled crawfish, corn and potatoes from Stuffed Cajun on Brodie Lane.

I’m a Native Texan, born in San Antonio, but I was steeped in Louisiana’s culture from age 8 until 21, and boiled crawfish gives me flashbacks to childhood fishin’ in the ditch waters off the levee near our home. Stuffed Cajun on Brodie Lane helped cure my craving for mudbugs on Saturday. I did learn a valuable lesson, in that my husband isn’t proficient at peeling crawfish and would rather I bring home a shrimp poboy. He thinks that boiled crawfish (or crab legs) are too much effort for too little food. I did help him out by peeling some for him, but in the future I’ll just buy him a sandwich.

Crawfish carnage. Guess which pile is mine?

Crawfish carnage. Guess which pile is mine?

I have one last pic to share, and will apologize in advance for my poor photography skills. Hey, it ain’t easy to make hash look good, but I assure you this veggie hash from 24 Diner tasted good! What you can’t see are the two runny-yolked fried eggs buried strategically in the middle of the bowl. Mmmm! I’m not sure what I love more in this hash, the balsamic caramelized onions or the runny yolk, or both.

Good morning, gorgeous.

Good morning, gorgeous.

I’m looking forward to the Austin Food & Wine Festival this weekend, where I’m sure to experience gastronomic nirvana. Posts and pics to come, as I’ll be live Tweeting and Instagramming throughout the event using the #AFWfest hashtag.

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