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karma belle's Profile

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Barbecue Trip Report (Long)

I have lived in Austin for over 20 years, and I work in the bar/restaurant industry. Believe me when I tell you that as I laugh at the outsiders who pay inflated prices for Lone Star tall boys, I will gratefully accept their gratuities, as those same gratuities go to fund my ever increasing property taxes here in S. Austin. Real Estate Bubble Bursting What Where When?

Feb 23, 2012
karma belle in Austin

"A man's drink of choice , tells volumes of one's character"-- need help..

yeah, being a blonde, 34D, bourbon drinking bartender has its advantages.

like I said two days ago (above), unjustly judged by others....

Feb 23, 2012
karma belle in Spirits

"A man's drink of choice , tells volumes of one's character"-- need help..

Damn, leave you guys alone for less than 48 hrs and you go nuts!!! Do you ever stop typing at your computers and pause for a drink???

Augie, I started drinking Jameson because I thought other MALE bartenders would respect me more. Turns out, I was right. I started drinking IPAs because I thought other bartenders would respect me more. Turns out, it works. Whether or not I actually prefer these choices is irrelevant, but I did learn to expand my whisky and hops palates due to peer/professional pressure. Discover for yourself what you enjoy to drink, and if current scientific trends prevail, your taste buds will change in 5-10 years anyways, and this post will become completely irrelevant in your professional career in the future.

Feb 23, 2012
karma belle in Spirits

Austin Food and Wine Festival- worth going to?

I recently spoke with a server from Uchi who said that Paul is opening his own restaurant soon. Sounds like the kind of thing one would do with a Top Chef title, earnings, and reputation. This conversation took place weeks ago, btw.

P.S. Earlier in the season, I inquired about anyone else attending Top Chef viewing parties, and no one responded. Well, here is your last chance. It is loads of fun, Sake Social Hour prices and tons of local support for a great chef. If you can snag a seat even three deep at the bar, it will totally be worth it next week. Go Paul!

Feb 23, 2012
karma belle in Austin

Dallas to Austin Road Food

The Czech Bakery in West is very popular, however another thread on the Texas Chow board states that another bakery nearby is supposedly better.

chowhound.chow.com/topics/90791

I also like Robertson's Hams in Salado for good beef jerky.

Monument Cafe in Georgetown is classic home cooking, and there is a great local market next door.

Feb 22, 2012
karma belle in Austin

"A man's drink of choice , tells volumes of one's character"-- need help..

Years ago, a 300 lb member of Lil Bow Wow's entourage walked up to my bar and ordered a strawberry margarita with a peach schnapps floater without batting an eye.

Sometimes, the heart wants what it wants.

Feb 22, 2012
karma belle in Spirits

Hungry for Fajitas

Years ago, I worked for a national chain of Mexican restaurants (not located here in Austin), and they would drizzle soy sauce on the hot, cast iron fajita skillet just as it left the kitchen. This would create a lot of smoke/steam and would smell awesome as it moved through the dining room.

Feb 21, 2012
karma belle in Austin

"A man's drink of choice , tells volumes of one's character"-- need help..

I didn’t say that I judge each and every guest at my bar by what they drink. If you truly enjoy the flavor of an apple martini, then order it with conviction and stand by your choice. My brother in law drank cosmopolitans because he really liked how they taste. Then, someone made fun of him for drinking “Sex and the City” panty droppers and he stopped ordering them. I mention the LIIT because its only purpose is to get you drunk, as I have yet to hear anyone convince me of how much they enjoy the way bottom shelf rum and citrus liqueur co-mingle with grain alcohol masquerading as vodka and botanical laced crap gin topped with soda gun mixers. Yeah, sure, you can make top shelf LIIT, but what’s the point of mixing good liquor in that fashion?

On that note, I also judge people that order Grey Goose with Red Bull… why mix good booze with sugar and “taurine” laden mixers?

But I digress. Bottom line - order what you want, and do so with a straight face and an even stare. Same brother in law also orders his steaks well-done and covered in ketchup, but he has never once apologized for that. Why should ordering a drink that you actually enjoy be any different?

To answer your direct questions, hawkeyeui93, I would congratulate you for not succumbing to every Austin visitor’s preconceived notion that you simply have to go to 6th Street to get a drink, and I would mix your gin and lemon with pride as I told you about all the other amazing bars you should try while in town (Congress/Bar Congress, Peche, Eastside Showroom, Haddingtons- which is actually on 6th, but further to the west of the usual 6th street scene). MidCoast, Sazeracs are awesome, definitely a “classic drink in the now,” what with the cocktail revival scene nowadays, and was it made with real absinthe, Pernod, Herbsaint, or something of the like?

I fear that the phrase “real absinthe” may spark another age-old debate but oh well…

Feb 21, 2012
karma belle in Spirits

CHOW's "Jelly Shots" recipes

In college, we used apple juice instead of water when making strong jello shots. It adds a bit of natural sweetness to a strong alcohol recipe and we never had a problem with the "gelling" of the shot.

But, wow. those sound awesome!

Feb 21, 2012
karma belle in Spirits

"A man's drink of choice , tells volumes of one's character"-- need help..

yeah, i get the irony of that one! But it does pose an interesting question... After years of being unjustly judged by others, maybe I chose a vocation in which I can also unjustly judge others simply using their food and drink choices as criteria.

But seriously, a Long Island Iced Tea has no discernible flavor profile other than booze, booze, and more booze, with a little citrus and cola for color. It was voted as the drink most deserving of being buried at last year's Tales of the Cocktail Conference in New Orleans. There was a funeral procession through the French Quarter leading to the cemetery.

Feb 21, 2012
karma belle in Spirits

"A man's drink of choice , tells volumes of one's character"-- need help..

As a female bartender, I will absolutely judge any man or woman that orders a Long Island Iced Tea.

Feb 21, 2012
karma belle in Spirits

Interesting Herbs, Foods, or Flavorings to Steep into Simple Syrups

I used to make a chamomile infused honey syrup for use in hot toddies.

Feb 18, 2012
karma belle in Spirits

Help finding a ubiquitous cocktail for a booze hater

Sorry, I live in Austin and I forget that other parts of the country experience winter. Luckily, there is a crazy cocktail scene here and many bars make their own ginger beers/ales etc.

I will second the Aviation or French 75 suggestions. Those are my go-to drinks when I try to convince the "I'm not a gin drinker" types to try something new that doesn't taste like gin.

Feb 18, 2012
karma belle in Spirits

Fire breathing drink

There are still some bars on/near dirty 6th that will serve flaming drinks (Touche, Fuel). Enjoy the frat-bag scene.

Serious bars that serve serious drinks may flame a orange or lemon peel to give a good cocktail a nice flavor, but they won't actually ignite a stream of Bacardi 151 for the same effect.

Feb 18, 2012
karma belle in Austin

Help finding a ubiquitous cocktail for a booze hater

If she likes the ginger flavor of a Dark and Stormy, she may also like a Moscow Mule or possibly a Pimm's Cup.

Feb 15, 2012
karma belle in Spirits

Calzone

I have heard good things about the calzone at Mercury Pizza on S Lamar. No personal experience yet, but it is on my radar to try soon...

Just putting it out there, since no one else had responded.

Feb 10, 2012
karma belle in Austin

Bigfoot 2012 Sightings?

I saw it at Whip In tonight, for the south side hounds...

Feb 10, 2012
karma belle in Austin

Opening: Lucy's Fried Chicken

We checked this place out tonight and were delightfully surprised.

They seemed to have tweaked the menu since opening (that's why I never check out a new restaurant less than a month after opening) and things seemed to be different than the responses posted earlier on this thread.

1) The basket of chicken is only $9.00, and, as the bartender told us, it holds at least 4 if not 5 pieces of chicken.

2) The raw oysters were FANTASTIC! Lucy's serves a baker's dozen, and they were HUGE! Considering that a dozen oysters at parkside during HH are about the same price, this will become my new favorite place for raw oysters any hour of the day.

3) The calf fries seemed to come down in price. Above, it is mentioned that they are over $12, but on this new menu, they around $8.00. Didn't try them myself, but I thought it was worth noting.

4) As for the chicken itself, it was great. A little spicy, a little salty, but not too much so. There are all sorts of hot sauces around the place to spice up the chicken if you need, and I loved playing with the different flavors. I really liked the Tears of Joy Duck Butter on the chicken (and a drop or two on the oysters). According to the bartender, (rachel? i think) the Duck Butter sauce will be available in a bar drink, with vodka or tequila and a raw oyster. Ummm, yes please!

5) I don't think that $5 for a dessert is outrageous, and the sweet tea pie was sinfully tasty. Multiply that by 8, and it would usually cost $40 for a whole pie. So, why is $27 for a whole pie a big deal?

6) PS a bucket of chicken there is only $23 and change. I hate it when people misquote menus to prove a point.

Overall, it was a great meal and I am glad that I live nearby, because I will become a regular soon. The bartender (rachel again?) made some of the new drinks on their forthcoming cocktail menu, and they were perfect with the meal. Apparently, their special's board changes daily and is updated on the website, so I will check it out again soon. Hate to think that peeps are selling this place short because of a few hiccups during the opening weeks.

Jan 27, 2012
karma belle in Austin

Comfy, late, light meal and drinks?

I would recommend East Side Showroom over Takoba. Better food, better bar, better atmosphere. Their kitchen is open late (until 11, I think) and the drinks will be infinitely better than the offerings at Takoba.

Jan 18, 2012
karma belle in Austin

LA Hound coming into town; any help would be greatly appreciated.

I think Barley Swine is closed on Sundays.

Jan 11, 2012
karma belle in Austin

Where can I see football games Saturday nite with decent food

I was in parkside last week and there were at least 2 televisions in the bar. One was located above the oyster station, the other above the entrance to the other dining room (to the right of the bar, kinda on the way to the restrooms). If there were other televisions, I didn't watch them.

Nov 28, 2011
karma belle in Austin

Dessert Nachos?

I am starting to plan a food and drink itinerary for a trip to NY next spring with my sister in law, and she said she just has to have the dessert nachos she heard of on some tv show, served at some restaurant she can't recall. Do dessert nachos even exist? If so, where? And finally, are they worth it?

Thanks for listening!

Nov 20, 2011
karma belle in Manhattan

Thanksgiving Dinner Restaurant Recommendations Sought

Similar thread was updated just yesterday.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/808390

The last post, a link to an Austin Chronicle article, has a great deal of information regarding restaurants that will be open. Most of the restaurants listed have been referenced somewhere on this board at some time or another in the past year.

Nov 20, 2011
karma belle in Austin

Where to get fresh squeezed orange juice in Austin?

After Good Flow got knocked a couple of years ago for the lack of pasteurization of their fresh juices, a lot of the local suppliers stopped bottling the large quantities you are looking for . I know that the S. Central Market still carries fresh OJ in the 1qt size. "Fresh squeezed juice" is still on the health department's hit list, like eggs were a few years ago (anyone else work in a restaurant and remember this?)

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Central Market
4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745

Nov 19, 2011
karma belle in Austin

Groupon Restaurants to Avoid

Unrelated to the thread, but related to your post...
Jeffrey's was recently purchased by the Lamberts/Perlas/Elizabeth St Cafe team. They anticipate closing for a while to revamp, but will reopen soon as Jeffrey's 2.0.

As for the Groupon debate, I also almost mistakenly purchased the Mandola's deal, thinking I could use it for the retail shop. I bet a lot of people did that as well and just didn't read the fine print. Or they, like Lake LBJ here, bought it without realizing they would have to travel SW to redeem it. Fine print is a bitch.

Nov 19, 2011
karma belle in Austin

Petit Fours in Austin, TX

Yesterday's Groupon featured a deal from Angel's Bakery, half off a petit four bar (which can apparently be broken down into about 20 portions), and they will deliver anywhere within 20 miles of Cedar Park. The deal is still available.

Nov 18, 2011
karma belle in Austin

Top Chef coming to Texas - including Austin!

Has anyone been to the Top Chef viewing parties at Uchiko on Wednesday nights?

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Uchiko
4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756

Nov 13, 2011
karma belle in Austin

Too late for a good turkey?

I was at the Monument Market next to the Monument Cafe in Georgetown last weekend, and they were still taking reservations for Richardson Farms turkeys. You will have to drive to Georgetown to retrieve it, but at least they were still offering them so close to the holiday.

Nov 09, 2011
karma belle in Austin

4 hungry New York fencers (one w food allergies) and 3 adults

Manuels is just few blocks from your hotel and is located on Congress Ave between 3rd and 4th streets. Cantina Laredo is one block west of that. La Condesa is a few blocks west of that.

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La Condesa
400-A W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

Nov 06, 2011
karma belle in Austin

Bakery suppliers?

I don't know if this will help, but...

There are two Ace Mart locations in Austin that carry restaurant supplies (Lamar and Rundberg, S. Congress and Oltorf). Mission Restaurant Supply on N Lamar carries a similar inventory. I use All in One Bake Shop on 183 (near Ohlen) for cake decorating and pastry supplies, and I am sure they can help you find other places for more specific items.

Regarding large sacks of flour, I know you can find those at Costco, but have never seen the large quantities at other grocery stores in the area. Restaurant Depot also carries both 50 lb sacks as well as kitchen supplies, if you have a business license and a membership. All the major restaurant food suppliers in town (Sysco, Ben E Keith, etc) also deliver those to your business, if you are looking to bake commercially.

Places making great bread... There have been lots conversations on this board about Texas French Bread. I have worked for other restaurants that have used Walton's Fancy and Staple for baked goods also.

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Walton's Fancy and Staple
609 W 6th Street, Austin, TX 78701

Oct 16, 2011
karma belle in Austin