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One Day to Live in Austin

What day of the week is this final day? That might change some possible activities. The farmer's market, for instance is a nice way to spend an hour or so on a Saturday morning - small in comparison to larger cities but it has ready to eat food, crafts, and music in addition to the farmers stuff. Beware, the Wed evening version is not the same in my book tho if your last day was with your kids, it can be a hoot for different reasons. To your questions tho, it should be noted that Austin has changed dramatically over the past several years and if your looking for old school Austin hear are a few candidates: For cowboy fun: The Broken Spoke - just try to forget Rachael Rey promoted it. Despite it's name that to me sounds like a gay western bar, it is the real deal. Beer: The Draught House - been around since the 60's when 45th street was way north Austin. Word has it when the current owners bought the popular "Draft Horse" way back, the old owner's tried to finagle more money out of them after the fact claiming the name wasn't included - thus the "Draught House". Prob solved. Hut's Burgers downtown - one of the few old downtown spots left - oh on burgers - this may sound weird - but there's a van behind the star bar that serves awesome burgers. Check out downtown tho - it's nice for happy hour time and beyond tho new mostly. 6th street used to be the happening bar strip but now it extends down to 2nd. For bearings think of it this way - underagers go to 6th street and add 5 to 10 years per street south - OR - shots to wine is as 6th to 2nd. Views and ritas are out on 620 and people will tell you the Oasis. Once it burned down, the food got better and the ritas remained expensive. I like the Iguana Grill just south. Same view, more of the local lake crowd, less of the bill. Real homey Austiny restaurant, East Side Cafe. Local ingredients, by local I mean grown in their impressive backyard garden, totally Austin. Upscale food: Stay away from West - very suburban yuppie but Vespiao is on the edge of old and new SoCo - I say it still counts as old school enough and great food. While your there on SoCo, check out the few remaining antique shops there or better yet, start your day their with a cup of joe from Joe's coffee. You got to at least see the Austin Motel's sign. Parks in Austin are not like other cities, mostly used for frisbee golf or access to the lake (people swim, but it freaks me out with all the water moccasins). Town lake downtown has a nice path the run on if ur into that sort of crap; Commons Ford Park is nice for laying around, Zilker is good for dirt and kites. That should keep you busy.

Jul 09, 2009
whackfood in Austin

Pasta with Caramelized Tomatoes and Sausage

This is a typical dish at our place when we want something easy and tasty tho we do it a bit different with little extra effort.
1. I start with julienned red bells about 3" long in a hot dry pan till starting to char
2. Toss in julienned onions, a lot of garlic, and sausage
3. I also use uncooked sausage squeezing out blobs from the casing like toothpaste - blobs are far better than slices in this dish cooking them till they are JUST not pink on the inside
4. When sausage is just about cooked, dump in canned, diced, tomatoes (in this case don't sub fresh) without juice (tho adjust with a little once cooking down a bit - should be stewy to saucy.
5. Oh, spices, toss in red pepper and maybe salt with the onions, and anything else (especially green stuff) with the tomatoes
6. Basil is imperative and heavy, coarsely shredded parm/rom/asiago/etc

Sauce ought to take less than 10 minute total to capture a fresh. light taste.

Pasta ought to be something like fettuccine or wide stripped pasta that can "wrap" the sausage not compete with it - rigatoni as suggested would not allow you get pasta AND sausage in one bite easily tho I would sign up with farfalle.

Finally, if sweet Italian sausage is sometimes labeled as mild Italian sausage than you might as well point out that it might also be labeled tuna as they are both wrong. There is sweet, mild, and hot. Sweet adds fennel to give it a licorice taste - the others do not. We go hot. Screw the kids.

Apr 01, 2009
whackfood in Recipes