Monthly Archives: March 2012

This Week’s Links We Luv: Austin Restaurant Week, Bourdain in Austin & More

By | Links We Luv | 2 Comments

I wrote a Links We Luv post about SXSW a couple of weeks ago and got so much great feedback that I’m planning on making it a regular post every couple weeks. I plan on posting helpful articles I find related to Austin food news, cooking tips, and recipes.

Here’s a recap of my favorite links this week:

  • Austin Restaurant Week Starts Today – Starting today, some of the most popular Austin restaurants will be offering special three course pre-fixe menus. A donation will be made to Meals on Wheels and More for each reservation made through Open Table, so get out there and eat for a great cause.
  • Anthony Bourdain in Austin – Anthony Bourdain was in town for SXSW and it sounds like he stayed for awhile filming.  According to he visited JMueller BBQ, Contigo, Barley Swine, La Condesa, Franklin BBQ, Quality Seafood and El Taco Rico. And yes, he confirmed to me on Twitter that he waited in line at Franklin BBQ.
  • The Most Common Cooking Mistakes (Cooking Light) – Cooking Light has a pretty comprehensive list of 42 common cooking mistakes and what you can do to avoid these errors. There are a few no brainers, like tasting your food as you cook, but I found this article extremely helpful. I will be applying a few of these tips in my own cooking.
  • Base jumpers skip bar tab by strapping on parachutes, leaping 55 stories off building – I had to share this crazy news story. A group of men base jump off a 55 story building to skip out on a bar tab. You can watch the news report on youtube.
  • The Cooking Oil Comparison Chart – I’m guilty of pretty much using either Olive Oil or Canola Oil for everything, but I’d really like to branch out to using some more exotic oils. This chart is a great starting point for moving beyond just your basic oils. It compares some of the most common (and not so common) types of cooking oil, examines which options are the healthiest, and what each is best used for.


Restaurants We Luv: Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew – Austin, TX

By | Restaurants We Luv | 4 Comments

With Franklin BBQ getting so much national attention, you may not have heard about one of the newest additions to Austin’s booming BBQ scene. Opening in December of 2011, Stiles Switch BBQ is definitely the new kid on the block, but they’re serving up  delicious BBQ. Maybe that’s because Pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick, formerly of historic Louie Mueller BBQ, has been putting out great BBQ for years.

I heard about Stiles Switch when it was mentioned in February’s Texas Monthly Article “Of Meat and Men”  (which is a fantastic article) and decided we’d have to try it out. When we arrived at Stiles Switch BBQ, the first thing I noticed from the outside was how nostalgic the building looked. Located in the old Violet Crown shopping center, they really did a good job of creating that 50’s feel.

The inside was spacious, with a few flat screen TVs showing college basketball games. The walls were covered with photos and neon signs. I really liked the vibe of the restaurant. The staff was super friendly and even took us out back to see the pit. Most importantly, it passed my first test for a BBQ joint. It had to smell like BBQ!

We ordered as much food as we possibly could. We tried the Brisket, Switch Original Sausage, Pork Ribs, Turkey, Potato Salad, Pinto Beans and Lemon Vinaigrette Cole Slaw. The food was awesome.

I especially liked the pork ribs, which were seasoned and cooked perfectly. The moist brisket was outstanding. Not too fatty, with a nice seasoned crisp bark (the outside part of the brisket). The lean brisket was a little dry, but BBQ is not meant to be a health food. Order the moist brisket for Pete’s sake! The turkey was fantastic. The sausage was good, but I’d like to try the jalapeno cheddar sausage on our next trip. We really liked all of the sides. The Lemon Vinaigrette Cole Slaw, which was really refreshing and light. A nice change from most heavy mayo based Cole slaws. For dessert, we tried the banana pudding, which included whipped cream, chocolate pudding and Oreos. Disclaimer: I may be slightly biased here because I love banana pudding and Oreos. When they put the two together it kind of blew my mind.

All in all, I’d have to say we really enjoyed our visit to Stiles Switch BBQ and would highly recommend it. It’s hard to believe they’ve only been open for a few months and are probably still working out some kinks. Stiles Switch BBQ is located over in the historic Violet Crown Shopping Center at 6610 N. Lamar. For more information visit

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Links We Luv: What to Eat at SXSW 2012

By | Links We Luv | One Comment

SXSW is upon us and as a food blogger, one of my favorite parts of SXSW is the food of course. Austin’s food scene has really blown up over the past couple of years, so I’m listing some links to help you navigate the Austin food scene while you’re here.

And for some of our personal favorites:

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Barbecue Lover’s Guide to Austin Giveaway

By | Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Being born and raised in Texas, I’ve been eating BBQ as long as I can remember. One of my favorite BBQ memories growing up was my family’s frequent trips to Pok-e-Jo’s. We spent many special family occasions celebrating birthdays, Fathers Day or any other holiday. BBQ had a way of bringing our family together.

The BBQ phenomenon was not something that happened with just my family. BBQ in Texas has had a way of bringing families together for generations. Recipes and techniques have been handed down from generation to generation often times kept as a family secret. Although their recipes may remain secret, some families have turned their BBQ into a profitable business. In fact, there are hundreds of BBQ joints that have succeeded to do just that.

It would take a lot of time and effort to find all of these wonderful BBQ joints, but author Gloria Corral has made this easy for us by creating a comprehensive guide for Austin-area BBQ. Investing more than two-years of hands on research, the Barbecue Lover’s Guide to Austin puts the Central Texas BBQ scene at your finger tips. The Guide features, not only the famous BBQ joints you’ve heard of, but all the hole-in-the wall joints, shacks and trailers you may not know about. We thoroughly enjoyed reading through the book and would recommend it for any BBQ lover out there.

Thanks to the folks over at Music Box Media, we have an extra copy to give away to one lucky reader. To be entered in the drawing simply leave a comment about your favorite BBQ Joint by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, March,10. Be sure to include a valid email address so we can get in touch with you. Winner will be chosen randomly using