On the Road Eats: North Austin

Hotel: Aloft Austin Northwest
Would I stay again?  Yes.  It was clean, convenient to our office and the staff was nice.  Options for amazing dining were very limited compared to downtown but it was easy on and off the highway to get me where I needed to be ontime.



Dinner: Paul Martin’s American Grill
Would I dine again? Maybe
.  I ended up driving to Austin rather than flying from Dallas so I arrived at dinner time.  I decided to eat in the Domain area so I could have choices.  I wanted a nicer bar to sit, eat dinner and enjoy a glass of wine before heading to the hotel after an almost 4-hour drive.  The pork chop was good, the wine was fine and one of the two bartenders was very knowledgable.

Pork Chop with brussel sprouts

Breakfast: One Taco
Would I dine again? Yes. 
Love breakfast tacos and when in Austin, it is a must.  I found a small spot on the way to our office and it hit the spot.

Lunch: Rudy’s
Would I dine again? Yes. 
I knew the local options were going to be a lot of chains so I stuck with one that I really enjoy.

Brisket and Sausage and Corn and Cole Slaw

Dinner: Soto
Would I dine again? YES
.  I asked a colleague in Austin where I could eat close to my hotel and he knows I enjoy great local spots.  His response…you won’t find what you are looking for.  I was so happy he was wrong.  When you arrive at Soto, you do not expect to see a Party City next store.  And then you walk into this very modern restaurant that delivers amazing service.  Now onto the food.  The server recommended a new sake to me and brought me a small edamame starter, I selected the chef’s choice for sushi and finished with a small appetizer since I was hungrier than I thought.  I would definitely go back even thought I blew through my per diem!

Lunch: Rosarito Food Truck
Would I dine again? Maybe. 
I love food trucks and the tuna tostada I had was awesome.  The tempura rice bowl was just ok.  I find that tempura is just not my favorite anymore….but my mistake for ordering it.  But that tostada- fantastic!

This trip took place before all of the restrictions became our new reality and this will be my last trip for a while due to world events. I look forward to supporting more local restaurants once I get on the road again!

On the Road Eats: Austin

I have something to share with you.

I love going to Austin!  It’s a quick flight or drive, there are some great vacation spots, I have fantastic clients there and the food scene is amazing.   I visited one of my favorite spots for breakfast and tried three new places, two of them recommended by one of my clients.

Ranch 616
I asked one of my client for a recommendation and he suggested Ranch 616.  It’s next to Star Bar and was a casual spot for me to have lunch. My dining companion at the bar(pictured below) was “dead” silent through the meal but the bartender who served me was super friendly. I ordered the Shrimp, Oaxaca cheese and poblano tamale with a side of tomatillo cream and guacamole.  Delicious, casual and a great price point that meant I had per diem left to splurge on dinner.


Odd Duck


I have been wanting to try Barley Swine for a while so when I found out Odd Duck was open and offered small plates I couldn’t resist. I was with a colleague that was open to ordering a bunch of items to share!  We ordered a roasted turkey leg that was an off menu special, the shrimp salad, the grilled bacon and the foie gras mousse. WOW!  . The bartender made great recommendations and  one of the partners(Jason) checked in to make sure we enjoyed our meal.  Everything was absolutely wonderful!


Donuts.  Huge donuts.  With lots of flavors and toppings.  I decided after the wonderful meal I had just finished at Odd Duck to go simple.  I chose the Naughty & Nice, a donut with Sugar & Cinnamon.  Perfect to end the day but definitely too big for me to eat the whole thing.  Four bites and I was in a very happy place.


24 Diner
I decided to start my day in another “happy place”.  Chicken and Waffles.  Salty and Savory.  The perfect start to my day but a smaller portion to hold me until lunch.  24 Diner has so many awesome dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner but a cup of coffee and this dish puts me in a great mood for the whole day!


St. Philip Pizza Parlor + Bakeshop
I had high hopes for this restaurant.  Again, recommended by my client, I checked out the menu and there was one item that caught my eye.  The St. Philip Pizza – Clams, Fresh Ricotta, Garlic, Bacon Jam.  My colleague and I decided to share the pizza and shared the same opinion.  The pizza(crust) was great, the toppings- not so much.  The bacon jam was the dominant flavor, the ricotta was not generous enough and the clams were chopped and not very flavorful.  I had high hopes….maybe it was just an off day.