A journey of a thousand miles...
begins with being stuffed into a mailing tube.
I went to Austin, Texas this weekend for Carnaval.
Well, I did not actually attend Carnaval. While I condone vulgarity, I am too classy to actually engage in it (my acolyte, on the other hand? not above it). I was there for the food.
You may not be aware that I am quite the gourmande. Rest assured, I am. It's one of the perks of being omniscient. I am also an oenophile. As well as knowing everything there is to know about the history of the awl. If you ever get the chance to become omniscient, I highly recommend it.
Anyway, as I said, I was there for the food. The Tex-Mex offerings in the DC area are paltry and pallid and sometimes putrid. The Grill-Whose- Name-I-Shall-Not-Speak in particular makes a mockery of the culinary delights that can be had in any number of Tex-Mex joints in Austin and the poor East coast souls are duped and know no better. The one little place I found that had decent--even good--Tex-Mex was Leon's Steak and Grill on King Street in Old Town Alexandria, and it appears to have gone out of business. A moment of silence please.
For brunch on Sunday before boarding the plane I bestowed my presence upon Kerbey Lane (the south location).
In Austin, not only can you get good Tex-Mex, you can get good miscellaneous food alongside Tex-Mex, and you can get it all 24 hours a day at multiple locations. Magnolia Grill is also open 24 hours, but I think Kerbey Lane has superior food. Scratch that, I know Kerbey Lane has better food. Why? Because I'm omniscient.
I started with a bowl of Kerbey Queso. This is not pasteurized process cheese food with tomatoes canned with chilis. This is real queso, made with real cheese and real salsa and topped with a scoop of real guacamole. To die for. After much pondering of the breakfast foods section of the menu
(NB, breakfast available all day) I decided on the Paris Texas Platter, which is French toast and migas. Migas are eggs scrambled with vegetables, cheese, and crushed up tortilla chips or torn up corn tortillas, then topped with salsa. Something about egg and corn chips is magical. It sounds weird, but really, try it. That's an order.
I had salsa verde, an indulgence I would not attempt anywhere within 800 miles of DC. Tomatillos seem to be beyond the culinary comprehension of this area. I must sadly report that the French toast was not great; it was more like bread than bread soaked in egg. But it was liberally sprinkled with cinnamon and provisioned with syrup so I managed to choke some down.
Before (note the $3 mimosa)
After brunch I bid a fond farewell to Tory, my hostess.
I was stuffed. But the Austin airport is, like the rest of Austin, cool and awesome. Rather than your usual ARAmark food(like) service, they have local restaurants, which are required to charge the same price in the aiport as in their off-airport locations. And also have live music and a real bookstore. One of those locals is Amy's Ice Cream (though the servers at the airport location do not wear hats as crazy hats as the servers at the location on Drag, nor do they toss the ice cream long distances into the cup and never miss).
I had to do it. Alas, the camera ran out of batteries before my acolyte could photograph the creamy deliciousness of my chocolate-covered strawberry ice cream. But no photograph can convey the difference between real ice cream and ice cream packed in a cardboard carton and shipped for hundreds of miles. If you ever find yourself in Austin, I will give you leeway in your choice of Tex-Mex restaurants, because there are many good ones, but I command thee to go to Amy's and have yourself some real ice cream.
3 tbsp milk
Diced vegetables of your choice, such as spinach, mushrooms, and red bell pepper
Corn Chips, crushed
Salsa (for those without access to fresh salsa, Herdez salsa verde is quite good, and their red salsa fairly good)
Heat a pan over medium heat. Whisk the egg and milk together until
thoroughly blended. Saute mushrooms and bell pepper (if using) for a
few minutes, until bell pepper begins to soften and mushrooms begin to
give up their juice. If the pan is not nonstick, oil it and pour on the
egg. Cook for about 3 minutes until the egg is 2 or 3 minutes from
being done. Stir in the crushed corn chips. When egg is almost done
top with shredded cheese and put a lid over the pan to help the cheese
Remove from heat. Put on plate and top with salsa. Eat with more chips
or with tortillas, or just with a fork.