Jump to content


participating member
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by MissAmy

  1. Most prized: My grandmother's recipe cards and a family cookbook that we had printed and bound in the early eighties. It has all sorts of wonderful family recipes and cool pictures to boot.

    Most used: Cook's Illustrated Best New Recipes, Joy of Cooking, and Essentials of Italian Cooking.

  2. Last Thursday, my roommate Josh and I dined at Hudson's On the Bend. Situated just outside the city limits, driving there means a view of the lake and surrounding hill country. My father still talks about the first time he came to this restaurant, when it was the only thing around for miles. Not the case anymore, but it is still a lovely setting.

    All told, it was a fantastic meal, just as good as I had hoped for. The restaurant itself is very pretty. The entrance is tucked away at the back of the building, and to get to it, you walk through a gorgeous garden full of herbs, edible flowers, and vegetables. Huge old live oak trees weave their branches together forming a canopy, and the staff has strung fairy lights through them, creating a really romantic atmosphere.

    The inside has a very homey feel. Several rooms of varying height levels are scattered throughout. It's a large place, but you never realize it until you really look around. We were in a room with about ten other tables at the front of the restaurant, half of which were occupied. We had a nice table. Massive works of art dominate the walls, the decor is what I call "tasteful Texan." It's certainly very identifiable as uniquely Western, with the cedar plank flooring, star of Texas chairs, and large Native-American inspired murals, yet it is not over-the-top, or tacky. It was very comfortable and warm feeling. Beautiful linen table cloths, nice china and silver, and canister candles completed the look.

    We began our meal by ordering a bottle of Chilean Chardonnay. Josh picked the wine, as he is a bit more knowledgeable about wine than I am. Unfortunately, I can't remember the maker, and it's not on the online wine menu. I really should have written it down, because it was a delightful wine. Crisp, citrusy, and a bit tart, it had a complexity that really rang out on the tongue. It was also a very good value.

    Our meal began with amuse bouche of alligator and andoullie sausage fritters on a bed of chipotle tartar sauce. This was similar to a hush puppie, only much better. It was crunchy and spicy and did precisely what amuse bouche is supposed to do - whet your appetite for what is yet to come. I doubly lucked out because Josh keeps Kosher (with the exception of an annual Chinese New Year blow out party) and sausage and aligator are about as far from Pareve as you can get. So I got to eat both of them! Yay! They were delicious. You will also notice that Josh's Kosher status informed the rest of our meal, so that we could share.

    For appetizer we had the Wild Mushroom Artichoke Leek and Goat Cheese Tart on a Masa Crust with Champagne Beet Sauce. This was good. I will not say it was fabulous or mind-blowing, because it wasn't. It was perfectly servicable, but the goat cheese overpowered the flavor of the mushroom. The fried leeks on top of the tart weren't as crunchy as I would have liked, and I felt that sauce lacked depth. I did enjoy the masa crust. So many times, masa is way too thick or chewy or dry, and this was none of those things. It was crisp and had a nice earthy flavor that melded well with the goat cheese. I would really like to experiment on my own using masa as a base for things.

    For main course, I chose the Red and White Tuna. This was sushi grade Ahi and Hawaiian Wahu on a smoking cedar plank with a coconut rice cake and seaweed slaw. The presentation on this dish was absolutely beautiful. I really wish we hadn't forgotten the camera so that you could see it. The mound of slaw led into the towering rice cake which formed the base from which the cedar plank jutted out, displaying the fish. My tuna was cooked a perfect rare, and the chef had alternated the red Ahi with the white Wahu, almost like a flag. A strip of ancho chili sauce ran down the middle. The cedar plank gave off a very fragrant aroma, and subtly, but interestingly flavored the fish. That coconut rice cake was a thing of beauty to be savored. It was flash fried and crispy crunchy on the outside, smooth and creamy on the inside, just ever so slightly sweet, and divine. The seaweed slaw was also interesting - seaweed combined with Napa Cabbage made a lovely briny and sour complement to the fish and sweet rice. The whole composition of this dish was excellent. Spicy, savory, sweet, salty, and sour - the differing flavors played with each other, at once complimenting and challenging. This dish was one of those rare things that is fun to eat and never gets boring. Every bite was a new experience. I could have eaten the entire thing, but halfway through we switched plates so that we could each fully experience both dishes.

    And I am glad that we did. Josh's entree, Courtney's Hot and Crunchy Ruby Trout came on a bed of Mango Habanero Aioli, and was lightly splashed with Ancho sauce. This was not the same ancho sauce I had on my fish - mine was pungent and thick, a tiny bit going a very long way, while this ancho sauce was light and airy, dancing around in the mouth and lending just a hint of spicyness. It was served with roasted vegetables (forgettable) and a goat cheese cake (delectable). The fish had a wonderful crunchiness while at the same time achieving a perfect doneness. I have often found with fish as delicate as trout a crispy crust often causes an over-done fish, but not so in this case. The fish was tender and juicy, the sweet/spicy aioli and the ancho sauce did not overpower. The goat cheese made a nice complement, but again, the vegetables were bland and forgettable. But who really cares about vegetables when you're eating a meal like this, right? I enjoyed this dish just as much as the tuna. It was yet another exciting blend of flavors that never got old.

    Our dinner dishes cleared by the oh-so-beautiful young bus boy (seriously, this kid was a sight to behold - if only I could be 20 again!) it was time to move on to dessert. And oh, did we ever move on to dessert. Fairly full from the meal, we had to split, but the choice was obvious as soon as we saw the menu: Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Layered with Lemon Curd and Butter Cream Icing on a Prickly Pear Sauce. Oh heavenly, food of angels and gods was this cake. So moist, the rosemary and olive oil flavors coming through on a cloud, suspended by sharp, tart lemon curd and smooth creamy butter cream icing. This was the cake of my dreams. Not too sweet, just right. The perfect ending to a close-to-perfect meal. I will dream about this cake, I will be talking about it for years.

    We finished the last drops of our wine, settled the bill, and made our way out to the car. By now, the sky was deep purple, almost black, cicadas sang in the trees above us, candle light lit the way back to the car, all was right with the world. If you get a chance, go to Hudson's. You really won't be sorry.

  3. Ugh. I'm from Texas, and enjoy my fair share of fatty food, but that just does not look good to me. It kind of makes me feel greasy just thinking about it.

    Those giant steaks did nothing for me, either. I can't imagine how sick I'd be after eating over a pound of red meat. Ugh.

  4. I am going to a raw vegan potluck this weekend. I can't wait to report back something memorable to this thread.

    So----how was it? Anything memorable, unpleasantly or otherwise? I've eaten WITH vegans, but never when the entire meal was so strictly concocted.

    It was a lot less exciting than I thought it would be. Mainly, it was just a bunch of salads and sauces made out of avocados (one was actually very good) and such. Blah. Someone brought "nut patties" which everyone just RAVED about, but I found bland and dry and tasteless. They were like eating nuns' penance.

    I ate a bit to be polite, then left and got myself some real food. The thing about these people that was kind of scary is how very earnest they are. They kept going on and on about "live" food and "enzymes" and how GREAT they felt. Eh, wouldn't enzymes be broken down by your stomach acid and never really hit the intestines, anyway? I was afraid to ask because they were just SO FORCEFULL, but that's what my basic understanding of biology tells me.

    I dunno, I suppose if you took enough supplements and somehow find a way to get enough protein, this would be a good way to lose a whole lot of weight in a really short amount of time, but I honestly don't see how anyone could sustain that diet. While at the shindig, I kind of looked around wondering how many of them secretly ate burgers and chocolate cake in their car without telling anyone. I know that there is no way I could live off the food that was served at this thing. It was fine for salad courses, or a light summer meal, but it would get incredibly old after a while.

  5. If restaurants are so worried about customers spliting entrees, maybe they shouldn't serve enough food for three people in each one!

    I'm sorry, but some of these comments are fairly offensive to me. I am not a rich person, but I like to eat in nice restaurants every now and then. My roommate and I frequently split things (usually we split an app, split an entree, split a bottle of wine) and we leave really good tips. If some waiter insinuated to me that I was "too cheap" to eat there because I split things, I'd be pretty pissed and take it up with management.

  6. Ugh. I feel your pain. I once worked for someone who was routinely late on checks. EVERY SINGLE PAY DAY it was this: "Um, can you wait a week or so? We're running short on money." Because back then I was a softy and didn't know any better, I said yes, but on hindsight I realize I should have said no. It really sucks to be in that situation. I hope you get a better job soon.

  7. Do stories from our Chinese language teachers count?

    Madam Shu, my first Chinese teacher, was persecuted for being an English teacher at Nanjing University and for being an intellecutal. She was sent, along with her infant daughter, to some godforsaken commune north of Harbin. She was forced to harvest potatoes, break up rocks, etc. Her hands are permanently damaged from the cold. She talked about having no food to eat some days, or only a very small bowl of rice. She said that one winter, it was very cold, and very little food, and she along with a few others she worked with stole a dog from a party official and killed it and ate it. Luckly for her, they were never found out. Things were very bad for her.

  8. A blind man used to come into a restaurant where I waitressed, and he always had his dog with him. It never caused any kind of problem, the dog did nothing but sit beside the man while he ate. It was a VERY well-behaved dog! Almost preternaturally so.

  9. I'd do what Markemorse said and just hole up at the bar for as long as it takes.

    What if they haven't shown up after three hours???

    Then I get worried and start trying to contact them.

    And, like another poster mentioned, I'd probably pick them up myself, anyway.

  10. If you use a non-reactive container, and place a peice of plastic wrap directly on the guac, and another layer of plastic wrap over the container, it should keep you in good stead for a couple of days.

    Another poster mentioned using just-starting-to-color guac on sandwiches, and that is what we did at a restaurant I worked in. The super fresh stuff got served where the customer could see it, and the no-so-super-fresh stuff got put into sandwiches.

  11. I have a culinary degree. I do not work in the industry simply because I absolutely can not support myself on $10 per hour (or less!). Would I rather be cooking? Of course! But entry level marketing at Biotech firms pays so much better. And I don't have to go into forbearance on my loans or live with my mother to save on rent (what many of my culinary school collegues are doing). I also have benefits and work a sane forty hour week.

    Do I regret it? Yes and no. I don't regret leaving my dead end, much hated job to do it. I would still be there otherwise. I don't regret moving to a livable city to do it. I don't regret the friends I made, and I CERTAINLY don't regret the many valuable lessons that I learned. I also got very lucky becuase I had family education money that paid for well over half of the tuition, and my hence loans are small and managable.

    On the other hand, my admissions councelor told me to expect to earn $35,000-$40,000 upon graduation which we all now well know was complete and utter bullshit. I will be the first to admit that I should have researched industry salaries more carefully myself, but at the time why shouldn't I have taken the admissions counselor at her word? Why should I have been skeptical? I guess I'm one of those shallow, stupid, naive, idiots who go to culinary school thinking I would have a wonderful career afterward, but why shouldn't I or others like me believe that if that is what the schools are telling us? I never thought I would be the next Rachel Ray or Giada, but I did think my career would be more exciting than it currently is. (For the record, I never intended to cook in restuarants. I wanted to cater, to private chef work, and write about food on the side.)

    In the end, I'm glad I did it, but wish I had had a bit more information going in. Also, if anyone wants a personal chef and is willing to pay a living wage, I am avaliable. :cool: I would gladly give up my uber-boring marketing job for a job in the industry if I could live on the salary.

  12. Yeah, there were definitely some boring sounding things on the menu. Cheese fries? Please. I'm not at Sonic. However, they do have some interesting things, and even beyond what we had. There are a few things on the menu I would definitely like to try.

  13. Last night, I had a joyus little get together with my sister and step mom at 219 West. While I had always over-looked this place in my frequent jaunts to 4th Street in the past, I'm really glad someone else encouraged me to go.

    I was really impressed with the wine selection, as well as the cocktails. I had a mango mojito, which sounds weird, but was very nice and refreshing after a long day at work. The mango flavor was not overpowering, and the mojito on the whole was not too sweet. My step mother had a classic dirty martini that was mixed very well, and my sister had a nice merlot with just the right amount of fruitiness.

    The menu is interesting. It is divided up into types of cuisine, so it takes a little perusing, but once you get used to it, it makes a lot of sense. We had grilled asparagus with sauteed crab, beef carpachio, and cevice. All were nice, the cevice in particular was very interesting, with the addition of sweet olives, and it was served with fried plantains. For desert we had a blueberry bread pudding with whiskey sauce. It came topped with a whiskey mousse, which I didn't particularly care for, but on the whole it made a nice end to the meal.

    Have any other eGulleters been to 219 West? I had always written it off as yet another over-priced yuppie joint, but was pleasantly surprised. The jazz band was nice and mellow, too, and not too loud. It was a fun excursion and I will definitely go back.

  14. The only simi-famous people I've cooked for have been Texas politician's wives. Which, you know, is pretty boring.

    However, I did party with the girl who called the cops on Jenna Bush for drinking underage. Who, as soon as I found out, became my own personal hero. (The girl who called the cops. Not Jenna Bush.)

  15. Gifts and such - most certainly the price tag comes off.

    Stuff at home - price tag is removed only when in a fit of nervousness/nicotine withdrawl, or if I have guest and want to put out a pricey condiment, but don't want to hear the "You paid THAT for THAT?!" stupid comments.

  • Create New...