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You're way out of the loop if you haven't seen or heard that there is now a Taco Deli on North Lamar. Even more wrong than not knowing there's a new-ish location, is not having eaten there.... so you if you haven't yet, then you just need to make it a priority. Since it isn't brand new the lines aren't quite as terrible as they were at first. I've also been generous enough to chow down at this location on at least six times by now and can verify that they definitely have their sh*t together. So go, enjoy and let their Dona sauce Blow. Your. Mind.
 
 
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The set up was beautiful!
Long time no write! So, it's been a while and things have been beyond hectic and I'm so glad that it's settling out a bit and I'm really ready to get back to writing. Brent's 40th surprise party and trip were a total success and I'll get the post up about Belize soon but for now I'm ready to tell you about a great experience I had a while back at Beet's Cafe! I took a cooking class there that I had auctioned on while at the Umlauf Garden party which I posted about here (an awesome event by the way).  I can't remember the exact name of the class but it was basically an intro class into raw cooking.  I don't eat an exclusively raw diet but I do enjoy the food and how it makes me feel, so wanted to learn a few techniques.
 
 
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While Brent's in NYC I enjoyed a nice dinner at Whole Foods pasta bar. My favorite dish: 1/2 order of the pasta of the day, extra spicy, and a side salad with a bargained price glass of Italian Chianti for $4.50. For reading: some Tribeza, Austin Monthly, and a few other local magazines. The perfect wind down from an errand filled evening.
 
 
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V, Carolyn, Me: Great picture on the road construction site in front of the newly relocated Onion.
This weekend seemed like it was going to be nice and relaxing, slow and lazy. All of that took a quick turn when we began our day at 24 Diner, which I've blogged about here. I've visited a few other times and it was never quite as good as that first visit but we gave it another chance this weekend and it was pretty tasty. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of my food but the Veggie Sausage Patties are fantastic! They are bright red and when they come out actually look like some raw red meat, kind of ironic and funny.
So while at Breakfast we ran into two very nice folks from Dallas, Carolyn and Lampo.  They were in town for a wedding and looking for some fun things to do in the afternoon. After it was all said and done they were headed out to meet us on the boat a few hours later!
 
 
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I look like I'm a pro at least.
Well, lately I've decided/ been pushed a little into the sport of golf. It only makes sense as I'm taking over the running of mine and Brent's business, Eye Caddie. So since I need to know a bit more about the sport I've acquired some clubs, got some super cute golf outfits, and the all important pink golf shoes and I'm ready to go. Timing worked out perfectly because Young Executives partnered with Grey Rock and had a special golfing event Friday night.  Young Execs got to play some golf at a special rate and then head to the clubhouse for some live music, food, and drinks.
 
 
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Complimentary amuse bouche. I don't remember the exact ingredients but it was a fabulous cheese with some scrumptious local pork. De-lish!
Recently I went to FINO with my long-term career counselor, Doug. It was my first time at FINO and I decided to try it out since I bought a gift certificate on Restaurants.com. If you hit their website at the right time you can get like 80% off of a certificate and it challenges me to try places I haven't been before. So, I got a $25 certificate to FINO for like $5 bucks. Not bad! Granted you have to buy two full entrees but it's totally worth it!

One thing I didn't realize about the restaurant is that it serves a lot of Texas local meat, so I was happy to split a couple of entrees with Doug and I got to try several of their dishes; it was really good!
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Piquillo Peppers stuffed with Gulf Crab
The stuffed peppers wasn't my favorite dish of the night; it was good not great. Our server did a great job at suggesting wine pairings!
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Market Gulf Fish Arugula, Green Beans, Tomato & Black Olive Vinaigrette
Somehow I didn't get a picture of my favorite dish:
Za'atar & Roasted Garlic ChickenSpinach, Hazelnuts & AppleCurrants & Garbanzos.  The chicken I will definitely be back for, the garbanzos were toasted and the chicken was flavorful and cooked perfectly! I'm not even a big chicken fan but I will crave this dish and can't wait to bring Brent in to try it. We liked it so much that Doug, in his usual extroverted fashion, raved about it to the table next to us and they both ordered it as well. I'm never that bold but he made an excellent recommendation!

So, dinner was good and as always it's fun to catch up with Doug. Doug helped me find my place in the world a couple of years ago professionally. In this crazy world, if you find yourself soul searching for where you want to be/what you want to do, look him up! (His LinkedIn link is up top). Every time I meet with him he presents to me a simple yet brilliant challenge. Though he helped me find my niche a few years ago, I'm ready to spread my wings again and with his guidance, continue onward in my journey to be a Young-ish professional. 

I hope everyone is doing well out there and if not, head to FINO for some wine and food and I promise, you'll feel better fast.
 
 
So this was a big day for me (sigh), I got my first injections of Botox from eOs Dermatology and Med Spa today. I wasn't quite sure how to feel about doing this except for feeling very, very nervous. Did I say very? I felt myself turn green as I sat in the chair, seriously, but Dr. Rasmussen put me right at ease. I guess this act means my vanity is taking hold and I'm moderately okay with that. I mean, people do all kinds of things to make themselves feel better like diets, buy clothes or shoes, spend money, eat a comforting meal... so what's so bad about injecting botulinum toxin in your face?
 
 
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Mike (Left), Jonathan (Center), Rachel (Right)
The day after our excellent dining experience at Charlie Trotter's, which I posted about here, we were treated, compliments of Chef Trotter, to a lunch at Trotter's To Go. We were beyond delighted to continue in our Chicago adventure and taste more of what Charlie's team had to offer. We were given an address and told what time to be there and we had no idea what to expect. I knew a little about Trotter's To Go and expected maybe a picnic lunch packed for us to take to the park... what a silly girl I am sometimes.
 
 
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A Chef, Brent, Laura, Charlie Trotter
I am no doubt the luckiest girl in the world.. at least in terms of the husband I ended up marrying. So, oh, about four years ago I read this book called Lessons in Service by Charlie Trotter. My GM at Eddie V's requested I read it since I was delving into a new career as a restaurant manager.  I started reading the book and simply became enthralled by it. I loved this man Charlie! I loved his concept on food, how he treated his employees, the importance of a great diner experience, and most importantly his desire to give back to his community. I simply can't capture all of my feelings about his concepts in words, you really just have to read the book. Whether you are a "foodie" or not, I highly recommend it. I would literally get off work at 3am and come home excited to read a few more chapters before dozing off.  It was amazing.
After reading his book I desperately wanted to go eat at Chef Trotter's restaurant and discussed with Brent my excitement and hopes, but oh, where to begin? In  learning about his restaurant, Charlie Trotter's, I knew I would have to plan out pretty far in advance to ever eat there, for two reasons: 1) It is expensive and 2) some people literally make their reservations years in advance. I truly desired to go but as with some goals in life, the memory faded as I was engulfed in my own fast-paced restaurant life.  I never totally forgot about that dream but in going back to work for the State, it wasn't exactly something my "public heath" feel good job could afford.
 

Paggi House

04/26/2010

 
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Warm Olives: Grilled Bread, Olive Oil. A mere $2.50 during Happy Hour!
Last week we decided to use one the the coupons we bought off of restaurant.com (great deal sometimes!) and head to Paggi House for a special date night.
I hadn't been in quite some time and it was perfect for this time of year. The outside seating is beautiful and I loved the couches that so many were lounging on while balancing their glasses of wine. It looked comfortable and very Austin chic. A perfect way to spend a spring evening sipping wine and chatting with friends.
Paggie House has a very nice happy hour with half priced glasses of wine and select appetizers. I highly recommend checking it out.