HINT water is a natural, calorie-free water that is lightly infused with natural essences. Developed as an alternative to sugary drinks, this provides a sweet taste without any chemicals or yucky stuff.
The company sent me three flavors to try: Pomegranate-Tangerine, Watermelon, and Raspberry-Lime. Wow, they were all super-refreshing and tasty. That subtle sweetness lingered in the finish, but wasn’t strong enough to override the clarity of the water. These are definitely light enough to drink while working out.
Appropriately named, each variety provided just a hint of flavor. If blind folded, I doubt I’d be able to distinguish between the different kinds. All three had similar characteristics. Sweet, light, lingering.
If I had to describe HINT Water into one word, it would be delicate. At $22 for a 12-pack, it’s not going to replace my regular ole’ plain water, but I really love it. It’s a treat.
An interesting thing about the company, in 2004 it was started by Kara Goldin, a former executive at AOL. What began in her living room quickly turned into a $30 million company and Goldin made Fortune’s Top 10 List of Women Entrepreneurs. Pretty awesome.
*Please note that while I did receive free samples of this product, my review is honest, unpaid, and explicitly my own.
In my search for the next great hot spot, I’m always a little leery of too much hype. Austinites don’t have much loyalty. We rave and flood a new place and next thing you know, it’s out of business in a year. Because we’ve all moved on to the next thing. The side of me that loves trendiness is thrilled to go somewhere new all the time. But the other side of me, the Yankee side, says I should be a bit more loyal. It’s very East Coast to remain loyal to a bar. That’s why so many old pubs thrive over there. Those historic neighborhood joints just feel like home.
Enter Easy Tiger, the latest “it” spot. It’s a bakery and a bar. What? Trust me, it works.
Located on 6th Street almost at I35, it’s nestled in a nice little stretch between some shabbier blocks. Such is the charm of 6th Street. When you walk in you are greeted by a pretty impressive looking bake shop. The breads looked delicious, but I was planning on ingesting my carbs via beer and pretzels, so I headed down to the basement. (Another East Coast tradition, the basement bar!)
The decor is really inviting and comfortable. It’s a place you could hang out with with your friends all day, relaxing and taking it easy, hence the name. The combination of painted brick, wood ceilings and furniture all have a familiar feel. The beer list is extensive and the menu is interesting.
There are plenty of sandwiches that look fabulous, but we were just there for a snack. So we ordered a soft pretzel (which met Mr. Betty’s incredibly high pretzel standards) an artisan sausage and some sides.
The pretzel was crispy on the outside, warm and yielding when we bit into it. The homemade stoneground mustard was my favorite, although the beer cheese was good, too. One small criticism I have: mustard should come free with a pretzel. Always. But I would pay for that mustard again rather than forego it, because it was good and I really have a thing for mustard.
We tried the Merguez sausage which was delicious. I must sing the praises of the romesco served on the side. Normally served with seafood, romesco has a nutty base and various strong flavors. Easy Tiger’s version was made with almonds, bread and vinegar and was my very favorite thing we ordered. We also ordered the peperonata, a mixture of peppers, vinegar and capers.
The prices were reasonable and the crowd was a nice blend of everybody. Students, hipsters, older people, men, women…everyone was there. Easy Tiger is so much more than the newest cool place to be seen. Dare I say, it’s a place that we will visit time and time again, feeling at home. It’s a place I really see becoming my bar, that place I am loyal to. And next time I will sit outside.
Today’s Mad Betty post is written by guest blogger Carlos Gieseken, an Austin writer and runner. Carlos authors Project 18:24, a chronicle of his road to fitness and completing a 5k in 18 minutes and 24 seconds. Enjoy his manly take on The Deadliest Catch. Today I’ll be blogging over at Project 18:24. Click here to read it, and check out Carlos’ progress!
Gone are the days when there was no need for a so called “man card.” Life consisted of hunting for food on foot, stealing women from neighboring villages and carving tools with your bare hands. Manliness was the default setting and you didn’t keep track of it like you do wraps eaten at the Pita Pit. But in today’s world of DVRs, fantasy baseball and after work kick ball leagues, there’s at least one place an armchair man can take in some hardcore manliness: Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch.
This weekly reality show focusing on Alaskan king crab fisherman is a frequent reminder of how unmanly my cubicle-centric life really is. That is, if you define “hardcore manliness” by the threat of dying, losing a limb, frostbite or breaking your back for 22 hours a day.
The whole time a guy watches a show like this he thinks, Yeah, I can do this. I mean, how hard can it be? These fisherman don’t exactly look like Navy SEALS. Most look like the type of guy you’d see in the sporting goods section of Wal-Mart or dipping into mashed potatoes at the Golden Corral. Middle aged. A little overweight. Not too bright. Others look like they just got out of prison.
But then you watch another episode, where you learn that the crew has hauled pots for 36 of the last 40 hours. Or a large metal hooks snaps loose and slams into a crewman’s face, breaking his nose. Or this happens:
And that’s when you start to think to yourself, Hell no.
I’ve been watching a lot of Deadliest Catch lately and I think this constant display of manly behavior makes it so addicting, considering every episode of every season is the exact same thing.
There’s the getting ready of the pots. Cue the large wave that takes out a few of the deckhands. OK, the pot is ready. Watch it slide into the ocean. Cue the captain in the wheel house, wearing a tee-shirt, sweatpants and slippers, on the intercom telling the crew to be careful and hurry up.
OK, thanks to crafty editing, it’s time to haul up the pot. Someone gets to throw the hook that grabs the rope and that job looks fun as hell. Women don’t know this, but dudes just want to throw around some hooks.
Bam! Pay dirt. Tons of crab, life is awesome, everyone’s happy sorting. Cue the theme song to Rocky. Or Doh! No crab. Life is over. Rinse and repeat a few dozen times and that’s your typical episode.
I think it would be nice to work on one of those boats because you wouldn’t have to worry about something as annoying as showering or deodorant. Anyone who’s ever been to an all-boys school (I haven’t) or had a male dominated job (I have) will tell you: In the absence of females, dudes will step down a few rungs on the evolutionary ladder when it comes to personal hygiene. I can’t imagine the crew quarters of those boats are any different.
As promised, SCDP is putting all their efforts into winning the Jaguar account. All hands are on deck in the brainstorming sessions. Well, except for Peggy, who can’t get no respect. She watches with a mixture of anger and awe as the creative team is treated to freaking whole lobsters for lunch. Doesn’t she deserve a lobster, too?
Pete and Ken are working hard to seduce Jaguar with promises of anything they want. And what does Herb the Jaguar dealer want? One night of ecstasy with Joan or the Jaguar account would be lost. Oh, this is indeed an indecent proposal. I am shocked. But Pete actually tries to sell Joan on the idea, and then the partners.
Joan is embarrassed and horrified. Don can’t even tolerate the conversation and storms out. Lane is the only remaining partner questioning this, but his motives are not pure. Remember that money he stole? They want to use that “bonus” money to pay Joan. $50k to sleep with a Jaguar dealer in the hopes to win business. The advertising world is starting to feel disgusting. Anyway, Lane tells Joan she should ask for a stake in the partnership rather than the $50k.
Sadly, the promise of financial security is too much to pass up and Joan spends the night with Herb. Don goes to her house to tell her not too do it, not realizing the deed has already been done. Joan ended up with a 5% partnership in the agency, an emerald necklace, and prostitution on her resume.
Luckily, it wasn’t all in vain. Don’s pitch is passionate and smooth as silk. Of course, Michael Ginsburg came up with the brilliant line and the concept that won the account. That kid’s a star, I’m telling you.
Megan auditions for a play, which will take her to Boston for three months if she lands the role. Don acts like a raging baby about it. He also acts like a jerk when Peggy wants credit for saving an ad. He literally throws money in her face to shut her up.
So Peggy lines up a meeting and gets another offer. In an emotional final scene, she tells Don she’s leaving and gives her two week notice. He wants to negotiate, but she stands firm. He kisses her hand and kicks her butt out the door, not even letting her finish her two weeks.
I’m surprised that she only has a coffee mug and thermos to take with her when she leaves the agency for the last time. Hasn’t she been at this agency for years? She doesn’t have any of those old school giant pads with the belt on them in her desk drawer? Or a compact?
It’s sad, but I’m excited to see how this changes the dynamic of the show. Plus, Kevin Rahm works at the other agency and I love him.
I can’t believe we’re already on the fourth Austin episode. Only one left…sad. This episode features local artist Adreon Henry. East Austin has a thriving art scene and Adreon has been a crucial contributor for a decade. This is a cool glimpse into his process:
New restaurant alert! One of my very favorite Indian places, Tarka, has just opened their third location. Little sister to Clay Pit, Tarka serves up savory, spicy Indian favorites in a casual setting. The new location is on Anderson Lane and I went to the soft opening earlier this week.
The employees were pumped and ready to serve. Unlike many restaurant openings, there were no kinks to work out; this place runs like a well-oiled machine and both the service and food were top-notch.
The decor is clean, warm and inviting. There’s outdoor seating, too.
At Tarka, you order at the counter, sit down, and they bring your food when it’s ready. The menu is easy to understand, even for Indian food novices. And you get to choose your desired heat level. So if you like it painfully spicy like I do, you will be pleased.
We started with chicken pakora and vegetable pakora. The hot, crispy pieces were accompanied by a tangy mint-tamarind-yogurt chutney. So good!
For our entrees we chose the two hottest curries on the menu, ordered extra hot. If it doesn’t hurt a little bit, what’s the point?
Vindaloo is made with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes. Mirch masala is loaded with mushrooms, onions and chilis. All of the curries can be made vegetarian or served with chicken, shrimp, lamb or paneer. We chose shrimp for the vindaloo and chicken for the mirch masala. Both were served with basmati rice and were spicy and delicious.
No spicy curry is complete without naan and some cold drinks. The naan was warm and fluffy. I usually just go for plain naan, but the garlic basil won me over.
We loved everything and will definitely be back. Congratulations to Tarka on opening their third location! Anderson Lane can add another jewel to its crown.
I’m starting a new series on bottled water. Heat and humidity are right around the corner and it’s already too hot in Austin. All summer long, I find myself constantly drinking water on the go. Sometimes I fill a reusable bottle from my tap, but sometimes I like to treat myself to something special.
My first review is indeed special. Crazy Water is sourced from Mineral Wells, Texas, and you guessed it, contains lots of minerals. There are four varieties of water with varying degrees on mineral content. They sent me varieties No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 to review. (No. 1 is mineral-free.)
A few fun facts that I learned about mineral water:
Minerals cannot be put into water, they have to occur naturally.
Your body absorbs minerals from water more easily than food.
When you don’t get enough minerals from your water, your body is forced to rob itself of minerals to satisfy needs.
Why is it called Crazy Water? It was believed to have healed a crazy woman who drank from the well, causing a nation-wide sensation.
Needs some Crazy Water
People flocked to the wells by the thousands in the hopes to cure their ailments, and now more than 100 years later people are still drinking it.
Crazy Water contains a mixture of minerals that offer a variety of benefits like preserving bone structure, maintaining pH balance, strengthening the immune system, and a whole slew of other good things. Minerals are believed to have therapeutic qualities. Who wouldn’t like a nice mineral bath at a spa? Ooh, and a massage. But I digress…
So how does it taste? Well, like minerals. Definitely different than “plain” water, but not unpleasant. The intensity increases as you go up in number. No. 2 is pretty mild. It’s a blend of Nos. 1 and 3, and is suitable to drink all day. No. 3 has a stronger mineral taste and is also good for daily drinking. I liked it better when it was ice cold.
No. 4 is…yowza! They describe it as full-bodied and that’s exactly right. Not intended for daily drinking, one or two glasses a day are recommended, and you can mix it with milder blend to cut the flavor. This is really about the health benefits, not a palate cleanser.
If your local store doesn’t carry Crazy Water, you can order it here. Bottles are one liter, and each variety label features the legend of Crazy Water and a different facts and historical photos.
And three lucky readers will each receive a case of Crazy Water! All you have to do is like the Crazy Water page on Facebook. You can enter multiple times by posting this article on Facebook, posting a comment below, or tweeting this post. Make sure to include #crazywater in your tweets! Winners will be chosen June 8th, 2012. (UPDATE: Giveaway is over. Winners will be contacted by Crazy Water. Thanks to all who entered.)
*Please note that while I did receive free samples of this product, my review is honest, unpaid, and explicitly my own.
Austin has a pretty great Meet-Up group for WordPress users. Admittedly, I am a beginner and much of the information doled out is over my head right now. I don’t know how to code or do anything fancy. I know just enough to make this blog look like it does. But there are people in this town who are hardcore. WordPress Evangelists, they are called. And they are awesome.
I have much to learn, so I bought a ticket to WordCamp. This was a hot ticket, you guys. This camp was crazy in demand and I was one of the lucky few who got to attend.
This event was soooo Austin! It took place at the gorgeous AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine campus, which meant that we could unplug and relax by a fountain in between sessions.
Or peruse herbs and natural remedies in jars that lined the walls of the Happiness Bar. Or play with skeletons.
Not to mention, they fed us barbecue at lunch. This a standard way to keep the masses sedate in Austin.
If they add live music next year, WordCamp will rival SXSW or ACL. I can see it now, people tailgating with iPads in the parking lot in their WordPress shirts, joking in code, vendors selling bootleg software. And sporting these:
An alarming number of images come up when you Google "WordPress Tattoo."
The sessions ranged from blogging content and writing tips, to useful plugins and SEO tactics, to API and all kinds of handy tools for developers. Volunteers and sponsors roamed around answering questions, giving free hosting for life (!) and updating a wipe-off job board in the court yard. The Happiness Bar was a place to get specific blog help and advice. I took full advantage!
After a long, inspiring day, we were treated to dinner and drinks at Maria’s Taco Express.
Did I mention this whole thing only cost 20 bucks? Unbelievable. A job well done to WordCamp organizers. I strongly encourage those of you interested in WordPress giving it a try and getting involved with these people.
I have a confession. I have a sweet tooth. And a salt tooth. But my biggest buck tooth that protrudes through my bottom lip is my Asian tooth, sometimes referred to as noodle tooth. It’s spicy and pointy and must be satisfied fairly regularly. I find that Austin does not have a glut of really good Chinese restaurants, but we do have great Vietnamese and a few fusion food trucks.
Enter Chi’Lantro, which beautifully fuses Korean and Mexican.
Life is not worth living without kimchi. At home I’ll serve it with grilled chicken or fish, and roasted pork tenderloin. So why not put it in a burrito, quesadilla, tacos, etc? Or fries.
These fries are incredible. Kimchi, Korean BBQ, grilled onions, queso, cilantro, sriracha, sesame seeds….I know, right? These should be illegal.
The tacos are fab, too. Here’s my friend Jill, smiling with her tacos.
She smiled the whole time she ate them, then cried when they were gone. Luckily, there’s plenty more to be had. Chi’Lantro has four trucks in Austin, so lunch can always be had at 2nd and Congress, and late-night eats are plentiful.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their famous Korean burger. I haven’t tried it yet, but damn it, I will! Here’s a picture from their site. I’m going to frame it and hang it in my living room. Right next to all the family photos. Because you are my family now, Chi’Lantro.
Before I talk about last night’s episode, did you guys see Mad Men on Inside the Actors Studio last week? It was pretty enlightening. A few things I learned:
Jon Hamm had a sad childhood, losing his mother at a very young age. And then his father died when Jon was 20.
January Jones is quite shy. I feel bad for assuming she was bitchy. Maybe she’s not.
Kiernan Shipka is charming and adorable. She did a little ballet dance for the audience.
Christina Hendricks is so wholesome. Like Idaho.
They discussed the creation of the show, the lack of rehearsal, the herbal cigarettes they smoke for filming and how each of them became actors. Very entertaining. I love how beautiful they all are.
Okay, so onto the show. Lane-lovers, your boy is in trouble. He’s eight grand in the hole for taxes and only has two days to come up with the money. So he extends SCDP’s credit by $50k, which he tells the partners is a surplus to be used for Christmas bonuses. When they want to sit on the money for awhile, Lane steals a check and forges Don’s name. Oh crap.
Meanwhile, Pete had been working hard on the Jaguar account and landed them an opportunity to pitch. No one cares. Pete points out the fact that it’s crazy that no one is excited about this great the opportunity. Still, no one cares. Pete is turning into the invisible man.
Joan is served divorce papers at work and loses her mind on the poor receptionist. Don saves the day by getting that angry redhead out of the office. He brings her to Jaguar to test drive a car and afterwards they hit a bar. They talk and laugh and flirt and bond. And you know? Why don’t Don and Joan have more scenes together? It was fabulous.
Megan freaks out when Don gets home so late from work. She doesn’t trust him, and given his past, she shouldn’t. She commented that Don doesn’t like advertising anymore. She’s so right and I’m bummed about it.
Okay, I can barely contain my excitement about this! Remember Paul Kinsey? Forward-thinking and pretentious copywriter?
Look at him now!
Yes, Paul is a Hare Krishna! I screamed when he first appeared on camera. That look is not doing him any favors, but I love, Love, LOVE that the writers went there. He contacts Harry and brings him into the fold for some peace and chanting. Then he slips him his fan fiction Star Trek script, in the hopes that Harry can use his powers to get it to Gene Roddenberry. I can’t stop laughing. This is hilarious!
The script is terrible, but Harry gives Paul $500 and tells him to go to LA and try to make it out there. And to get away from the Hare Krishnas. Oh yeah, Harry sleeps with Paul’s creepy girlfriend in his office. That $500 is guilt money, baby.
We can expect lots of work in upcoming episodes, as Don rallies the agency and tells them they’ll be working nonstop to win the Jaguar pitch. In my favorite line of the night he said, “Prepare to swim the English Channel and then drown in champagne.”