Monday, March 31st

Mineral Fusion: Product Review

Recently I was invited by Whole Foods to check out one of the lines in their Whole Body department. Fellow blogger and friend Melissa Lombard joined me and we made a day of it, enjoying a sushi lunch and chatting under a shaded picnic table outside. Then we walked around the store to see all the latest renovations to the Gateway store. Is it just me or do the Whole Foods stores in Austin keep getting better and better?

Next, we learned all about Mineral Fusion. I’m a product junkie and loooove trying new things. But I’m a little afraid of the hippy-dippy stuff. After all, I’m a modern girl and can’t walk around smelling like patchouli. Let me assure you that this line is modern, high quality, and smells good. It’s all vegetarian (most products are vegan, actually) cruelty-free, gluten-free, and contains no artificial colors or synthetic fragrances.

So after using the products for more than a week, here’s the takeaway.

Mineral Fusion Purifying Gel Facial Cleanser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purifying Gel Facial Cleanser

Kristin’s take: It leaves skin so squeaky clean that I think it might be a tad harsh for me to use everyday right now. Once the hottest months are upon us, this will be my first choice for removing sweat, dirt, and sunscreen. Bonus, it lathers up nicely and is ideal to use with my Clarisonic.

Melissa’s take: Two thumbs way up from me. Works great and smells fab!

Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pressed Powder Foundation

Kristin’s take: I gave up liquid foundation years ago and have been a loyal BareMinerals user ever since. I was skeptical of using a pressed rather than loose powder, but I couldn’t resist buying a compact to try out when I sampled a shade that was a perfect match. The triple-milled powder is so light and buildable and best of all, doesn’t seem to settle in to lines or pores. I am officially a convert. It’s priced better than BareMinerals, too. I am thrilled. I’ve found that the Hydration Mist sets it really well and helps it last all day.

Melissa’s take: Just brushed some on over the BB cream one day to make sure the color was good. I find powders to be drying, so it will be best in the humid summer.

Mineral Fusion Beauty Balm BB Cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BB Cream

Kristin’s take: I tried the Perfecting Beauty Balm which provides a sheer, satiny finish. I’ll use this all the time for quick looks when I don’t want to apply full makeup. I’m grateful for the SPF, although I wish it was higher than 9 since I burn easily. I love how moisturizing it is.

Melissa’s take: The Illuminating BB cream is pretty much awesome. Super moisturizing and just the right amount of coverage. Like a BB cream promises to be. Not sure about you, but I’ve been disappointed before. Mineral Fusion makes good on their promise.

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Remover

Nail Polish and Remover

Kristin’s take: I couldn’t find my colors on the website to show you, but I tried two shades, Slate (a sophisticated gray) and a Lagoon (a bright blue green) and liked them both. The polish is high quality and therefore a bit on the pricey side for smallish bottles. The formaldehyde-free formula is as long-lasting as good polishes normally are. (I’m kind of a fast manicure wrecker with all the typing, cooking, dishwashing, etc, in my life.) The remover is dynamite. Smells amazing and feels less destructive than regular remover.

Melissa’s take: I put the little pink polish on my toes and I really like it. But I did one nail of the Slate color, just to try it and feel like you’d need at least two coats. But it looked nice. I have never looked forward to removing my polish. I either bust out the “good stuff” and get ‘er done or I grab 27 cotton balls and the “gentle stuff” and spent the next 17 minutes working on that one coat of pale pink that just won’t go away. When I heard about Mineral Fusion’s remover, I was skeptical. It’s either great OR it smells like fruit. No way can it be both. Wrong! I was wrong! This stuff is ridiculously amazing. It smells great, it’s nourishing, it doesn’t leave my nails brittle and it works better than the toxic crap. Yeah, I said it. Better!

Mineral Fusion Beauty Balms for Hair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shampoo, Conditioner and Beauty Balms for Hair

Kristin’s take: My curly hair tends to be dry and tangles very easily. The Hair Repair Shampoo and Conditioner was up to the task and left my hair feeling clean and soft. There’s little scent to the products but I’m okay with that. The Curl Care Beauty Balm is a lightweight leave-in that define curls and reduces frizz. It’s softer and more subtle than the salon products I normally use and I like it. I won’t abandon my current products, but I will happily add these to the roster.

Melissa’s take: I am the gal who thinks that shampoos and conditioners are pretty much all the same. Do I want a product that is gentle, not tested on animals, and safe for the environment? Sure. Do I want it to leave my hair clean, shiny, full of body, touchable soft and so damn silky people come up to me on the street asking to touch it or photograph it? Damn straight. (I might be asking too much.) I’ve been using Mineral Fusion shampoo and conditioner, along with the beauty balm for hair, all in “Vibrant Shine” and I have to say, I’m a total convert. This stuff meets all the above criteria and it’s super affordable!  To be fair, no one has photographed it yet, but I think they want to. And I can’t stop touching it, so there you go.

Have you tried any Mineral Fusion products? If you are in Austin and want to check them out, you have till May 18th to take advantage of the Whole Foods roadshow discount of 30%.

  • March 21- April 6th at Whole Foods Market Gateway, 9607 Research Blvd
  • April 11th-27th at Whole Foods Market Domain, 11920 Domain Drive
  • May 2nd-18th at Whole Foods Market Downtown, 525 North Lamar Blvd

Disclaimer: I received several products free of charge but was not compensated for this post. Opinions are my own.

Friday, December 13th

Odd Duck

Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Those driving up and down South Lamar have been patiently watching and waiting for the brick and mortar incarnation of Odd Duck. To their credit, shortly after the signage went up things moved quickly. No extended wait on this one. Bryce Gilmore doesn’t mess around.

Craft Taste and I rushed over on opening night, dear readers, so that you might have a first look at some of the dishes. Rest assured that Odd Duck will be the hot spot for quite awhile, so you should go right away or wait a couple months. But we certainly beat the rush and didn’t sacrifice in quality or service. They are ready.

Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Like Barley Swine, there’s a comfortable bar to cozy up to and peruse the excellent beer and wine lists. There’s also a nice cocktail menu and I enjoyed a Moscow Mule with their house ginger beer. The pleasant bite was sheer perfection. Mr. Betty had a Founder’s Breakfast Stout which he regards as a real treat.

Drinks at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

There’s plenty of seating at the bar and tables both inside and out. We opted to sit at the long communal table and soak up the excitement of the other groups. It was hard to choose from everything on the menu but our waitress helped steer us towards some of the staff’s early favorites.

We started with warm pretzels stuffed with ham and gruyere and a creamy mustard sauce. They were subtle, letting the mustard take center stage. The beer funnel cake was less successful, with a strongly bitter aftertaste overwhelming the whole dish. This was the only thing I wouldn’t order again.

Pretzel, Ham, Gruyere and Mustard at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Beer funnel cake at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

The charred broccoli, sorrel, and honeycrisp apple slices sat atop a sous-vide scrambled egg that was simply stunning. Those pretty flowers are fried thin slices of the broccoli stem!

My only regret of the night was my photo of the kohlrabi soup. I was so entranced by the verbal description and presentation that I did not catch a photo before the broth was poured. This is the dish that blew me away. We raved about it so much that the people next to us ordered it at the end of their meal. If you only get one thing, get this soup! There’s creamy cheddar custard and world’s tastiest bacon are in that broth, people.

Charred broccoli at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Kohlrabi soup at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

The goat rolled in pasta was an explosion of flavor, the savory meat accompanied by a divine mole and butternut squash. Another highlight of the evening was the boudin grits, pickled shrimp and chicharrones. Served in a mason jar, each bite offered a magical combination of creaminess, acidity and salty crunch. Major wow factor on this one.

Goat rolled in pasta at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Shrimp and grits at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

One last show-stopper before dessert. The chicken fried chicken egg came with lots of mushrooms and homemade hot sauce. Who doesn’t love cutting into a perfectly runny egg?

Chicken fried egg at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

Chicken fried egg at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

The sticky toffee pudding made for the perfect ending to a great meal. The sweetness was balanced with rich goat cheese and tart pickled apples.

Sticky toffee pudding at Odd Duck, Austin Texas

My takeaway? The food was creative and delicious, service was polished, and atmosphere was warm and welcoming. Quite warm, actually. No need to wear a sweater.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Odd Duck. We’re so happy you’re here.

Wednesday, November 27th

The 20/20 Experience

The 20/20 Experience

Justin Timberlake puts out albums so infrequently that each one is a huge event. The sales are big, the hype is BIG, and the expectations are HIGH. The double project makes for Justin’s third and fourth studio albums, and like his second album, they were produced by Timbaland. And that’s where my first criticism lies…with Timbaland. With his decreasing relevancy and trademark insertion of his own vocals, it’s interesting that Justin chose to work with him again, when he could have had virtually anyone he wanted. I would have preferred Pharrell or Will.i.am, personally.

The first part of The 20/20 Experience was released in March. For those of us in Austin the excitement was all rolled up in Justin’s surprise appearance at SXSW, the secret MySpace party, and the general hysteria of trying to get in. (Note: I opened a MySpace account specifically to be entered into the random lottery for the party and no, I did not get in.) The singles “Suit & Tie,” “Mirrors,” and “Tunnel Vision” are all catchy and classic Timberlake. The former features another Timbaland hallmark, an awkward intro that feels like an entirely different song. Timbaland often tacks these onto the end of his songs, as well.

The big band/jazzy theme is mostly just visual, rather than musical. Dapper suits and tuxes? Check. Sharp dance moves? Check. Black and white color palette? Check. Full sound of horns? Nay.

Justin Timberlake black and white photo

Beyond the singles, there are a couple standout tunes. “Pusher Love Girl,” which compares love to drugs is infectious fun, if too long at eight minutes. “Strawberry Bubblegum,” (my personal favorite) is a little tribute to Barry White with it’s candy-themed sensual lyrics, again lasting about eight minutes. “Don’t Hold the Wall” is a dark dance groove clocking in at over seven minutes. So yes, the songs are all long.

The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 is the weaker of the albums. Again the songs drag on, but this second grouping feels like so much filler with “Take Back the Night” as the only true highlight. “Drink You Away” is pleasant enough and “TKO” is a generic single with is neither interesting lyrically or musically.

My takeaway is this: If you remove the filler, you have one solid album of decent music here. The decision to release two albums in six months time feels more like hype-building than an expression of musicianship. It’s a shame that Justin seems more passionate in pursuing a career in acting, because his real talent lies in his singing. But he’s placed it on the back burner and reserves his enthusiasm for SNL and Jimmy Fallon appearances.

Omeletteville sketch with Justin Timberlake and Chris Parnell

Wednesday, July 10th

How to Dress Your Apple

I was contacted recently by a cool company in Holland to see if I wanted to check out their beautiful sleeves for Mac products. Um, hell yes? I chose one for my MacBook Pro and was delighted when a sleek package with a Netherlands stamp arrived at my door.

Mujjo MacBook Pro sleeve

Mujjo makes designer sleeves and covers that snuggly fit Apple products and touchscreen gloves. One might say they make your tech life more attractive.

Mujjo sleeve and MacBook Pro

Mujjo sleeve The Originals collection

The gray felt is thick, high quality and 100% wool. It is soft and luxurious while maintaining structure. The leather flap is vegetable tanned and hand dyed. The white is chic and classy, but I also love the brown leather. All the products come in both options.

Mujjo Mackbook Pro Sleeve

If you’re looking for a unique gift for an Apple-loving friend, this would do the trick. Check out the store for all the cool sizes and products. I have officially retired my neoprene case in exchange for this gorgeous new one. My laptop has never been so happy!

Disclosure: I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own and no monetary compensation changed hands. I keep it real, yo.

Friday, June 28th

Jurlique Product Review

From time to time Jurlique sends me a lovely box of products to try out and review. I’m not compensated in any way other than the free products and my opinions are my own. I’ve been using these products for a couple months so that I could give a fair assessment.

Jurlique Review Herbal Recovery Gel

The Herbal Recovery Gel is a smooth, light serum. Cool and slippery, it absorbs easily. The pleasant floral scent dissipates quickly leaving skin feeling clean, nourished and balanced. I like this product so much that it will permanently replace my old serum. It’s a luxury product at $140, although they offer a smaller size for $50.

Jurlique Review Purely Bright Day Moisturizer

Purely Bright Day Moisturizer is for everyday use and should lighten dark spots if used for an extended period of time. I didn’t notice any lightening effects, but really enjoy this lotion. I wish it had an SPF, so I could use it all summer long. The lightweight, non-greasy formula is $48.

Jurlique Review Purely Bright Night Moisturizer

The counterpart for evening is the Purely Bright Night Moisturizer. Overnight moisturizers can be too heavy for me. It’s important to hydrate at night, but there’s nothing worse than waking up with an oily face. This is light enough for me to tolerate, and that might be partly due to method of application. For all of Jurlique’s moisturizers, they recommend warming a small amount of  products between your fingers and lightly pressing it into the skin. It’s a technique that I’ve come to love. Not only is it gentle, but it stretches your precious product. At $52, I’d like this one to last.

Jurlique Review Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Gel Mask

I’m a sucker for masks. It’s the perfect way to de-stress and feel a little pampered at home. The Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Gel Mask is a clear, light gel that gives a nice hydration boost. It gives a bit of a cooling sensation, and of all the products in this review, this feels the most spa-like to me. $48 buys a large tube that will last a very long time, even with frequent use.

Jurlique Review Purely Age-Defying Ultra Firm and Life Cream

The Purely Age-Defying Ultra Firm and Lift Cream is supposed to provide noticeable resulting in tightness and line reduction right away. I can tell you when I use it I feel firmer. I don’t know if I’m quite old enough for this product just yet, although it’s very nice. The jar is heavy glass and it feels and smells expensive. Firming products can cost a fortune, so I think the $70 for this one is actually a bargain. A little goes a long way and this far will last forever.

I’m a big fan of Jurlique’s extensive line. The luxury products are packaged simply and I appreciate the metal tubes that don’t allow air to contaminate the products. Do you have any favorite Jurlique products?

Friday, May 24th

Max’s Wine Dive Brunch

Yum. Here’s a Foodie Friday post for you. Mr. Betty and I don’t frequent brunch as much as we’d like to, but when his sister came to visit last month we made the effort to find a parking spot downtown on a Sunday morning. We’ve always liked Max’s Wine Dive for dinner and had yet to try their brunch. While the buffet is supposed to be amazing, we opted for the a la carte options and sat outside. We lingered over the menu while we sipped mimosas.

Max's Wine Dive Brunch Mimosas

Only true pigs need an appetizer at brunch. So we ordered two. The Pan Borracho translates to “drunk bread” and consists of bread, prosciutto, thyme, and wine wine custard baked with Gruyère, Parmigiano Reggiano and provolone. I know. I know. It’s as good as it sounds. Better. We also tried a half order of Marcona Almond Crusted French Toast. Wow! Next time I’ll get the French Toast as my meal.

Max's Wine Dive Pan Borracho

Max's Wine Dive Marcona Almond French Toast

Choosing entrees was a tough choice, but we settled on three very different things and stole bites from each other’s plates, trying everything. The SXSW was a kicked-up shrimp and cheese grits with jalapeños, spicy pulled pork, a fried egg, tomatoes, corn and cilantro. A real showstopper.

Max's Wine Dive SXSW

The Badass Breakfast Burrito was as large as it was badass, with eggs, cheese, and chorizo tightly nestled in a spinach tortilla. We all agreed that the sweet potato hash and sweet corn queso elevated this California staple to, well, Texas.

Max's Wine Dine Badass Breakfast Burrito

Perhaps the most indulgent of the three dishes was the Fried Egg Sandwich. This is no ordinary breakfast sandwich.

Max's Wine Dive Fried Egg Sandwich

Three over-easy eggs were topped with a garlic black truffle aioli, applewood-smoked bacon, Gruyère, lettuce, tomato and drizzled with truffle oil. This rich sandwich surprisingly low in calories. (Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Nothing here is low in calories.)

Sometimes when you’re taking lots of food photos in a restaurant, people want to know what’s up. On this occasion the friendly couple next to us wanted to know each dish we were eating and offered up their own chicken and waffles for a photo. I happily snapped a couple shots since Max’s is famous for their fried chicken. How good does this look?

Max's Wine Dive Chicken and Waffles

So what’s the takeaway from Max’s brunch? Go. Immediately. And park a mile away so you can start walking it off.

Friday, May 17th

Bronko Box

Check out this guest post from Lani Rosales, Chief Operating Officer of AGBeat, renowned business and tech writer, and queen mother of Austin’s coolest monthly networking event, BASHH

Moving. The very word sends shudders down the spines of slobs and obsessive compulsives everywhere. The mere thought of organizing, packing, taping, labeling, carrying, loading, unloading, cutting, unpacking, and organizing is enough to make anyone’s head feel like it’s full of angry honey badgers.

My husband and I recently decided to move apartments, and it was a task filled to the brim with procrastination, and most days, I opted to dig through Pinterest for tips on moving instead of actually doing the work of moving.

Bronko Box

During my quest, I procrastinated even more by spending time on Facebook asking if anyone had packing supplies or tips or hell, if anyone would just come do this for me. That’s when I heard about Bronko Box, these plastic totes that could be delivered right to my door in bulk, they are essentially rented for a week or two (however long it takes you to pack/move), then they pick them up when you’re done. Sign me up!

Bronko Box

Bronko Box

When Bo at Bronko Box arrived with “tons of totes” as we started calling them, they came in both large and small, and I was immediately struck by how clean they were – I expected banged up, crookedy, scratched-up plastic totes, but no, they even smelled like new plastic and office supplies. Mmm, office supply smell….

Bronko Box

I wanted to build a fort out of them on our giant patio, but I was told that we were moving in three days and I hadn’t touched a thing, so I better get started. No fort. Okay.

So I started pulling everything off of the walls and out of the closets, and everything I had learned on Pinterest flew out of my brain faster than a kid can down three pixie stix. That’s fast.

Bronko Box

With what our family is calling the “Bronko Box method,” I would pull one box off of the stack, fill it, close the top (and no ridiculous tape, btw), stack it on the previously filled box, slap a sticker on it with the room name and DONE. They all stacked together on a dolly and went right on and off the truck.

Bronko Box

The biggest surprise to us is that the fact that there was a difinitive date they were picking the boxes up, we had to unpack – no living from boxes for weeks. We’re pretty OCD about unpacking, but this really pushed us to not be lazy, and we needed it, given that my husband and I work 15 to 18 hour days.

Bronko Box

Bo came back, zipped the boxes out, and they were gone. I was a little sad when they left.

Reserving them and working with the company was easy as pie, and the prices were reasonable. The only suggestion I have is that they need to hand a flyer to people when they drop boxes off that give tips like “don’t cram solid gold bars in here, they’ll be too heavy,” and organization tips like “divide boxes out per room so you don’t run out” or “place heavy stuff on the bottom,” or whatever more eloquent advice the experts have.

Next time you’re packing, do what grocery stores and gas stations have done for decades and skip the boxes and non-biodegradable packing materials that kill the environment – just order some Bronko Boxes. We won’t be using traditional packing boxes or materials again. Ever.

Bronko Box

Bronko Box

Disclosure: Bronko Box provided their services free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, April 10th

Llama’s Peruvian Creole Food Truck

Llama's Peruvian Creole

Recently I was invited to check out Llama’s, a cool Peruvian food truck on the corner of 7th and Trinity. After stopping for a beer at The Chicago House, Mr. Betty and I walked over to Llama’s. They are right next to each other, and you can feel free to grab some food and bring it into the bar. I can tell you, I will definitely do that. Because this food was SPECTACULAR.

Llama's Peruvian Creole

The colorful little trailer serves fresh and healthy dishes, unlike any I’ve ever tasted. All food is prepped from soup to nuts inside the trailer. Not in a separate kitchen. How impressive is that? In a space this small, there’s not a lot of room to stock things, so everything is truly very fresh.

I had little knowledge of Peruvian food, so I was surprised (and delighted) by the Chinese influence on street food. We tried two dishes, but it was a tough decision because everything on the menu was appealing. Arroz con Pollo is typically very hard to execute to perfection, so I immediately gravitated to that. Mr. Betty chose the Lomo Saltado, a stir fry of beef tenderloin, tomatoes and onions, thick cut french fries, scallions, soy sauce, and cilantro over garlic rice. The beef was so melt-in-your-mouth tender and every bite was an explosion of flavor.

Lomo Saltado

The Arroz Con Pollo was equally good. The fragrant cilantro rice was the perfect background for the succulent braised chicken. My heart sings that I can get a Peruvian version of this classic home-cooked meal out of a truck.

Arroz con Pollo

We have so many food trucks in Austin, and more often than not, I walk away feeling meh about the whole experience. When you find a good one, it’s like winning the lottery. And this, my friends, is the jackpot. I can wholeheartedly recommend this truck! Go check it out!

Thursday, April 4th

Daruma Ramen

Next Monday Austin’s newest ramen shop opens for business! Located on East 6th across the street from Easy Tiger and Jim-Jim’s Water Ice, Daruma is an off-shoot of the immensely popular Komé

Daruma

The decor is chic and modern, with seating for maybe a couple dozen people packed in tight. The place is small and the kitchen is small. This is an authentic little ramen shop so be prepared to cozy up to your neighbors.

Daruma

Daruma

Now, the menu will surely evolve and expand, but when I went for the soft opening last week there were four ramen options. I was with Mr. Betty, South Austin Foodie, and Sugarfoot Eats, so we tried all four. There are two major things that set Daruma apart from the other ramen places in town. One, it is run by a woman. Two, the broth is not pork-based. These are both appealing.

The Shio is a clear, very intensely chicken-y broth. Toppings are simple and the noodles were bouncy and had the perfect amount of give. I found myself wishing for a flavor bomb or some mayu to give it a little something.

Shio

The Shoyu has the same chicken-based broth mixed with seafood stock. It had great depth of flavor while still maintaining the meticulous clarity and lightness.

Shoyu

The Miso was the favorite among my group. It was the most flavorful of the broths. Don’t let the opaqueness fool you, this was still as light as could be. Where ramen broths tend to be bold and often fatty, Daruma is doing something different. I love the variety and complexity of each of our ramen places. There is so much labor that goes into making these broths and it’s a beautiful thing to sit in front of a steaming bowl and taste the love. Not to be a total hippie about it.

Miso

And finally, the most interesting of the broths, the Veg Ramen. Which is actually vegan. The most difficult and time consuming broth to make, the layers of flavors are achieved by slowly leaching the essence of many vegetables and fruits. Yes, fruit! While not sweet, I was able to detect the fruit up front, with a clean vegetable finish. The rainbow of toppings will make this a clear favorite among vegans and veggie lovers, who often miss out on complex broths.

Veg

I believe the woman’s touch is evident in the devotion to lightness and clarity of the broths. It is unique in its style and presentation, and while it may not be for everyone, I predict it will have a solid fan base who favor the lightness.

When Daruma settles in and adds some sides and tweaks to the menu, I will make a return visit and reevaluate. I encourage you to go visit Austin’s newest noodle friends and give them a try. Be prepared to wait in line outside and know that you are taking part in centuries old tradition. The wait for ramen is time to reflect and focus on your hunger, deepening your appreciation for this art in a bowl.

Monday, April 1st

Why should you go to Uchi for happy hour?

Here’s why. The palette-cleansing sorbet is divine. The flavors are seasonal and change all the time. This was coconut. My favorite!

Sorbet

The smoked baby yellowtail is balanced with sweet Asian pears and sits atop yucca crisps. The crunch is intensified by Marcona almonds and garlic brittle.

Machi Cure

Uchi offers a selection of rolls for their social hour, all priced at an affordable $6, or $3 for vegetarian rolls. The Negihama Roll is simple with baby yellowtail and scallions.

Negihama Roll

The Crunchy Tuna Roll features big eye tuna, avocado and cucumber. The tempura flakes elevate the traditional California roll to something much more special.

Crunchy Tuna Roll

The side to end all sides are the aromatic, flavorful brussels sprouts. Fried and tossed with a caramel fish sauce, lemon and chili, the staff jokes that this is the dish that pays the mortgage. I believe Uchi is the cause for the brussels sprouts renaissance in Austin.

Brussels Sprouts

My friend is a pork belly connoisseur and the Bacon Steakie is one of her favorites. I am crazy about the presentation and the watermelon radish. This is a little plate of decadence.

Bacon Steakie

Last but not least, on this particular social hour visit was the Walu Walu. The large piece of succulent escolar is grilled and sitting in the lightest broth. This was my favorite dish on this day and I thought about it for days afterward. God, I love fish so much.

Walu Walu

Both Uchi and Uchiko have very popular happy sake social hours, which is daily from 5 to 6:30 . You get the same great service and food at an unbelievable price. Sake and Asahi’s are $3, and most menu items are $6. Uchi’s prices might fall into “special occasion” eats, but their happy hour makes it affordable for anyone to enjoy a fabulous dinner and the royal treatment.