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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Woodland, Hey Cupcake!, & Steiner Ranch Steakhouse - Austin, TX Edition

My husband and I were in Austin for a Mumford & Sons concert with some friends, and we had the pleasure to enjoy a few really great places to eat.  So you know of course I have to share my experiences of them with you.  I really hope you are pleased while reading this, because I sure did take pleasure eating at these fine establishments.

After a night of dancing and drinking, a bloody mary sounded phenominal!  Our friends took us to a place called Woodland on South Congress.  The bloody mary's were the perfect amount of spice without being so spicy I could feel my stomach burning.  I enjoyed two of them they were so good.  They were served in smaller frosted glasses, so that could be the reason I had two, who knows?!?  I like to side with the fact that they were so yummy though.

The atmosphere in this restaurant is very relaxing.  There is a giant tree in the center.  One of the walls was covered in differently colored green tiles representing leaves.  The whole restaurant is painted in different shades of green.  My favorite color being green I felt very comfortable surrounded by it.  I also got lost in some of the paintings they had hanging on one of the walls.  They were blurred images of landscape.  It made me feel that I was in the car driving past the scenery depicted.  I have to congratulate and commend them for a very well thought out decor.

Our waiter was beyond nice.  He is definitely well suited for the job.  He also had a smile that made you want to smile back.  Great service!

For our breakfast that my husband and I split we decided on Chicken & Waffles.  This was my first chicken and waffles experience and I have to say that it was the best possible experience I could have had.  It was served with both syrup and white gravy.  I have never had a gravy that I have not had to add at least a little salt and pepper.  This one was absolutely perfect.  There was nothing that needed to be added or taken away.    The flavor combination of a friend chicken breast perfectly cooked over a sweet and vanilla-y Belgian waffle with syrup was something magical.  I have always had a stigma against chicken in sweet breakfast dishes, and that has been forever blown out of the water.  If you have a sweet chicken breakfast dish I now want to try it with all my being.  This dish was so good that for the rest of the day I talked incessantly about it.  Even after eating at the two places listed below.  I just could not seem to get it out of my head.  I definitely suggest next time you are in Austin you go here for your breakfast!!

I was also permitted to try my friends grilled cheese sandwich.  The bread was so soft and tasted like a bread cloud.  The cheese combination tasted similar to brie, but was not.  It was very good. Her boyfriend let me also try a bit of his Quiche Loraine, and it also was delectable.  It was an egg cloud.  Both dishes were light and airy, and you could taste the amount of love and care that was taken in making them.

Woodland Website

The food truck area had been spread out all around South Congress, and not in the nice little neat area it had been before, to my disappointment.  The only food truck I was able to eat at was Hey Cupcake!  I ordered their 'The Standard'. Which is a chocolate butter cream on a vanilla cake.  I have to be honest I was slightly disappointed.  The flavors were on point, but the cake was denser than I would have imagined it should have been.  I should have ordered some milk, because I thought I was going to choke from the dryness.  I do not think I would eat this again without ordering a milk with my cupcake. 

 Hey Cupcake! Website

For an early dinner before the concert we headed out to Steiner Ranch Steakhouse.  We arrived a little bit before they opened so we were able to enjoy the simply amazing view of Lake Travis from their awesome outside balcony.

We then sat at the outside bar to eat.  The group decided to order a bunch of smaller plates to share.  We ordered the Tataki which is a raw beef dish.  I had had a Tataki Roll before at RA Sushi, but this was definitely different.  It is served like a Ceviche.  It had green onions and garlic in it and I ignored the fact that it was raw beef and really liked the dish.  The next thing we ordered was Buffalo Quail Legs which were served with ranch dressing.  I had never eaten quail before, and loved this take on it. They removed all of the bones except one, so it was very easy to dip in the ranch and eat.  The third dish ordered was an order of fried green tomatoes which were also served with ranch.  How can you ever go wrong with fried green tomatoes?  You just can not!  The next dish we shared was a beef tenderloin on top of a crostini topped with a dollop of horseradish and sprinkled with chives.  I personally love the horseradish and beef flavor combination so I really relished in this dish.  The last dish we were served, which was my husband's personal favorite, were the beef tenderloin tips with fried potatoes.  These cuts of beef were quite scrumptious and very tender.

I also enjoyed an alcoholic beverage, but now for the life of me I can not remember what it was called.  (Most likely due to too much food, alcohol, and fun over the weekend)  It was a vodka, orange juice, orange liquor, etc. drink.  It was very yummy.  I made the comment at one point that it was like a, "vacation in a glass".  The waiter over heard me, and really enjoyed my description.  We high-fived over it.  :o) 

Steiner Ranch Steakhouse Website

My time in Austin from a food and non-food related perspective were both awesome.  The energy there was amazing.  Not sure if it was just because I was on a mini-vacation or if it just is like that all the time, but I will take my memories and pour over them with delight for some time in the future.  If you are in Austin I would definitely go to the Woodland.  It is my top pick of a place from the weekend.  Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed reliving it through writing this blog.  Have a great day!

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