Archive for the ‘Austin’ Category


May 25, 2008 - 2:25 am Comments Off on Yum

My husband and I have been to Restaurant Jezebel several times, the latest of which was tonight. I keep meaning to blog about it and keep forgetting.

Today was our 10th wedding anniversary, so I made reservations for Jezebel and let them know we had a celebration. When we got there, we were seated promptly in their dark, cavernous-but-cozy dining room which is decorated with pictures of nekkid women. The kitchen is open to the restaurant and you can watch Chef Vora back there working his magic.

Jezebel is a little out of the norm in that they don’t put any pressure on you to order, switch courses, or pay the bill. To some, this seems like poor service; in reality it’s just a departure from the American norm of quick table turnover. You can sit and enjoy coffee and conversation until they close without being pestered to leave. It’s rather nice once you know the score.

Our waiter, TJ, was one we’ve had before and he’s wonderful. He asked if we would like to order some champagne for celebrating, so we did. We also got the table noshes: a tray of sauteed olives (wish I had the recipe for this), some bread, and a plateful of olive oil with a baleful balsamic eye in the middle for dipping.

For starters we both ordered the foie gras in sweet chili glaze. To be honest, one of the reasons we went to the restaurant in the first place was to thwart the austin anti-foie protesters who have targeted several places around town for both picketing and vandalism. Many issues with that – too many to go into other than to say why don’t they protest restaurants that don’t serve free-range beef and chicken? Because it’s hip.

Anyway, the foie gras was at an absolute peak tonight. I took a bite and it transported me. I closed my eyes and just let it take me away. I wanted to cry, it was so good. It’s a nice portion, too – probably 3-4 oz. Last time we went, I ordered it and they brought it out with the apology that it shrank more than anticipated during cooking and they would bring more ASAP; they brought out almost twice as much as what my husband got.

Tonight TJ asked if I’d like a little sauternes to go along with the course, and I happily said yes. The pairing was sublime.

Between courses was a palate cleanser of aloe vera sorbet. I’d have to say this was the only slightly flat note of the evening. It was refreshing, yes, but it was way too much like dining on hand lotion. I never realized that’s what aloe vera tasted like. I always thought it was just lotion fragrance.

My main course was lamb two ways – rack of lamb in a pumpkin seed crust and braised lamb shank. It came with a side of fresh greens (like watercress) and some horseradish mashed potatoes. TJ offered up a nice wine pairing with the dish, and hubby got himself a beer because he’s so not into the wine thing. His dish was a napoleon of filet with roasted tomatoes and a chipotle hollandaise. Both entrees were wonderful.

For dessert I ordered a creme brulee and hubster got the lemon curd mousse. His was ZING very lemon. Mine was really nice and creamy vanilla. TJ gave me some 40 year port to go with it.

With the check, they gave us a hand-written thank you note for spending our anniversary with them. The only liquor on the bill was the bubbly and beer – everything else was comped, as was hub’s dessert.

I have to mention the ladies’ room. It’s really a sight to behold. Once your eyes accustom to the even deeper gloom in there, you’ll notice that the walls are covered in astroturf. There’s a squashy purple velvet armchair in the corner and another nekkid lady on the wall. There are baskets with feminine items as well as tooth flossers.

In short, this is our favorite restaurant in Austin and probably the world. I really, really hope they stay afloat. Give them a shot if you have a special occasion.

What I did today, a.k.a. boy, it’s hot

May 20, 2008 - 4:46 pm 3 Comments

I’m trying to overcome my self-imposed title of “Black Thumb.” Yes, I have had a tendency to kill plants in the past, but mainly because I forgot to water them. Shame.

But there’s nothing like a home-grown tomato, is there? And now since the tree got blown down a couple of years ago, we have lots of sunlight in that corner of the yard. So we decided to give square foot gardening a shot, and see if we can keep anything unscathed between the deer, armadillos, squirrels, and blue jays that frequent the neighborhood. We have a fig tree and in 7 years of living here, have NEVER managed to beat the scavengers to the fruit.

It’s a late start, but here is what I planted today in the boxes that hubby built this weekend. In the herb pots I have mint, oregano, basil, parsley, chives. In the boxes live several varieties of tomatoes, eggplant, leeks, watermelon, spinach, serranos, and a chili petin.

Wish us luck!

Hail, Caesar

May 15, 2008 - 1:40 am 1 Comment

Click for larger versions:

That’s some hail, innit?

This stuff was flying sideways right into the west side of the house. All those chunks of hail bounced off the windows on the front door. Surprised all the glass is intact.

Texas in May is always so interesting.

What a shame

May 2, 2008 - 4:53 pm Comments Off on What a shame

It’s a shame that “Dee Cook Haters” didn’t do as they promised the police investigator and undo what they’ve done in terms of online postings, mail list signups, etc. This was really the work of a 9 year old?

The ironic part is that people searching for Good Morning Tree Company are going to come across this campaign of threats and harassment in the search results now.

WWO wins!

March 10, 2008 - 9:03 pm 2 Comments

World Without Oil won the SXSW Web Award in the Activism category. There’s a pic on Wired with those of us who were at the conference on stage accepting the award. Many thanks to Ken, Jane, Cathy, Michelle, Marie, and Krystyn for helping make the world’s most awesome game – but especially to the players who made it easy and wonderful. 🙂

Our panel went very well, I think, and I’m grateful to Tony Walsh and Dan Hon for asking me to join them.

Can’t believe SXSWi is almost over already!

Panelist at SXSW

March 4, 2008 - 11:03 pm 2 Comments

I was asked to fill in as a panelist for SXSWi this weekend. The details about our panel aren’t online yet, but it will be about ARGs (of course). Tony Walsh and Dan Hon will also be on it.

We’ll be in one of the rooms on Saturday at 3:30. Come by if you’re there! And don’t forget to keep voting for World Without Oil in the People’s Choice awards. A nice article about Jane McGonigal and WWO in the Austin Chronicle this week, by the way.

The next step in Good Morning Tree Company’s evolution!

February 6, 2008 - 9:27 pm 2 Comments

Good Mourning Tree Co. (or Good Mourning Tree Co.) has evolved! Woohoo!

They have gone from littering my house to littering my blog!

Well hey, at least they’re not killing trees for the paper to advertise now. Hyuck hyuck.

I find it amusing that the name in the email address they used three times is the same name that’s in one of their recent favorable Citysearch reviews. Funny how a rash of happy customers started showing up there around October, after multiple one-star reviews previously (except for the guy who admitted he worked there and rated himself tops).

On a side note, if my house is ever vandalized or I get murdered in my sleep or something, please don’t forget about these posts.

You know you’re in rural South Texas when…

December 23, 2007 - 11:53 pm 1 Comment

…you can buy ammo at the grocery store.

Something tells me that asking the Austin Whole Foods where they keep their .308 might be a bad idea.