I’ve decided I’m going to make a point to visit more new restaurants around town. It’s so tempting to eat out only at the tried and true, but I am thrilled every time I discover some new little hole in the wall of awesomeness.
I have a thing about chain restaurants. I hate them. I mean, I love them, but I also hate them. They are so lacking in character and authenticity to me. Chili’s? You may have the best damn Chicken Crispers and Paradise Pie my mouth has ever beheld, and Red Lobster, your Cheddar Bay Biscuits kind of make me want to cry, they’re so good—but your originality is non-existent.
You Austinites probably already know that this is a major foodie town, and we’re all about locally sourced ingredients and supporting small businesses. Especially downtown, there’s a hipster-run restaurant or coffee joint on every corner, and I am always so pleased by my visits to these places. Blue Dahlia on the east side, for example. It was a busy Sunday and my mom and I sat at a community table while we ate our delicious lunch and were serenaded by an accordion player. I got the chicken salad sandwich with nuts and dried cranberries, and my mom got the prosciutto with mozzarella, pesto, and sun dried tomatoes. So. So. Yummy.
Incidentally, right next door to Blue Dahlia is a fabulous little store called Take Heart, which my mom and I spent way too much time in. That has got to be THE perfect place to buy a unique gift for someone, or in my case, a few too many adorable cards. Makes me want to bring the snail mail back, I tell ya. For someone as postally lazy as I am, that’s saying something.
There was even a cute dog in there. What more can you ask for?