Tag Archives: Review

Why Teo is Better than Lick Ice Cream in Austin

Divine cream meets Italian technique, and the only true scratch made ice cream in Austin.

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People get so amazed that it tastes like watermelon, and I’m like yeah, that’s because it is

We love seeing how people’s backgrounds blend into food. Matthew Lee started in technology and then said to the heck with tech with all of its little bits and bites. He was sick of reinventing the wheel just to be ahead of the curve. “None of those apps will exist in six months. Facebook will even be gone in ten years. This, you can actually make. You can touch it, feel, throw, smell and eat it. You can’t with technology. You can use real ingredients with real products and at the end of the day you can see people’s reactions.” When Lee came to Teo after Italy it was after hanging out with chefs all of his life. Lee eventually trained in Florence. From his travels and gelato mentoring he learned that the better the ingredients, the sweeter the ending.  “If you have bad ingredients you can only be so good. It’s amazing how many ingredients are used to create one flavor. People get so amazed that it tastes like watermelon, and I’m like yeah, that’s because it is.” Now he uses that technology background for the math of ice cream. To account for the water (even in fruit) and the acidity, influences the entire product and turns Teo into the art and science of ice cream.

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Out of 500 products that got submitted at HEB’s best awards Teo took the number one spot. People believed that they had something. Then the top 60 gelato makers were brought together in Chicago and Teo was number one yet again. What they did to make it consistently brilliant was by having three flavors and constantly tasting them. The science and ingredients conquered the contest yet again. Knowing when to add which ingredient to where the texture forms one perfect moment.

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Making Their Own Base

How do you compete with Amy’s?

The big difference is that Teo make their base. The other ice cream shops buy theirs.  “For me it’s like they’re saying I make the best chicken soup but the stock is Swanson’s.” I contest that at least Lick uses Mill-King, but Jerry says “It isn’t even grass-fed. I was one of the first to use Mill-King six years ago and the quality is so inconsistent. We use Texas farms and try to source locally for all ingredients.” I was annoyingly shocked at this news. Then folded to Google confirming that Mill-King does not claim grass-fed. Because they make their base Teo can make anything, even bacon ice cream.

Lee would even say ice cream shots have too much fat in their products and so they have to add more sugar. It’s like adding butter to a baked potato and you keep adding bacon and cheese until you can’t taste the potato.

Words can only speak so loudly so we go in and taste the ice cream.

The real pecans. The true flavors. Everything is creamy, pure and layered with flavor. Like a small bite dish from Uchi.

It’s real. Go taste ice cream’s reality.

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The Humble Chef interviews Chef McHugh of Cured

Co-written by Jason Salas and Ainsley Daschofsky

The interview started by saying how humbled we were to be sitting down with Chef Steve Mchugh of Cured. Chef Mchugh is a man that you want to know. A man to meet before you die, or at least try his food. In the interview, Mchugh divulged that he hopes the food speaks so loudly for him that he doesn’t even have to be at the restaurant. You taste his mind even if he is nowhere near you. For Jason, he is someone you want to aspire to be like as a chef. We knew that this couldn’t be just any type of interview. It had to be from our hearts. It had to have passion and respect for the man we were sitting with. We were nervous. Ainsley and I were ready. This one was going to matter.

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Happy Hour at Toulhouse with AFBA

Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance let us into their tribe a few months ago. We were both thrilled to just imagine it. Talking food with people that loved it as much as we do. Obviously every human loves food. We eat it to survive. But these people also worship it. We birth it from our brains as recipes. We dress it up with dark chocolate ganache or a leaf of basil. We stay at home on Friday nights to imagine rosemary infused donuts.

It is our love. A marriage to the senses of flavor, the sense of beauty and the taste of a memory.

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Every month we have happy hours. We have tasted Tyson’s Tacos, Chicon and District Bar and Kitchen. Every time we are treated like the goddesses and gods of the food world. Like royalty. It’s how the media sees us because we are the ones that tell the public what we think. They know we matter. We love to hear the passion in their voices. Their vulnerability in exposing their souls to us as we eat their imagination. They also contemplate donuts…some with whiskey or maybe truffle oil, but donuts unite us all. It is a bond we all feel.

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At Toulhouse, pronounced Too Loose, you are greeted by fire in the entrance. The warmth of the French bistro follows me inside and the small inside is opened by the architect’s skills. Glass mirrors stretch from ceilings and an open kitchen reminds me I’m still in Austin. Speaking of a great movie to watch about the man that brought the open kitchen to life is Jeremiah Tower:The Last Magnificent. The food has already reached the tables and I see my fellow bloggers in an instant with their whipped out robots photographing our models. Mini sandwiches. And champagne cocktails, made with brandy.

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Ainsley’s Food Review:

The croque madam was like your childhood came back in bite form. The pickled mustard seeds made it simple with flavor bursts. The smoked salmon was bright and filling with tons of dill. I think the dill overpowered other flavor notes and there wasn’t much complexity. The artichoke dip didn’t have enough artichoke to it but. The chips were crunchy and fresh. The desserts are where we found the exploration and thrill of flavor. Dark chocolate was warm and fluffy as a mini cake or perfectly tempered around Amy’s ice cream. The beignets rivaled New Orleans. The service was very pleasing to watch. There was a calmness around the place. No rush. Everyone was happy to be at their job.

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Jason’s Food Review:

French cuisine has always intrigued me. Tolhouse was no different. Magical smells of butter and meat filled the room. It reminded me of culinary school. I felt like that was what we had. We had a great experience that  brought me back to why I became a chef. Our beef tartare  had traditional flavors. But we did feel like the dijon mustard was a little too much for the palate. The duck confit was absolutely delicious. Full of flavor and beautifully presented. Now the one thing that made me close my eyes and think to myself was the beignets.  So flaky and moist. The texture of the pastry was perfection. If there was anything that I would say is a must have it would be the beignets. I cannot wait to go back and have another magical moment alone with those pastries

 

 

Austin Halal Our Favorite Mediterranean Food Truck

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When you search for you favorite thing to eat in Austin and you don’t find what you are looking for. There are only a couple of things you can do about it. For most of us we go home and try and make it ourselves. Or just give up and go about our day. But for Raya Naser she did things a little differently. You see Raya tried really hard to find her favorite Mediterranean place in Austin. But let’s be honest. The scene here really isn’t that good. That was until now. That was until Raya did something about it. Last April Raya’s husband had a heart attack. It was an eye opener for the family. He asked Raya what she wanted to do in case he wasn’t able to be around anymore. Raya thought about it for a long time. And she decided that a food truck is what she wanted. Her dream was to have a place where people can go and enjoy great Mediterranean food.  She said this with a a couple of tears coming down. You could tell that for her this was life. Her husband is her best friend. He wanted to make sure that she had something that was stable in case something happened to him. As a husband and a father those are things that keep you from sleeping at night.

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Cured- Our #1 Restaurant

Author: Ainsley Daschofsky

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Every step I took away from the restaurant, concrete and bricks flashing into my eye retina, was like an interference. With a satisfaction so deep that the world couldn’t match, I licked my mind lips over and over. The match as a memory of fire hitting meat.  The memory of lamb ribs on top of me like a lass I’d been imagining for years and had finally won. The fat from the smoked rib charred my teeth with a memory’s gush as the fat spilled down my throat, swallowed into me. Eyes closed, keeping all else away from the brain memorizing every pull of lamb rib. While not memorizing. You can’t memorize what you already know. What your beast knows. Your primal DNA making the taste succulent to your inner knowledge. That’s the thing about flavor. It is no hologram. It was not factory made …until it was. Meat and its flavor is known to every creature that is human. Whether you have McDonalds or not. They can only tap into the buds that scream and dance and cry to their passion. Food. Survival. Instinct. Your brain says meat should be inside it because it is your survival. Cured’s burger was this release from being a part of the world, the modern day, and back into the being part of your insides. The known without speaking. They don’t fuck with meat until it’s a veggie burger or lay down caramelized onions to hide the blood that isn’t there.  Even the cheese goes inside the flavor. They char the blood to the perfect texture and honor its true flavor. They cure while pounding love into it. Eyes closed and mind dripping with bloody sweetness we call Cured our home.

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