Archive | April, 2012

The freshest chicken found at Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon

18 Apr

how funky is your chicken?

As a carnivore, I can’t think of many things better than grilled chicken.  I’m talking about marinated, moist, fall-off-the-bone chicken.  Chickens that were raised cage-free, in a healthy, clean and happy environment.  And chickens that didn’t have to travel far to get to your plate.  That is what you will find at Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon, a brand new eatery on Lamar  and 9th st that just opened this week .

The first thing I loved about Fresa’s are the bright, crazy colors that adorn the building.  They really get your attention as you drive by – as well as the colorful dancing chicken out front.  Fresa’s is set up as a pick up and go kind of place, there are only a few very small tables in the back.  My husband and I did eat on the premises, but you are much better off just going through the drive-thru and taking your feast home.  Which is perfectly fine – the food here may be fast, but certainly is not “fast food”.

The menu is pretty simple.  Chicken.  Chicken on the bone, chicken on a salad, chicken in a sandwich.  They also offer some yummy sides – rice, beans, mexican street corn, potato salad, grilled veggies and fruit.  They also have beer (by the 6 pack, perfect for on the go!), a few wines and aguas frescas – I had the watermelon and it was great.  They also make ice cream in-house by the pint – yummy!

ice cream...oh yeah.

I ordered the charcoal grilled chicken #2 – marinated in oregano and cracked pepper.  It was so tasty – the skin was slightly crisp and the meat was so juicy and tender.  That’s what you get with happy chickens raised in a humane way.  The birds come from Peeler Farms, which is located in Floresville, Texas, less than two hours away.  Their chickens never see the inside of a cage – they are born there, they run around like a chicken with its head cut off (sorry, couldn’t resist!) grazing on the grass, eating bugs and they are never given any medications.  Just doing what chickens do…

Fresa’s is a great place to pick up a good, home-cooked meal on the go.  I also love knowing that the food I’m eating is from a local farm that has such high standards for the treatment of their animals.  And that high standard is something you can taste.

Fresa's Chicken al Carbon on Urbanspoon

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Eat and drink very well at Drink.Well

11 Apr

I am absolutely loving my neighborhood right now.  It seems like every month, at every corner,  a new restaurant/bar is popping up.  What was once a sleepy little neighborhood street is now evolving into a destination for the night- who needs donwtown?  One of these such places is Drink.Well American Pub, located on North Loop (53rd St) between Lamar and Guadalupe. 

Happy Hour at Drink.Well makes its appearance Sunday – Thursday from  4 to 6 pm.  Take note, however, that they are closed on Wednesdays.  Don’t be like me, hearing about this new neighborhood hotspot, looking forward all day during work to when the clock strikes 5, excitedly racing to Drink.Well’s front door and then having my dreams quickly smashed while staring at a locked door and dark, empty bar because it is indeed a Wednesday and they are indeed closed.  Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic.

But I am happy to say that Drink.Well was well worth the wait!  The space is small, cozy and open, which is what I like in a neighborhood pub, and is well laid out, with only 6 tables and a long bar furnished with comfy, retro-style chairs.  They offer a nice selection of beers in the bottle/can and several on tap, as well as a nice selection of a few wines.  But what they really do right here are their cocktails – using fresh ingredients and a good imagination, they have come up with some interesting libations that really quenched my thirst.  My date for the evening was the El Diablo – tequila with fresh lime, blackberry cordial and ginger brew.  Very light and refreshing.  Their cocktails are $7 – $10, but during happy hour several of these are featured for $6.  Also during happy time – $1 off draught beer, $2 off wines by the glass and $5 house spirits.

Watch out for El Diablo - he's a sneaky devil!

Drink.Well also has a few food specials during happy hour – $4 brussels sprouts (which I heard were amazing), $5 wings, $5 chips and dip (tried these – very tasty) and $1 off of the ZLT (zucchini lettuce & tomato) or the fried bologna sandwich (that sounds so bad and so good at the same time). I also ordered The Salad, which was very fresh with a touch of citrus.   Other items I am looking forward to trying are the Kobe Burger, Crack and Cheese (a.k.a mac-n-cheese) and their homemade twinkies!

The Salad

chips and dips

The ZLT

I had a really nice time at Drink.Well. I thought the cocktails were fabulous and the food was inventive and fresh.  I absolutely loved the atmosphere of the place – bright, modern and cheery, a great neighborhood pub that I could easily see myself becoming a regular.  Uh-oh. 

Drink.Well on Urbanspoon

You can get happy anytime at Jasper’s

3 Apr

I tend to not visit chain restaurants too often.  And this blog is really about promoting locally owned and operated places.  But every once in a while, I figure an exception can be made.  Jasper’s,  located in The Domain in North Austin, is one of those exceptions.  It is part of a chain (there are Jasper’s in Dallas and Houston), but chain restaurants only become chains if they’ve got a good thing going on.  And this place does – especially for happy hour.

Any place that states “If we’re open, it’s Happy Hour” is okay in my book!  The happy hour deal only applies to seating at the bar or on the patio, but that’s fine because that’s where all the action is anyways.  Jasper’s has a great outdoor patio and a very nice bar with comfortable seating.  Their happy hour menu is great, not only for drinks but food as well.  The list of $5 edibles is substantial and delicious.  I tried the beef sliders- a pair of cute mini burgers topped with onion and pepperjack that were juicy, flavorful and a little messy (messy burger = good burger).  Other items on the happy hour menu include smoked brisket tacos with tomato avocado salsa, sausage pizza, ginger citrus marinated pork satay and a few others.  Plenty of food for a meal – and all at only $5 each!

Now on to the real reason why people go to happy hour – the drinks!   During happy hour (which really is all day everyday, remember?) they offer $2 off of specialty cocktails, beer and wine.  They also have a list of $5 martinis.  I tried the Skinny Margatini – tequila, agave nectar and fresh lime juice.  Not too sweet, not too tart and a perfect way to start off my weekend.

You can't go wrong with the Skinny Margatini

The beef sliders make a cute couple

I thought Jasper’s was a classy place with a great patio, good food and drinks at a good price and friendly staff.  It’s a fun and lively spot – good for whenever you are in the mood for happy hour.  And who doesn’t love that!

Jaspers on Urbanspoon

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