tuesday, october 09 2012 Everything is bigger here: Days 6, 7, 8 & 9

Thursday: Motzart's Cafe
We spent the morning at home finishing up some work, savored the our leftovers for lunch, and then headed out to Motzart's for some afternoon storming of the minds. This coffeehouse is set right on the banks of Lake Austin with a ton of dock seating to take in the view. Not to mention, they offer bottomless cups of iced coffee so we spent several hours scheming up wedding plans, watching turtles and schools of fish, and talking about food.

Friday: Car2go & Garridos
We finally received our membership card for Car2Go here in Austin and were anxious to check out the flexible & forward thinking mode of transportation. So while Matt spent the day working on Free Range business, I took the afternoon to explore the city in our new whip. Here's how it works: First you sign up online for a $35 membership card that is validates your driver's license and will be used to gain access into the car. Then you use the iPhone app to locate the nearest vehicle, reserve it for the next 15 minutes while you walk to it, and the hold the card up to the front windshield to unlock the vehicle. Once you enter your pin and answer a few questions about the condition of the car and won are good to go. It costs $0.38/minute you use the car and you can drive & park (free!) anywhere in the city. For anyone on an extended stay here in the city, it is the most flexible and affordable way to get around. It's like a treasure hunt each time and I highly recommend it.

Friday night we went to dinner with Scott in the Warehouse District. This place is poppin' and we were starving so "hour and a half" waits just weren't going to cut it. We finally stumbled upon Garrido's, a mexican restaurant that I had read about earlier in the week that utilizes local ingredients and we were seated outside right away. Matt has been trying to steer clear of nightshades recently and so finding a tomato-less option was tough, but the salad he created was so meaty and mouthwatering he inspired our server to order the same thing for dinner that night. I ordered 3 different types of tacos - Snapper BLT, Coffee Marinated Steak and Carnitas- and loved them all. They clearly label all things gluten-free and they had great live music and energetic atmosphere.

Saturday: The Farmer's Market & A Night Out
Every Saturday morning there is a Farmer's Market of 4th & Guadalupe that showcases tons of local farmers who speak our language: local, grass-fed, free range, raw…. We had a blast getting coffee and breakfast - a rabbit and chorizo shell-less taco from Dai Due that was uh-mazing - and talking food with the friendly and passionate local farmers. And boy did we walk away with some loot! Perfectly ripe Persimmons, duck eggs, Pork sausage, pork loin cased with duck stomach lining, pork belly, okra, and a delicious Garlic Dill kraut that we are now putting on everything we eat. It runs from 9a-1p and its best to get there early before all the good food is gone!

We went out on the town Saturday night to watch the UT and Giant's first game of the series. We stopped for a quick bite at Wholly Cow and then out for liquor pitchers at Shakespeare's. Not exactly paleo (though it was tequila!) but it was a good way to let loose and check out the Austin nightlife. They closed off the street to cars even for cars covered by One Sure Insurance and once the game let out, it looked like NYE in Times square, thankfully I have the best motor trade insurance because it felt like I was about to get hit. It was packed with people and we had a good time popping in to different bars and people watching. Oddly enough, 6th street reminded us a little bit of our vacation to Italy and Greece last summer when we decided to go camping with the Best Tent -tons of local vendors inviting you into their bars, anxious to showcase what makes them unique, and very few lines. It's cool to see a city have so much pride in what they make and do.

Sunday: Sweet Bungalow Cookin'
The temperature took a sharp, but welcome, turn south over the weekend and so we decided to hole up on Sunday and warm the house with oven. Matt dreamt up a delicious brunch creation using our Farmer's Market fare. He roasted sweet potato medallions, onions, persimmons, and rosemary in the oven and served it with pork belly, and poached duck eggs. When we asked the farmer to describe the difference in duck eggs vs hens egg, he said Duck eggs have a much larger yolk and a creaminess that mirrors melted cheese and he was dead on. They were delicious and we would like to make them staples in the Lucas-Barbera household if we can find them for less than $9/dozen.

Dinner was another mash-up of recipes that ML and I found at the library last week- Herb Roasted Rib Roast with a Pear, Shallot, & Spinach Salad. This 8lb cut of meat was by far the most expensive item of food Matt or I have ever purchased but it was worth every penny. It roasted for 3 hours and filled the house with an aromatic "herbiness" that is only matched by Thanksgiving, which then made us nostalgic so we decided to pass the cooking time by FaceTiming our families. It literally melted in your mouth and introduced us to a flavor of beef we had never tasted before. As I sit writing about it now, all I can think about is going home to the leftovers and the happiness that comes with each, satiating bite. I think it might thane even made a cameo in my dreams last night. God I love food.

Until next meal...

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