Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

Perfect at Perla’s

How have I not posted this yet? A couple of months ago, I had a near perfect meal, featuring the holy trinity of sausage, egg, and oysters. When you think Austin, you don’t think seafood, but between Perla’s and Uchi we seem to have our bases covered.

Anthony Bourdain apparently visited Perla’s when he came to town a while back. I can’t say that Perla’s is on my go-to list for people visiting Austin, but maybe it should be.


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My job has had me travelling to the New York area a lot lately, so on a recent weekend, Eliza flew up to meet me for a weekend in the city. In our continuing effort to be like Jeff and Elizabeth, we decided to try out the Ace Hotel. I would imagine that anyone who stays there and owns a camera takes this exact shot.

The Ace itself was great. The shower alone is worth the cost of the room. Even better, the place is full of good food and coffee. We started every day at Stumptown Coffee Roasters. They’re based out of Portland, so they know a thing or two about coffee. In this photo Eliza’s expression is called “I’ve grown to tolerate, perhaps even enjoy, your constant photo taking.”

We don’t call ourselves “foodies.” For one, the term gives me the willies. More importantly, “foodies” tend to take the fun out of eating. For us, fun is the whole point. So we’re not the kind of people who know the names of chefs. A notable exception to that rule, though, is April Bloomfield, the mastermind behind the Spotted Pig. It helps that the New Yorker recently ran a profile of her. The occasion for that profile was the opening of Bloomfield’s latest venture, The John Dory Oyster Bar, conveniently attached to the Ace.

Naturally, we started off with oysters. This was a very happy meal for Eliza especially. Shellfish as far as the eye could see.

Next up were a couple of soft boiled eggs, served with sea salt and parsley-butter slathered crostini.

Here was some kind of oyster soup with uni crostini. That’s uni as in sea urchin. This little dish is the kind of thing that makes you search in vain for appropriate metaphors. Let’s just say my mouth is literally watering as I write this.

Here was some other kind of mussel or clam-based soup. I’m telling you: Eliza can’t get enough shellfish. But I wasn’t complaining. The weekend was off to a lovely start.

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New Orleans, yesterday is going to he hard to beat. But let’s try. First stop is breakfast at Luke.

A few months back, Anthony Bourdain remarked that there’s no place on earth like you, New Orleans. Grillades and grits is a great example. I had never heard of it and I’ve never had anything like it. Highlight of the trip.

Chicken and waffles for Eliza.

Let’s go for a walk, New Orleans. You can sing us a song. “Do you know what it meeeeeeeans…”

Let’s try something completely different. What’s that? Another John Besh restaurant? Do they have grillades and grits?

A pork sandwich will have to do.

After a dinner (with no photos) at Herbsaint, we’ve got one final meal with you, New Orleans. Our last breakfast at Luke was lovely. Let’s do that again.

Eliza will have the pate. I’ll help her out. Doesn’t she look dainty?

Excuse me, New Orleans. Will you pass me my wide angle lens? Otherwise, I’m not going to be able to fit this soft shell crab sandwich in this camera’s meager frame. And yes, that is a fried egg on top.

Eliza’s mom had a fried oyster salad featuring the bacon of one Mr. Allan Benton.

That was fun, New Orleans. Let’s do it again soon.

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It’s high allergy season here in Austin, and it’s making me miserable. I find myself thinking about the east coast a lot. I think about November days when it doesn’t get up to 80 degrees. I think about being able to take a direct flight to somewhere other than Houston or Dallas. Also, I think about that lobster roll I had at Coastal Flats last time I was in Virginia. That thing was tasty.

lobstrer roll light

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Autumn in Washington

Eliza and I were in DC last weekend. It was a refreshing break from the Austin heat and rain. And on the cab ride in, it was nice to see some colors from the season that Texas forgot: autumn.

autumn 3

autumn 2

autumn 1

Our first meal was with all of our parents plus my brother and sister-in-law at Clyde’s, a DC standby. We jumped at the chance to eat seafood, especially some raw oysters.

clyde's 1

Eliza had the mussels. No surprises there.

clyde's 2

I went for the lobster, because it was pretty reasonably priced at $17.99 for a 1.25 pounder. (Incidentally, there’s a very interesting story behind why lobster has recently become so plentiful and cheap.) This one looks angry.

clyde's 3

I was forced to wear the bib. Laugh it up, everyone!

clyde's 4

Poor little guy. He never stood a chance.

clyde's 5

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