Thursday, January 28, 2010

Carillon Restaurant's New Menu

The Carillon Grill, located at the AT&T Executive Center on UT campus (just a stone's throw from Han's building!) is debuting a new menu, and we were invited to give it a try.

We had gotten a chance to taste some of Executive Chef Josh Watkins's dishes at the Chefs Under Fire competition. Some of the flavors were familiar, some we eagerly got to try for the first time.

We started off with the white bean soup which was creamy and subtle. Funny story: the first time we got to try it, Han wasn't really a fan. She said, "There's some kind of animal fat in it." I looked at the menu and said, "No, it's not animal fat. It's actually a smoked scallop." Han said, "Oh really? Oh then it's pretty delicious actually."

The other appetizers we got to try were the beef tartare and the eggplant caprese. We definitely favored the caprese, which was equal parts crunchy fried eggplant and soft mozzarella.

The real stars of the show, though, were the braised short ribs and the crispy pork belly. Usually "braised anything" is enough to get me out of my seat, and this was no different, although I admittedly did start to wonder if there was such a thing as "too tender." As for the pork belly, Han and I didn't really mean to be rude, but we probably ate like 5 or 6 of these dishes. So much for our "selective omnivore" New Year's resolution!

The restaurant itself was very swanky and it was the first time for both of us to visit. While we were visiting, we heard a lot of good things from other bloggers about the weekend brunches and dinner tasting menu for $38. We are looking forward to our next opportunity to eat here, but that brings up another question for us. Who is the primary clientele here? It's located in the middle of campus and it's apparently not open to the public for lunch. It seems a little nice for the average undergrad or grad student, so who does that leave? The faculty? Guests of the hotel? If you have an answer or a story or an explanation, we hope you'll share it with us below!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Good Knight

This restaurant I believe has been around for a couple of years but it sits in the heart of the much-advertised East Austin revival. This place was recommended to us by our friend James who knows East Austin well, so we decided to give it a shot.

It wasn't the easiest place to find, especially in the dark, but oh my, what a pleasant surprise it was when we did. It's hard to really say what's better about the Good Knight, the food or the drinks. Luckily they don't make you choose just one.

The food is not only delicious but very reasonably priced. You will eat well here. The chicken pot pie was so light and puffy, it looked more like a savory cupcake and tasted just as rich. The flatbread was probably our favorite and is definitely worth a try. The Good Knight also features many vegetarian options, and even meat eaters will enjoy the cheese and nut loaf. We've heard the veggie side of the day is usually a home run, and this was definitely the case when we went: the creme-drizzled portobello mushroom cap was fresh and delectable.

Not to be outdone, however, were the drinks. The mixologists at the Good Knight have some of the best hand-made libations that I've had in recent memory. It's a little TOO easy to get caught up in the drink menu. The self-titled Good Knight features whiskey, lemon liqueur, and bitters, and will definitely put some hair on your chest. Also tasty were the Bee's Knees (gin, honey, lemon) and the June Rose (grapes, gin, basil). Be warned, however! We got a little too enthusiastic trying to try all the drinks, and ended up racking up quite a drink bill.

If there were any downsides to the Good Knight, the service could have been way more attentive, and it was almost impossible to see anything inside!

But whether for a date-night or a place to kick-start a group night in East Austin (or heck, even as a place to end the night; it's open til 2am 7 days a week!) you can't go wrong with the Good Knight.

The Good Knight
1300 East 6th Street

Monday, January 4, 2010

The World's Easiest Chicken Pot Pie

Here at Keep Austin Tasty, we love eating and we love cooking, but the truth of the matter is that we are much better at the former than we are at the latter. As such, our favorite recipes are not only easy and delicious but ones that someone who isn't a great cook would actually be confident to serve to guests.

We initially found this one after Thanksgiving as a means of finishing up leftover turkey, but we loved it so much we've actually had rotisserie chicken for dinner a few times specifically so we can use the leftovers.

The instructions are foolproof:

Step 1: Buy a rotisserie chicken and eat half of it. We recommend HEB's Honey Jalapeno for taste or Costco if you want more chicken for your buck

Step 2: Shred the rest of the chicken with two forks

Step 3: Prepare a package of frozen vegetables according to directions. Broccoli, peas, and carrots are a good mix for a traditional pie. The HEB Asian stir-fry adds a tasty twist with snap peas, red peppers, and water chestnuts.

Step 4: Combine chicken, veggies, and 1 can of condensed Cream of Chicken soup. Add a pinch of kosher salt and plenty of ground pepper.

Step 5: Pour ingredients into a frozen pie crust. Place second thawed pie crust on top and bake according to directions.