Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Moonshine Restaurant, Austin, Texas.

I have been slacking on my blogging because I didn't cook much these past few days! My friend from back home came to visit me and we had an amazing time. We made a wonderful spaghetti dinner for Hungry Husband, but that's pretty basic. I used Italian Sausage and a splash of red wine for my sauce, but that's about as exciting as it gets. Still delicious though!

So while my friend was in town, I took her to Austin to explore the city. We were walking along 6th Street, the entertainment district, and decided to find somewhere relatively cheap to eat, but no chain restaurants. We checked with our hotel and what they would suggest, so we decided on Moonshine Restaurant. Close to our hotel, close to 6th Street. Perfect.

Turned out to be more than perfect. It was one of the most amazing meals I have ever had. We walked in to a cute little restaurant and asked to be seated on the patio, which turned out to be the best idea ever. The patio had cute a small-town feel, cozy and comfortable with a seasoned popcorn waiting for you on the table. It was a wonderful atmosphere for a laid back, Friday night dinner.

We started with drinks and I ordered a Hard Lemonade. Vodka, mint, fresh lemonade, and a splash of Paula's Texas Lemon. I couldn't have ordered better. The ice cold drink was hands down the best hard lemonade that I have ever had. And drinking it on the porch of what feels like a family farm, was beyond compare.

After getting over the excitement of my fantastic drink, my friend and I finally ordered our food. The menu is very reasonably priced and has enough options to please my family of 7 (back home, that is). Everything looked delicious, so my friend and I decided to order two meals and share both. Turned out to be the third brilliant choice we made.

We settled on the Indigo Spinach Salad and the Mixed Grill Brochette. This was before our server (who was funny and easy to talk to, by the way) actually told us that he usually recommends the exact meal. Bingo! When our food arrived, it was like Christmas morning for our eyes and something even better for our bellies. Talk about a divine meal.

The salad was composed of peaches, blueberries, blue cheese, pickled red onions, toasted pecans, and blueberry balsamic vinaigrette. OH MY GOODNESS. If all salads tasted the way this one did, I'd have a salad for every meal. It was sweet and tangy and crunchy and FRESH! and so phenomenal that I am actually salivating just thinking about it. I had to stop myself, sit back, and just enjoy the tastes before my salad was gone.

The mixed grill was the perfect compliment to the salad. Two skewers of beef, chicken, pork, and shrimp served atop green chile cheddar grits with lemon garlic butter. Um. YES PLEASE. I think I just slobbered a bit. The meats were all cooked perfectly, and even though I don't like shrimp, I still ate it because it was just that amazing. And don't even get me started on the grits. My friend and I actually contemplated whether or not it was appropriate to lick the bowl clean in public. Her mom is from the south, so she makes a mean batch of grits, but let me tell you. We have never tasted anything quite like these ones. I wish I was a food critic so that I could describe them better than just "FREAKIN DELICIOUS!"

Oh and did I mention the complimentary corn bread muffins? There are no words. Just salivating.

Four days later, and I'm still not over this meal. I keep thinking about it, wishing I was sitting on the patio, sipping my lemonade and about to devour an insanely fantastic culinary creation. I hope I can talk Hungry Husband into going back with me. When I find something I like, I usually like to recreate it, like my Tokyo Joes recipe, but I'm not even going to attempt this meal. Not only are the flavors so perfectly blended together that I'd never be able to get it right, it was also the outdoor atmosphere that made this dining experience. It's definitely worth the 1 1/2 hour drive from where we live. I'd do it today if he let me. So if you're ever in Austin, you MUST go to Moonshine Restaurant on Red River Street. You won't regret it.

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