Posts Tagged ‘South by South West’

Shoreline Grill: peaceful lunch with view

The Shoreline Grill now bills itself as “Austin’s first sustainable seafood restaurant.” Today’s crowd seemed to be half business meetings (law-related, to judge from what was overheard) and half conventioneering (really, also mostly business-related).

At our table, we sampled the soup of the day, a very complex and subtle preparation involving oysters and fennel and many mysteries. It was delicious. The lamb sliders were rich enough on their tiny toasted buns without the addition of a mayonnaise. They were tasty, and intended to be shared, I’m sure, since the three little lamb-burgers were a bit too much for one person. The unanimous choice for the entree was the fish of the day, loup-de-mer accompanied by watercress or a similar green in vinaigrette and by tiny, tiny potatoes.

The post-luncheon coffee was excellent, as was the expresso. The man-magnets quail and fried chicken remain on the menu, but chocolate intemperance, alas, is no more. In its place was another chocolate dessert, chocolate mousse cake, which those who ordered it happily downed, but the flavor was not so subtle or intense as the old standby dessert and the texture was more like a solid mousse with a bit of custard, or something like that. The fish was hot from the pan and exactly as it should have been, for the most part escaping the heavy hand with the salt-shaker that seemed to prevail everywhere else but for the soup.

Parking in the underground garage is still free with a stamped validation from the Shoreline. The music today was California-style pseudo-jazz loud enough to mask conversations but not so loud as to overpower them. Service was attentive and professional. This is still a great place for a business meeting and still has entrees, including vegetarian and salad specialties, to suit everyone, but I’ve decided it was really the chocolate intemperance that was the draw.

We were out and around during the noon rush-hour in order to buy bus passes and conduct some other business. Our plan had been to dine at Chez Nous if possible or, if not, at Louie’s 106. The pedestrian traffic jams were irritating in the extreme and that’s why, after leaving Capital Metro, we headed for the Shoreline. Even on Rainey Street and at the MACC, congestion is the rule.

Cafe Josie: now with outdoor seating

Cafe Josie is just as wonderful as ever (it wouldn’t be possible to say that it’s better than ever, because I’ve never seen any room for improvement). The menu can’t even begin to describe the intensity of flavor in what is brought to the table.

It would be a delight to try something new, but at lunch I can never bear not to order what’s described like this: “pepita redfish with mango habanero butter: Pepita and Spice Crusted and served on Poblano Rice and Cotija Black Beans with Tomatillo Chile, Ancho Chile, Spicy Pepitas and fresh Vegetables.” Today’s vegetables were sweet carrots and snow peas. I think that asparagus was one of the vegetables the last time around. The appetizers always seem to be just as generous as the entrees, and at our table today the following were ordered to be served in that way: (1) grilled lobster cakes with lime cilantro aioli and (2) crisp gulf oysters served with the same aioli and with a honey chipotle sauce. Others raved about the fish tacos. Diners on the patio appeared to be enjoying this new venue.

We found that the ideal “hot cross buns” from Sweetish Hill are available on weekends only, so we did without them, consoling ourselves with poppyseed kaiser rolls instead.

And because we had the rolls, we found it necessary to go to Kash-Karry Fresh Plus for delicious items to put in and on the rolls. And because we were next door to Sledd Nursery, we treated ourselves and our pleasure grounds to some additional geraniums.

All this was necessary to compensate for the spring-break dental visit, not anticipated or experienced with pleasure. But the aftermath described above made up for it. As we hustled around, we enjoyed the sounds of live music everywhere and the sight of so many people walking, wheeling on bikes, and riding the bus. Thank you, SXSW!

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