Eating San Marcos

Just a girl eatin' her way around San Marcos and Austin

Ice Cream in the Summer Time — June 28, 2015

Ice Cream in the Summer Time

There’s nothing better than eating ice cream during the warm summer months (which in Texas means about 5 or 6 months out of the year). Think about it, you rarely encounter someone who doesn’t like ice cream, am I right? It’s such a delicious frozen treat, and it’s fun to eat especially when it’s out of a cone. There’s so many different flavors and toppings, the possibilities are endless, really.

Everyone has their preference of brand of ice cream, which just makes it all the more fun. I know many Texans go nuts over Blue Bell (you poor things have gone too long without your Blue Bell!) but personally, I’m not a huge fan of it. Some prefer Ben & Jerry’s or Häagen-Dazs, while others prefer Cold Stone or Breyers. There’s so many options out there, but my all time favorite ice cream is Amy’s Ice Cream. Amy’s is an Austin original, channeling the funky “Keep Austin Weird” vibe. They have many locations all over Austin, and going to Amy’s is truly an experience. If you decide to get “Crush’ns” in your ice cream, they whip it up right in front of your eyes, making it super entertaining and fun. One time when I went, they even had me try and catch my ice cream in the cone (luckily, I caught it)!

The best thing about Amy’s Ice Cream is the Mexican Vanilla. It is SO GOOD. It will blow your mind. It’s my all time favorite flavor, and I always order it. I like to mix up what I get either on top or mixed into it, though. I had to run a couple errands in Austin a couple days ago, so naturally, I had to stop and get Amy’s before making the trek back to San Marcos. This time, I decided to go with Mexican Vanilla in a cone with rainbow sprinkles. I know rainbow sprinkles don’t have much of a taste, but they’re so fun and the child in me has a blast eating the rainbow pieces of sugar off my ice cream. If I don’t get rainbow sprinkles, I often get Mexican Vanilla and something involving hot fudge. Their hot fudge it to die for. It has a very unique and different flavor from traditional hot fudge. Sometimes I get the milkshake called the “Brown Cow” which is Mexican Vanilla mixed with hot fudge. It’s so worth the millions of calories it probably has!

Another thing that really interests me about this business is the employees and their jobs. They take their ice cream making very seriously. Amy’s wants it to be seen as an art, which I think is really cool. If you want to apply at Amy’s, you have to design a paper bag in some artistic way. I think this style of application really speaks for what Amy’s is about. If you want to learn more about what they’re looking for in employees or the application process, I’ve attached the link here!

Go enjoy an ice cream cone with someone you care about this week. It’s summer, for heavens sake!

That’s it for now!

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Food Bloggers Unite — June 25, 2015

Food Bloggers Unite

There are so many food blogs out there that it was difficult choosing one that really stood out to me. I know on my blog I mainly discuss places to eat out at as opposed to sharing recipes and things I’ve cooked myself. I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to experiment with cooking some of my own food and sharing that on here, which I have yet to do (oops).

With that said, the blog I’m choosing to review consists of recipes that the blogger has come up with herself. Jeanine and her husband live in Austin, TX, so they’re quite local to the San Marcos area! http://www.loveandlemons.com is the name of her blog.

One of the first things that stuck out to me about the blog is the fact that most of the recipes posted are vegetarian. After having been a vegetarian myself for many years, I understand and admire her creativity with the recipes because it can be very difficult to come up with interesting and fulfilling vegetarian meals. Many of my friends are vegetarians so I’m often subjected to vegetarian friendly meals at social gatherings (not that that’s a bad thing!). Anyway, as I was scrolling down the homepage of the blog, the first recipe that really caught my eye was the strawberry basil smashed avocado toast. It looks SO delicious! I’m a huge fan of anything with avocado in it or on it, and this recipe sounds perfect for the summer.

Most of the recipes on Love & Lemons look super healthy, which is a huge plus! Jeanine uses fresh and wholesome ingredients, which is something I really admire in someone’s cooking. I think what really makes this blog unique is that many of Jeanine’s recipes are based off her travel experiences. I love trying ethnic food, and the fact that Jeanine tries to recreate recipes she’s tried from all around the world is really cool.

Something else I love about Love & Lemons is that you can search for recipes by ingredients, special diets, and even seasons! I definitely plan on trying out some of her recipes in the near future.

This is her
This is her “sweet pepper panzanella”. I love how colorful this dish is! http://www.loveandlemons.com/2014/07/25/sweet-pepper-panzanella/
Coffee and a Sandwich — June 24, 2015

Coffee and a Sandwich

One thing that we are very lucky to have in San Marcos is an abundance of cute little coffee shops. There’s Mochas & Javas, Tantra Coffee House, Wake the Dead Coffee House, and my new favorite, Jo’s Cafe. Today I stopped by Jo’s Cafe to grab some lunch and a coffee and do a little blogging. I’ve visited Jo on the Go a handful of times, but this was my first time to ever go to Jo’s Cafe. I believe that Jo on and Go and Jo’s Cafe are owned by the same people, considering they have many of the same menu items. One of my favorite things about both of these places are the specialty candy bar coffee drinks! They have drinks such as the Snickers and Butterfingers that are supposed to resemble the taste of the candy bar. You can get these drinks either iced or hot, so these make for the perfect afternoon refresher!

Today I decided to get an iced vanilla latte made with soy. This is usually my go to coffee drink to order at any coffee shop. I’m not a die-hard coffee lover or anything, but I do enjoy a good latte! Their lattes are super yummy. They’re made with the perfect amount of sweetness – not too bitter but not sickly sweet either.

As for food, I had the ham and cheese panini. The panini was tasty, but not the best sandwich I’ve ever had. Personally, I prefer the sandwiches at Tantra (their vegetable sandwich is my absolute favorite!) but the panini was by no means bad. They had a breakfast quesadilla on the specials board that looked amazing! It was made with scrambled eggs and vegetables. I think next time I’ll try that instead!

My favorite thing about Jo’s Cafe is the atmosphere. The space itself is fairly small, but there’s a handful of tables and some couches inside that give it a cozy vibe. I can’t wait to come to this place in the fall/spring because they have a really cool outdoor area with tables and chairs. Right now it’s incredibly too hot to sit outside, but I’ll definitely come here to study and grab a latte in the fall semester. Another great thing about this place is that it’s within walking distance of my apartment! I live at the Vistas and it’s just a short walk to get here from my complex. Once again, when it’s a bit cooler outside, I’ll definitely enjoy walking or riding my bike here!

Here’s Jo’s Cafe’s Facebook page, in case you’re interested in checking it out!

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jos-Cafe/242591845931740?fref=ts

Next time you’re in the mood for a good cup of coffee and some tasty breakfast or lunch, check out the little blue house on Mary St. You’ll be happy you did!

Ham & Cheese, please!
Ham & Cheese, please!
Iced Vanilla Latte
Iced Vanilla Latte
Photo Slideshow — June 23, 2015

Photo Slideshow

Following up my previous post about sushi, I made a photo slideshow that demonstrates the procedure of rolling a sushi roll! This roll is the “Yummy Tuna Roll” from Kobe. The description of the roll from the menus is as follows: Shrimp tempura roll topped with tuna, avocado, eel sauce and spicy mayo. The best part of this whole process was that I got to eat it afterwards!

Enjoy!

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My Incredibly Genius App Idea — June 19, 2015

My Incredibly Genius App Idea

Have you ever been craving food from a certain restaurant but none of your friends want to go with you? You don’t want to go eat alone because then you’d look like a loser. But you need Chipotle in that very moment and all of your friends claim to be too poor to go out to eat. Well here’s something that would solve that very problem: an app that matches you up with people who are wanting to eat at the same restaurant as you.

Think about it like a Tinder but for places to eat instead of people. It would be cool because not only would you not be lonely at the table, but you’d also have a lot of cool opportunities to meet new people and make friends! I know there’s been plenty of times where I much rather would have chosen to do something like this as opposed to getting take out and eating my cold food home alone. I’ve linked to a website that explains how Tinder works so you can get an idea of how it would work.

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/feature/internet/what-is-tinder-faq-3515013/

The name I’ve chosen for this app is “Meet & Eat” because that’s exactly what people would be doing. I think people would want to use this app because no one likes to eat all my themselves. It would be a great way to make friends who love to eat out just as much as you do!

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The Art of Rolling Sushi —

The Art of Rolling Sushi

Yesterday was a very exciting day for me. When I say exciting, I mean EXCITING. I got to learn how to roll my very own sushi! This has been a dream of mine for quite some time. I absolutely love sushi for two reasons: it’s delicious and beautiful. Sushi is very much so an art, and I think that’s one of the main reasons people obsess over it.

Luckily for me, I work at one of the few sushi restaurants in San Marcos. Kobe Steakhouse is a Japanese restaurant that offers sushi and teppan (that’s the hibachi grill where they cook in front of you) and many other japanese dishes such as gyoza and harumaki. The sushi at Kobe is really good! They have a ton of rolls on the menu and they even offer a selection of $5 rolls during happy hour.

Here’s the Kobe website if you would like to check it out! http://www.kobe-aztx.com/index.html

Ever since I started working at Kobe, I have been begging my manager to teach me how to roll sushi. I mean begging. Well, yesterday when we were super slow, he finally decided to teach me and I was beyond myself with excitement. Let me just say that I now give major props to the sushi chefs for being able to make rolls so fast, because it is much harder than it looks.

The roll I made had tuna, avocado, and cream cheese rolled with white rice and seaweed paper. I topped it with seared tuna pieces, chili flakes, eel sauce, and tempura flakes. It was SO delicious. I was very proud of my creation.

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Shake Shake Shake (Shack) — June 14, 2015

Shake Shake Shake (Shack)

Good news, another burger place in Austin just opened. Why should this excite you, considering the millions of places to grab a good burger at in the good old 512, you may ask. Well, what makes this place special is the fact that it’s a burger chain that started in New York City as a little hot dog cart in Madison Square Park. Shake Shack soon grew to be a huge success and opened it’s first restaurant in The City, and the rest was history. They now have restaurants all around the world, including a location in Austin, TX, which opened its doors to customers on May 5th. Shake Shack serves burgers, fries, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, and wine. What more could you really need?! They even offer that really unhealthy and processed melted cheese stuff as a topping for your fries, which of course I had to indulge in.

I have been dying to try out Shake Shack for a while now, so once I found out they were bringing a location to Austin I was ecstatic. I visited for the first time a few days ago, and I have some good things to say and some not so great things to say about my experience. We’ll start with the good.

THE BURGER. It was SO dang good. Like unbelievably delicious. As stated in an earlier post, I’m a sucker for a good burger and this place definitely did not disappoint. All of the veggies on it were fresh and tasty and the melted cheese was super gooey and yummy. When I’m in Austin and in the mood for a quick cheeseburger, I’ll often stop at P. Terry’s (a local Austin chain) and grab something. One thing that I always wish about P Terry’s burger is that the cheese was more melted, so Shake Shack’s burger definitely excelled in that category.

The cheese fries were also super good! They have crinkle fries there which is a nice change from just plain french fries, and the melted cheese on top made them so indulgent.

The interior of the restaurant was really cool. They have live plants growing on the wall (an employee came up to me admiring them and told me they’re real) and plants hanging from the ceiling in little pods. They also have exposed ceilings and lots of neat wood work lining the walls, tables, and chairs. It was all very posh.

Alright, and now for the bad…

The price. This place is EXPENSIVE. The total was about $30 for my boyfriend and I’s food. For fast-food type burgers, that’s pretty crazy. Especially since we split french fries. He did order a milkshake and I had some frozen custard, but still. Thirty dollars for two burgers, an order of fries with cheese sauce, and a milkshake and custard is ridiculous. I’m pretty sure just for the cheese on the fries it was $2 extra.

The frozen custard was also pretty disappointing. I’m a huge fan of custard, so I was really excited for this part. Maybe New Yorkers like their custard different from Texans, but I felt like it tasted kind of weird. Even my boyfriend’s milkshake had a odd taste to it. I definitely wouldn’t get the custard next time.

Overall, I really enjoyed trying out the new burger joint in Austin. I’ll definitely go back and just get a burger and plain old french fries next time.

365 Things Austin gives a pretty good rundown of the highlights, so I’ve linked them here: http://365thingsaustin.com/2015/05/05/new-restaurant-opening-shake-shack-south-lamar/

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On Sunday we Brunch — June 8, 2015

On Sunday we Brunch

Today is Sunday so you know what that means – brunch! One of my favorite things to do. Weekends were just made for brunching with friends and/or family. Brunch is the best meal because you have the option of either ordering breakfast food or lunch food or a combination of the two within one meal. I mean, what more could you really ask for?! And plus, brunch almost always involves mimosas. Unless you’re with your grandma, then maybe you should skip out on the whole drinking before noon thing, you alcoholic you.

The reason I bring up the whole grandma thing is because this Sunday brunch involved brunching with my grandma (so no mimosas or bloody mary’s for me unfortunately). My mom, dad, and grandma all came to visit from Austin this morning and we ate at the Root Cellar Cafe, which is my favorite place to grab brunch in San Marcos. One of the best things about your parents coming in town to take you out to eat is not having to foot the bill. Sorry mom and dad – I really do love you guys but man is it nice to be able to order iced tea instead of “just water” without having to worry about the extra two bucks on the bill.

Everything I’ve tried at the Root Cellar Cafe has been SO good. It’s always such a tough choice for me when deciding what to order. This morning I decided to go with the breakfast sandwich. To be honest, the breakfast sandwich is my go to thing to order there. It’s basically two fried eggs with your choice of breakfast meat stuffed between an english muffin with cheese. Um, YUM. I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it. It’s served with a seasonal fruit bowl (this morning it was oranges, grapes, and watermelon) and even comes with a pretty garnish of some sort of fruit sauce on the plate which I often dip my fruit in. My boyfriend tagged along (probably mainly for the free meal) and ordered the belgian waffle which was topped with whipped cream and fruit. Let’s just say, Leslie Knope definitely would have approved of this creation. It was delicious. I’m not a huge fan of super sweet stuff like french toast and pancakes for breakfast, but I have to say, the waffle was really good and I’ll probably order it next time I go to change things up a bit.

The Root Cellar is the cutest little place right off the square in downtown San Marcos. I’m such a sucker for a good atmosphere, and this place definitely has that going on. The building itself is old and was definitely not meant to be a restaurant, but they make it work. The place gets really good Yelp reviews too, which is extremely important to me. I almost always check Yelp reviews before eating somewhere so I can see what people’s favorite things to order are. http://www.yelp.com/biz/root-cellar-café-san-marcos-3

Overall, brunch today was really really good. The Root Cellar will forever be one of my favorite places to eat in San Marcos, especially for brunch.

That’s all for now!

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An Introduction — June 7, 2015

An Introduction

Welcome to my blog! My name is Amanda and I’m starting this blog to share my eating experiences in and around the San Marcos area with my readers. I’ve always had a passion for food so starting a food blog was a no brainer. Like my dad always says, “I live to eat, not eat to live” and I think this is a pretty solid philosophy to stand by. Along with a love for food, I enjoy photography so you can often find me taking at least 10 pictures of my food when it comes out before I’ll even touch it. I often even make the people I’m eating with wait too so I can get a good photo of the whole table, so that’s my disclaimer in case you ever want to go out to eat with me. I’m not a picky eater (thanks mom for always making me try new foods when I was a kid) so I will at least try anything and everything.

This blog is mainly going to focus on reviews of restaurants and dishes that I try out. I’m not much of a cook, but I hope to try and follow some of the millions of yummy looking recipes I’ve pinned on Pinterest and post the results on here. Being a busy college student, I often eat out at least once a day but it really would do me and my wallet some good to cook a meal at home every once in a while. Plus, I guess I should start practicing for wifehood sooner or later.

Everyone has to eat so I’m hoping that this blog will be enjoyable to any person who views it. Since I’ll mainly be posting about places in or near San Marcos, I’m hoping to reach Texas State students and San Marcos residents alike.

I already have an Instagram for my delicious looking food experiences so you should totally follow me there to see pretty pictures of food! Follow me at ders_eats (by the way, ‘Ders’ is my nickname, coming from the shortened version of ‘Amanders’).

I keep up with a ton of food bloggers which I think really helped inspire me to create a blog like this. One of my favorite food blogs is “A Taste of Koko”. The woman behind this blog lives in Austin so she is always posting a ton of yummy looking stuff from different restaurants in the area. In honor of the beginning of summer, you should check out this post: http://www.atasteofkoko.com/100-things-you-need-to-eat-this-summer-in-austin/. The main thing I must try this summer is the pan roasted burger and fries from Clark’s Oyster Bar. It looks absolutely amazing (I’m also just a huge sucker for a burger). I attached a picture of it below so you have something to drool over.

Well that’s it for now! I hope you enjoy my posts and that they don’t make you too hungry! Photo-Jun-11-7-56-19-PM-e1401842034190