Category Archives: Southern Food

New Orleans: Café Du Monde

Café Du Monde
800 Decatur St.
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 525-4544
www.cafedumonde.com
(Multiple Locations)

 

Beignets

If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans and ask for recommendations on where to go, I’m 99.9% sure you’ll be told to check out Café Du Monde. It’s basically a French Quarter staple.

From my experience, it truly is a NOLA trip must!

I am not big on pastry-type sweets (I’d rather save my calories for a big bowl of ice cream) but hot, fresh beignets are AMAZING!!! These little chunks of fried dough covered in powdered sugar are life-changing.

 

Although the process to obtain these treats is pretty straightforward; walk up and order or sit down and be served, I’d like to share a few pro-tips for doing Café Du Monde right.

  1. Bring cash. If you choose to sit down to enjoy your beignet, table service is cash only.
  2. As Café Du Monde is a New Orleans hot-spot, table-sharking is crucial. Be sure to keep an eye out for parties that are about to leave their cozy little table.
  3. Don’t make the rookie mistake of wearing black to the restaurant. These bad boys are generously sprinkled with powdered sugar and it gets EVERYWHERE!!!
  4. Ask for a to-go bag, beignets are TSA-approved! My sister successfully transported a bag of them back to Florida.
  5. Last but not least, enjoy! (See my sister, Kerri, enjoying below.)

 

Cafe Du Monde

 

If you make the trip to NOLA heed the advice of me (and everyone else) and treat yourself to some beignets. People will totally judge you if you go to New Orleans and skip this iconic stop!

– JK

 

 

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Austin: Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden
79 Rainey St.
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 386-1656
www.bangersaustin.com

 

Banger's

I’ve been back from my Texas trip for almost a month now and I still cannot stop talking about how awesome Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden is. I literally want to go back this very second.

 

It’s so cool for multiple reasons…

First off, the ambiance is chill. Banger’s reminds you of a backyard BBQ, only way bigger. There are picnic tables, strings of white lights galore, a stage for local musicians to entertain on and of course, good cooking and great beer.

Banger's Welcome Sign

 

The atmosphere even extends to fur-friends. As a dog lover, it’s pretty cool that you can bring your 4-legged best friend with you for grub.

They offer a Woof-Wurst with pork, beef and veggies for the pups. I know my chihuahua nephew, Tucker, would be excited about that!

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Secondly, the food is so memorable.

My sister, Kerri, and I started our dining experience with a bang (pun intended) by ordering the Poutine.

As a self-proclaimed poutine connoisseur, Banger’s take on this fry dish was superb; the fries were crispy, well-drenched in gravy and amply covered in cheese curds.

Poutine

 

Banger’s sausages are made in-house and they are long links of perfection. They have fun flavors like Buffalo Chicken, Rabbit & Mushroom, Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst and a vegetarian Shiitake Manchego. (My vegetarian sister loved it!)

Although the decision was difficult, I went kind of traditional with the plain Bratwurst served with sauerkraut and grain mustard.

To accompany my brat, I chose the ying to the bratwurst’s yang; the Hot German Potato Salad. It was warm and full of bacon-y flavor. It was like a gift from the food Gods to my mouth.

Bratwurst & Potato Salad

 

The third reason Banger’s is amazing is the beer.

Banger’s boasts the largest tap wall in Austin. And it really is big and banging.

My sister and I had trouble deciding on a brew but our server was so helpful in steering us in the right direction with their sour selections. Odell’s Pyrus and Prunus and Independent Brewing Company’s The Illustrated Man Dark Sour (both pictured below), were the perfect libations to go with our meal.

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Lastly, the staff was top-notch. As mentioned above, our server, Clinton, was kickass at helping us pick out beers. He also answered all our questions about the menu and helped Kerri find vegetarian options. So much Southern Hospitality in this place.

 

I cannot say enough good things about Banger’s. My only regrets were that we didn’t get to try the Fried Cheese Curds (they were sold out  *insert tears*) and that we didn’t get to experience brunch and Manmosas. (Banger’s, if you’re reading this, maybe you could FedEx some cheese curds to Florida!?) Okay, that’s totally unrealistic.

 

I guess, I’ll just have to start planning another trip to Austin…

– JK

 

 

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Washington, D.C.: Founding Farmers

Founding Farmers
1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 822-8783
www.wearefoundingfarmers.com
(Multiple Locations)

 

Founding Farmers

If you have never been to Washington D.C., you’re missing out because it is one of the coolest cities. There’s so much history, iconic monuments, great restaurants, clean public transit and the Smithsonian museums.

Last February, my mom and I went on a little getaway to D.C. As always, I did some thorough investigating for our trip itinerary. In my search, I came across a cute restaurant called Founding Farmers.

We waited until the last day of our trip to check it out because we were a little directionally challenged. We underestimated how close to Founding Farmers we actually were. It was located on Pennsylvania Avenue, about a 10 minute walk from where we were staying.

 

We went there on a Monday during lunchtime and the place was popping. My Mom and I ended up snagging seats at the bar.

The bar itself was pretty cool, fully stocked with unique spirits and the bartenders were ready to make craft cocktails. There was hip vibe all around.

 

Speaking of drinks, I enjoyed a refreshing Farmers Fizz. It was an exquisite mix of Beefeaters Gin, St. Germain, Orange Bitters and Sparkling Cava. It made for a nice afternoon buzz.

Farmers Fizz

 

For lunch, I had one of the house favorites – Fried Chicken and Waffles served with Green Beans and Mac & Cheese. Pretty much all my favorite things. I must say, Founding Farmers’ Southern cuisine was on point.

Fried Chicken
I’d like to think that we saved the best for last, ending our D.C. trip at Founding Farmers. It was truly the perfect send off!

– JK

 

 

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Austin: Fixe Southern House

Fixe Southern House
500 W. 5th St.
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 888-9133
www.fixesouthernhouse.com

 

FixeIf I had to describe Fixe Southern House in one word, it would be EXTRAORDINARY! From the food and drinks, to the atmosphere and impeccable service – it was everything you’d hope for in a dining experience. In fact, I’m not exaggerating when I say it was some of the best food I’ve ever eaten.

 

When you walk in, it feels like you’ve entered either your best friend’s backyard gazebo or an upscale, antique shop. It’s rustic and homey, in the most perfect way. The restaurant is full of soft, white strings of light, beautiful woodwork, vintage parlor chairs and eclectic décor.

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My sister and I decided to get a complete Fixe experience, from drinks to dessert.

As Fixe was the first stop on our trip to Austin, it only seemed appropriate to toast to our 5-day vacation. We choose to clink glasses of the Fixe 75. It was the perfect mix of fizz and tang; made with gin, lemon, housemade simple syrup and sparkling Rosé.

Fixe 75

 

Just as we were about to skip the starters and head right to the main course, our server convinced us that we HAD TO try the biscuits. After all, it’s what Fixe is known for.

We were soooo glad we did. They were hands down, the BEST biscuits I have ever eaten. (And my sister makes some damn good biscuits.)

I’ll tell you about them but I guarantee my description won’t do them enough justice.

The made-to-order biscuits were toasty on the outside and warm and buttery on the inside. They were fluffy and crispy and accompanied by an array of spreads. There was whipped Steen’s butter, homemade apple butter, local raw honey and a savory pork sausage spread. I truly could have died happy after eating these biscuits.

Biscuits

 

For the main event, we shared the Lobster & Crawfish Pot Pie and the Smoked Oyster Fried Rice. They were both rich in flavor and delicious in their own ways.

The Pot Pie was filled with juicy Maine Lobster, Louisiana crawfish, mushrooms and a sweet corn béchamel. The filling was made just right – flavorful without being overpowering, as seafood entrees can sometimes be. The crust was perfectly flaky.

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The Oyster Fried Rice was a decadent blend of Carolina Gold rice, kimchi and lardo. It certainly wasn’t your typical Chinese take-out fried rice, it was full of crunch and unique flavor. In my opinion, the kimchi gave the dish a nice “pop”.

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For the finale, we had just enough room left for Fixe’s Carrot Cake ‘Tres Leches.’

What a way to end the dining experience! The cake, made with a carrot jam, was appropriately moist. (Sorry, I hate that word too.) Alongside it was a candied pineapple and a scoop of creamy goat milk ice cream. It gave my taste buds all the feels.

IMG_0665Fixe Southern House really holds the bar high for Austin cuisine. About three hours in to being in Austin, I was already beyond impressed.

 

Now will you all please do me a favor and go eat some biscuits from Fixe!?

JK

 

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