Friday, September 13, 2013

Restaurant Review: 34th Street Cafe

Living in Austin has taught me many valuable lessons, but one of the best things I have learned from living in Austin is that the least suspecting restaurants are often some of the best.

A restaurant may not look appealing from the outside, but once you take your first bite of food, your opinion immediately changes. Sarah's Mediterranean Grill, El Patio, and Chango's Taqueria are three that come immediately to mind. They are eating establishments I pass pretty frequently, but until very recently I simply passed them up in favor of the more well-known and hyped-up places. Granted, I still haven't tried El Patio, so I can't speak from firsthand experience on that one, but the other two are wonderful, and definitely worth giving a shot.

Yesterday when Dylan and I went to dinner, he tried to make me choose where to go. I'm terribly indecisive, so I never made a decision myself. We flipped a coin and turned left on Guad, but then we looped back up to Lamar and settled on 34th Street Cafe - a restaurant we had both seen and commented on in the past, but one that neither of us had been to. It's tough to spot, parking is limited (as it always is in Austin), and the inside could not be more different from what it looks like on the outside.

I don't know what I was expecting when we drove up to 34th Street Cafe, but it certainly wasn't the classy, more upscale restaurant that we stepped into. Though tables can be reserved here, and some were, we obviously did not have reservations and were seated immediately, where we were then presented with two menus filled with delicious appetizers and entrees.

Dylan kept insisting that I need to branch out and try something new (quail), because that's what a food blogger does, but though I've gotten better about trying new food throughout my college career, it still doesn't come easy to me, and I tend to stick with things I know I'll like. Last night, that was the pork chop.

I knew I had made a good choice when that was the first thing out of the waiter's mouth when Dylan asked for a recommendation. I was not let down. It was honestly one of the best pork chops I have ever tasted, and I have had quite a few pork chops in my day. Paired with black eyed peas, grilled okra (that I don't especially care for), a side of brussel sprouts split between Dylan and me, and some fresh-out-of-the-oven bread, my meal was perfect. The pork chop was tender and had an unidentifiable glaze, but I thought it was perfect. The portion was very generous, which is just the way it should be.

Dylan went for the waiter's other recommendation, the chicken picatta. I tried a couple bites of it, along with the mushrooms and spinach, and I loved it. If our two dishes were any indication, I won't hesitate to guess that every dish is a delectable one.

My only complaint would be the temperature inside the restaurant, as I was sporting goosebumps all night long, but that is very likely my own fault, as I had on shorts and a short-sleeve shirt. Other than that, I really liked the atmosphere of the restaurant, and I would return in a heartbeat. Plus, my company wasn't too bad, either!

Today has been a busy day full of class, in which my group led the class discussion, a late morning swim, lunch at Kerbey Lane with my two new Young Life co-leaders, the Anderson High School freshman volleyball game, and working on my teacher webpage. It's very nearly done, and once I put the finishing touches on it, I will be sure to share it with you guys. I am extremely bad with technology, so to say that I am proud of my creation is an understatement.

I hope you all have had wonderful Friday's! This week was my first full week of class, so I am definitely feeling it, and a relaxing night is just what I need. I'll hopefully check back in with you guys tomorrow!

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