Austin 360 Food Bash

by Sarah on March 15, 2011 · 5 comments

Last night’s dinner was brought to you (OK, well, me—and a whole bunch of other bloggers, South by Southwest attendees, and Austinites) by Austin 360 [The Statesman‘s online entertainment hub.]The yearly Food Bash, perfectly timed with the tail end of South by Southwest‘s Interactive festival, was held at TNT/ Tacos and Tequila, a restaurant reputed to have a fabulous happy hour (free quesadilla bar? really?), but that I knew mostly because I had to drive past it to get to Whole Foods.*
*Sorry. It’s the truth.
I have, thankfully, been shown the light. [Or should I say the light has been blown up in front of me like the TNT a la Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner I imagine every time I hear the restaurant referred to as its rather “explosive” moniker?]And it came to me first in the form of sweet potato chips.I’m sorry, but if you are greeted by baskets full of sweet potato chips awaiting you on a bar, along with three delicious (and perfectly spicy) dipping sauces…how can you NOT be excited? I don’t know if they were made in-house, or if they were Terra Chips, but either way…they were fantastic…and y’all know I’m not normally a superfreak for chips.

Sorry for the horrendous photograph, but I think my hand was shaking with excitement. [I wish you could see the very visible seasoning on them!] :)To the tune of a very fun soundtrack (the kind of throwback music that you inevitably want to dance or sing-a-long to, and actually know the words well enough to do so)……I continued to search out any food offered to me.Of the passed bites (not to be confused with past bites [noun, plural]: bites you just took) these guacamole-topped chips were my favorite. [And yes, I immediately proceeded to drop one all over the floor while trying to juggle my camera and my food.]Although these Chicken Verde Sopas were quite wonderful as well. [I had at least two.]

(I couldn’t find them on the regular menu, but they are available for catering.)

As I was a bit earlier than any of my blog-and-PR-affiliated compatriots, I busied myself with photographing the (way-to-hip*-for-me) decor.
*The fact that I actually used the word hip to describe it indicates my lack of cool.I also briefly entertained the notion of becoming a DJ… …and wondered where I could get as sweet of a hat as the photographer-Daniel Davis (P.S. You are adorable)–was able to find for his photo “booth.” [Not sure if it’s happening in your city, but I’ve noticed in Austin that the ‘thang‘ to do at parties seems to be this stationary “party pics” type situation involving wigs, feather boas, oversized sunglasses, inflatable instruments, and the like.]As the name of the restaurant is Tacos and Tequila, you can probably guess the featured drink on the menu. Although I’m pretty sure a flight of tequila is never a good idea, I was almost tempted by the Passion Fruit Blood Orange & Pomegranate Margarita (!)* However, I decided a random Monday evening was not the time to revisit college-era antics,^ so I politely declined a beverage.
*I know.

^Tequila would make that happen.As I’d rather eat than drink anyway (duh), I focused on eating. A lot.After my third trip up to the taco buffet, the executive chef was my new best friend, and the head of catering knew me by name. [Is it my fault I’m so darn endearing? ;)]The buffet featured freshly warmed corn tortillas……..with a trio of meats (and a veggie option)—of which I sampled all four every time I went back—for topping.

Southwest Veggies with Balsamic Vinaigrette Glaze
(topped with jalapenos and queso fresco)

The veggies were good…but the meat…well, that’s where the magic happened.

Corn-Crusted Chicken
Chile-Glazed Steak (freshly sliced)
[This was some of the best not-made-by-friends’-fathers brisket I’ve ever had.]

Although I’m a fan of beef on occasion, y’all know my favorite meat comes from a pig…so I was super excited about this deliciousness:

BBQ Pulled Pork
[Oh, yummy pulled pork smothered in sweetly tangy BBQ sauce….te amo.]

The condiments were, of course, fabulous: extra BBQ sauce, pickled onions, pickled peppers and jalapenos…

…and the deceptive “hot salsa” (that they did not label until after my first go-round………)Of course, we can’t forget dessert.Yes, you are to dip these delicious dough balls in chocolate. Messy? Yes. Yum? Of course. [I sadly was unable to make a complete dough kebab. But I considered it. Very seriously.]And although I didn’t actually join DealSwarm, I somehow ended up with this:

As for how I got it? I plead the fifth.

P.S.- Although one of the best things about going to eat at TNT/Tacos and Tequila is the availability of free garage parking, the spaces are very tight, so be careful.
Thankfully (for me)…and perhaps a little sadly (for you)…there was no one to photograph me climbing both in and out of my car in a rather short dress. It was funny, though, I can assure you of that.

[And because I know you will ask…the GF sticker does not mean Gluten-Free. It’s the Ford company from which I bought my car. :)]
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Missy March 15, 2011 at 9:58 pm

I'm pretty…scratch that. I AM POSITIVE I would dance my bootie off if you were a DJ.

So glad you got your glutton on at the event.
Love to Blove ya!

Maria @ Oh Healthy Day March 15, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Just when I thought the restaurants in Austin couldn't get any better…you go and put pulled pork on your blog. That's it. See ya, CA!

atastelife March 16, 2011 at 9:11 am

way to make me jealous.

ferienhaus in pineda de mar March 17, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Really a yummy post.I like this post.This post makes me to feel appetite.Thanks for sharing good stuff about food .

personalised banners March 18, 2011 at 1:55 am

Here i can see so many yummy foods with Sauce,Noodles,Rice,Cheese.Thanks for sharing such a wonderful blog.

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