Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Awesome Austin Foods

Locally crafted foods abound here in Austin. The list of "must" places to eat runs for long pages in the Chronicle.  Even The Onion is basically a few columns of timely humor wrapped around page after page of bars and restaurants.  Oddly enough, perhaps, for me, food is something my body demands that my mind pay attention to.  I weigh 140 pounds (64 kg) soaking wet.  Mostly, I eat food to provide uptake for vitamin pills.  And yet...  

Lovebean (here) (or produces a confectionery fudge made from coconut oil, coconut nectar, and cacao beans.  A jar costs about $13 retail and contains the weight of four or five bars.  The problem is stopping at one bar.  I do not have a sweet tooth. I do not eat deserts.  But this stuff is great. It would be perfect with peanut butter for long bicycle treks.  They say:
"Our line is certified USDA Organic and all our ingredients are sourced for their nutritional and planetary benefits. Here’s the low down: . . . The Original Vegan Spread starts with lots of fresh-pressed Organic Coconut Milk. . . .  Our Raw Vegan Fudge Spread is never heated during processing. Not to say we don’t go over 115 F or anything, we don’t need to heat it a bit. All the magic happens at room temp in the Lovebean Raw Fudge Machine. We simply combine our 100% Raw Organic Coconut Nectar with Organic Raw Cacao Powder and Organic Raw Coconut Oil. We top it off with a touch of Raw Organic Vanilla Bean Powder . . . "

Jade Monk® Chai Spice, Cranberry Blood Orange, Lime Blossom, Palau Peach

Jade Monk (website here) teas are packets of powders.  Again, for the trekker, or your office backpack or desk drawer, I found them handy, tasty, and healthy.  The powders could dissolve a bit faster, but zen teaches patience to all grasshoppers.  You can find them on LinkedIn.  Of themselves, they say: 

Jade Monk® offers a healthy and delicious alternative to the processed, syrupy tea beverages of today's market. By blending the potency of legendary Matcha green tea with all-natural low calorie sweeteners and flavors, Jade Monk® distinguishes itself as a beneficial and alluring instant powdered functional beverage.
Ample scientific research shows Jade Monk ® matcha green tea assists the body in maintaining excellent health, serves to reduce stress and calm the mind, and provides sustained energy for up to six hours. 
But man does not live by tea alone.  We drink a lot of beer here in Austin.  Even in IT, traditionally a crowd that opts for CNS stimulants such as coffee, colas, and energy drinks, presentation meetings at user groups feature beer with the pizza.  High tech social hours are everywhere. We even have a Meetup called "Social Techies" (as if the others are just putting on).  That said, Texas beers will not win contests.  This is a southern state, recently dry, still heavily regulated.  Compared to Chicago or Portland, the local beers are just PBR and Budweiser dressed up in cowboy names.  However. . .
Technically, not local to Austin, Perdenales Brewing is located in Fredericksburg.  I met the president, Lee Hereford, at Whole Foods.  He was demonstrating his product.  You get that kind of entrepreneurship here, where the guy normally in the paneled corner office is actually behind the counter or at a desk. Personally, I like IPAs, but I had to admit that most are over-hopped.  His is not.  It is balanced, with a good grain base, and a light spice finish. 

Baby Zack's smoked hummus brings an array of Texas flavors to this international staple and snack treat.  Dip your favorite chips, or spread it on bread when making sandwiches, including burgers and franks.  Myself, I often pass up hummus because the first ingredient is water.  I prefer to pay for garbanzos (cici or chickpeas, call them what you will). With Baby Zack's you get hummus.  The spices are there for flavor, not to optimize the cost of production.  

South by Southwest 2013 here and also here
Dressed for Success in Austin
Austin at Night
South by Southwest 2012

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