Thursday, February 05, 2009
More Texas Odds and Ends
So let me try to wrap up this trip before I forget it all. Triana, Ellen Aim, Alex and I not only went back on the wine trail to visit three wineries (the plan was two, but there was a new one, Pedernales, that seems very promising, and we had to try as it was in the area!), but we went to Buffalo Exchange (a very cool clothing resale store)--where I always seem to find something, much to the dismay of the bank account--and Mangia!--where they have the best stuffed pizza in the world. Perhaps I exaggerate. It's great pizza, though. Cheesy. Whole wheat crust. Cool atmosphere. Cheesy. Mmmm. Oh, and I tried Ellen Aim's Mothership beer and THAT is lemony hoppy goodness. Much better than my Shiner Bock, which, of course, I had to have.
Ellen Aim and Alex at Mangia.
Triana and I at Mangia.
I got FOUR cute little dresses at Buffalo Exchange, which I will not model here because it's freaking negative WTF temperature outside, so sorry. Trust me that they are cute. Actually, I got two (sort of scuffled with Ellen Aim as we're similar sizes for dresses) on the first trip and we had to go back (how terrible) as Alex's dress still had the ink tag on it. So I got two more dresses! Yay me!
I did not write down anything for the wine. However, I can tell you we visited Texas Hills Vineyard, where I got a very yummy Orange Moscato 2005. It's nothing brilliant, but it's quite balanced, easy to drink, and has nice peach and pineapple notes. That doesn't sound like two fruits that really go together, but it works. It's an easy wine. I also got a Kick Butt Cab 2005. This I drank in Austin and I don't really remember much about it except enjoying it. I didn't drink it with food. I read the description and I just don't really remember this. Sorry! I guess I'll have to buy another bottle. I did really like the label. Not a reason to buy a bottle of wine, mind you. The name is certainly very Texan, though, no?
We also visited Pedernales Cellars, which is very new. I got two wines here, too. The woman at Texas Hills recommended the Viognier, which was very floral and had great melon notes. Another wine "easy" to drink. This would be perfect with summer food and grilled food light food like vegetables, chicken and fish. I think it would also be a great match for a lot of Thai-style type dishes. I splurged and also purchased the 2007 Pedernales Cellars Family Reserve. This tasted great, but I haven't opened the bottle I purchased, because I was hoping to actually try aging a wine (I seem to have this problem with instant gratification). However, that may not happen as we may be moving. More on that later. I mean, I can't move the wine, right? Better to just drink it, eh?
We also went to Torre di Pietra. This was our last stop, which might be why Ellen Aim and I bought a bottle to have with our packed lunch prepared by Triana with lovely cheeses (That purple haze cheese. I could not stop eating it.) and fruits and crackers. We bought the Parada wine, and since I didn't write anything down (Doh!), I don't really remember this, except it was very nice to drink. Why do I not remember the wines I drink with Ellen Aim? Hm.
Anyway, there was one wine I tasted, I can not remember for the life of me which one...the Claret? It smelled like heavenly Kalamata olives and perhaps rosemary, but unfortunately tasted of Kalamata olive brine and I nearly spit it out. Perhaps someone has a better memory than me? However, that was the only lament. We visited Torre di Pietra on my last trip and we always enjoy tasting wine there. I resisted buying more wine because there is only so much room in my suitcase (they all made it! I just had to mail most of my clothes home) and things started seeming a bit expensive by this time. One of my very favorite things, however, are their wine filled chocolates (apparently, you can not shop online at this time). I could eat pounds of these. They really are that good. I bought some and, alas, they are long, long gone.
I remember at one time feeling sort of hoity-toity and condescending about wines from Texas. Each time I have gone to visit the vineyards in the Austin area, however, I am always quite pleased with the tastings. I think it's pretty exciting. I can't wait to go back!
Here we all are at Torre di Petra. The guy serving us seemed tickled I was from Vermont. Actually, it does seem to bemuse most people. The server at Mangia was all, "Gee, I never served anyone from Vermont before". Thankfully, all I get are positive reactions so far.
This is Triana and I at Pedernales Cellars.
Drinking that Parada I do not remember the taste of, but did very much enjoy.
Evidence that wine tastes even better towards the end of the tasting trip.
I'll wrap this up with talking about Gloria's , which is a tasty Tex-Mex/Salvadorian cool little place. We went there for brunch and I had this very satisfying "Sopa Siete Mares".
It was enormous. We went to brunch and the portions were HUGE.
However, there was also a margarita special on, so I had one on the rocks and Ellen Aim had a frozen one. I never, ever get frozen margaritas, but I have to say hers tasted like it had about ten times the amount of alcohol. I could not have finished ONE of these.
So. Good margaritas. God, I totally sound like a lush, huh?
Alex had the Salvadorian tilapia dish, which tasted very nice.
Sobo had the grilled shrimp. Also quite delicious.
Ellen Aim had some sort of omlette, I do not remember what, but I think I took her avocadoes and tomatoes. I'm sort of an avocado whore. They don't post their brunch menu, so I can't figure it out. She seemed to enjoy it. Maybe it was just the margaritas talking.
So when Ellen Aim posts about eating queso (really yummy, by the way), chips, and margaritas at Gloria's, I know now where she is. Well, we visited a different location than her usual haunt, but now at least I have an idea of the yumminess factor. Oh, our waiter attended the University of North Texas and is from South America (his words). He was very friendly, a tad hard to understand (not even because of his accent; he sort of mumbled and swallowed the end of his sentences...but I have terrible hearing anyway, especially with lots of background noise) and we all ended up with his business cards by the end of the meal. Sort of strange. Anyway, we went to the Addison location. I'd definitely go back. Yummy food, good drinks, enthusiastic charming waitstaff.