CHAGO’S Authentic Carribean Cuisine

May 9, 2013
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7301 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78752
(512) 275-6013

Today I had the Pollo Fricase with arroz blanco y salada. Next time, I plan to get the paella. Clean and neat and the owner is the chef. He will come out and talk to you about your selection. On North Lamar between Research and Airport.



California Pizza Kitchen

May 5, 2013
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California Pizza Kitchen Moroccan Salad

Moroccan Spiced Chicken Salad on CPK website

In the world of restaurant salads, California Pizza Kitchen is a bonanza! This is not a typical pizza

How my Moroccan salad really looked on arrival.

How my Moroccan salad really looked on arrival

restaurant like the huts and inns of my youth.CPK feels like a slightly upscale restaurant with both booths and tables and a full bar. The one my friend and I visited is next to Macy’s at the Domain. Two sizes of salads are available for each salad and the “half” salad size is plenty for one person. The wine glasses are on the table when you are seated and drink orders are taken right away. The menu includes  wonderful sounding pizzas, sandwiches and pastas but of course, we were there for the salads.

My choice was the Moroccan Spiced Chicken and my friend had the California Chopped. The Moroccan did not look at all like the picture below when it was served to me but all the ingredients were there. The chicken was buried in the romaine leaves but it was fun finding all the hidden gems underneath. “One of a kind, with roasted butternut squash, dates, avocado, toasted almonds, beets, chopped egg and cranberries. Tossed with housemade Champagne vinaigrette. GF” is the description on the menu and that doesn’t do it justice. The almonds are Spanish Marcona Almonds and the cranberries are dried cranberries. The fig and the roasted squash are two things you don’t usually see on salads and the champagne vinaigrette tasted terrific.

I can’t say much about the salad my friend had except that she ate 100% of it. The applewood smoked bacon looked real good. She could have

gotten the optional beets on it but declined.  This place is going to require more research. I’m already planning my next visit here.

California Cobb Salad

California Cobb

Guero’s on South Congress Avenue

March 5, 2013
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Guero's on South Congress Avenue

Guero’s Salad with marinated chicken and cilantro vinaigrette. So cheap. $5.59 and all the chips and salsa you can eat. Plus, you get to spend time on South Congress Avenue shopping and petting the puppies. This salad does not come with sour cream. I ordered that on the side. Hey, I eat salad! I think I can have some sour cream once in a while!

Tossed Salad with Chicken and Cremini

December 23, 2012
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Spring Mix, Cremini, Camembert, cherry tomatoes, bacon.

Spring Mix, Cremini, Camembert, cherry tomatoes, bacon.

I got a new camera today, Nikon Coolpix L610, so I’m experimenting with photographing food with it.  It has a food setting with different shades of filters from blue to pink. My phone has been woefully inadequate when photographing food in restaurants in low light and there is always the problem with salads looking so disheveled. I took this one on my coffee table with a few tea candles on the side.

This is a very filling salad and so easy to make. I have a restaurant-style salad bowl for tossing the greens with the dressing which helps to dress the leaves without a heavy hand as so often happens when you pour salad dressing over top of greens. I start with the dressing in the bottom of the bowl. Usually, one tablespoon will do. After that, drop the greens and all the other ingredients over the dressing before tossing with two spoons or salad tongs. It just takes keeping a few vegetables cold in the refrigerator. I could eat this everyday.

Tossed Salad with Chicken and Cremini Mushrooms

Dressing of Choice, I used Blue Cheese

Spring Mix, approx. 2 cups

Rotisserie Chicken from HEB

Cremini Mushroom

Cherry tomatoes

White onion



Sesame Seeds

Chia Seeds

Tossed Salad with Chicken and Cremini

Tossed Salad with Chicken and Cremini






December 3, 2012
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Tonight, I attended a meeting with some of the people I’ll be going to Italy with later this month. We sat outside at the lovely Siena restaurant patio. (I love how the Italian restaurants use white tablecloths, by the way. I just wanted to throw that in here.) Siena is on the corner of 2222 and Loop 360. I didn’t really look at the rest of the menu.  The salad of choice tonight was a beet salad. I must say, even though I like beets, this one was a little too much beet even for me. I think I would have liked it better if it had been more arugula and less beets. All in all, it was a good salad for $11.  There again were the ubiquitous candied walnuts. I’m starting to wish they would just use plain walnuts on my salads.



Insalata di Barbabietole Arrosto

Trudy’s North Star

December 3, 2012
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If you live in Austin, you have to know about Trudy’s. The original Trudy’s in the UT campus area was here when I first moved to Austin in 1986 and I don’t know how old it was then. Now there are at least five locations. The food is consistently good so I never worry about taking out-of-town guests there. 

On weekends, they have one of the best brunch buffets, for the money, in town. It abounds with Tex-Mex favorites such as chilaquiles, migas, refried beans and the usual sweet confections of pancakes and waffles. My favorite buffet item, if I suspend my breadless adventure, is the shrimp and grits. The chef, as it was explained to me by my server, is a true southerner and knows a little something about cooking grits. I will have them again someday! Mmmmm! But I digress…

The salad menu didn’t hold a lot of interest for me; plus, it was 10 o’clock in the morning! I wanted eggs. The migas were drawing me into their spell but I knew I didn’t want the usual sides of beans, hashbrown potatoes and biscuits or tortillas.  The onion and peppers in the migas didn’t seem like enough veg to count as a serving of vegetables. 

 I started thinking that perhaps I should have some criteria for what constitutes a salad or what constitutes a serving of vegetables for this blog and what I decided is:

  1. A salad has to have at least three ingredients that are vegetables. 
  2. A main course has to have at least three vegetables in it to be considered a vegetable serving

The server was eager to work with me. I asked for the migas, hold the beans and potatoes, and let me have a side salad which for $4 was lettuce, tomato and mushrooms. My choice of dressing was the cilantro pesto vinaigrette. He said, No problem. I forgot to tell him to leave off the crispy red tortilla strips on top but they were easy to push aside. The corn tortilla in the migas cannot be omitted because they make them in a large batch and they are kind of central to what makes them migas, so I just ate a small amount. Eating the salad first really curbed my appetite. I think the three cups of coffee did that, too. 

Before leaving, I asked the server what his favorite salad at Trudy’s is, he said “the large”. I didn’t know what he meant until I looked at the menu again. It’s called Ensalada Grande or large salad. According to the two servers who described it to me, the “large” can be topped with a choice of crispy chicken tenders, grilled chicken, rotisserie smoked chicken, gulf shrimp dusted in blue corn meal or corn tortilla breaded tilapia. I’m going back soon to try “the large” with the rotisserie smoked chicken. Image

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A topnotch site

A topnotch site

Simply Cooking

Life is difficult. But cooking is easy!