Greetings! I recently had the opportunity to head out to the great state of Texas and hit up Austin! It was my second time visiting the capitol city and let me just say it did not disappoint. I will preface this post by saying it was a quick trip for work so I did not even begin to scratch the surface of what makes Austin awesome. However, I do want to share a couple of places that make we want to go back over and over.
The Savory Spice Shop at the Arboretum:
discovered this gem last year while being a slave to my Fitbit and shopping/getting my steps around the Arboretum shopping area in North Austin. I walked in on a whim but little did I know how much my inner foodie would grow to love their product and concept over the next few months. The original Savory Spice Shop location is in Denver and was started by this fabulous husband and wife duo named Mike and Janet Johnston. I don’t actually know these two but from their bio I think we would get along quite nicely! As avid home cooks/bakers, they loved making new spice blends for friends and family so their hobby evolved into a store in 2004. Cheers to turning something you love into a business! Now, there are over 30 franchises in 16 states.
Their spices are ground fresh in weekly batches, so that means that they are super fresh. Compare that to the average grocery store spice that has likely been on the shelf for over a year, YIKES! Savory Spice Shops have over 160 blends that are crafted in their warehouse in Denver. A few of my favorites are the Tahitian vanilla, Capitol Hill blend, the Bohemian Forest blend that is salt free. (Stay tuned for a couple of my own recipes that feature these spices) They have all of these wonderful spices which is enough to make me love this place, but they take it a step further with their website. They have a database of recipes that correspond with each spice and blend that they sell. I highly recommend stopping into their store if you are near because you can taste and smell all of the blends before you buy but if not, check out their website.
The Peached Tortilla:
Holy Kimchi y’all, this place knocked my socks off! As a lady from the peach state, I have high standards for my southern food, but The Peach Tortilla’s Asian and southern comfort fusion was out-of-this-world delish! The founder and chef, Eric Silverstein was born in Japan but then moved to Atlanta when he was ten. These two locations inspired The Peached Tortilla’s menu. They started as a food truck about five years ago but have opened their first brick and mortar and I believe are opening a second!
We made reservations for seven on a Wednesday night. From the moment we arrived, we were treated to 5-star service. The general manager, Gilberto ushered to our table (with a reserved sign) at exactly 6:59 right after he had to turn another couple away who didn’t have a reservation. See folks it pays to plan, even on a WEDNESDAY. He gave us brief history of the restaurant, informed us that all dishes were created to be shared, and told us about the specials that night. It happened to be Fried Chicken and Whiskey Wednesday, SCORE!
We started with the “Banchan” Pickles appetizer which featured Japanese sesame pickles, house kimchi, peach pickled cauliflower. The Peached pickled cauliflower was purple and so much fun!
For the entrees we opted to share the #60 fried rice and the Wednesday fried chicken special. The #60 was better than any of the other 59 types of fried rice you have previously tasted. It combined Chinese sausage (lap cheong), shiitakes, scrambled egg, herbs, sweet tea pickled red onions. Yes, you read correctly, SWEET TEA pickled onions!
The fried chicken meal came with 3 pieces of umami fried chicken, a piece of grilled corn that was topped with kimchi miso butter, dashi bacon braised kale, and biscuits. The sauces that accompanied were Korean original sauce, house kimchi, and honey for biscuit dipping! Guys, this was all before dessert.
Despite being pretty dang full after the first portion of our meal, we knew we could not resist the Café Luna coffee (because I was missing my kitten, Luna pretty badly) and the Banana Nutella Spring rolls! Needless to say both of these were fabulous but what was really extraordinary was the coconut whipped cream with a hint of lime zest that came with the spring rolls. O-M-Gsh.
We ended up leaving The Peached Tortilla with a full tummy, happy taste buds, and a reasonable bill of around $50. Can’t beat it, if you are in Austin this is a must-go!
Disclosure: This post is not sponsored or endorsed by The Savory Spice Shop or The Peached Tortilla. All opinions expressed are intellectual property of Madeleine Raiford-Holland.