Let’s give into springtime. A sunny patio. Crisp, cold pilsner. A platter of fresh oysters. What could be nicer?! Clark’s Oyster Bar in Austin offers one of the most picturesque set-ups and atmospheres to enjoy your mollusks.
You’d think that vegetarian sushi sounds depressing and boring, but just look at this one. The Tropical Roll at Austin’s Sushi Zushi is made with asparagus, avocado, cucumber, carrots, sprouts and cream cheese rolled uramaki style, wrapped with mango, and topped with sriracha. Not depressing at ALL.
If you haven’t had a breakfast taco in your life, you (a) have never been to Texas, and (b) are doing yourself a huge disservice. And if you haven’t had a breakfast taco while hungover, you are doing yourself a HUUUUUGE disservice because breakfast tacos are some of the best hangover cures ever. This particular breakfast taco is from a teensy diner in Port Aransas, on the Gulf Coast of Texas. It features fresh gulf shrimp, battered and deep-fried, topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and shredded cabbage. Oh, and on the side? Hashbrowns. Why? WHY NOT.
Now this is what we like to call… the money shot. What would a leisurely yet luxurious hotel room breakfast be without some luscious smoked salmon, and of course, a golden, runny egg yolk? This was how I started the day during a staycation at the W Austin last week. Perfection on a plate.
Irie’s Island Food in Port Aransas (part of the Texas Gulf Coast) is the BEST ON THE ISLAND. Hands down. Everything they make is absolutely delicious, vibrant, and as from-scratch as possible. It doesn’t hurt that they’re walking distance from the ocean (read: absurdly fresh seafood).
One of my favorite things I tried there? Lobster and black bean spring rolls. Might sound like a weird combination, but it WORKED. Flaky spring roll wrappers are stuffed with fresh lobster, lots of black beans, and jack cheese, then deep fried and served incredibly hot. These guys are gigantic, too – one spring roll is equivalent to about 2-3 you’d get in your average Chinese takeout order. And you get three per order, so basically the amount of nine spring rolls. You could feed 3-4 people here, but obviously Rob and I split the entire order. Irie’s spring rolls also come with an array of bright, flavorful, also from-scratch dipping sauces (Golden Dragon was my #1) and some fresh slaw.
Irie’s is only open morning to mid-afternoon, and they often run out of their most popular seafood items. Our solution? Although maybe not traditional breakfast fare, we wolfed down these lobster spring rolls as our breakfast appetizer. Best breakfast ever, I’d say.
If you don’t live near the Texas coast, you could easily duplicate these at home – the rolls, at least. Just get some spring roll skins and stuff them with your favorite seafood (obv lobster is the top choice), black beans, and melty cheese, then fry those babies up. The dipping sauces would be harder to copy… me, I’ll probably just start planning another island getaway to Irie’s soon. I seriously think about how good it was all the time. It’s creepy.