Texas Beef Council Western Burger

Say Yee Haw to National Burger Month

Texas Beef Council Western Burger

Did you know that May is National Burger Month?! Well, it is. As a human living in Austin, Texas, I eat my fair share of beef, and my Austin born & raised fiance eats a TON of it. It’s safe to say that burgers are his #1 favorite food in the world. So I feel like I’m somewhat qualified, even if it’s through transference, to tell you about good beef and burgers. And yes, if you haven’t been to Texas and had our beef, it’s good. Really, really good. (May I recommend ALC if you’re ever in the neighborhood?)

The lovely people at the Texas Beef Council sent over their latest recipe for celebrating National Burger Month: the Western Burger. This burger keeps it simple… no crazy sauces or deep-fried mischief here, just solid beef with a slight twist… jalapeños right in the patty! Because Texans also like it spicy. Texas Beef Council says, “This Western Burgeris a perfect, guilt-free way to celebrate the month-long holiday and gives a nutritious spin on one of Texans’ summertime staples fit for any backyard gathering.” Works for me! So if you want this bad boy healthy, you can serve him in a lettuce wrap instead of a bun, but follow your heart/stomach.

Texas Beef Council’s Western Burger

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This Exists: Indian Poutine

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We love every kind of poutine here at ES, from poutine potato skins to poutine tater tots, the poutine burger and the poutine cronut (OK, I made that last one up, but if someone wants to make a pou-ronut I am 100% on board).

Here’s a new one: Desi Galli restaurant in NYC is now serving Indian poutine, made with Tikka Masala gravy and grated paneer cheese. Yes, please.

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Blenders and Bowls Pitaya Bowl

Photo of the Day: Neon Pink Pitaya Happiness

Blenders and Bowls Pitaya Bowl

Neon colors aren’t often found in natural foods, but get a load of this bowl! I’ve recently become enamored with pitaya (aka dragon fruit), the sweet, tropical cactus fruit with a bright pinky-red flesh. Its creamy pulp is becoming a popular addition to smoothies and bowls these days, and I encountered an especially tasty version at Blenders and Bowls here in Austin.

This is the funfetti bowl (so obviously I had to try it, since anything funfetti is heaven in my book). It has pitaya, pineapple, banana, vanilla protein powder and vanilla almond milk. Then it’s topped with hemp granola, banana, goji berries, bee pollen, local honey, & edible flowers. It was incredibly flavorful and full of texture – cold, creamy, chewy, crunchy. I wouldn’t say it tastes exactly like funfetti cake, but still delicious (and, come on, way more nutritious). Literally one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever eaten. And let’s talk about how people are putting smoothies in bowls now… it doesn’t completely make sense to me, but it does make for more opportunities to create a gorgeous presentation.

Anyway, you guys, this is why I’ve given up on making smoothies at home. Kind of lazy of me, but let’s be real. When I can spend like $8 at a specialty cafe and get this glorious bowl, why would I try to source my own exotic superfoods and edible flowers to make this myself? Some things are better left to the pros, and I think this neon tropical bowl is one of them.

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Pokeworks Sushi Burrito

Wanted: The Sushi Burrito!

The ‘Sushi Burrito’ has hit NYC and it’s amazing.

Posted by INSIDER food on Friday, March 4, 2016

WHY do I live in Austin where almost nobody makes good poke, let alone a sushi burrito?! I want this damn sushi burrito that is taking NYC by storm… so bad! And, maybe a better question, WHY do I even want one of these damn sushi burritos so badly when I know fully well that it’s just one giant log of sushi cut in half instead of into rolls? I worked for a Japanese restaurant group for years, I’ve had more sushi in my life/body than most people I know, yet still, I WANT MORE. I want this giant sushi burrito in my mouth.

I wasn’t personally affected by the exclusivity of the cronut or the internet-wide fanfare over the ramen burger but this one is really hitting a chord with me and my stomach. I guess because sushi and burritos are two of my very favorite things to eat, my dumb self just can’t resist.

There’s plenty of sushi burrito chatter floating around the internet, but the above video from INSIDER Food is what really got me going. (Yes, even with its in-your-face flute jam.) Like I said, I totally realize there are very few burrito-esque qualities to this monstrous tube of deliciousness (no tortilla, no beans, just the rice and avocado aspect, which is also present in Japanese/Hawaiian food). I don’t care, though. I want to hit up Pokeworks and order this sushi burrito (or as they call it, “Pokiritto”) and order all the raw fish in the world. Preferably in burrito form.

If you’ve had the joy of experiencing a sushi burrito in your life, tell us about it! Worth the hype or totally overblown?

Pokeworks Sushi Burrito

(Image: Pokeworks Facebook)

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Guinness IPA

Guinness Makes an IPA! We Approve.

Guinness IPA

About a month ago, I received a very intriguing email from my friends at Guinness. They invited me to a beer dinner at the ultra-delicious Fixe here in Austin… a beer dinner featuring their brand new boozy offering, an IPA. Yes, an IPA from Guinness! And I promise this isn’t a joke, unlike our Guinness Crystal April Fools post of yore.

Obviously I accepted this beer dinner invite, and I’m happy to report that I was able to try lots (…and lots…) of the new Guinness IPA during that feast. Guinness IPA retains a bit of the hoppy nose and a tinge of that pleasantly bitter flavor you’d expect from an IPA, but also boasts the signature smoothness that Guinness is known and loved for – thanks to the nitro. Mmm, nitro.

But seriously, this beer is good for people who enjoy an IPA and also people who complain that they don’t like IPA. It’s an equal-opportunity beer that is almost dangerously easy to sip. Perfect for pairing with your fall cooking. And probably the only IPA I would ever call “creamy.” If you’re a total hop-head you might not be in love, but for everyone else, it’s a welcome addition to the Guinness line.

Right now, Guinness IPA is only availably in the USA, not Ireland (where Guinness is made, duh). So if you’re in the American beer market, you’re in luck! You might start seeing it in stores soon, keep your eyes peeled.

Oh, and one more pro tip courtesy of Fixe… turns out Guinness IPA pairs wonderfully with southern biscuits, steak, and seafood potpie. You learn something new every day.

Guinness IPA and Seafood Pie at Fixe

Guinness IPA and Steak at Fixe

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pumpkin spice french toast

The Pumpkin Spice Pinterest Roundup

Happy October, ES friends! It’s time to really start focusing on our favorite fall recipes… including, of course, the ubiquitous pumpkin spice. Believe it or not, October 1st is actually National Pumpkin Spice Day. Whether this flavor is a friend or foe to you, you can’t deny that it’s become an integral component to our cultural fall narrative.

And of course, pumpkin spice goes hand-in-hand with another favorite… Pinterest. Yes, these are two P’s in a pod. We trolled Pinterest to find the best, funniest, and weirdest PSL/pumpkin spice recipes trending this year. All of these puppies are certified Pinterest-viral right now, and for good reason. Whip one up if you’re feeling fall-ish and festive!

 

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Covered Pretzels 
originally from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
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Chocolate covered pretzels? Good. Chocolate covered pretzels with pumpkin pie spice? Great!

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Pecan Pie M&Ms

This Exists: Pecan Pie M&Ms

Hot on the heels of my explosive pumpkin spice M&Ms review of Fall 2014, I’m back with my thoughts on Pecan Pie M&Ms. Just call me the Jebidiah Atkinson of the fall novelty candy world.

Pecan Pie M&Ms

Just look at that sultry green minx, tempting us with a slice of pie! That’s a snapshot of said Pecan Pie M&Ms in their natural habitat: on the countertop of a shared workspace, free for the tasting. And taste I did. I also tasted the Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms, which I first did not realize were different from last year’s Pumpkin Spice M&Ms. More on that later.

Pecan Pie M&Ms, similar to last year’s Pumpkin Spice, actually, really don’t taste that different than regular M&Ms. I was foolishly hoping for pecans inside the M&Ms, but no. No real nuts at all. Just a vague butter flavor infused into the chocolate. If I gave them out in a blind taste-test, I would be shocked if anyone could guess what their flavor was imitating.

Oh, and those aforementioned Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms? They can be summed up in one word: barf. They taste like a giant mouthful of dry, powdery allspice and cinnamon. They are an affront to the phrase “pumpkin spice.” There is no pumpkin to be found, just WAY too much spice. Maybe we rename them Old Spice M&Ms. In the battle between Pumpkin Spice M&Ms and Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms, the former reigns supreme.

This has been my formal, journalistic review of the new M&Ms fall flavors. In my opinion, you’re better off buying a bag of normal M&Ms (I personally prefer almond and/or peanut butter, but I will allow you to enjoy plain, peanut, crispy, or even pretzel if you’d like) and washing them down with a pumpkin spice latte.

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