The Hot Sauce Store to End All Hot Sauce Stores

I would like to invite you to Rustlin’ Rob’s in a little town called Fredericksburg, Texas…

Rustlin Rob's Condiment Store, Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg is mostly known for its wine (yes, there is a Texas wine country) and I personally consider it “the Las Vegas of the Texas wine world” since you’re allowed to walk around with open containers in the streets/stores. I even got mardi gras beads from one of the tasting lounges, and since I have a real garbage party girl streak, I was super into it.

The most surprising aspect of my carousal through Fredericksburg? Rustlin’ Rob’s, the wonderland of condiments and weird snacks, and unlimited free self-serve samples.

Rustlin Rob's Fredericksburg, TX sample jars

Beneath its glowing red chili lights (seriously, so many novelty chili lights) Rustlin’ Rob’s has quite seriously EVERY kind of jam, jelly, jerky, spread, dip, salsa, and um, quail egg (?) a girl could ask for. The best/worst part? IT’S ALL AVAILABLE TO SAMPLE. ALL OF IT. Every single product has a self-serve sample next to it. Now, I know you’re wondering why I called this the “best/worst” thing when clearly it’s the best thing. But after eating literally 30+ samples of specialty jelly slathered over cream cheese and Wheat Thins, you’ll know when your train turns the corner straight into Worstville.

Probably the most impressive section of RR’s is the hot sauce cave.

Rustlin Rob's Fredericksburg, TX Hot Sauce Room

Rustlin Rob's Fredericksburg, TX Hot Sauce Room

I have never seen so much hot sauce in my damn life. For all of you who are forever chasing the dragon when it comes to the hottest hot sauce, Rustlin’ Robs is your heaven.

Rustlin Rob's Fredericksburg, TX Hot Sauce Room

It was the best of snacks, it was the worst of snacks. It was the heaven of snacks, it was the hell of snacks. Rustlin’ Rob’s contains multitudes. If you are ever in central Texas, I strongly urge you to stop by. And don’t eat lunch beforehand.

Rustlin Rob's Fredericksburg Texas

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Food Porn Champion: The Ultimate Meat Salad

Liberty Kitchen Austin Chef's Salad

Look at that. Would you call the above photo a salad or a giant pile of assorted meats and cheeses? Turns out, you’d be right either way.

This is the FeedTX Chef Salad (menu description: “chilled greens, cheeses, rotisserie meats, bay shrimp salad, hot smoked salmon, egg, avocado, tomato, cucumber”) at Liberty Kitchen, a popular Houston restaurant that recently opened another location in Austin. They feature all sorts of decadent meat and seafood dishes, and even a salad is not really a salad. I was disgustingly full after about half of this bad boy. I mean, “meats”… okay, there’s pork belly, turkey, chicken, bacon, and not to mention a giant hunk of smoked salmon AND shrimp salad. Talk about some protein.

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Food Porn Champion: A Drool-worthy Cheeseboard

School House Pub Cheese Board

If there’s anything I love in this life, it’s a cheese board. And this is an especially gorgeous one, the “National Map of Cheeses,” hailing from School House Pub in Austin, Texas. Fancy fromage, local fruit marmalade, Texas honey, whole grain mustard, and fresh herbs. What’s not to LOVE?! This shot even got picked up off my original Instagram and featured on a cheese board Instagram (lol what, yes, there really is such a thing) so apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this is one gorgeous piece of work.

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Cocktail O’ Clock: Smoked Scofflaw + Black Old Fashioned

Dickel Cocktails

Today’s Cocktail O’Clock is a 2-for-1 deal! Aren’t you lucky. I, however, am not. I was invited to a George Dickel whiskey tasting with barbeque extraordinaire Adam Perry Lang last month, BUT the day of, there was a huge Texas rainstorm and I wasn’t able to make it. BOO. The nice people at Dickel were kind enough to send me some photos and recipes that I missed out on, and I am kind enough to pass them on to you.

The Dickel team says: With grilling season upon us and tailgate season is fast approaching… the cocktail recipes below are a perfect pair with barbecue or any kind of protein during the summer.

Let’s make these right now. I have FOMO.

Smoked Scofflaw

1 oz. George Dickel Rye
.5 oz. dry vermouth
.75 oz. smoked lemon juice
.75 oz. grenadine

Shake together and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon.

Black Old Fashioned

1.3 oz. George Dickel No. 12
.5 oz. Amaro Averna
Black walnut bitters
Orange snap

Shake together and strain over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

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Cocktail O’Clock: I Yam What I Yam

Whislers Sweet Potato Cocktail

We’re nearing the end of winter, but there are still more cozy cocktails to be sipped! Before the spring sun comes back, snuggle up to an inspired s’mores-ish cocktail, made with sweet potato (yes, sweet potato!) shrub. This recipe comes from Whisler’s, one of Austin’s favorite craft cocktail bars. (And one of my personal favorite places to grab a drink and some spicy Thai food!)

I Yam What I Yam

1.5 oz Butter-Infused Flor de Cana 7yr
.5 oz Milletti Amaro
1 oz Sweet Potato Shrub
2 dashes of Fee Bros Black Walnut bitters & 1 dash of Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas bitters

Shake and strain over ice in an old-fashioned glass.  Garnish with toasted marshmallow.

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Miso-Cured Salmon with Cucumber Vinaigrette

Miso-Cured Salmon with Cucumber Vinaigrette

Looking for a new way to prepare dinner? Try curing! Yeah, it takes a little bit of planning and patience (like, you need to plan to do this days in advance) but once you get your ingredients it’s just a super simple waiting game. Salmon and miso go so well together in this recipe from Finn & Porter. Paired with a fresh cucumber vinaigrette, this is a light, bright meal that will turn you into a curing convert.

Miso-Cured Salmon with Cucumber Vinaigrette

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Food Porn Champion: Tacos for Breakfast

Port Aransas Shrimp Breakfast Taco

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.

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