Clark’s Oyster Bar & Gabriela’s!

Goooood morning! (or evening, afternoon, whenever you may read this). I do hope you are having a great week. I’m excited in this post to share a couple more date nights we had over the semester!

First up was Clark’s Oyster Bar on the evening of October 26th. This is an Austin favorite. Any time I ask for restaurant recs this one almost always comes up!

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I knew I would love it based on just how cute the exterior of the building was. I would like to go back during the day to get pictures of the bright yellow striped canopy too.

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Even though they had reservations booked for the evening I called several hours prior to see if we could still get a spot at their oyster bar. Luckily, they had a spot! That’s one of the biggest lessons I have learned in my 20s- “It doesn’t hurt to just ask!” (well, in most cases, hehe).

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We decided to split some oysters and french fries with a glass of crisp white wine. It was a tremendous combo!

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These fries were seasoned with rosemary and had such a distinctly delicious flavor. I have never had fries like them before. The mound was so large, but the fries were so skinny, it was a bit of a feat figuring out how to tackle it… but….where there’s a will there’s a way!! Can I get an Amen?

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On October 30th I ate one of my favorite dinner bowls of quinoa, tofu, coconut oil, roasted zucchini, some yogurt Bolthouse ranch, kale and hummus.

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On November 1st we had butternut squash pasta with  mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and I believe we added a little Lightlife chicken. I may have used regular for Deej.

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November 2nd we were able to sneak in another date night. The first half of the semester we hardly spent time together and realized how intentional we have to be with carving out time together. It’s so important, and while it may not be realistic to do something every week we are going to try to aim for every other week- even if it’s just a coffee date, brunch, a picnic in Zilker– just something intentional!

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This evening we were craving Mexican. We found Gabriela’s and decided to make the trek on foot there. We passed through 6th street which is notoriously known around here as “Dirty 6th”. I thought it had its name from the fact that it’s the main college party street… but as we walked through we realized it quite literally is dirtier and grungier than most other streets in town. We did walk through at a more “tame” hour, so I’m sure we didn’t even see the spectacle that is dirty 6th late into the evening.

Gabriela’s is tucked away on a side street, but so adorable and inviting!

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Since we went at a fairly early hour we were seated immediately. It is so much easier to go out to eat here than in the Bay Area. It was always a project to get into a restaurant there, especially on the weekends, so this is a very welcomed change.

We started with their famous queso. It was just a big cast iron pan of flavor. Holy maloly… the only thing is as time passed the queso congealed a bit as it cooled which made it difficult to dip the chips in after a while. El Alma’s is still my favorite, but this is still a must-order if you find yourself at Gabriela’s.

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I was listening to a comedian special recently and she said how when we take pictures of food with flash it looks like we are holding our food hostage, lol!!! It’s so true. Oh well, gotta do what you gotta do in super dim lighting, right?

So here are my hostage veggie tacos with pretty much an entire avocado. These were tremendous!

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And DJ’s prisoners were their tacos de carne asada with marinated rib-eye steak with caramelized onions and aguacate. Topped with cilantro and tomatillo salsa. He loved them!

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November 3rd I walked my usual loop around Ladybird lake.

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I also discovered I like putting Dateline on in the background while making flashcards. I go through phases with True Crime and usually get into it more around Halloween season. I had never watched Dateline before and gave it a go. I was hooked!

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November 6th I enjoyed these cornbread crisps with some vegan tofu stew. I LOVE the cornbread crisps. Mmmm mmm.

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On November 5th I grabbed a cup of joe from Starbucks and walked on the trail while studying flashcards on my Quizlet app on my phone.

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November 7th I camped out at Starbucks to get ready to take an exam the next day.

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November 8th I made us Lobster Ravioli for dinner- WOW, this was good!

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November 10th I woke up extra hungry. I whipped up eggs with lots of veggies a slice of Laughing Cow swiss cheese and a slice of toast with cottage cheese, jam and hummus on the side.

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That afternoon on a walk we noticed the leaves were starting to change. The leaves definitely change later here than in the midwest.

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We saw a group playing some water game in kayaks. We stopped and watched for a while- it looked challenging!

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On the second half of our walk around the lake we did a double take and realized a couple was out walking their pet ponies. Casual.

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Below is a flatout flatbread with veggies, tofu, hummus and ranch.

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And that’s a wrap for this post! Har-har.

Questions for you: 

  • How is the start to your new year going?

xo <3

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50 thoughts on “Clark’s Oyster Bar & Gabriela’s!

  1. Good morning. The weather where you are at is amazing! I love it. We have 4 inches of snow on the ground and it’s in the 30’s. That’s warm for January. I’m coming to Texas during the winters! 🙂

    1. Good Morning, Kathy! I will say, I was a bit bummed we didn’t see any snow when we were home in OH for the holidays. But I guess it made traveling safer, so that’s a bonus. Enjoy that snow for me please! <3 Happy weekend

  2. Yes! I always say the worst thing someone can say if I ask if no so why not try! Also rosemary fries sound delicious.

    It’s such a coincidence you say that you and DJ are being more intentional with carving out time to spend together. A while back, I realized that even though Alex and I “hung out” at night we weren’t really spending time together since it was just a movie or tv show on. Now we try to actually be present instead of zoning out, even if it’s just cuddling while watching something since it can be easy for Bailey to decide to claim a spot in the middle of the couch ha!

    The quizlet app is the best thing ever invented. It made it so easy to have all of my flashcards with me in college instead of stacks on stacks in my bag. So smart to get out for a walk while studying!

    The new year is off to a decent start. I got New Year’s Day off then back to work but I’m fine with that since the holidays felt crazy around here. Happy Friday 🙂

    1. Exactly!!!

      The rosemary fries were great! I used to do that with regular sweet potato fries made at home, but it works really well with regular fries too!

      Oh my gosh, yessss, exactly!! You get it. It’s soo important. Even if we just make sure to have dinner at the same time in the evening that can be really huge. It’s amazing how far being intentional in certain moments can go!

      I agree!!! I have to re-download it soon with school starting back up in a couple days. It has helped me through countless courses, usually I learn most of the information just while making the notecards!

      I hear ya! I am looking forward to getting back into some type of routine too. Thanks for reading, Maureen!!

      1. I don’t keep dried or fresh rosemary on hand so I haven’t tried it! I’ll have to check for it at TJ’s next time I go I think haha.

        It sounds so cliche to say it’s the little things that matter but it really is! Just having dinner at the same time is a big thing.

        I used to make study guides for classes since I learned the info while making it. Plus then it was much more condensed to carry around and study in between classes and stuff.

        Have a great weekend!

      2. Yesss definitely!!!

        I so agree. We used to be great about it when we were first married, but I think that’s because our schedule allowed it more. It’s hard with such different days, but even more the reason why we need to be intentional!

        Yesss! It helps so much.

        Thanks so much! You tooo 🙂

      3. So I didn’t see any at TJ’s just now but it seemed like they needed to restock the spices. I’ll have to look next week!

        As life gets busier it’s definitely harder so both being on the same page is so important and helps avoid dumb little arguments. At least it helps us lol.

    1. Aw Happy Fri–…wait, Saturday since I’m behind… to you too!!! <3 Glad to hear it's off to a great start :) Hugs right back!

  3. Mack!! It’s so good to catch up with your posts hehe, I feel like its been agessss! Anyway I totally agree, I always say ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’ obviously within reason but it’s so true, there’s definitely no harm in asking sometimes as you have experienced yourself! Yay for getting a table. But hold on have I missed something??? I am so confused as to why there are so many fries??? Like? Why haha I have never seen anything like it? I can’t get over the mountain of chips you have there.. but okay! Love that little picture you took ‘live a great story’ yas!!! Such a good little picture and a great inspirational reminder. Also I want to have pet ponies that I can walk haha, that’s just too cute 😍😍😍 hope you’re having a great start to your year beautiful, can’t wait to read more from you this 2020! Happy new year!

    1. Awww thank you so much for stopping in, Jennie! I always just adoreee your comments.

      Our jaws literally dropped when they brought out the fries. I don’t know that there is a specific why other than to make a statement, lol! I will say we ate WAY more than I expected when I first saw the mountain. We had barely any leftover!

      Glad you like that picture <3 And the pet ponies are too cute, aren't they? Thanks for stopping in. Have a beautiful weekend & New year, love! xox

  4. This post is so cute from start to finish! Your date nights look oh so fun. “Holding our food prisoner” omg, yes!! I was laughing when you started using “prisoners” to indicate DJ’s food. Hahaha

    I love Dateline!! Although sometimes it became a little humdrum because they would keep using the same photos throughout the episode. I know, a petty complaint, but I want to stay interested. I also don’t like when they don’t have a true ending with the criminal caught.

    Allll of your food at home looks amazing! The pasta dish looks amazing, and I haven’t tried the cornbread crisps! They look stellar.

    I have had a great start to the year so far! I hope you have too.<3 Have a great day and weekend! xo

    1. Hahah glad you picked up on that! I was cracking up when the comedian said that because it’s so accurate!

      That’s very true about Dateline! I go through phases with it. Usually I get into the true crime stuff more around October/November then transition to Baking shows in December, lol!

      I think you’d really enjoy the cornbread crisps! They’d go great with any type of chili, but I eat them by themselves too. Mmmm!

      Aww I’m so glad to hear 🙂 I am in that limbo phase- anxiously waiting for school to start so I can’t quite relax but also trying to soak up my last couple days of freedom! Have a very good weekend, Kori!! xo

  5. Morniiiinnnggg!!
    So great they had one spot for you at the oyster bar, and you’re right, it doesn’t hurt to ask! That’s one big lesson I’ve learned too.
    Omg the fries!! Whoa for a second they looked like bean sprouts haha
    Yay for date nights! We haven’t done that as much around here, sadly.
    Looks like queso dips are a thing down there huh? Love it.
    Omg I love how much avocado is in those tacos haha
    I’ve been listening to a true crime podcast, I guess I can call it that, not sure. Got into it around Halloween time too lol.

    Wow lobster ravioli!! I’ve never had it before. I want to try it!
    Lmao, pet ponies! Kinda cute actually.
    The start to my year? Sick. Still sick.

    1. Exactly!! hahaa I totally see what you mean, especially with that rosemary!

      Hope you can squeeze in a date night soon <3 And right? I was joking "Want some taco with your avocado?". It was sooo goood!

      The Lobster Ravioli is tremendous! I love at TJs you can find things that would cost an arm and a leg at restaurants, but are more reasonable to have at home. Ahhh no so sorry you are still sick- hopefully by the time you read this you are on the upswing! Sending huge hugs . xoxo

      1. I haven’t tried making a trip to TJ’s because we have been trying to keep a tight budget, but eventually, I will need to go and get that lobster ravioli to try. It looks so good!
        Sadly I’m not, I even lost my voice last night and it’s still gone this morning 😪 I hope it’s nothing bad, I get really anxious when idk whats going on and I guess I’ll admit to being a bit of a hypochondriac lol. If I’m not well by tomorrow I’ll make a trip to the doctor.

      2. Ohhh no!! Keep me posted <3 I hope you woke up feeling much better, but good idea to go in if not. <3

  6. Good afternoon! I’m so happy you both are carving out time for your intentional date nights. I’ve never tried oysters before but I’d like to someday. Those fries look absolutely delicious! I haven’t been to a restaurant where I’ve had an order that thin, but they look like they’d my my favorite! It’s been a very rainy week, but I’m feeling more productive, so that’s a win! Haha. Hope your week is ending well!

    1. Oysters are one of those food items that you have to give them several tries before making a decision before you like them! Neither DJ nor I liked them until we had them probably about five different times! They do grow on you and now we crave them!

      Sometimes nothing feels better than being super productive! Glad to hear it’s off to a great start. Have a wonderful weekend, Stephanie 🙂

  7. I love that you are still trying to carve out moments that feel like dates more than just time together. Those fries look tasty, but that is a HUGE pile and I would not have wanted to carry that plate across a restaurant.

    1. Exactly <3 Now that I've mentioned it here on the blog it will really hold us accountable. In fact, we have something planned tonight that we almost cancelled, but realized the importance of the date before school gets insane. And yessss, that's a great point- they must have needed some practice to balance it over!

  8. Mackenzie – keep doing those date nights with DJ to keep you sane in this insane school schedule for both of you and to give you lots of fodder for your upcoming blog posts! I just love the mound of fries – funny, when you wrote “mound of fries” I was thinking more of a horizontal dish between you , yes heaping high, but not vertically THAT high – wow! Looked like if you picked one fry from the pile, they might all come toppling down. Just incredible. Glad you got a shot of them. I liked the picture of the door archway where you could see the tree bending down to the water and the next picture of the gray geese gathered all together. Good times and great shots and I am so hungry for Mexican food now!

    1. Yes, exactly!! We actually have a date night planned tonight and almost cancelled, but remembered how important it is to take that time. It’s a 2 hour cheese tasting- we are quite excited! All the school readings for me /interview prep for DJ will have to wait!

      Hahah yes! I think even “mountain” may have been the most accurate word!

      Hope you can hunt down some good Mexican food soon 🙂 Thanks for reading, Linda!

      1. Yes, don’t cancel … enjoy the time off and eke out whatever you can do in your downtime! Yes, I have a craving for Mexican food after seeing yours.

      2. We definitely did enjoy! Back to school tomorrow. I’m currently cramming in a 300 page diagnostic book as a little refresher course. Trying to finish by tomorrow and started yesterday- wish me luck 🥴 have a great day and I hope you scout out some good Mexican food soon!

      3. Your eyes are likely crossed by now. I agree with you – it was a bummer to post the reading list while you were still on break. My boss starts teaching tonight at the law school tonight. He is co-teaching with another labor law attorney. He taught for about 30 years and then they had no students signing up for “Private Sector Labor Law” and it was discontinued. So he was excited to be teaching again. Only six students signed up for this semester though. Good luck Mackenzie.

      4. So true!! I didn’t quite make it through all 300, but I’m trying to finish it up today! I feel a little more confident after this review.

        That’s awesome!! I feel like with small courses you get even more effective learning, so I’m sure that will be beneficial for him as a teacher too!

      5. That’s good – I forgot to ask him if they picked up any more students by the time of class. The last year he taught, he had a very small class, just enough to not cancel and he’s had groups where some were taking it pass/fail only. He is co-teaching with a female labor attorney. He co-taught for years teaching from his perspective (labor for the management side which is what we do) and he had another professor who worked at the NLRB and gave a union perspective. He likes teaching and is happy to be doing it again. As an adjunct professor it is only one night a week since he is doing the co-teaching gig.

      6. That sounds like such a great setup for everyone!! I hope he continues to enjoy it this semester!

    1. So I was telling someone else this- but if you do try oysters, give them a few times before deciding if you like them or not! Dj and I had to try them several times (probably about 5) before we actually enjoyed them. Now we crave them on occasion because they are so refreshing.

      Yessss! Do you have a favorite show or podcast? Thanks for reading, Carly!

      1. Good advice!! I will have to try them, and hopefully talk my husband into it, too haha

        For podcasts, I listen to My Favorite Murder, Crime Junkie, and Dateline!

        For shows, I like Forensic Files and 48 Hours, plus Netflix has a whole section dedicated to it!

      2. These are all so good- I just started Crime Junkie actually! I really appreciate how Ashley just gives the facts and is passionate about helping the unsolved cases. I haven’t explored Netflix too much in this genre, but I’ll have to! Thanks for sharing, Carly 🙂

  9. Ah! I’ve been wanting to try Clark’s Oyster Bar for so long, but I don’t even know if I like oysters! Your post makes the meal sound super delicious so I might have to go ASAP.
    Dateline is amazing – my parents and I will watch it together when I’m home over the holidays. Such a great bonding activity – haha!

    1. They have so many great options even if you don’t get the oysters (The fries are a must though!). And that cracks me up hahah! Dateline for the win.

  10. AW, Gabriela’s is SO cute, I love their exterior. <3 The tacos DJ got look fantastic! & sometimes, I get really into True Crime, too. I've heard a lot about Dateline but have never watched it, either. Maybe I'll give it a go if you like it. 🙂 I would LOVE those cornbread crisps & that lobster ravioli looks sooo cool!!

  11. I feel like the “you don’t know unless you ask” is something living in CA teaches you real fast. There are definitely quite a few restaurants that are booked for months, but we’ve called and they’ve been able to squeeze us in.
    I feel ya on the being able to get a table rather quickly when you’re not in LA or the Bay. It’s always so eye opening how fast it goes in other places!

    1. Hi, Jess!! Ohhh yes that is so true in CA, that’s where I learned it most, lol! And isn’t it funny how relative it all is? You get so used to the super long waits that a shorter wait takes ya be surprise. Thanks for stopping in- have a great Saturday 🙂

  12. My New Year is starting out very well! I hope that yours is as well. Your posts always make me so hungry. So much tasty looking food!! Ladybird Lake looks like a beautiful place to spend time. I love that “art” piece-such a great message. 🙂

    1. Hehe I hope you found some great eats after reading this! 😋 and yesss ladybird lake is my little oasis! Thank you for stopping in ❤️

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