Lucky Robot #2!

Hi, friends! I wrote this a couple months back and forgot about it in my drafts!- Lucky is a restaurant near and dear to me in Austin. Currently they have stopped all services including food delivery- I am dreaming of when they will open back up. This trip to Lucky was a special memory for me too! As always, I pray you all are safe and healthy- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. ❤️

Hey all! Welcome welcome to my second time at Lucky Robot which took place on January 27th. I didn’t think anything could top our last time at Lucky, but mannn oh man, we were in for a treat!! This time around we decided to try out their happy hour. This includes half price off all cool apps and select bites on the menu between $3-$5. 

Oh!!! I almost forgot to mention: My mom joined me this time since she was in town for work! It was my first time taking her on a “food shoot” with me, so tons of fun to show her that side of “operations” 😉 air quotes galore, ha!

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First up we tried the Kanpachi Serrano with asian pear, coconut water ponzu and red curry oil. This was extremely refreshing and the coconut flavor was so beautifully contrasted with the hint of curry oil. I also loved the jicama- it added a nice texture to the entire dish and added to the refreshing experience of it all. Jicama is one of those things that I always enjoy at restaurants, but never think of buying myself at the store. I may have to sometime and try to get creative with it!

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We also couldn’t resist getting their crisped brussels sprouts with lemongrass soy. These were delicious, but very sweet!

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Off their small bites menu we tried the namazu maki with unagi style BBQ catafish, sesame, house pickles and lemongrass soy. It was okay, but with all the other awesome sushi rolls on their menu I’d recommend passing this one up and going for something else!

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Another ATX food blogger recommended trying the karaage kama, which is a spicy hoisin glazed fried fish collar, togarashi, ponzu and lemon. I will try just about anything; this was no exception, but I had noo idea what to expect! It ended up being one of our favorites on the table. I would compare this dish to fried chicken, but it’s fish. Yum!

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Now for a couple dishes not on the happy hour menu, but we had to try! …. First up- Maguro sashimi (tuna sashimi). This was great sashimi- super filling and tasty.

3bc0f6f4-55ef-48be-8255-a89f7682c0eb-1Now for my favorite dish of all- the tiger eye with smoked salmon, avocado, serrano, goat cheese, english cucumber, sesame, and pank togarashi. I will sing the praises of this roll to anyone that will listen! This is easily one of my favorite sushi rolls I’ve ever had- the goat cheese is what made it. As soon as Lucky opens back up, this is the first dish I’m ordering!

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We left practically nothing left on the table. It was all absolutely delicious!

Thank you so much for having us, Lucky!!

After, we went back to my apartment and watched Bachelor together while eating ice cream. It was such a great evening!

Question for you:

  • What’s your favorite meal lately?

I hope you all have a blessed Easter weekend <3

xo

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Lucky Robot & Trail of Lights!

Hey, everyone! In this post I am taking y’all on a culinary journey to Lucky Robot. This is a local restaurant on South Congress that I’m honored to be an ambassador for! This has been on our list of restaurants to try for a while, so I was ecstatic when they reached out.

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When we walked through the doors on December 15th we were immediately wowed by the eye-catching, electric and vibrant decor.

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We decided to sit outside since it was an absolutely beautiful day! It was nearly 80 in December. Whatt!

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Just a little background- they are the first sustainable sushi restaurant in all of Texas. They use the phrase Ichiban Dake to inspire all they do (it means “Only the best”). They put so much care and attention to every detail of their restaurant from the decor to the customer experience to the flavor to the presentation of each dish.

First, we started with peach blossom breeze which includes peach-infused sake, orange juice, cranberry juice and brut. It was light, refreshing and delicious!

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Of course, we have to have some edamame to start!

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We ordered their shrimp and pork dumplings with pork, shrimp, passion fruit ponzu and basil seeds. (Even though I don’t usually eat meat, for food shoots I do at least try each dish so I can appreciate the spread and give a fair assessment). These were great… the passion fruit was a wonderfully unique twist.

d6d39db9-02de-4619-b385-d1e3cb23fd3a82a8eba9-ff20-42f4-a03c-8eccd087d60aNext up were the steamed pork buns with spicy soy glaze, farm-to-table sunomono and cilantro.  They were extremely savory and packed with flavor. The bao itself was soft and pillowy as could be. DJ was particularly blown away by these, they were his favorite of everything we tried. We are starting a “must try” in Austin list with specific items from different restaurants, and this is going on it!640dbb78-f34f-4b76-ba02-a4d7f69798580066ed63-eadb-424e-adcd-8d1e8ebcda37Next up is my personal favorite- the veggiepillar with miso grilled eggplant, sesame, pickled cucumber and carrot, topped with avocado and serrano, yuzu miso sauce and sesame. Okay, this is seriously one of my favorite sushi rolls I have ever tried, and it doesn’t even have any fish. Phenomenal.eabdfd18-d347-48df-9ffb-a628eaaaa72c9b425252-2334-4a01-b8f3-06ca210786d7We also tried their famous Voltron with crab, avocado, pickled cucumber & carrot topped with tuna, salmon and amberjack that is served with sesame, spicy mayo and soy lemonglass glaze. It was delicious and had every fish you could ever dream in a roll- it was DJ’s favorite between the two, where I preferred the veggiepillar.cc4323bb-7098-4b9a-a208-ff4d6e7a7402Next up is the stunning king cebiche with big glory bay king salmon, tiger’s milk, serrano, purple sweet potato, shallot, persimmon and cilantro oil. The flavor was extremely delicate and you could tell how much attention went into this dish.5032eb2a-779e-461a-9f8f-1e13144d2c1e988ce4d4-ce98-431e-b582-510b3616b3efWhen we got home I went for an lovely run in the warm weather. After, we did some house chores, and then I worked on going through the pics a bit. We were pretty exhausted after such a busy weekend- but then had a second wind around 8:30. I saw that it was free admission to the Trail of Lights and since neither of us had classes the next day (what!) we decided to check them out.2f4c3a59-8baa-4c0c-b828-76bc132492b2839bf375-1544-4270-86e5-2acc31d6137fb99316f3-9e8e-44d7-8410-4c98ebb873e4We have heard a lot of hype around this event, but didn’t know what to expect. It was absolutely magical and magnificent. It helped get us in the Christmas spirit!58691701-281f-43b4-b58c-e277ebe9aaacCan you spot Texas on the globe?1928be52-72e5-4052-9b0b-d767f3e1d2e0e18171e4-43b7-46e7-b6da-036581501059832186cb-29c7-47b3-9155-a36ffcbf939cI was crackin’ up by the “Upside down” land. All the trees were literally upside down haha. How does that even work… ya there, gravity?9dbe9c20-3f26-45e0-9765-6234b5887ef3They had a variety of food trucks, a carousel and even a Ferris wheel!14880808-44c7-4250-80ad-bc1f253405ecb0a3afa4-5b4c-492f-b97e-a4420fc43340They even had a bat cave (Representing the bats on South Congress). I don’t know that I’ve discussed the whole bats on South Congress thing before… but I’ll make sure to discuss the whole situation behind them in a future post.2d9b0993-5d82-4924-8103-a3761ba027f1And to further the Christmas inspired lights, here is the North Pole!a3268256-bb80-4cf4-b557-bacdb447d038We even had the opportunity to go through Candyland!686d7de8-9c4e-46dc-ac93-01bfeed765fd4a86d51a-f5d9-4cdd-b0d4-abe1a932a7e3d68f1b3d-8417-4995-aef9-b8a304b5e8f2At the end of the trail there is even a live band playing an area to cook S’mores if you wish.30370549-5703-477b-877d-cc44d055c6fe5292d490-35c3-4262-b49c-78ff84d06465As we headed out we were in awe of the lights against the city skyline. Plus there was a massive moon that night, although I failed to capture it on camera.0bab99dd-10dc-468a-ba31-27a9ff864697Since we had sort of a “linner” at Lucky Robot, we grew hungry again by the time we finished the lights around 9. Since neither of us had to get up early the next day we decided to walk into town to grab some pizza.a9683439-4bbb-405e-9e18-5c96696beb87We went to Via 313 – another local favorite.800045f0-e3c7-4495-98ce-6615085aa8da36f16654-08f1-4ddd-864b-90e4b3a02f3cIt took a while to get our pizza (probably about 30 mins), so we enjoyed the quiet and warm setting and watched some ESPN in the meantime.88f8611a-dc9f-412e-8bc0-5f1bb14b0c04Finally around 11 pm we got our pizzas – the veggie for me and four cheese for DJ. The veggie was fine- but the four cheese was absolutely amazing!b1145553-a1d7-4c87-a80e-0f599f658ec0455838d7-a314-464d-9f37-945c32ae55acAnd I had to take a picture of the bathroom area- so cute.4f7041ba-3786-46af-8cbd-960449f562eeQuestions for you: 

  • Are you watching Bachelor? We must discuss.
  • Thoughts on the Grammys if you watched? I thought Alicia Keys did an incredible job…So full of grace. I loved Lizzo’s performance (of course) and Camila Cabello’s had me in tears. I still have about an hour left, but I will probably finish it tomorrow.

Before I end this post I just want to say we are absolutely devastated hearing about Kobe, his daughter and everyone else involved in the accident. Gosh, there really are no words… reminds us all to hug our loved ones a bit tighter and to never take a single moment for granted. <3 So many thoughts and prayers are with the Bryant family and all other families impacted.

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Austin, TX!

Happy Thursday! And welcome to a travel post! This is a short & sweet one, as we were in Austin for only about 24 hours. BUT we did our best to make the most of it 🙂

So, as many of you know, DJ is checking out different schools/campuses for grad school (MBA). We decided to give UT Austin an in-person visit since he’d never been, but it’s one of the schools he is considering. On Saturday November 3rd I spent the day packing, tying up loose ends around the house, trying to get as much school work done as possible, cleaning, etc.

Around 4:45 am on November 4th I woke up to run, then around 6:30 am we grabbed an Uber to the airport!

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The only thing that made standing through security and the long lines bearable was the promise of Peet’s at the end. *Big deep sigh of bliss* Nothing like Peet’s and reading about reformed Medicare at 7:30 am.

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I studied majority of the plane trip, so I hardly even remember it. I do know the turbulence was awful, and I don’t do well at all with that. But we still arrived, safe and sound 🙂 The Uber driver was very informative and we learned a ton about Austin on our way just to the hotel. Gosh, everyone is soo dern friendly in TX!

We stayed at The Hampton Inn that was closest to right off campus. It was super convenient, cheap, and easily the nicest Hampton Inn we have ever stayed.

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Highly recommend if you are ever in Austin. Those hotels downtown can be pricy- this one was a real bang for the buck!

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And in light of keeping Austin weird they had an intentionally spray painted wall & a photo booth, lol.

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This was on the inside of the elevator… Austin and I will get along just fine!

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We were greeted by a cute little Armadillo & a coffee maker first step into the room, so we were happy as a couple clams! <3

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After dropping our stuff off at the hotel, we walked across the street to UT Austin to check out the grounds!

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It is a stunning campus!

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After walking around for a while, we realized we were quite hungry (‘magine that!). We went back to the hotel, grabbed some water at their cute little water stand in the lobby, and then changed out of our frumpy travel clothes.

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If you know me, you know before big trips I can spend an absurd amount of time researching restaurants. I came to the conclusion that The Salty Sow was a must!

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It was such a warm little space!

img_1523Luckily we came in time for the tail end of Happy Hour, so we tried a few apps at only $5. *In voice of Dorothy: We aren’t in California anymore*.

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First, we had to try the “duck fat” fries. Not even sure what that means, but goodness gracious, they were crispy, delicious perfection. And how fun that they were served with a fry-d egg!

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Next, we had to try the Brussel Sprouts. These were hands down, the BEST Brussel sprouts we have ever had. DJ isn’t even a huge fan of brussels usually, but he kept saying over and over he couldn’t believe how tasty they were.

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For main entrees, DJ ordered the slow cooked beef shoulder with yukon gold mashed potatoes, glazed root vegetables, and a fried egg. It was served in a literal pan.

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DJ loved it.

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For my main, I had the chef’s veggie antipasto platter. It didn’t give a large description of everything that would be on it, but I’ve never met a veggie I haven’t  liked. The platter was massive! I thought “there is no way I can finish all that!”.. but whaddya know, everything was so delicious I couldn’t leave a scrap.

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We were pretty tired and somewhat disoriented from traveling/time change/daylight savings, so we just went back to the hotel to get a nice night slumber & watch Haunting of Hill House. In the morning of November 5th, DJ met with a student from the school of business while I cranked out a six-miler on the treadmill while reading for school. After…. brekky time! At home I usually have breakfast before working out, but when traveling I usually like to work out first thing and work up a massive appetite before chowing down. It makes all the food taste sooo guuuuud.

Look how pretty this buffet area is!!! I just love a good hotel breakfasts.

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The coffee was soo yummy too.

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I grabbed a chocolate scone, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, a hard boiled egg, and studied for my research course while fueling up for the day.

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While waiting for DJ to return, I watched some lectures in the hotel room and then somehow dozed back to sleep.

When he came back it was around 11:30/12 and we still had some time before our flight. We decided spur of the moment to squeeze in a few more eats before heading back. First stop: Tumble 22! I actually had a Austin food blogger (AustinEater) reach out with the suggestion.

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They claimed it was the best chicken sandwich ever, and DJ confirmed.

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Right next door was a fun little spot called Ranch 616 that had pescatarian- friendly eats for ya girl, so we decided to swing in.

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The atmosphere was wonderful- nice &  relaxing, buzzing with character!

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First, we had to try their Southern Kitchen Living award winning “best oysters in the South” oysters! I am not a big fan of fried food because often I feel like all you taste is the “fried” flavor and nothing else (plus sometimes thereafter tummy troubles)… but these were jam packed with spectacular flavor. And the aioli they served with it was just the best, creamiest compliment. DJ swore he wasn’t hungry after having that massive sandwich, but after having one bite of these he had his share 😉

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I also tried their shrimp tacos which were Mmmmmm mmmmm mmmmm! My mouth also waters just thinking about the jalapeño onion rings. I may never be able to enjoy standard onion rings the same way again.

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Time to head back to the hotel. Luckily, where we stayed we were able to walk to everything except the airport while we were there. This saved on getting a rental car and also allowed us to see more of the city on foot.

I loved this mural we spotted on the way back!

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The rest of the day was a full travel day with a layover in Denver. It all went pretty smoothly. I just studied the entire time and actually knocked out a decent amount of school work for the week!

Questions for you:

  • Have you been to Austin? If so, do you have any favorite restaurants/ things to do?
  • If you could visit a city for 24 hours where would it be?

xo <3

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