Clucking Around in Lewisville, TX: Prohibition Chicken

Prohibition Chicken is the collaboration of Josh Babb and Sean Clavir (formerly of Musume, The Chop Shop and Chop Shop Live) and Chef Roger Kaplan (Restaurant Innovations). In addition to its great location, they chose Lewisville for the restaurant’s site because it lends itself to the old country vibe they were seeking.

Prohibition Chicken
201 W. Church Street, Lewisville, TX 75057
www.prohibitionchicken.com

The dining room is wonderfully rustic yet chic. The walls are covered in wood and the comfy booths are covered in flour sacks.

Rustic interior with natural lighting. Check out the phone booth door leading to the speakeasy.

Continue reading “Clucking Around in Lewisville, TX: Prohibition Chicken”

healthy mediterranean at greens & lemons

Healthy Mediterranean at Greens & Lemons in Mission, TX

Greens & Lemons
2707 E. Griffin Pkwy ~ Mission, TX.

greens & lemons

Greens & Lemons is a friendly, healthy restaurant in an unassuming strip mall in Mission, Texas. They have lots of vegan and gluten free options, as well as delicious juices made in-house. My friend and I dined there 3 times in just a week! So if you live in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas or ever find yourself traveling through, check this place out.

Continue reading “Healthy Mediterranean at Greens & Lemons in Mission, TX”

Deep Ellum Brewing Company in Dallas, TX

I may be “living the dream” in Los Angeles, but I’m a Texan at heart and when I visited the greatest state in the union this spring, I knew I was going to have to check out some local beer. A week before my trip I heard a interview with the head brewer of Deep Ellum Brewing Company on The Business of Beer Podcast and immediately added them to my list of places to visit while I was in Dallas.IMG_0723

 

Deep Ellum Brewing Company
2823 St Louis Street, Dallas, TX 75226
www.deepellumbrewing.com

Maybe it’s just because I was out of the beer scene when I lived in Texas, but my memory of beer was pretty much Bud and Coors- Lone Star or Shiner were for when you were feeling fancy. But the craft beer scene in Dallas has absolutely exploded, and they are turning out some amazing beers. Deep Ellum Brewing is definitely leading the pack, with a commitment to quality beer and a great beer community. They are located in the heart of Deep Ellum, right on a strip full of great bars and restaurants. It’s an ideal spot to stop in for a few pints after dinner.

IMG_0720The tasting room itself has a great atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating. They’ve done a great job of embracing the industrial feel of the area, but making it a really interesting and dynamic space. For those of you from out of the state- be aware that Texas has strict ABC laws, which caught me off guard. Six packs of beer are only for on premise consumption and they don’t do tasting flights at certain times. But it is 100% worth your time to come by and grab a few pints.

IMG_0719I was head over heels in love with the Dreamcrusher Double IPA. Coming from the west coast, I’m used to super hoppy IPAs, and I’ve had a million of them. So finding a fantastic IPA brewed in Texas was a such an unexpected surprise. The also have a brown ale brewed with coffee from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters, which filled me with nostalgia since I worked in that neighborhood for several summers in college. I was also a huge fan of both the Rye Pilsner and the Praline Porter. The rye gave a nice kick to the pilsner, which was crisp and refreshing. The Praline Porter was basically everything I wish for in a porter- robust, but with a wonderful malty sweetness. That was only a smattering of what I got to try though- they have a really solid list of year round beers plus some wonderful specialty and seasonal beers. Being a Dallas native, it was wonderful seeing such a great brewery innovating and making such great beer. If you are ever in the Big D, make sure you give these guys a visit.

IMG_0721

margarita, cosmopolitan, Table 13, Addison, Texas, steak, seafood, Sinatra. lobster

Table 13 in Addison, TX

Table 13
4812 Belt Line Road, Addison, TX 75254
http://www.table13addison.com/

Table 13, Addison, Texas, steak, seafood, Frank Sinatra

Enter the doors of Table 13 and you enter another era. In the style of early 1960s Vegas, it is elegant. It is classy. It is upscale. Totally Rat Pack and Sinatra. We were greeted by a Marlon Brando, Cary Grant, Doris Day, Marilyn Monroe and many, many more celebrities…well, their framed black and white photos anyway.Table 13, Addison, Texas, steak, seafood, Frank Sinatra

The decor is spot on. Sleek tufted black leather booths with silver buttons. Tables dressed in white starched tablecloths. Clean white and black decor punctuated with industrial brick and pops of color here and there. Oh, and the pin-ups! Tastefully framed pinups with seductive quotes like the one over the bar, “I really do appreciate the new negligee, darling, but I know that later you’ll just try to talk me out of it.” Nice touch!Table 13, Addison, Texas, steak, seafood, cocktails, Frank Sinatra

No detail is left to chance. Check out the black and white painting of old blue-eyes himself with the blue accents. I swear he watched me all night. Table 13, Addison, Texas, cocktails, live music, steak, seafood

First up was cocktails….a margarita and a cosmopolitan. Both tasty with little mermaid hanging off the sides of the glasses. Again with the special touches. margarita, cosmopolitan, Table 13, Addison, Texas, steak, seafood, Sinatra margarita, cosmopolitan, Table 13, Addison, Texas, steak, seafood, Sinatra

For appetizers, we chose the calamari. The calamari was just as good. At first glance, I thought they had forgotten the dipping sauce. These babies did not need sauce. The calamari was not alone. The chef added artichokes, cherry peppers, tomato and fried pickles. All of this in a herb butter. Scrumptious.margarita, cosmopolitan, Table 13, Addison, Texas, steak, seafood, Sinatra, calamari

For a salad, we picked the classic wedge salad. It did not disappoint. The iceberg lettuce was crisp and topped with a Roquefort dressing. The dressing had a hint of smokiness. The salad was topped with pancetta, egg, blue cheese, tomato and pickled red onions. Prepare for an extreme close up!margarita, cosmopolitan, Table 13, Addison, Texas, steak, seafood, Sinatra, blue cheese, pancetta

On to the main event. How about a little surf and turf? Of course. It was enough for an army. Perfectly cooked, rare steak served on fluffy, garlic mashed potatoes and a buttery, tender lobster tail. Decadent. margarita, cosmopolitan, Table 13, Addison, Texas, steak, seafood, Sinatra. lobster

The sea bass was coated with seasoned potato flakes and served on leek fondue. The creamy fondue was a buttery compliment to the sea bass. The sea bass was flaky and moist. margarita, cosmopolitan, Table 13, Addison, Texas, steak, seafood, Sinatra

The Salmon Meunier was impeccable. The rustic sauce of brown butter and lemon was added a nice acidity to the richness of the fish. It was served over green beans amandine. The beans were crisp and fresh. margarita, cosmopolitan, Table 13, Addison, Texas, steak, seafood, Sinatra. salmon

Table 13 has live music every night. We were serenaded with swingin’ tunes like “The Girl From Ipanema”, “Luck Be a Lady” and “The Best is Yet to Come”. The service was attentive but not pushy. No rush to turn a table here.

I’ve got “high hopes” Table 13 is here to stay!
Table 13 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

green owl deli

A Vegan in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas

vegan in the rio grande valley

 

farmer's market

raymondville countryside

This is the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Oddly enough, there are no valleys here. It’s flat, lush land for miles and miles. I’ve spent the past week and a half traversing this southernmost region of Texas and I have to say – I love it. Maybe it’s all the palm trees, tropical flowers, sunshine, and friendly people, but there’s something about this area that captivates me. ?? It’s made up mostly of small towns, many dotting the border of Mexico, so as a vegan coming down to visit I had no idea what to expect in terms of veg friendly food. But I was pleasantly surprised.

major health foods

There’s a handful of health foods stores in the city of McAllen, which is where I spent most of my time. McAllen is pretty small compared to the big cities I’ve lived in (Dallas, Austin, Beijing), but it’s got a nice mix of old town feel and modern amenities. There’s a Sprouts Farmers Market near downtown, which is one of my favorite health foods stores, so I was really excited to find one in the valley. I also explored a local store called Major Health Foods that has a wide selection of vitamins, supplements, beauty & skin products, vegan cheese, ice cream, and more. They even have a little bulk foods section.

coconut oil

I also found the biggest jar of coconut oil I’ve ever seen. 54 ounces for $44.00. I think it would take me a few years to use up that much! If you head past the registers toward the back of the store, you’ll come across a vegan cafe that has a different special every day. Major Health Foods has everything a vegan could need, but since they are local and not a chain, expect slightly higher prices.

mcallen public library

I ended up going to the McAllen Public Library several times. It used to be a Walmart, but when they got a new location, they gave the building to the city and it got turned into a huge library. Awesome! ? ? ?

 McAllen Public Library
4001 N 23rd St, McAllen, TX 78504

As soon as you walk inside the lobby, there’s a brand new cafe in the right hand corner. They have a wide array of coffee drinks with the option of using soy milk or almond milk, tea, salads, and a Jalapeno Veggie Wrap. I decided to try the wrap, but minus the jalapenos because I’m a little intolerant of super spicy foods.

jalapeno veggie wrap

It was quite tasty and still had a little kick to it, even without the jalapenos. It contained black beans, which made it a very filling meal, plus sauteed zucchini, spinach, carrots, a green sauce, with a side of veggie sticks and a pickle. The only thing that could’ve made it better was a few slices of avocado. For my drink, I went with their homemade sweet tea. I liked it because it wasn’t overly sweet like most, and it had a hint of citrus.

coconut chips

Across the street from the library is the 99 Cent Store ? ? woo hoo! Forget the Dollar Store ? they are sooo expensive. The family I stayed with introduced me to these delicious dark chocolate coconut chips which are normally 3 or 4 bucks, but at the 99 cent store they’re ONLY 99 cents!! They also come in a regular flavor without chocolate. The store had a nice selection of teas and I picked up an organic green tea. There’s a small produce section, wines marked down to $2.99 ?(not sure if any are vegan brands, but if so, it’s worth a visit just for that), home goods, and lots of other things.

nectar avenue

On my way back, I stopped to take a look at the McAllen Food Park, which is located in the parking lot connected to the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. Food trucks are slowly but surely becoming popular in McAllen, and I saw several during my stay. This is the menu for Nectar Avenue ☝️, the only food truck in the park with vegan options. They serve fresh juices, smoothies, a fruit bowl, veggie bowl, gazpacho, garden wraps, and more!

McAllen Food Park
400 W Nolana Ave, McAllen, TX 78504


farmer's market

homemade jam

Every Saturday in McAllen there are 2 farmer’s markets – one is at the public library from 10 am – 1 pm and the other one is at Fireman’s Park from 9 am – noon. The weekend that I went there happened to be a big music festival in town, so a lot of the regular vendors at the market were at the festival. Despite a smaller market than usual, I was still really impressed with the local products available. I ended up going to both markets because I was in total farmer’s market mode.

homemade granola

farmer's market

I found lots of vegan items: jams, jellies, fruits, vegetables, granola, pecan butter, and even deodorant! I bought locally handmade rose jelly with roses straight from their garden, a small bag of pecans, Mexican squash, and deodorant because I was having a situation with my current one (it wasn’t working, ewww).

vegan tamales

By the time I got to the market at Fireman’s Park it was lunchtime and I was hungry. Lucky for me I found the perfect meal. One vendor was selling homemade tamales wrapped in banana leaves. There were 3 flavors: bean & cheese, chicken something or other (I glazed over that one), and spinach & mushrooms. I love the spinach & mushroom combo so I grabbed them and chowed down – and they were SO good.

There’s usually a vendor at the farmer’s market called Le Vegan Factory, but I couldn’t find them and I suspect they were stationed at the music festival.

chickpea burger

On Monday I hit up a restaurant called The Mighty House because they have Meatless Monday. The vegan items on their menu are the falafel and the veggie burger, and every Monday both items are on special. I went with the burger which is made with chickpeas and topped with spinach, tomato, and avocado. It comes with chips or a side salad. And I couldn’t resist getting the fresh coconut cucumber juice.

The Mighty House 
1303 N 10th St, McAllen, TX 78501

organic juices

On my last day in the valley, I went to the Green Owl Deli and found myself in vegan heaven. Green Owl has a couple of items containing meat, but most of their menu is vegetarian and vegan. They have a beautiful selection of organic juices, vegan desserts, gluten free options, helpful employees, and a lovely seating area.

Green Owl Deli
2901 N 10th St, McAllen, TX 78501

green owl deli

green owl deli

After much consideration, I narrowed my choices down to the lasagna and the chalupas, both being vegan and gluten free. I also grabbed the Turmeric Elixir juice which was very tasty. Everything was super yummy, but I think the lasagna was my favorite. Instead of pasta, the base is made of eggplant and zucchini, and filled with black beans, lentils, & marinara sauce. It’s topped with cheese and comes with a side salad.

Needless to say, vegans will not go hungry in the valley. There’s lots of delicious options!

Here’s a couple general tips if you’re traveling and not sure where to find vegan food:

Mexican and Chinese restaurants almost always have vegetarian and vegan options, or can be easily altered if you ask. Local restaurants are great and usually accommodating, but if you need something that’s quick and can be found along he highway, try Chipotle or Taco Bell. Taco Bell recently announced a slew of menu items that are certified by the American Vegetarian Association. Yay! And you can’t go wrong with rice + veggies + tofu at a Chinese restaurant. Lastly, the local grocery stores are chock full of vegan ingredients perfect for a home cooked meal or putting together a quick snack for the road.

I will definitely be back to the valley soon, and it’s nice to know there’s no shortage of cruelty free food 🙂

Jillian ♥

P.S. To check out all the cool things there are to do and see in the valley (besides the food?), go to my Compassionate Women blog next Friday for the full scoop!

RECIPE: Texas-Style Kolaches

As promised…

I found a recipe that almost matches up to the delicious
kolaches I enjoyed nearly every day I spent in Austin. The dough didn’t turn out as soft
and delicious as I remember but this very well could have been my fault. I’m
more of a cake/cookie/brownie/tart baker than a dough girl. I leave most of that to my bread maker. Still, I count this as a success because they did turn
out very tasty!
Homemade Kolaches:
Ham w/Jarlsberg, Sausage w/Jalapenos & Cheddar
Texas-Style Savory Kolaches 
Recipe (Adapted) from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Ingredients 

(Yields 12-15)
for the dough:
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/4 cup water, warmed to 110-115F
1 cup milk, warmed to 110-115F
4 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled to warm
2 large eggs
5/8 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
4 1/4 cups flour
 
The best part about these is the filling and the options are endless! I went with two favorites from Austin: ham w/jarlsberg, sausage w/jalapenos and cheese.
Preparation
1. Pour warm water and yeast into bowl of an electric mixer. Let proof 5 minutes until foamy.
2. With mixer on low add milk, melted butter, eggs, sugar and salt until combined.
3. Add flour, half at a time, mixing until just combined.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and leave out at room temperature until dough has doubled, 1-2 hours.
5. Punch the dough down, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or longer.
6. Divide dough into 12-15 balls, setting on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and leave out at room temperature for 15 minutes.
7. Flatten each ball, adding filling to the top then fold the dough around the filling. Set back on the parchment seam-side down. Cover, then preheat the oven to 375.
8. Bake 25-30 minutes at 375, until browned. (My two batches were ready between 15 and 20 minutes. This is likely because I stuffed them very full, so much so that the cheese oozed out of a few. Keep an eye on them from the 15 minute mark on.) 
9. Enjoy!

 

Kolaches!

I flew home from Austin today, happy and full after eating my way around town for a week. This was my third and final trip out producing a TV show and now I’m having a really hard time dealing with the fact that I won’t be showing up to set every day to a box of delicious kolaches. Sigh.

I discovered these incredible Czech pastries in December and
have devoured countless savory varieties from four different places since, with each bite wishing this
Texas staple would make its way west so I can enjoy them in California. They
truly are little pockets of heaven: sweetened yeast dough filled with ham and
cheese, sausage and cheese (sometimes accompanied by jalapeno), spinach
artichoke dip and my personal favorite – egg, sausage and cheese. Heated up
they’re the perfect breakfast on the go, far superior in my opinion to the
breakfast tacos that seem to get all the buzz.
Since my hometown of Sacramento hasn’t caught on to the
kolache craze I’m contemplating trying to bake my own. If I can nail a recipe
I’ll post it here. If not, I’ll just have to book another flight… I know what
you’re thinking and the answer is yes, I would fly for pastry.

Austin Eats: Elizabeth St. Cafe, Foreign & Domestic

Elizabeth Street Cafe 
Noodles * Bánh Mì * Boulangerie
1501 S. First Street
Austin, TX
elizabethstreetcafe.com
I ate here three out of my five days in Austin, and loved every meal! This adorable cafe features a blend of French and Vietnamese cuisine and the service is as good as their delectable dishes…
Pork Belly Steam Buns (Cucumber, Cilantro, Hoisin, Sriracha) w/Poached Eggs
This is the perfect breakfast you didn’t know to crave until you saw this photo and now, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to get it out of your mind. (Sorry.) It was incredibly good, and such a leap from the standard brunch menu! The soft steam buns with rich pork belly and fresh crunch of cucumber, sweet and spicy with the sauces, are amazing on their own let alone paired with perfectly poached eggs. I might steer clear of breakfast reviews for a bit, biased now.
Pork & Shrimp Crepe w/Coconut & Rice Batter, Bean Sprouts, Herbs, Lettuce Wraps, Nuoc Cham
This is from their lunch menu and it’s another jaw dropping dish. Their coconut and rice batter gives the crepes a really crispy texture and interesting flavor, the best I’ve had. The filling is incredibly flavorful and well balanced. They recommend eating it in the lettuce cups they serve alongside it and I’ll second that!A friend and I enjoyed a few other dishes that I don’t have pictures of as well, everything impressed. It’s one of those restaurants you wish you could pack up and take home with you! Until next time…

 
Foreign & Domestic
306 E. 53rd St.
Austin, TX
fndaustin.com
This place was a recommendation from a local bartender after I listed off the spots I wanted to try. He nailed it.
Guy Fieri visited with “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” which I find a bit strange because it doesn’t really feel like any of the three “D”s but it is definitely feature-worthy.
Gruyere Popovers
Do not skip out on the popovers if you dine here. It’s what they’re known for and they are fantastic. Plus, gruyere! Is there a finer cheese?
Shrimp & Grits w/Pulled Pork, Soft Egg, Chives, Veloute
Squid Ink Fettucini w/Wild Boar Ragout, Cherries, Chilis
I’m a sucker for shrimp and grits, almost always order it if it’s on the menu. Also, squid ink fettucini so my friend and I had to order both and split them (a common occurrence when dining with me). Both were great but the wild boar ragout was outstanding.
Apple Pie in a Jar
Here’s my issue with pie: I’m not wild about the crust. I spent three years working in bakeries, more baking at home perfecting my pastry dough recipes, so I know what’s good and bad but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I just don’t really like it either way. I love Dutch Apple Pie though – the topping, the filling, the ice cream on top. All the best parts are layered here in an adorable little jar. Perfect!This place is pretty far from downtown so I would not recommend taking a cab here on a Friday or Saturday night. They’ll never come back for you! We had a three and a half hour wait. Literally. Still, it was worth it and I’ll definitely go back!

Austin Eats: barley SWINE

barley SWINE 
2024 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX
barleyswine.com

This place is incredible.

It’s my favorite type of restaurant – small shared plates,
inventive ever changing menu, casual atmosphere, beautiful plating. It’s also
very popular and I will share the warning I was given – get there right when
they open since they don’t take reservations. I went with three other adventurous foodies so we of course ordered one of everything, doubling up on the most exciting dishes. This is the perfect way to experience this restaurant and if I lived in
Austin I’d do it every week.
Here’s a peek at our amazing meal, the entire menu captured by iPhone seconds before every morsel was devoured leaving nothing but gleaming white plates behind…

 

 

grilled okra, black eyed peas, hush puppy, goat feta
 

soft duck egg, grilled zucchini salad, popcorn, goat cheese

This was our second dish and the one that inspired the request for “something to sop up the sauce” before our plate was taken away. The server quickly brought back a mini spatula that my shameless foodie friends happily made quick use of scraping the plate clean! (They apparently get this request quite a bit.) Awesome.

 

grilled butternut squash, peanut, jalapeno, coconut milk
 

scrambled egg, blue crab, almond, roasted pepper, avocado

One of my favorites! It’s very light and refreshing, reminds me of summer in California.

 

pulled pig face, potato salad, pickle, egg yolk, apple

I’ve had pig face once before but this dish wins hands down. If you’re curious about the flavor here’s my best attempt at a description: It tastes like the dark meat version of pork, if there was such a thing.

 

rabbit, schnitzel, shishito pepper, radish, chanterelle

This was my first time trying rabbit! I loved it!! I am afraid the bar’s been set pretty high though.

 

crispy stuffed pig ankle, foie gras, beans, hot sauce

Is there anything better than foie? Another favorite.

 

grilled lamb loin & sausage, eggplant, falafel,
persimmon
 

olive oil mousse, meyer lemon, parsley sorbet, chickpea
cookie
German chocolate cake
 

Hefeweizen doughnuts, smoked pork ice cream, whiskey, chile

 

This dessert was absolutely stunning. I’ve never had a doughnut that tasted anywhere near as good as these mini Hefeweizen versions. With the whiskey marshmallows and the pork ice cream, forget about it. Heaven.

Before your night is through, be sure to order the last thing on the menu – “Beer for the Kitchen”! It’s $1 toward each chef (we had six) to thank them for an incredible meal and reward them with the same suds that inspired it.