This week, I explored not one, but two new places in Austin....they may not really be new to Austin....but defn. were new to me!! Here's a little review of both places!!
1. Ninety Proof
Ninety Proof is a small little bar tucked away in the corner of East 2nd street, kinda almost hidden between a bunch of pricey restaurants, right across the street from the Austin Convention Center. It has a really lovely decor - dark walls...cool lighting and stylish+comfy couches...one of the main walls also has water kinda cascading down which is really cool....Ninety Proof is a more of a chillout kinda lounge more than a noisy bar....well...at least that's how it was last night when I went to check it out with El Vee, which is probably the ideal time to go there...I have a feeling it might be way too packed in the weekends, but I'm not sure...The bouncers+bartenders were really nice and very attentive!! The music, to be honest, wasn't that great. BUT the drinks....the drinks were awesome!!....They had a whole array of martinis....and the one that really appealed to me was the Cheesecake Martini!!....Oh yumm....I am drooling as I write this...This drink is served in a big martini glass lined with SUGAR, not salt on the rims....the actual drink has an initial ice-cream soda-ish taste but before you know it, the vodka hits you....it's really delicious....and if the idea of a Cheesecake-Martini combination doesn't do anything for you - they have a bunch of other interesting flavors as well....defn a neat little place to check out if you live in Austin or visit sometime!!!
I've been craving Ethiopian food for a long long time. The best Ethiopian food I've ever had is in Georgetown - I think it's called Zed's! If you are ever in the DC area, defn go check that place out!!.....If you are in Austin though, go check out Asters. Asters is located along the junction of the I-35 Feeder and Dean Keaton....it's pretty much a little shack...I've seen this place a couple of times before on my way to campus and have been meaning to check it out - I finally headed there today for lunch with some colleagues...we took a long idyllic 2-hr lunch (a very rare occurrence where I work!!) and drove all the way from Round Rock....and well it was defn worth the long drive!!...I was extremely excited to see that there were as many vegetarian entrees as there were meat entrees, and every single one of those vege options sounded soooo good....I chose the lunch special #17..the Bedergan - which is "eggplant spiced and prepared with tomato sauce, garlic, onions, and special Ethiopian seasoning"....served of course with Injera and 2 more vege dishes (I got lentils and a potato dish)....and it was fantastic!!! I love eggplant in general and loved the flavoring that was added to this eggplant dish...Injera, for those who don't know, is a thin soft dosa-like bread which you eat with the main dish....but the injera here tasted so good that I ate it plain and totally loved it!....One thing I would probably do the next time I go is ask my entree to be extra spicy, but other than that, the food was great! My meat-eating colleague Andre totally loved his dish Doro Wott as well - Ethiopia's National dish! Definitely go check this place out the next time you go out for a meal and are looking to try something new and exotic!
So there you go - my 2 awesome Austin picks for the week!! Try 'em out sometime and let me know what you think!!