Vegetarian Spring Rolls at Tam Deli

via kathyphantastic on

Some co-workers and I went out for our first lunch adventure last week.

After a failed attempt at Sunflower - my fave Vietnamese restaurant in ATX (closed due to a power outage), we headed over to Tam Deli for banh mi.

I was carrying my DSLR (this time) for some photos I need to shoot of a work event later that night. When my veggie spring rolls appeared, I wanted to take a picture for the kathyphantastic blog.

The new co-workers were astonished by my ridiculous camera toting antics. Well, they'll just have to get used to it. For now, they think I'm a freak.

The co-workers asked if I was going to take a picture of my veggie banh mi. I assured them there was already a Tam Deli Banh Mi Pick Me Up post, and I'd put away my camera for the rest of lunch.

As for the spring rolls, I liked them, but they had some of that fake Chinese sausage taste. I've never been a big fan of faux meat with semi real meat taste - especially when it's Chinese. Some vegetarians love that stuff. Next time, I'll see if they can roll some for me without the faux sausage.

Both Meagan and Nick enjoyed their 10B (lemongrass beef) sandwiches - this seems to be a trend with people who have worked with me. Meagan also had the shrimp spring rolls, while Nick had a sweet rice and banana dessert dipped in sweet coconut milk. My hands were too full of banh mi to get a picture of that. Meagan and Nick each left Tam with a handful of cream puffs. Nick proclaimed that it would be the first of many banh mis for him. Banh mi win.



Chilantro Korean BBQ Tacos at the Domain


One lovely Spring Wednesday, the coworkers and I met the redhead and his coworkers at the Chilantro truck at the Domain.


I've talked about Chilantro before in my Lunar New Year post - they're my favorite food trailer. So, in fact, I talk about them a lot.


I had never seen so many people waiting for Jae and his crew, not even during SXSW. Crazy. The Domain loves its Korean BBQ Taco trailer truck. Being a super sweet entrepreneur, Jae gave me 4 tofu tacos because of the long wait. Being non morbidly obese, I could only finish 2 of those tacos. I ended up leaving these in the work fridge for lunch the next day. (note: unfortunately Chilantro day 2 is subpar)


One bizarre thing was with the location - we could buy food in front of the building but if we tried to take even a single bite a security guard, with presumably not much better to do, would come yell at us. Also, we weren't even allowed to sit down and wait for the food. Standing room only? (note: fortunately they've moved to the parking lot adjacent for their Domain visits and it's much more pleasant)

PS I stopped by Chilantro again last weekend after Pixel Pop they now have kimchi french fries. I shared the tofu version with the redhead, Micah, and her husband. Amazing. You MUST eat them. This is an order.

For their daily whereabouts, follow them on Twitter (@ChiLantroBBQ).

Flip Happy Birthday Crepes

Vanilla pastry cream & berries crepe from Flip Happy

I took two days off of work to celebrate my birthday this year. I started off the two days of fun at Flip Happy Crepes.

Flip Happy menu

I went with the three cheese savory crepe. Most bites were pretty good. A few bites were like cheesy spinach-y caramelized onion heaven. I wished all the bites were so magical. The three cheese didn't photograph so well.


The redhead took two days off to celebrate my birthday, too.

Flip Happy Crepes Berry Dessert Crepe

He ordered the berries and pastry cream dessert crepe. It tasted like a fresh fruit tart. He hates fresh fruit tarts; I love them. I think he should have stuck with chocolate. Since he didn't, I got to finish up his crepe.

Flip Happy finish

I've heard tons of great reviews of Flip Happy, the only complaints are usually the long wait. If you go to Flip Happy Crepes on an overcast Thursday around 11:00am when it it looks it's going to rain, there's almost no wait. I need to go back and try something Nutella-filled.


Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor

Al Pastor

This morning the redhead and I went to Al Pastor Mexican Restaurant on East Riverside for a quick breakfast.

Mirrored Windows Al Pastor

Don't be scared by the mirrored windows. Inside you can find cheap and fairly tasty food. Just avoid the creepy guys who sometimes flank the sidewalks of neighboring stores and restaurants. Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 10:00 am, three breakfast tacos of the same kind are only $2.99.

Al Pastor Red Salsa

The red sauce is pretty spicy. I like it in moderation.

Mani and Taco

I always get potato and cheese breakfast tacos. Make sure you wait a little before biting into any breakfast tacos with potato filling. The potatoes are HOT (in temperature).

I love how my mani looks in this picture. Yay for bright colors.

Potato and Cheese Breakfast Taco

Mmmpanada Mmmisadventure

lemon meringue cupcake

A few weeks ago Christine found out that Mmmpanadas parked near our work on Mondays in the KickButt Coffee parking lot. Last Monday Christine and I went to investigate. It was an initial Mmmassive fail. For unknown reasons (likely SXSW related), Mmmpanadas was nowhere to be found.

With our Mmmpanada cravings unsatisfied we went on a quest for them, trying Hyde Park Market next. At the market we found two soyrizo and brie empanadas which were expired and in the "to be returned to vendor" pile.

After that second failure, we thought about going to Mother's which was packed. So we enter Quack's and are happy with the menu. I tried to order a sandwich. They were out of all sandwiches.

Fourth try - we go to FreshPlus grocery store across the street and leave with a curry sandwich and thai wrap and return to destination #3, order some dessert and enjoy our grocery goods followed by dessert.

lemon meringue

I had a delicious chocolate mint ganache cake and Christine chose this lemon meringue cupcake that photographed much better than the cake.

Somewhere around this time my camera went insane and I'm still not sure what's wrong or how to fix it. Hopefully these aren't my last pretty pictures.

On a Quack's related tangent. I'm really impressed by Quack's website redesign (vs. 2006) and their decorated cookies. There was a wide selection of mustache cookies in the case. I could have used those during Movember.

P.S. Does anyone else think Mmmpanada looks like Mmm...pandas? Christine brought this to my attention. I totally agree.

Lunar New Year Chilantro BBQ Korean Tacos



Last weekend, Austin's Chinatown Center and Red Velvet Events put on a two-day celebration to ring in the Lunar New Year. They had lion dancers (among others), Taiko drummers, musicians, a fashion show, special appearances from TxTag and the 2010 Census bureau, and Chi'lantro Korean BBQ tacos.



I had the tofu taco (pictured on right) and spicy fries. The tacos are both tasty and affordable at $2. Some bites were so spicy I felt like Florent eating habaneros.

Chi'lantro is a nomadic food truck, so it might not be where you left it last. Check out their schedule to see the week's locations.

I might be tempted to have one tonight. With Fries.

Tasty Up Tour Part 2: Spartan Pizza



After the initial Austin Tasty Up Trailer Tour meet up at La Boîte, a few coworkers, friends of coworkers, lil Phan, and I made the long trek to Spartan Pizza on south south south Congress. It was quite a drive from the other trailers. We really just wanted to go here to kill some time before Odd Duck opened at 2:00.

8 slices please

Lauren, Alex, Lil Phan, and I shared a half Spartan/half Helen. The Helen (garlic olive oil, fresh roma tomato, sundried tomato, basil, and mozzarella) was okay, and the Spartan (tomato sauce, green bell pepper, garlic, red pepper and parmesan) was good. I am a lover of greasy New York style pizza, but I may have to make that journey again for some more Spartan.




P.S. The company that makes the trailer is called Spartan. Hence, the name.

Pre-Tasty Up Tour: Franklin Barbecue Farewell Lunch

Last Friday aka the day before Tasty Up Trailer Tour, I went to a Franklin Barbecue during lunch. Yes, I'm still vegetarian. No, I'm not crazy, and no, I didn't eat. I just had a Sweet Leaf half and half and enjoyed the company.

Topo Chico and group photo with me by Cody Jenkins, others by kathyphantastic

Why did I go? Because I had to. It was my boss' last day at the company and it was camaraderie. In the same way that guys will often need an activity to hang out and talk. I knew I needed to go to Franklin Barbecue Trailer Lunch, and that afternoon I was one of the guys.

As a second-hand barbecue eater, I thought the food was great. I heard lots of satisfied grunts and was happy to see that no one put down their food until they were finished.


I looked around and took pictures. The grounds are decorated to look like a 1950s trailer park complete with tiki string lights and retro tulip chairs. I spied some pink flamingos, a lawn gnome, and the best speaker housing I've ever seen.

photo by Cody Jenkins

Later after some more Franklin BBQ research I discovered that they serve Tempeh Frito Pie. I didn't see this on the chalkboard menu, but I wasn't really looking. This means I can go with my coworkers and eat something next time. Sadly, it will be without Brian. I hope Franklin's tempeh Frito pie is as tasty as Billy's on Burnet's veggie Frito pie.


Brian Wulfe left to start his own company where he'll be managing online advertising for small business. Congratulations to him. I am so proud of him.

Brian is a leader with great business sense and common sense, someone who would really listen and cared about our lives. He plays well with others and after a slew of terrible managers, his outstanding leadership will be missed. His leaving is both a huge loss for appliances and a huge win for himself.

The next few months will be hard.

My heart is heavy.

Wulfe Pop