Thursday, July 21, 2016

What I've Been Eating - Fast Casual

Yum

Disclaimer: I was offered a free meal at each of these places in exchange for social media coverage. However, I am highlighting the following places in a blog post because I truly enjoyed them and would recommend them for anyone interested in fast casual fare in the Austin area.




1000 Degrees Pizza
So, to be honest, this is the third build-your-own pizza place I've been invited to. And while I've politely Instagram-ed my experience at each, I'm honestly not a huge pizza person, so I wasn't super jazzed about those experiences. However, 1000 Degrees Pizza is no ordinary pizza joint. Yes, it's build-your-own (are those trendy right now? There's SO MANY!) but something about this one is just worlds better than the rest. For one, the crust is perfect. Many quick pizza joints fall victim to a soggy or under-cooked crust. Or they use that whole "flatbread" situation which is cheating. 1000 Degrees uses hand-stretched dough that is baked in a wood-fired oven and it is crisp and chewy at the same time. The sauces are fresh and flavorful, as are the toppings. I got a BBQ chicken pizza and it was one of the best I've ever had.



PhoNatic
I've been so side-tracked by ramen lately that I totally forgot my first love bowl: Pho. However, maybe it was the 100 degree Austin weather or just my own need for spice, but what truly stood out here for me were the noodle and rice bowls--don't get me wrong, the Pho is perfectly satisfying, but what really stood out to me were those bowls! We tried the Pat's Plate (marinated pork shoulder, jasmine rice, fried egg, be still my heart) and the Lemongrass Beef bowl and both were amazing. So much flavor! We also very much enjoyed the "Banh Mi Sliders" which actually were bao with banh mi fillings. We will definitely be back for all of these items soon, and once the cold weather hits we'll be back at those Pho bowls.


Modern Market
I mean, they say it best on their own website: "great tasting, healthy food made from ingredients you can trust for a reasonable price"--and it's exactly that! Plus their motto, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” They also serve pizzas (the Bacon Corn, omggg) but my favorite thing was actually the salads. They're just so fresh and unique. I was a huge fan of the Farmer salad, which has mixed greens, roasted Red Bird chicken, grapes, feta, roasted corn, almond, champagne vinaigrette. Their sandwiches were also incredible--I wish I had a location closer to my office, I'd lunch there all the time! Basically, everything on their menu is great. And their dedication to sustainable produce is awesome. The owner was telling me that their goat cheese is produced by a single farm, and Modern Market provides over 50% of the farm's revenue for the year. Plus their menu has options for every diet.

Be sure to check their websites to see if there are any locations near you!

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