These Are a Few of My Favorite Things - Spring 2018

Disclaimer: Items marked with a "*" are those that I received promotional product for. Reviews/mentions are never required in these complimentary samples/tastings, but I want to make sure it's clear I did receive product. 

There was a time when I thought I was going to do these weekly. I even wrote it into my weekly calendar! Hah. That's so funny. I'm surprised I have time to write this right now!

Anyways, here's my roundup of spring favorites in Austin and beyond. Let me know what you think!

Yellowbird MINIS!* - Follow my YouTube channel for my first impressions (and the other half of my duo struggling through the tasting) but I ADORE Yellowbird to begin with, and this new mini version is TOO convenient! Not only are they the best way to get a solid sample of each flavor, but they also are perfect for taking on your carryon if you enjoy a midflight bloody but need a little more oomph! My personal favorite is habanero, but the Ghost Pepper is surprisingly complex and even a little dab would add a ton of flavor to any dish. Buy them here!

Uncle Billy's Brewstillery* - Heads up. Uncle Billy's, a Barton Springs favorite, is not only brewing delicious beer--they're now distilling their own whiskey and vodka! They'll be unveiling these to the public soon, but I got a sneak peek tasting last week and was incredibly impressed. The vodka is totally drinkable on its own, but even better in their new kegged cocktails. And y'all know I'm a whiskey girl, so trust me when I say their whiskey is legit. I suggest grabbing an old fashioned and sitting on their patio to listen to some local tunes at your earliest convenience. Be on the lookout for their spirits on shelves in Austin and beyond soon!

Cannon & Belle* - Have you ever written off a place because it was in a hotel? Hotel restaurants tend to thrive on convenience and nothing more. Well, I'm never judging a book by its location ever again. This place is hands. down. incredible. We started with cornbread and bacon butter (!!) and braised short rib (zomg) followed by the pork chop for myself and the ribeye for my plus one. I was recently invited to sample their spring menu and I am not hyperbole-ing when I say every single forkful was better than the next. And no, it being on the house (how can I thank y'all enough??) didn't sway my opinion--I'm of the "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all" camp with my various blogger comps. And I have only nice things to say. It was truly incredible and the icing on the cake was the service. Our server was attentive and made excellent suggestions, even pulling over the bartender to show us how their Fall Old Fashioned was made (here's a hint: REAL FIRE (do I have enough parenthetical statements? Yikes))With the closing of my beloved Vox Table, I needed a new date night restaurant. And I've found one. Definitely give Cannon and Belle a try if you're in the Austin area!
500 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78701

Depressed Cake Shop - A lesser-discussed subject on this blog: I struggle with anxiety and depression. So, major shout out to Depressed Cake Shop, a project by NAMI Austin (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and local bakeries.

From the website:
Participating Depressed Cake Shop pop-up bakeries will promote Mental Health Month throughout the month of May featuring items decorated with an element of gray to signify the gray cloud that can descend over a beautiful world when someone is struggling with mental health issues. Bright colors inside the dessert represent the hope that always continues. When customers purchase a "depressed" item, they will receive a free "conversation starter" card designed to offer specific information about how to talk about mental health with loved ones.
For more info, visit their website!

T22 - The new brick and mortar is so close to me, I could eat their delicious Nashville Hot Chicken every day if I wanted to! It's just perfect. Juicy on the inside, perfectly crisp on the outside, so so flavorful (even the mild is delishhh) and AS BIG AS YOUR FACE. I'm not even kidding. The amazing cocktails and happy hour are just the icing on the cake. The skin on the chicken? The best.
7211 Burnet Rd, Austin TX

As I've been growing my own channel (please subscribe?) I've been studying popular Youtubers to see how it's done. I haven't had cable in about 4 years, but binge-watching Youtube is pretty much my new channel surfing. Here are the ones I love most lately:

Makeup Junkie G - I stumbled upon the documentary following Georgia, and was touched by her journey. What a surprise that she popped up in my Youtube suggestions once I started following makeup tutorials! Her accent is my favorite and her tutorials are easy to follow, and her vlogs are always a great time! Her bubbly nature and adorable pup make this one to watch.

EmmymadeinJapan - Something about Emmy's soothing voice and quirky sense of humor puts me at ease after a long day. She's even named the food spot that often appears on her lip--Winston. I can't quite put my finger on why her channel is so wonderful, it just is. Her channel was what convinced me to start doing my own tasting/unboxing videos. Thanks, Emmy!

Flat Films - Okay, this is kind of a cheat because I'm a part of this production company. But, if you want to see me and one of my very best friends banter about random things, give it a subscribe!

PS. Subscribe to my channel--my friend and I will be reviewing MD 20/20 as well as all of Yellowbird's sauces!

Upstairs Circus - You know those painting and wine nights? Well, what if you took that painting, and expanded it into awesome AND functional crafts, plus added a whole BAR? That's Upstairs Circus. I snagged a ticket to the soft opening and was able to sample two (strong!) drinks as well as a craft. I opted to do a cool painting, but other options included wooden signs, jewelry, stamped leather, and so much more. They're expanding to major cities, so keep an eye on their website!

Oros* - Have you seen my recent posts on Oros? Yes, they hired me for a campaign, but I stand by my statement that it's an awesome app! You can opt into different categories and locations, post a question, comment, or whatever, and get real responses from real people. It's like Yelp and WhasApp had an incredibly convenient lovechild. It's now available nationwide, and can be found in the app store. 

Nextdoor - I don't know why it took me so long to sign up for Nextdoor! It's a super local social media, where you can connect with your actual neighbors. I've been using it to window-shop for cheap furniture, but it's a great way to be in the know on local restaurant and shop openings, as well as events! There's the occasional neighborhood drama, too. But only enough to be interesting ;)

I need to check out these local spots!

  • HEO Eatery
  • Hank's
  • Arpeggio's
  • Be on the lookout for a local roundup of my favorite neighborhood spots!

Brunchweek 2018 is coming up soon! In the meantime, check out my past Brunchweek recipes.