Sunday, July 24, 2022

Mingo's Snow Cones in Villa Rica, GA

A wonderful place to bet the heat in Georgia celebrated its grand opening on July 20th. Mingo's officially opened its doors to a lot of individuals looking to enjoy a cool and refreshing treat.

Mingo's is located at 451 W Bankhead Hwy STE 151, Villa Rica, GA 30180. It shouldn't be hard to find at all. Just follow the group of delighted customers to this wonderful oasis of flavor. You will find a flavor to match your taste or, bet yet, let them surprise you. Either way, you can't go wrong here.

The staff and atmosphere are fun and both will bring a smile to your face as you enjoy, what many, call the best snow cone in all the world.

With recommendations like that, you can go wrong. They're open Monday through Sunday from 12PM to 8PM.

Here's their menu.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Beef Rib in the Char-Broil Big Easy - Follow-up

Several years ago, I wrote an article about cooking beef rib in the Char-Broil Big Easy and I had promised to let you know how it turned out. Well, they turned out nice and tender and very delicious. 

There are a couple of things to remember. Don't overload the Big Easy. It isn't a large pit smoker. I was able to hang the beef ribs in small sections around the basket in groups of two to three ribs. Any larger than that and the hooks will not hold them. So, you risk the ribs falling to the bottom of the Big Easy. The other part is using the lid. The lid isn't designed to keep smoke in the Big Easy. I tried using a bundle of wet wood chips wrapped with aluminum foil. It did give off some smoke, but no enough to build a great smoke ring in the meat.

So, I can say that it worked, but not like a pit smoker. If you are looking for that type of flavor, you won't find it here using this product. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Austin Beerworks Goat Roast + Tailgate Season

Goat Roast at the Austin Beerworks Brewery - Sat 8/29
What is better than cold Austin Beerworks Beer, Live Music, and a spread of food from Contigo?

If you don't have an answer, that means you need to join us on Saturday, August 29 at the Austin Beerworks Brewery for a goat roast.  There will be music from Conjunto Los Pinkys.  ABW will be pouring Einhorn Berliner Weisse and Super Awesome Helles (you get to keep the glass).  Contigo will serve a menu of:

banh mi sandwich, grilled mushrooms, traditional garnish
beef tongue pastrami reuben, beer mustard, sauerkraut, russian dressing, rye

whole roasted goat, kimchi, einhorn beer reduction
braised pork shoulder, eggplant puree, leek salsa verde
smoked oyster, fennel, lemon

grilled corn
romaine, honey lime vinaigrette, pepitas, cotija, chili, cherry tomato
johnson's backyard garden purple potato salad, scallions, aioli


Saturday, September 29:  7:00 - 10:00
Austin Beerworks Brewery
$55 includes all food, beer, and glass

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

olive & june's Nathan Fausti Named Best Sommelier By TEXSOM

olive & june’s Nathan Fausti Named Best Sommelier By TEXSOM:
Fausti Just One of Many parkside projects Wine Experts
to Receive Recent Accolades

The sommelier at olive & june, the popular Southern Italian-style restaurant in Central Austin, has earned the most prestigious wine honor in the Southern United States. Nathan Fausti has been named the 2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier, beating out a strong field of 22 other competitors from five states. The coveted distinction is one in a list of several wine-related honors recently received by sommeliers in the employ of restaurant icon Chef Shawn Cirkiel.  

The 2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition took place in early August, during TEXSOM, the most prominent and influential wine-education conference in the United States. Fausti competed in a meticulous and uncompromising three-part wine exam that included service, blind tasting and wine theory elements, and was judged by an elite panel of Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine. Previously only open to Texas-based sommeliers, the TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition upped the ante this year, allowing sommeliers from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico to enter, providing a much larger talent pool against which Fausti had to compete.

“This year, we opened the competition to sommeliers from adjoining states,” says TEXSOM co-founder and Master Sommelier James Tidwell. “Increasingly, the influence of TEXSOM reaches well beyond the borders of Texas, so we felt it was time to include a potentially larger group to participate. We offer hearty congratulations to Nathan for winning the competition this year, and look forward to next year’s competition.”

As the winner of the 2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition, Fausti — who has long worked as the sommelier at olive & june and is transitioning to the sommelier position at Bullfight, Chef Cirkiel’s new tapas-style restaurant — received a $2,500 scholarship from the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation, which he can apply to the Court of Master Sommeliers certification program.     

Fausti is not the only sommelier in Chef Cirkiel’s parkside projects restaurant empire to gain such notoriety. Last year, Joelle Cousins, previously assistant general manager and sommelier at Cirkiel’s acclaimed Sixth Street gastro pub parkside, won the TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition. Additionally, Paul Ozbirn, the beverage director for all parkside projects restaurants in Austin, was recently designated an Advanced Sommelier after completing and excelling at the Advanced Sommelier exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers, the lauded nonprofit organization that co-presents the TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition. A rare designation, Ozbirn’s Advanced Sommelier distinction is one only a handful of Austin wine experts hold.

These wine-related accolades and distinctions further elevate Chef Cirkiel’s parkside projects restaurants as destinations for not only incomparable award-winning cuisine, but also for unrivaled, first-rate wine and beverage programs helmed by the most knowledgeable and acclaimed sommeliers.   

parkside projects restaurants include beloved Sixth Street gastro pub parkside, Neapolitan-style pizzeria the backspace, Southern Italian family-style eatery olive & june and the newest member of the parkside projects family, tapas eatery Bullfight. For more information about Sommelier Nathan Fausti winning the 2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition and the parkside projects beverage programs, call (512) 474-9898, or visit

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Walton’s Fancy and Staple Now Offering Made-to-Order Seasonal Picnic Packages

Walton’s Fancy and Staple Now Offering Made-to-Order Seasonal Picnic Packages:
Gourmet Offerings Include Fresh-Made Walton’s Sandwiches
& Salads, and Fresh, Local Ingredients 

This summer and autumn, Walton’s Fancy and Staple, Austin’s most iconic and cherished deli, known for its fresh-baked daily breads, gourmet meats and cheeses, and decadent sweet treats, is serving up the perfect accompaniment to every outdoor family excursion, office party or relaxing afternoon at home: made-to-order picnic packages. Created with deft attention to detail and highlighting the freshest local and seasonal ingredients, Walton’s picnic packages evoke a sense of epicurean elegance, and offer a truly unique, stylishly arranged and personalized picnic experience.  

With a focus on the best seasonal offerings available from Central Texas farming and ranching communities, Walton’s picnic packages will be available through the fall 2015 season, and include such coveted ingredients as local produce from purveyor Farm to Table and Morsels’ Farm, Walton’s and Bess Bistro’s own one-acre farm, as well as arugula from Animal Farm in Cat Spring, juicy peaches from Pedernales Valley Farms, cucumbers from Buena Tierra Farm, hydroponic bibb lettuce from Bella Verdi Farms, lettuce greens from Bluebonnet Hydroponic Farms, wildflower honey from Good Flow Honey Co., eggs from Happy Chick Farms and Mill-King Market and Creamery’s whole milk. Much of the poultry and cheeses used in the baskets are sourced from area producers, including Pure Luck Farm and Dairy and Wateroak Farm. And all jams, mustards and compotes are produced in-house at Walton’s, as are some of the charcuterie options, like pork terrines and goose pâté.

Walton’s summer and autumn picnic packages, which come complete with a crafty picnic basket and a convenient wine opener, include the Standard ($29), which includes two baguette sandwiches, two bags of “Dirty” Potato Chips, one pound of Southern potato salad, assorted macaroons and two Topo Chicos. The Staple Fromage package ($43) comes with two locally sourced cheeses, two cured meats, one baguette, lavash flatbread, Texas honeycomb, marinated olives, house-made fig jam, assorted macaroons and two Topo Chicos. The Fancy Fromage package ($112) is a gourmet feast that includes three artisanal cheese, three cured meats, house-made goose liver pâté, a condiment trio of peach mustardo, apple compote and fig jam, and one baguette, lavash, Texas honeycomb, pickled farm vegetables, marinated olives, spiced nuts, a large bottle of San Pellegrino and assorted macaroons. The Family picnic package ($85) has something to suit everyone’s taste, and includes four assorted baguette sandwiches, a choice of family-style seasonal salad, two pounds of Southern potato salad, four bags of “Dirty” Potato Chips, four gooey chocolate-chip cookies, assorted macaroons, four Topo Chicos and one gallon of house-made lemonade.    

Featured 10-inch gourmet baguette sandwiches, prepared with fresh-baked “baguettini,” Walton’s version of the traditional French baguette, include the Salumi Biellese with Grafton cheddar, watercress and a Dijon aioli; the Grafton Cheddar & Provolone, served with an apple saffron chutney; the savory Turkey & Gruyere, stacked with avocado, roasted tomato and grain mustard; the Country Pâté & Cornichon with wild arugula; the decadent Prosciutto & Pears, served with blue cheese and horseradish; and the House-Cured Salmon & Farm Egg with a caper compote and goat’s milk cheese. Of Walton’s 10 Local Farm Salad Options available as part of the picnic packages, highlights include the bright Kale salad with roasted cauliflower, seasonal squash, a sherry vinaigrette and sea-salted sunflower seeds; the Sweet Potato & Little Gem Lettuce salad with almond butter dressing, dried dates and cranberries; the Avocado Salad, a rich combination of grapefruit, honey tangerine, red onion, toasted oat croutons and a buttermilk-Bulgarian yogurt emulsion; the Local Greens Salad of snap peas, watermelon radish, sunflower seeds, ricotta salata and a preserved lemon vinaigrette; and the Arcadian Green Salad with sheep’s cheese, squash, a hard-cooked farm egg, red onion, avocado and a honey-tangerine vinaigrette.

Picnic package orders must be placed 48 hours in advance by calling Walton’s direct catering line at (512) 391-9966.

To add to your basket for an extra special outing, ask about Walton’s selection of wines perfect for pairing with the ideal picnic, such as the light rosé from Texas’ own McPherson Cellars.

“Austin has so many natural attractions and areas for its residents and visitors to enjoy an outdoor culinary experience,” says Walton’s Chef Phillip Anderson. “We want these baskets to encourage people to get out to the park with their friends and loved ones and enjoy this wonderful city and its surroundings. Walton’s, we feel, is tailor-made for providing Austin eaters and drinkers the opportunity to do just that.”

Walton’s Fancy and Staple is located at 609 W. Sixth St. in downtown Austin. This unique and historic deli offers a variety of meats, cheeses, fresh-baked breads, pastries, and organic teas and coffees. Walton’s is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about Walton’s Fancy and Staple, and the new summer and autumn picnic packages, call (512) 542-3380, or visit Ask about delivery (baskets with wine selections are available for customer pick-up at Walton’s, only).

Visit Walton’s Fancy and Staple on social media:


Twitter: @WaltonsAustin

Instagram: @WaltonsAustin

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pacific Rim Sushi & Yakitori Lounge, Austin's Only Yakitori and Japanese Sports Bar, Now Open

Pacific Rim Sushi & Yakitori Lounge,
Austin’s Only Yakitori and Japanese Sports Bar, Now Open 
Festivities Kick Off With Grand Opening Party 
and Viewings for Women’s World Cup 

Hungry Austinites looking for a completely unique dining and game-day experience are discovering an ocean of Japanese delicacies, yakitori specialties and sports-bar amenities at the recently opened Pacific Rim Sushi & Yakitori Lounge in North Austin.

The only yakitori lounge in Austin, Pacific Rim specializes in serving sizzling, charcoal-grilled, bamboo-skewered seafood, meat and vegetable yakitori—scrumptious dishes traditionally eaten alongside beer or cocktails after a hard day’s work. Perfect game-day fare, Pacific Rim’s yakitori highlights include mouth-watering small plates of escolar ($5.50), bacon-wrapped shrimp and scallops ($6.50 each), salmon ($5.50), lamb ($5.50), pork belly ($5), beef tenderloin ($5.50), shitake mushroom ($4) and chicken ($5.50).

Offering a whole new game plan for every sports-bar experience, Pacific Rim serves up all the luxuries sports enthusiasts crave, including a comfortable lounge bedecked with plenty of large-screen televisions airing locals’ and visitors’ favorite sports events. Throughout the month-long Women’s World Cup, Pacific Rim is the perfect spot to catch these historic soccer games all the way through to the finals on July 5, in the comfortable sports lounge. Pacific Rim will show the tournament games all the way through to the finals on July 5. Whether it’s the Women’s World Cup, the European Soccer Cup, the U.S. Open, the Tour de France, Formula 1 races, the Beach Volleyball World Championship or some UFC fighting action, Pacific Rim is the ideal sports bar to kick back with luscious Polynesian cocktails and yakitori while toasting your favorite sports and teams.

Co-owned and operated by Benny Leung, one of the proprietors of upscale sushi bar Maiko in downtown Austin, Pacific Rim features a bountiful selection of sushi, from specialty rolls like the Heat of the Moment ($10), a torched spicy tuna roll topped with jalapeño slices, spicy mayo and tobiko; and the Lobster Roll ($15), an unforgettable roll of shrimp tempura, jalapeño, avocado and kani topped with tempura lobster, spicy mayo, eel sauce, scallion and red and black tobiko with ponzu sauce on the side; to classic rolls like the Lump Crab California ($11), with shredded crab, avocado, cucumber and masago; and the Red Dragon ($11), an asparagus tempura, crab stick and avocado roll topped with spicy tuna; to an abundance of fresh nigiri and sashimi.
In celebration of its kickoff, Pacific Rim will host a Grand Opening Party on June 24, featuring drink and food specials and all the karaoke guests can croon out.

Raise a glass because every day is happy hour at Pacific Rim, with specials offered from 3 p.m. to closing Monday through Friday, and Saturday, 5 p.m. to closing. Happy-hour specials include $2 off any wine or cocktail, including delicious Polynesian cocktails like the Classic Blue Hawaiian (light run, vodka, blue curacao, orange juice and sweet & sour mix); and the Pac Mule (Tito's, plum wine, Ty-Ku citrus, house-made ginger beer, muddled ginger and lime); as well as $1 off Pacific Rim’s extensive beer or sake selections. Can’t-miss happy-hour delicacies include selections from the sushi, maki, yakitori, shooters and tapas menus, such as baby back rib tapas ($6), shrimp dumplings ($4.50) baked mussels ($6) and the quail egg shooter ($3.25), with spicy, infused sake, ponzu, masago and chives.

Lovers of Japanese cuisine who can’t wait for dinner to gobble up these specialties can head to Pacific Rim for lunch service, featuring a wide array of appetizers, soups and salads, bento boxes, unique lunch specials, specialty sushi rolls, nigiri and sashimi, lunch combinations and indulgent desserts. Must-try lunch dishes include the Wagyu Beef Hot Sizzling Plate appetizer ($18), thinly sliced well-marbled beef cooked tableside with garlic butter and citrus ponzu; the Creamy Japanese Pumpkin Soup ($5), with kabocha squash, brown sugar, togarashi and toasted pumpkin seeds; the Shrimp Yakitori Bento Box ($10), served as all bento boxes are with three pieces of spicy tuna roll, a spring roll, gyoza, soup, salad and fried rice; the unforgettable Saki Mac & Cheese ($11), spiral pasta cooked with white cheddar cheese, a sake reduction, scallions and black sesame seeds; the Texas Monster specialty roll ($13), with shrimp tempura, avocado and jalapeño, topped with sliced tuna and an alluring tequila lime sauce; and the Tempura Banana dessert ($6), delicately fried banana with ice cream, espresso caramel and coffee dust.      

In addition to all of Pacific Rim’s lunch, happy hour, dinner and game-day offerings, Pacific Rim also features karaoke every Saturday night in the lounge, and live jazz music every Thursday night.

Pacific Rim Sushi & Yakitori Lounge is located at 9070 Research Blvd., suite 305, in North Austin. The only yakitori lounge in Austin, Pacific Rim offers an extensive menu of Japanese cuisine, including yakitori, tapas, sushi and sashimi, combinations, Japanese entrées and desserts, as well as a variety of beers, wines, sake and Polynesian cocktails. Pacific Rim is open daily, with happy hour from 3 p.m. to closing Monday through Friday, and Saturday, 5 p.m. to closing, and features an array of sports-bar amenities. For more information about Pacific Rim Sushi & Yakitori Lounge, the Grand Opening Party and the menu specialties, call (512) 458-8881, or visit

Visit Pacific Rim Sushi & Yakitori on social media:


Twitter: @PacificRimSushi

Instagram: @pacrimsushi

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Easy Tiger to Expand to Second Location

A New Tiger Den in the Works
Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden to Expand to Second Location

The folks from ELM Restaurant Group, the successful team behind 24 Diner, Arro and forthcoming Italian concept Italic, are expanding into new territory with the second location of Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden in North Austin. The popular downtown destination will anchor The Linc (, the newly rebranded development adjacent to the Austin Community College campus at Highland Mall.

Since opening in early 2012, Easy Tiger has been named one of the best beer gardens in the nation by Food & Wine and in the world by USA Today, as well as one of America’s best new bakeries by Details. The shop has been featured in Garden & Gun, Bon Appétit, Southern Living, Travel + Leisure, GQ, Condé Nast UK and more.

The new 11,500-sq.-foot space, nearly three times the size of the existing location, will include a full commercial bakery that will allow Easy Tiger to immediately meet the great demand for its artisan baked goods and pastries, as well as expand its offerings.

“The wholesale bakery sales at Easy Tiger have greatly exceeded our expectations, and we are producing twice what we estimated would be our overall capacity at the Sixth Street location,” says head baker David Norman. “We currently deliver fresh-baked bread to more than 50 commercial customers, but we haven’t been able to accommodate any additional account requests in almost eight months – and that includes three out of the five local Whole Foods locations.”

The new space will have a similar look and feel to the existing shop, with interior design overseen once again by Veronica Koltuniak of VeroKolt. The site will also include a drive-through coffee bar, 250 outdoor seats, ping-pong tables, a dog park and an outdoor stage that will occasionally host live music – as well as tons of free parking.

“We are excited to include Easy Tiger among our latest tenants,” says Allan Davidov, owner of The Linc. “Easy Tiger is exactly the kind of creative, local, best-in-class operator we are targeting for the re-envisioning of The Linc. ELM Restaurant Group’s decision to expand a significant portion of their operations into this project is a testament to the transformation happening in the entire ACC Highland Campus area – which is about to include Rack Space as a major employer. I’m also pleased because it is my favorite restaurant in Austin!”

Anticipated opening date is late 2015.