Wednesday, August 26, 2009

34th Street Café Gives Local Diners Something to Smile About

34th Street Café Gives Local Diners Something to Smile About with New Weekday Happy Hour:
Neighborhood Favorite adds Inspired Menu Items, Welcomes Return of Lounge 34

(August 25, 2009) Austin, TX - 34th Street Café, a longtime favorite for a sophisticated yet casual dining experience, is giving Austinites another reason to celebrate good food and great wine all day long. Beginning September 8, 34th Street Café will extend dinnertime hours on Fridays and Saturdays, and add weekday happy-hour specials from 4 to 7 p.m. Featured happy-hour specials include half-priced appetizers such as 34th Street Café's delectable homemade pizzas, and a variety of tempting cheese and charcuterie plates. Happy hour wine and beer specials will change daily and may include specialty wine cocktails, half-price wines by the glass and deals on select beers. Happy-hour specials and café menus will be available on the restaurant's newly redesigned website, which launches in early September.

In addition to the new happy hour, 34th Street Café continues to offer its chef-inspired, three-course prix fixe dinners ($24) on Mondays and Tuesdays, which include either a seafood or steak entrée and a glass of wine. The restaurant's daily menu has also seen a few chef-driven changes. Austin diners have always applauded Chef Justin "Raif" Raiford's innovative and cutting-edge cooking style, and his newest menu creations are sure to be no exception. Drawing from his experience in international cooking and his love of spices and fusion cuisine, Chef Raif has cooked up some new recipes for the appetizer menu. New dishes include P.E.I. Mussels ($12) cooked in white wine and served with chervil, shallots, garlic chips and grilled bread; Ahi Tuna Tartare ($12) in a lemon-basil oil and served with sea salt, tapenade and toasted focaccia; and Pan-Fried Frog Legs ($9) served over roasted sunchoke puree, a delicate combination of saffron and Jerusalem artichokes.

The café's newly updated wine menu also shines with many refreshing and popular summer wines such as Monticello "Verdemar" Spanish Albarino, Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina from Italy, and the in vogue Domaine du Houchart dry rosé from France.

Lunch and dinnertime aren't the only opportunities to revel in 34th Street Café's excellent food, wine and ambience. Beginning Saturday, September 26 and throughout the autumn season, 34th Street Café will bring back its wildly successful Lounge 34. Evoking the characteristics of a comfortable yet chic after-hours club, Lounge 34 will feature specialty wines and delicious gourmet snacks that can't be found at any other late-night hot spot in Austin. Offering a truly unique and stylish vibe, Lounge 34 events begin at 10:30 p.m., with local DJs entertaining guests into the night. An onsite photographer will also be on hand to capture the most memorable and captivating moments of the evening.

34th Street Café is located at 1005 W. 34th St. The café is open for lunch service Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and for dinner service from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The new happy-hour menu specials are available Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. For more information about 34th Street Café & Catering, or the new hours, new menu items or Lounge 34 events, call (512) 371-3400, or visit

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Far Out Foods

Far Out Foods -

Pizza in a cone? Duck Dogs? These are some of the new far out foods that might make it to your favorite grocery store.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chuck Roast on a Grill Pictures

After cooking the chuck roast on the grill, I took some pictures of the chuck roast. I served the grilled chuck with green beans and cantaloupe. You can serve mashed potatoes with a brown gravy. Additionally, I made a creamy horseradish sauce.

My wife said that the chuck roast was so very tender and juicy. I have to admit it was wonderful and tasty.

Recipe for a Grilled Chuck Roast

I know. A lot of you are saying, "Grilling a chuck roast? Jess, you have to be out of your mind." Well, I'm not out of my mind. It is a quick and easy way to enjoy an inexpensive cut of meat without cooking it in a crock pot or in the oven with one of those bag things.

Here's a very easy recipe for you to try out and I'm sure you will like it.

1 (3-5 lb.) chuck roast
1 tsp. meat tenderizer
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Sprinkle roast with tenderizer on both sides. Pierce deeply. Let stand one hour.
While the meat is tenderizing, mix the orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce together to create a marinade.
Pour marinade over roast and let stand. Turn and pierce several times. Refrigerate.
Sear on hot flame 10 minutes each side and lower flame and cook 15 to 20 minutes each side.

I think you will really enjoy this method for cooking a chuck. The meat tenderizer breaks down the meat and makes it very tender. Typically, you would cook this piece of meat in a crock pot for so that the slow and low method would break down the meat.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pork U: A Lesson in Italian Cured Meats - Food

Pork U: A Lesson in Italian Cured Meats - Food & Drink -

This article is very good and provides you with a wonderful discussion of Italian Cured Meats.

One of my favorite ways of showcasing these wonderful and delicious meats is to create a meat and cheese tray with fresh bread, fruits, vegetables and a great tapenade which is an olive spread.

Here is my favorite recipe.

20 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp rinsed, drained, and chopped capers
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp anchovy paste (optional)
Fresh cracked black pepper

Combine Kalamata olives, capers, lemon juice, olive oil, anchovy paste, and pepper. Mix well. Refrigerate and use within two weeks.

Although I said that the anchovy paste is optional, I highly recommend it. It does add a fishy taste to the tapenade at all. In fact, it adds a nutty taste to it and a delicious dimension to the spread. I think you will really enjoy it.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Study: Organic Foods no Healthier

Recent report shows that organic foods are no healthier than those grown with conventional methods.