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2018 Austin Best Eats: Vietnamese Restaurants around Austin

(This is an update of my 2017 Austin Best Eats guide)

When I moved to Austin over 10 years ago from Houston, finding Vietnamese restaurants helped me with my homesickness.  When I don't have the time to cook or want to eat out, some of these places have been solid!  I think the Austin Vietnamese scene has really blossomed over the last few years as Vietnamese food has become more mainstream.  
Vietnamese food in Austin is plentiful! Sometimes, you just need to know where to look.  Here is just a SAMPLING of a few popular places around town.  The hours and addresses are listed and website linked when possible.  If I left out your favorite, please comment below!
In an effort to keep this post from being repetitive or way too long, I left out places my fellow food blogger over at The Smoking Ho has included in his Banh Mi roundup
888 Pan Asian Vietnamese Cuisine* 2400 E. Oltorf Suite 1A, Austin, TX 78741 M-Sat 11:00 am-2:00 am Sun 5:00 pm-11:30 pm Like the name says, this is pan-Asian cu…

Marfa and West Texas

I took a road trip with my dog, Jake, to Marfa, TX a few weekends ago.  It was a much needed recharge/self-care retreat and good bonding time with my #1 buddy.  Jake is 13 years old, which is getting up there as far as lab mixes go.  I adopted him from the Austin Humane Society when I was in undergraduate and volunteering as a dog walker and dog trainer there.  He was so smart and picked up commands so quickly, I easily fell in love with him.  Jake moved with me to College Station and endured the tortures of being a vet student's pet (helping me with anatomy by letting me palpate his bones; allowing me to practice surgery when I volunteered him for a stomach tacking surgery called a gastropexy).  He was my first buddy before I met Reid.  In fact, I always have to remind Reid that if it hadn't been for Jake, we would never have started dated.  We had Jake in our wedding.

He has welcomed a cat in our household.  Well, not so much as welcomed as cowered away from Julius.  And n…

Bubble (Boba) Milk Tea

I love bubble tea.  I remember having my first bubble tea when I was around 10 years old.  I loved the sugary and fun drink.  I was a bit disappointed when I tried to share the drink with an American friend of mine and she wrinkled her nose up at it and said it tasted like "boogers".  Luckily, milk tea is pretty mainstream now and most major cities have at least a few tea shops.  One summer, my sister, her boyfriend, and I spent nearly every day buying bubble milk tea.  It was our summertime treat.  But it was an expensive habit for a high schooler, with each serving costing around $3 each.  So we tried making it at home.

It was a disaster.  We boiled the tapioca pearls for what seemed like an eternity but they never seemed to get soft.  So we went back to purchasing the drinks.  And working summer jobs to pay off our habit.

So after that one at-home disaster, I was put-off making it at home.  Until I came across...QUICK-COOKING TAPIOCA PEARLS!!!!! They were at my Asian gro…

I'm (semi) famous!!!

Another year of feeding ourselves is behind us, and here we are, scraping the dried bits of dough off the kitchen counter, scrubbing the sheet pans that worked so hard, or replacing the 9-by-13-inch casserole dishes we forgot to retrieve at summer and fall potlucks. Anyone who cooks knows that it’s often a thankless job, yet one so necessary. But when there is creativity or inspiration...

love, C

Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant

Sometimes, you tire of heavy Holiday foods. I mean...not really a lot. But there's gotta be like, ONE, meal where I don't crave thick slices of ham and full-fat egg nog. Spiked with a bit of rum.

...anyway. I was NOT referring to my own holiday let-loose diet. But on the off chance you want some veggies. And if you can get your hands on some eggplants still good from fall harvest then this recipe is a winner. winner. Eggplant dinner.

I wrote this post SO LONG AGO that I'm not sure where I sourced the original recipe or idea. Possibly Martha Stewart Living subscription circa 2011? 2012? I stay on top of my blog, as you can see ;)

Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce Serves: 2

2 large Eggplants1 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage1 quart baby bella or white mushrooms, cleanedItalian parsley, stems removed and roughly choppedsalt and pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Set aside to drain.Remove sausa…

Slow Cooker Chex Mix

So, in my previous Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie post, I gushed about how much I love my slow cooker. And it's because of genius things like being able to make Chex Mix in it!

And then you get a house that smells of Chex Mix. MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm!

As if the microwave method of making homemade chex mix isn't easy enough, you can now make it in your slow cooker. In all honesty, making it in the microwave is way easier but like I said before, you can make your house smell like chex mix!

You can customize this recipe to any version of Chex mix you prefer, but I like the OG recipe that comes right off the back of the boxes of Chex.

I, personally, really like my Chex mix to have only Chex pretty much. I really don't much like the pre-made bagged versions of Chex Mix because it just doesn't taste as good. And I end up picking out all the Chex to eat first anyway. Then I have a sad bag filled with rye chips and pretzels and weird bagel chip things.

Ok, the cheddar bag…