I have never quite enjoyed Texas. I'm allergic to mosquitoes, and I get bitten 10 out of 10 times I go to that state of mosquitoes incubator. I have numerous scars/pigmentation marks left by mosquitoes, and I can almost tell you which city of Texas each of them is from. Almost, because there are just too many, and I start losing track...
So when my dear friend told me to visit Austin, TX and how "up and coming, hip and cool" this city is... Doubts are all I have. Really, Texas...? Do they not have mosquitoes in Austin then?
FINO: You can find Fino quietly sitting among all of the yoga buildings around it. With huge patio and lounge sofas, it definitely created a very relaxing, high end social/happy hour with the treehouse style type of feel. We came in a little after dark, and decided to sit inside the cozy modern dining room instead.
Fino brands themselves as mixed Mediterranean, North African, and mostly ethnic fusion cuisine. Portions are generally smaller in the Tapas style, so you get to sample more with your group. And doesn't healthy eating all start from smaller portion?
PEI Mussels: dolin dry vermouth, bay, lemon and aioli. That combination would have won me over anything. Aioli especially. That with my mussels? Sold. Dish was perfect!
Salmon for the entree: Crispy skin with just perfect temperature. The salmon was just cooked through enough without feeling greasy. The bed of corn and tomatoes was amazing. Sweet and juicy corn was just so perfect for that evening of early Autumn.
Scene changes: Now we are switching out focus from healthy, sustainability conscious eating to....
MASSIVE MEXICAN BUFFET!!!! at Fondas San Miguel. San Miguel is among of the earliest authentic Mexican cuisine established in the USA. It's not just Mexican food anymore, it is truly cuisine. They not only focus on making and serving good traditional Mexican food that would change your perception of "burritos", they also broaden your understanding of Mexican culture with all their decor and artworks from Mexican artists.
I'm telling you, this is a must visit place! It's pricey, it's massive, but it's a Sunday brunch buffet with the most amazing Mexican cooking! Unfortunately, Mexican food tends to be quite heavy and even though it's a buffet, I could only load myself with this huge plate of corn bread and green tamale.... before my stomach complained for space ... But I didn't give up. I managed to hunt down the meat table with the pork in moles sauce.... desserts with almond flan and rice pudding....
Keep making laps around the buffet tables, people. You will need that exercise to burn off those food.
I'm not saying I'm much a tree hugger. But this city of Austin was much more than I expected and very much differ itself from the rest of the state. Food culture is surprising excellent. Unfortunately, mosquitoes were still around. And that weekend, I came home with 15 more on my legs, plus looking at the amount of food I consumed, I would say that the Yoga retreat in Austin was.... indeed, extremely "rewarding".