Trudy’s North Star

My colleagues and I went to Trudy’s on Burnet Rd. near 183 today for Happy Hour.  Trudy’s has different specials each day…Wednesday: $4 house margaritas and $5 Texas tea lemonade.

I really can’t pinpoint what exactly makes Trudy’s special, but I just love it! The food is pretty good and reasonably-priced, and the drinks are STRONG.

Trudy's Queso

Queso Especial - $7.50

Between four girls and three guys, we devoured two large orders of the Queso Especial.  What makes it “especial”? Trudy’s throws in a huge dollop of guacamole and some pico de gallo.  Tasty!

Trudy's Margaritas

House Margaritas - $4 on Wednesdays

Some of us ordered frozen margaritas; some ordered on the rocks.  I personally prefer frozen since the alcohol taste isn’t as strong.  I was buzzed after just one, but I’m a lightweight.  Everyone else who drank ordered two.

Trudy's Chicken Flaquities

Chicken Poquito Flaquities - $8.50

I almost always order the flaquities every time I go to Trudy’s.  It’s technically an appetizer, but I never finish all of it.  It comes with guacamole, queso, and sour cream as dipping sauces…all of my favorite condiments! 🙂  It doesn’t look that appetizing in the picture, but trust me, it’s definitely worth trying.

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Livestrong Austin Marathon

Congratulations to my husband and all the other runners who completed the Livestrong Austin Marathon and Half Marathon this morning! There was such a diverse crowd: elderly folks, a pregnant woman, a blind man, people running with no shoes, people running with heavy packs on their backs, parents pushing strollers…you name it!

Although the morning started off chilly and windy, it felt great by noon…perfect weather for a run! There were about 18,000 participants (of which 70% were out-of-towners), 30+ bands playing at random spots along the course, and Lance Armstrong supposedly showed up to do the half!

It looked so fun that for a moment I contemplated signing up for next year’s.  But then I reminded myself how much I hate running and how lazy I am.  Ha.  We’ll see…I have another 360-some days to train if I really do decide to run.

TX State Capitol

Participants dashing/limping past the TX State Capitol for the finish line

Finish Line

The Finish Line!

Finisher's Medal

The Finisher's Medal

Mount Bonnell

Oh, beautiful Mount Bonnell (more like a glorified hill)!

I love coming here with my husband and dog on warm, sunny days.  It’s a great place to relax and take in the scenery of Lake Austin (more like a dammed up river).  Plus, you get a really good view of where all the rich people in Austin live.  We’re talking ginormous houses with garages to store their fancy yachts!

Lake Austin

View of Lake Austin from Mount Bonnell

Try The Peached Tortilla!

If you ever visit Austin, you should definitely try some of the food trucks.  Every Friday, The Peached Tortilla stops near my workplace.  I guess the best way to describe its menu is to say it’s Mexican/pan-Asian fusion.  They sell banh mi, pad Thai, Chinese BBQ, BBQ brisket, etc. in taco, burrito, and slider form.  “Food Truck Friday” is what gets me and my colleagues through the week.

My one complaint is that the banh mi can be pretty greasy.  Oil just flows out of that thing! But that’s fine with me because I’m not expecting anything super healthy from a food truck.

Pad Thai Taco

Pad Thai Taco...spicy!

Disappointed by Kona Grill’s Service

Last night, a group of friends and I went to Kona Grill in the Domain for reverse happy hour.  I hadn’t been to Kona in ages and had forgotten how poor the service was.  Here are some examples:

  1. Our server did not look like he wanted to be there at all.  He looked so cranky that I wanted to say, “Well, excuse me for asking you to take our order! Why don’t I save you the trouble and go to the kitchen myself?”
  2. Another server came out and brought us our food.  A minute later, our server came out with the exact same dishes and looked upset that we had accepted the “wrong” order.  He accused us of taking someone else’s food and was about to make us give back the dishes on our table to take the ones in his hand.  Luckily, the other server came by and told him that the adjacent table had ordered the same dishes, so he could just take the food over to them.
    I remember the same thing happening when I was at the now-closed Kona Grill in Sugar Land.  Servers would wander around the restaurant with plates of food asking if what they were holding was what the table had ordered.  It was as if they didn’t write anybody’s order down.  No organization whatsoever!
  3. Our server finally warmed up after bringing us our bill.  He apologized for being “braindead” because he was working a 13-hour shift for the second day in a row.  I wasn’t going to let him redeem himself with poor excuses.  Wouldn’t it have been easier just to smile and take our orders instead of being grumpy and half-heartedly apologizing when we were about to leave?

Kona Grill has decent happy hour appetizers and drinks at a reasonable price, but I’d rather go somewhere else and pay more for better service.

Sprouts sells Peet’s Coffee!

Today, I finally went to the Sprouts off of Research Blvd. and Great Hills Trail.  I moved to Austin back in October and live just a mile away from Sprouts.  I really wish I had moved out of the comfort zone that is HEB and visited my neighborhood Sprouts months ago.

Anyway, I discovered that they sell Peet’s Coffee! Now, I don’t know what the big deal is about Peet’s, but my husband loves it.  He was pretty disappointed when he found out there were no Peet’s stores in Texas.  So, I bought several bags for him when I was in LA last month.

You can imagine how happy (and ridiculous!) I felt when I saw that Sprouts stocked Peet’s coffee.  After doing a little more research, I found out that many places in Austin actually carry it.

Lesson learned: Peet’s isn’t that elusive.  To see which of your neighborhood grocery stores carry it, go here.