Gloria’s Latin Cuisine In Austin – Detailed Review

Overview Gloria’s Latin Cuisine

Gloria and Jose Fuentes each left the civil unrest in their home of El Salvador in 1978. They found each other after settling in Houston, and the two moved to Dallas to work in Gloria’s sister’s small Salvadorian restaurant. Only a year into the restaurant business they took it over, thus began Gloria’s Latin Cuisine. Now, three decades later there are multiple locations throughout their chosen home of Texas.

Described as “Salvadorian with a twist”, the menu has El Salvador favorites like pupusas, as well as Tex-Mex and other Latin Cuisines. It has a great selection of cocktails and the atmosphere is a little nicer than what you would expect from a chain restaurant. Glorias doesn’t just have salsa, the food. Some locations turn into nightclubs after closing.

Where local salsa bands and DJs play. Every location is different, but most have indoor and outdoor seating and every location requires masks to be worn. So whether you are in the Domain (here are some of the Domain restaurants we love) or H-Town, Gloria’s has to be on your list to visit.

Gloria’s Menu

Gloria’s is a great weekend brunch option. You can never go wrong with their Sopes or Chilaquiles. They also have the classic breakfast staples, like omelets and migas, and all the brunch drink favorites. However, next time I go I am for sure trying the Tres Leche Waffles, for obvious reasons. Their brunch menu is available from 11 a.m 3 p.m.

Sopes Via Gloria’s

If you happen to stop by during the day and they aren’t serving brunch, their lunch menu has something for everyone. They boast an extensive menu of Latin and Texas cuisines and course Salvadorian dishes, like Glenda’s Favorite pupusas and the Pescado Acajutla. Even the salads, specifically the Ceviche Chimichurri Salad, look just interesting enough to order…maybe.

Salmon Chimichurri Salad Via Gloria’s

The busiest time for the restaurant is dinner, for good reason. Their seafood seems to be the star, the Mariscada soup to the Blackened Red Snapper get rave reviews. It has some more casual Tex-Mex plates, like Chimichangas, as well as something a bit more fancy, like the Grilled Quail. And, depending on which restaurant you’re at, you can dance all that food off at 11 p.m when Gloria’s nightlife club starts up.

mariscada soup by gloria's latin

If happy hour is your thing, you have found a good home here. All-day happy hour Sunday through Thursday will allow you to sample from the long drink menu at Gloria’s. Preferably over a long period, it is a long list. Gloria’s is famous for its different margaritas, but they have tequila, wine, beer, and other cocktail options.

signatre drink of gloria's latin cusine

Gloria’s Nightlife

Every Saturday night starting at 11 p.m select Gloria’s Latin Cuisine restaurants become Gloria’s Nightlife. The dining room makes way for a dancefloor where local Latin bands and DJs keep the party going until 2 a.m. Make sure to get gussied up in “a smart, upscale style”, because the dress code is enforced.

Currently, only four of Gloria’s locations offer the nightlife experience: Addison, Austin (Domain), Houston Midtown, and San Antonio. VIP Table and Bottle Service are available, and you can call ahead to reserve your table. Whether you are looking for some good salsa music or the latest Dance music, Gloria’s nightlife is the place to be. You can follow Gloria’s Nightlife Instagram for more information.

nighet life views of gloria

Gloria’s Happy Hour

Gloria has the right idea of doing an all-day happy hour Sunday through Thursday. Although different locations seem to have different policies on happy hour times, especially during the weekends, you may want to call ahead.
They have an extensive list of classic and signature cocktails, a favorite being their award-winning House Margarita. All of their margaritas, as well as the Sangria and Mojitos, are only $6-7 during happy hour. Bottles of wine go down to half price during happy hour. Have fun and drink responsibly.

Gloria’s Austin Locations and Hours

There are two Gloria’s Latin Cuisine locations in Austin. The Austin (Downtown) restaurant is located in the heart of the city on West 6th street. The downtown location is open from 11 a.m9 p.m Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m10:30 p.m on Fridays and Saturdays.

Austin (Downtown) Address: ​​300 W 6th Street #100 Austin, TX 7870

gloria's restaurant

The other location is at the Domain, the upscale shopping center on the northside of town. The Austin (Domain) restaurant is one of the few locations to offer nightlife, as well as dining. The restaurant hours are 11 a.m9 p.m Sundays to Thursdays, and 11 a.m11 p.m on Fridays and Saturdays. But, stick around on Saturday as Gloria’s is transformed into a nightclub featuring a local salsa band and DJ. The Nightlife hours are 11 p.m2 a.m on Saturday.

Austin (Domain) address: 3309 Esperanza Crossing Suite #100 Austin, TX 78758

Gloria’s Reservations

Gloria’s does not take online or call ahead reservations. However, they do offer event hosting.

Online Order Process

You can order Gloria’s Latin Cuisine online through DoorDash. Gloria’s website has a link to their DoorDash page, on which you can order pickup and delivery.

Gift Cards for Gloria’s are available. You can have a physical gift card sent through the mail, which takes about 5-7 business days. You can also have an eGift card sent through to the recipient with a personal message.

Gloria’s Latin Cuisine FAQs

How many Gloria’s Latin Cuisine is there?

There are 23 locations across Texas. Most of those are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with the rest around Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.

What type of food is Gloria’s?

Gloria’s is rooted in a Slavadorian culinary tradition. However, over the years have incorporated other Latin cuisines into the menu.

Does Glorias have salsa dancing?

Yes, every Saturday night. The salsa and Latin music are played by the live band at the Houston (Midtown), Austin (Domain), San Antonio, and Addison locations.

Does Gloria have vegan options?

Vegan options outright are hard to come by, unless you stick to chips and salsa. Although, there is a vegetarian menu and they can do substitutions.

Does Glorias have Queso?

Absolutely! They have a Chile con Queso, as well as a Queso Fundido that is served with flour or corn tortillas.

Conclusion

The story of the Fuentes and Gloria’s Latin Cuisine is enough to make anyone interested in going, but the food and atmosphere make you want to stay. With 23 locations around Texas, it is a readily available chain, while being fancy enough for a celebration or to get dressed up for a nice meal. Whether you are looking for a brunch crowd or a salsa partner, or maybe your craving pupusas and Tex-Mex, Gloria’s seems to cater to anyone and everyone.

 

All about Grit and Hustle: Texas Women’s Basketball

The Lady longhorns gave us a show last night at the Frank Erwin Center. The ladies were playing against Texas Christan University. This was the second to last game at the Frank Erwin Center for the Lady Longhorns.

After Vic Schaefer expressed his frustrations at the lack of fans at the women’s games. Many people showed up to the game including some of the players of the Texas football team such as Quinn Ewers, Xavier Worthy, and Demarvion Overshown to support the Lady Longhorns.

Lineup

The starting lineup for the Longhorns was Lauren Ebo, Rori Harmon, DeYona Gaston, Shay Holle, and Joanne Allen-Taylor. The ladies started with a strong defense against TCU but the ladies showed off their great chemistry when it comes to the offense. Harmon pulls a 3 pointer 2 seconds before the second quarter which sets the tone for the game.  The leading scorers of the night were Gaston and Allen-Taylor. Gaston had 16 points and Allen-Taylor had 12 points last night.

Throughout the 1st half, the ladies were shooting up 3 pointers and making the Horned Frogs panic on the defensive end. Ebo came in clutch with the rebound with 10 rebounds. Horned Frogs couldn’t find a way to stop the ladies.

Halftime

Halftime the Texas Spirit squad performed their extravaganza routine. They had high energy to get the audience excited. The pom squad was wearing a sparkling white two-piece dress and the cheer squad was split into 2 groups. One of the cheer groups was wearing all orange and the other group was wearing white. Hook’em the mascot was dancing and being pumped with kids. Not only Hook’em em loves kids but he loves the older generation too. Hook’em is probably the sweet mascot in Texas.

In the second half of the game, the Longhorns came back swinging. The ladies were still getting beautiful shots in the game but their defense shined in the second half. Holle steals the ball in the middle of the third quarter. The Horned frogs tried to come back offensively but the longhorn’s defense was a juggernaut with only the Horned frogs giving 16 points in the half.

The Dub and Farewell to Frank Erwin Center

In the final quarter, the longhorns had some bumps and bruises but the ladies pulled it off. The final score was Texas 77 and TCU 42. The fans celebrated by singing the “Eyes Of Texas” song and left the Frank Erwin center with big smiles on their faces. The next home court game the Longhorns will play is on Saturday, March 5th against Oklahoma State University. This is going to be the last game at the Frank Erwin Center for the Texas basketball regular season before the 45-year-old center gets demolished. Come out and support the Longhorns.

Koko’s Bavarian Restaurant – Extensive Review

East Austin’s newest brewery, Koko’s Bavarian, is the perfect location for your local brew and patio outings. Named after brewery partner Konstantin Prinz von Bayern, the Prince of Bavaria. Yes, we mean the actual Prince. Koko’s offers beer, brats, and a family & dog-friendly ambiance for all to enjoy.

Jesse Herman, the brains behind KoKo’s, is no stranger to the Austin food scene. Inspired by a brewery in his Brooklyn neighborhood, Herman sought to create a space in Austin that fostered community and good food. Herman is the parent behind the popular La Condesa, Sway, and the Austin Food & Wine Festival.

The Atmosphere

We love finding great patios when the weather is nice in Austin, and Koko’s is a must on your list. The outside space is filled with plenty of tables, perfect for meeting with a few friends or a larger group. Stay until dark and wait for all of the string lights to twinkle above your head. Wanting to take a seat inside? Koko’s also offers indoor seating, complete with more string lights for the perfect atmosphere. The outdoor stage is just waiting for the weather to warm up so live music can be enjoyed on the patio.

The Brains Behind The Brew

What looks like a room full of stainless steel is a combination of passion and science. Female head brewster, Katie Lowe, turned her passion for home brewing into a career. When we visited Koko’s, Lowe gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of her office, and we were captivated by her devotion to brewing.

The brewing process starts in Texas, with grain sourced outside Fort Collins. From the moment Lowe gets her hands on those grains, the process is meticulously monitored by Lowe to ensure each batch is brewing to perfection.

Lowe commented on how inclusive, and supportive the Austin brewing community is during our tour. They strive for community, not competition, and are always willing to lend a hand to their local brewery neighbors.

The Beer

It’s always a fine day for fine beers at Koko’s. The bar menu is complete with 25 beers on tap, a schnapps cocktail menu, wine, and canned and bottled beers.

Koko’s features eight brewed in-house beers, with plans to add more in the near future. The Haus Dunkel is one of Lowe’s favorites and the beer Koko uses to cook in dishes.

What To Eat

The menu features classic German fare like bratwurst, pretzels, pickles, and schnitzel.

A glance at the sausage menu, and you may notice some meats you typically don’t see every day. There is much to explore, from the classic beer-braised brat to antelope, to rabbit-rattlesnake. All brats are served on fresh potato buns. A fully vegan bratwurst is also available with a vegan bun. If you’re looking for a larger meal or something to share, the roasted organic half-chicken is an excellent option.

What makes the pretzels at Koko’s different? They’re deep-fried, just like any good Texan would. For another Texas twist, the pretzels come with queso, which is a combination you didn’t know you needed. The house-cut Belgian fries are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. If you’re a fan of dipping sauces, the fries come with three different ones to try.

                                                             

If you still have room for dessert, we recommend the red velvet ice cream sandwich. Creamy vanilla ice cream, sandwiched between two pieces of red velvet cake and topped with cream cheese frosting. Everyone will be fighting for the last bite.

Keep It At KOKO’S

Koko’s Bavarian is a must-visit in Austin. The staff is welcoming and attentive, and the brews are something you don’t want to miss. Stay for some unique German fares, and enjoy your time out on the patio. Join Koko’s for happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-6 PM and enjoy $1 off Haus Beers. Follow them @kokosbavarian or visit their website.

1618 Asian Fusion Review – Cocktails to Classic Drinks

If you are looking for a good time and a place to treat yourself, your friends, your SOs, or your family – 1618 is the way to go. 1618 is an Asian Fusion restaurant located inside the AMLI South Shore Building and it provides one of the most seamlessly satisfying dining experiences in Austin.

This restaurant wholeheartedly embodies the essence of Asian fusion as the chefs flawlessly integrate flavors from all over Asia. Within the menu itself, you can easily spot classic flavors of Chinese, Vietnamese, Singaporean, and Thai cuisines from appetizers to desserts. This restaurant genuinely sets the bar for what a holistic dine-in experience is like.

Interior

The inside of the restaurant is absolutely gorgeous. They offer both indoor and outdoor dining options and the lightly stained wood with the open windows provide such a surreal experience, especially during golden hours. The restaurant is sectioned off based on the bar and dine-in with more than enough tables to accommodate large groups and small intimate gatherings.

I think the vibe or ambiance of the restaurant definitely changes based on what time of the day you go. I went from roughly 5 pm to 7 pm and the atmosphere changed so drastically within the two hours. Anything before 5 pm, feels very bright and casual, almost like a nice summer day where you take a casual break from your day-to-day.

And as the sun sets, the casual atmosphere definitely turns a bit more intimate and romantic as the lights begin to dim and the live music begins to settle in.

1618 Asian Fusion Menu

Appetizer

The Fiver Sampler: This is an all in all appetizer that is perfect for first-timers to get a taste of all the options that 1618 has to offer. This Sampler includes 2 egg rolls, 1 fresh spring roll, four fried wontons, two chicken satays, and seared pork belly buns. 

1618 Asian fusion's appetizer from their menu

My thoughts: This is definitely top value for appetizer dishes and I would honestly recommend this for large groups that are new to the 1618 menu. I think this provided a really nice introduction to the variety of flavors that the restaurant has to offer as each element of the appetizer is influenced and fused by different areas of Asia.

Honestly, everything on there was really good. All the fried pieces were crispy and flavorful, the sauces complimented their respective dishes really well, and the meat in the buns were extremely soft and supple. Something small but makes the world of a difference is I really like how the sauce is placed right next to which item they are used for.

I know that for a lot of other places, the sauces will be given out but for newcomers that may not be familiar with the dish, it gets quite confusing as to what goes with what. But with the orientation of this appetizer, most can skip the science experiment and confusion and jump straight into the eating which I thought was a very nice attention to detail piece on the side of the staff. 

Xiao Long Bao (aka: Soup Dumplings) 

This is a type of Chinese steamed bun stuffed with a flavor of meat filling on the inside. 

1618 Asian dish Xiao Long Bao

My thoughts: A dim sum classic. If you have never ever had soup dumplings before, please try them. They are actually such a classic Chinese dish. I remember growing up eating these for breakfast at my grandparent’s house and I am so glad that they integrated this into their dim sum menu because it is such a staple in Asian cuisines.

When you’re eating the dumplings, you just have to be very careful about the soup that is on the inside. Oftentimes, when the bao is being made, the soup is gelatinized and later turned into soup once it is steamed. You can eat the dumpling by itself, with chili oil, or soy sauce based on your preferences. (I personally really like chili oil) BUT when you are eating it, do not bite straight into it once it is served because it will hurt.

I would recommend letting it chill, biting the top off, cool the temperature, add some chili oil, then go all in with that bite. I do think that 1618 provides a very accurate rendition of this dish. 

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice 

Roast duck, shrimp, bell pepper, basic, egg, and pineapple, served in half of a pineapple. 

1618 menu Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

My thoughts: A very well balanced fried rice with a kick. Generally, I think fried rice is relatively generic and you can’t really go wrong. Most places have a solid average on the taste and flavor of their fried rice and my expectation going in was very mid.

But I was genuinely pleasantly surprised by the Pineapple Fried Rice. There was definitely a spice and flavor kick with each bite, it wasn’t spicy but there was a definite heat in every bite. The addition of roast duck and shrimp was also a very interesting but delicious combination.

The duck and shrimp provided some dynamic texture to the fried rice and the meat was very juicy and supple with each bite. One of my favorite parts about this dish would have to be the presentation. Because fried rice is such a standard dish, the extra attention to detail to the way it is being served really elevated the fish itself.

The presentation with the half pineapple and the orchid decor around it really upscaled the fried rice significantly. It was not only beautiful to look at but delicious to eat as well. 

Whole boneless roast duck served with buns, peking sauce, and green onions. 

Whole Peking Duck

1618 Peking Duck dish

My Thoughts: Delicious and beautiful. These words are quite literally going to be on repeat but holy. This dish was actually so pretty to look at that I felt sad eating off the plate. The whole peking duck was fully cut and placed on the plate alongside steamed buns and sauce for assembly.

Typically, you can either eat the duck by itself with the sauce or wrap pieces of the duck meat and duck skin into a bun with scallions, onions, and peking sauce. Either way – you cannot go wrong. The duck was so delicious. I’ve had duck at other BBQ places before and I would consider my expectations to be relatively high in consideration of preparation and cost, and I was not disappointed.

The duck was super easy to bite into, the meat was not dry and was extremely flavorful, and the skin. The skin was so crispy. When we bit into the duck, you can actually hear the crunch of the roasted skin and it was truly a testament to how carefully assembled everything was. The portions of this were definitely big enough to serve multiple people. I highly recommend trying this if you haven’t had duck before. 

Imperial Crispy Red Fish 

Batter fresh whole red fish in 1618 specialty recipe. Served with vermicelli, fish sauce, rice paper and fresh vegetables.

1618 imperial crispy red fish

My Thoughts: This was hands down one of my favorite dishes of all time. It was the all star if not the MVP of the entire menu. I don’t think I have ever been more satisfied and impressed with an entree than I had been with this. The moment this dish made contact with our table, I just knew that this was going to be good. When they rolled out the food, our mouths quite literally dropped.

The fish was absolutely stunning, the golden crisp of the skin mixed with the 1618 specialty sauce was truly a sight. This dish came with a side of vermicelli, sauce, rice paper, and vegetables. The waiter recommended we cut pieces of the fish up and wrap it with everything else to make a mini spring roll and wow.

Typically, I’ve only had shrimp or fish balls wrapped up in rice paper but it never crossed my mind to put fish in it. And wow, total game changer. Everything wrapped together was literally one of the most delicious and innovative ways to put this dish together. Everything complimented each other so well from the flavor to the experience.

We as the customers have the opportunity to really customize and eat as we will and I think the interactiveness makes the experience very enjoyable. I really would recommend this for anyone in a large group. You cannot go wrong with this dish. The fish leftover was also a definite fan favorite among my friends and we’re all very tempted to go back to eat it fresh again. 

Cheesecake

1618 dessert cheesecake

My thoughts: Normally, I am not a super big fan of cheesecake, but once again, 1618 surprised me further. This cheesecake presentation was one of the coolest that I have ever seen. At initial glance, it was just a regular cheesecake UNTIL you see the wait pull out a glass with alcohol and a mini blowtorch.

The fire that heated the alcohol that was poured over the cheesecake – wow. The glaze that spread across the cheesecake and the crunch in every single bite. Just typing this now is already making me so hungry. 

Thai Iced Tea and Dragonfruit Refresher

My Thoughts: You can never go wrong with green Thai iced tea and I stand by that. The drink was such a nice cleanse from the more savory menu items as it was a nice blend of tea and sugar. I actually really enjoyed the drink because it wasn’t too light or too heavy.

What I am assuming to be the half and half doesn’t coat your mouth afterward or anything either. I will probably go back and keep ordering this drink, to be honest. The Dragon Fruit Rose Refresher was also very good but definitely had a more distinct flavor profile. Each sip has its own flavor and take and it honestly reminds me of the Starbucks fruit refreshers. 

1618 fusion green Thai Ice tea and dragon fruit rose refresher

In addition to all these dishes, although I am not 21, I was able to see what a shot would look like in 1618. And lets just say, when I turn 21, I know exactly where I am going. 

Conclusion

I know this entire article has been filled with nothing but praise. However, 1618 really is a place that deserves nothing but praise. From the moment we walked into the restaurant to the moment that we left, the staff was extremely friendly and welcoming.

Some of the biggest takeaways that I think distinguishes 1618 staff from other establishments would be how they treat every customer as someone new to the 1618 experience. I genuinely think this is really important especially for an Asian Fusion restaurant because the non-judgemental introduction and guidance for all the menu items really does help break down an uncomfortable barrier that some have towards food that they are unfamiliar with.

The staff all introduced themselves, constantly checks in to make sure that you are enjoying your experience, and is always there to answer any questions. The culmination of all these interactions further contributes to the overall experience of the dining. You can sense the top tier level of care in everything that the staff does and this goes for anything from interior and ambiance to food, and overall customer experience. 

When you go to 1618, you’re definitely there for a good time. 

Official Website

Ski Shores Cafe Review: Sunny Days Ahead in Austin

With live music on select Fridays and all-day breakfast burritos, the newest Ski Shores Cafe is located on Barton Springs Rd. and exudes chill vibes. This joint should definitely end up on your dining guide to Austin.

Ski shore Cafe the ruby slipper

Ski Shores Cafe Menu

First things first, if you’re looking to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to margaritas, this is the place for you. With an optional salted rim, the pineapple jalapeno margarita left me pleasantly surprised and wanting more.

For those who like a great vodka soda, The Ruby Slipper is a great option. Tart yet sweet, this drink was refreshing and gave me a taste of summer days by the pool. Must have been the elderflower liqueur.

ski shore cafe menu pineapple jalapeno margarita

Turkey Avocado Wrap

Now for my favorite wrap, I’ve had in a while – the turkey avocado wrap. The avocado aioli paired with the garlic herb tortilla was quite literally a match made in heaven.

Ski shore menu turkey avocado wrap

Ski Shore Original

The Border Burger, otherwise known as the Ski Shore Original, has a punch of spiciness along with a diverse flavor combo. Topped with caramelized onions, guacamole, jalapenos and melty cheese, it’s everything you wish for in a burger.

Ski Shores Cafe is a place I can see my friends and I visiting after a dip in Barton Springs or after a day at Zilker. Grab a friend and enjoy the string lights at the outdoor patio – we promise it’s worth it.

Official Website

What is Wordle?

The newest social media craze Wordle challenges players to put their knowledge of the English language to the test.

Wordle is a super simple puzzle game that tasks players with guessing a five-letter word in six attempts or less. After each guess, the letters turn a different color, indicating their position in the word.

Software engineer Josh Wardle created the game back in October 2019. He and his partner share a love of word games so he decided to make his own that they could play together. Three months later, over 2 million people are playing his viral puzzle game daily.

What makes the game so appealing is its accessibility and shareability. It is free to play and results can be shared to social media in this format:

If you’ve been on Twitter at any time in the past three months, then you’ve undoubtedly seen some combination of these green, yellow, and gray boxes.

Everyone gets the same mystery word and only 24 hours to complete it. With only one word a day, it is impossible to get burnt out or bored.

Wordle gets you hooked because both outcomes encourage you to keep playing. Either you come back to keep winning or you come back to redeem yourself.

The game also tracks your stats so you can take pride in guessing correctly and keeping that streak alive. If you fail to guess the word, there is always the promise of another opportunity tomorrow.

Although the word is the same for everyone, there are many different approaches to the guessing game.

Some enjoy the bold approach of guessing whatever word first pops into their heads. These people love the thrill of potentially guessing the word on the first attempt. Others take a more analytical approach, using starter words like “adieu” or “ouija” to narrow down which vowels are used.

It has become a major point of contention throughout the Wordle community. Casual players believe using starter words is trying too hard, while the competitive players simply see it as gaining an edge over their peers.

This has also spawned a number of guides detailing what the mathematically best starter words are for the game. By taking into account information theory, probability and a bunch of other big-brain stuff, YouTuber Grant Sanderson found the best word to be “crane.”

No matter what approach you choose, it is most certainly a competition to see who can get the word in the least guesses. Whether it’s flexing results on Twitter or beating friends in a group chat, everybody loves feeling intellectually superior.

Social media is the main driver behind Wordle’s increasing popularity. Everybody wants to join the party and flex their brain muscles. There is also something extremely satisfying about guessing the word and feeling like a master of the English language.

Even celebrities have taken to social media to share their results. Late-night host Jimmy Fallon has been very vocal about his addiction.

The New York Times recently bought Wordle, adding the puzzle to their collection of word games like The Crossword and Spelling Bee. They intend to keep the game free with no ads.

Join the community and make Wordle a part of your daily routine!

Head over to play now!

Mozart’s Coffee Roasters In Austin, TX – Detailed Review

Established in 1993, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters serves as one of Austin’s most popular coffee shops. Its location guarantees its customers a beyond satisfactory experience because of the beautiful view of Lake Austin that is provided. Whether you’re craving a spot to study or to catch up with friends, Mozart’s gives the option of indoor or outdoor seating which accommodates many.

Opening their doors at the early hours of 7:00 a.m. and closing at midnight allows Mozart’s to welcome a countless number of people. This wide gap of time gives anyone and everyone the opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee or a bakery treat while enjoying a sunrise or sunset. You are able to choose from a variety of the tables located inside or on their outdoor patio which consists of two-floor levels.

Experience

I have had the pleasure of visiting Mozart’s both pre and post-COVID and I can vouch that they have taken all precautions necessary to ensure the safety of all. There were marks on the floor that started from inside the coffee shop all the way out to the patio where people should stand to ensure social distancing while waiting to order. Having the choice to sit outside and enjoy the weather while working on my laptop at a table distanced just the right amount from the next was the perfect combination. 

Photo: Courtesy, Mozart's Coffee Roasters on Facebook.
Courtesy of Austin.com

Mozarts Coffee Menu

Mozart’s in-house bakery consists of a fulfilling amount of menu options that take care of any appetite craving that ranges from breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rest assured that Mozart’s bakery has you covered whether you are feeling oatmeal, tacos, muffins, quiche, or bagels for your early morning start. Or, some sandwiches and calzones for a late snack with some cannolis, cakes, tarts, cookies, or scones as some self-care treatment. 

I was fortunate enough to get to try their chai latte, Italian calzone, and chocolate chip cannoli. I am both proud and ashamed to say I ate all of those delicious menu items in one sitting. But, it was the perfect combination of food to enjoy while taking a much-needed study break.

Monthly Coffee subscription

Not only can you enjoy Mozart’s famous coffee by ordering a cup for yourself at their coffee shop, but you can also purchase a bag of their coffee blends to have in your own home simply by ordering through their website. They carry whatever type of coffee you prefer, ranging from light, light-medium, medium, and dark roast. Mozart’s encourages people to start a coffee subscription where you subscribe monthly and receive many perks such as free shipping, gifts, and discount codes. 

Order Online

Mozart’s also offers convenient ways to enjoy their menu items without having to wait in line whether you don’t have the time or simply would rather avoid contact with others. You have the choice to place an order online for in-store pickup or to have your order delivered locally through Uber Eats, DoorDash, and GrubHub.

Outdoor Seating

Many people can recognize Mozart’s outdoor patio because of the many wooden tables scattered around and the stage where occasionally a piano occupies the space. Mozart’s website keeps its customers updated with daily events that occur. They feature different artists who come to share their talent in music. Vocalists, pianists, guitarists, and even the occasional jazz trumpeters make their debut on the stage. 

Mozart’s Annual Christmas Light Show

During the holidays, Mozart’s holds their annual Christmas Light Show which is a tradition that many people, I myself, have made to go to in honor of the holiday spirit. The whole patio and coffee shop exterior is decorated with lights and not just those simple holiday string lights…I’m talking huge decorative lights that cover every inch of the exterior and range in a diverse amount of colors. Not to mention, the live musical entertainment that captivates the audience at each show and access to the best cup of hot chocolate.

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Mozart’s Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up, Mozart’s offers a variety of Valentine-themed treats for you and your loved one to enjoy. Their gift guide consists of hand-decorated cookies, cupcakes, gift packs filled with coffee and treats, and even dog biscuits. If you’re looking for plans to celebrate this love-filled holiday, go to Mozart’s and order a treat while enjoying their COVID compliant indoor seating and full outdoor deck.

Conclusion

This award-winning bakery and shop where both the coffee and food are made onsite definitely proves to be the spot to check off your bucket list. Everyone deserves to treat themselves so why not indulge in Mozart’s famous dark chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons, or tiramisu cups. Make some new traditions and enjoy live entertainment with some flavorful bakery goods and rich coffee!

Ichiban Restaurant Review: Austin’s Tatami-Style Dining Experience

As you drive down Austin’s well-known Burnet Road you will come across the delicious Japanese and Korean restaurant Ichiban. This eatery definitely lives up to its name because ‘Ichiban’ translates to ‘number one’ in Japanese. From bento boxes to bulgogi, and specialty sushi rolls, every customer is able to find something to satisfy their personal cravings. 

The Ambiance

As you approach the front of the building you will find yourself walking on a miniature bridge that is on top of a little pond. Inside this pond, you are greeted by Koi fish that come in all different colors. You are even given a chance to purchase some koi fish food inside the restaurant if you wish to give these fishy friends a treat.

After you finish looking at all of the vibrant colored Koi fish you are immediately welcomed by the host and even some of the sushi chefs working behind the counter. The dimmed lighting inside gives it a calming ambiance that will make you relaxed and ready to enjoy your meal. Even the simple flower decorations placed on each table add a soothing touch to this Austin favorite. 

Ichiban “Tatami-Style” Dining

You have a choice to sit at a regular table or to enjoy an original Tatami-style dining experience. For people who enjoy the ambiance of Japanese culture, this style of dining requires you to remove your shoes before entering the wooden booth. Inside there are mats known as ‘tatami’ that you sit on while eating at the table. You are secluded from the other customers and have a bunch of space underneath the table where you are able to either cross your legs on the mat or dangle your feet.

Ichiban in door dining experience

I have experienced both regular table dining and Tatami-style dining and I have to say that I prefer the latter. It feels comforting to take off my shoes, place them on the rack outside of the booth, and just cross my legs on the mat and enjoy my meal. There is something about being in a private dining ‘room’ that makes this dining experience at Ichiban more memorable, intimate, and fun. 

Ichiban Menu – Things I Ordered

Before I get into the main event I like to order some Gyoza because who can go wrong with wonton wrappers stuffed with pork and cabbage? Now it’s important to note that every time I have dined at Ichiban I take full advantage of the Two Roll Combination lunch special. For only $10.95 I am able to enjoy a bowl of Miso Soup, the House Salad, and my choice of any two rolls from their Classic Rolls selection. It can’t get any better than that! 

Ichiban Sushi Boat

My predictable order of a Philadelphia Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll always makes my tastebuds content and my stomach full. But I have yet to try all of twenty-seven of their Signature Rolls because the quality and prices don’t get any better than this. My sushi orders occasionally come out on a little wooden boat which makes the presentation even more luxurious. 

Salmon Dish

If I choose to not order the lunch special I will order Salmon (Sake) Nigiri and Chicken Katsu which is a crispy, deep-fried, panko battered chicken cutlet served with steamed rice and Miso soup on the side. Cleary, their menu blend of both Japanese and Korean cuisines makes your decision difficult when it comes to ordering. But, it just means you will need to go more than once and I assure you that you will want to after that first bite! 

Encore 

Whether you choose to dine-in or pick-up your order, both ways are COVID-19 safe because Ichiban has taken every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. Check out their Instagram page where you can enjoy their posts and access a link to their website where you can order online. Your lunch and dinner plans are set whether sushi, yakisoba, fried rice, or bulgogi are on your mind. And, don’t pass up on their beer, wine, and sake options! 

Take a chance on this fan-favorite restaurant that only offers high-quality and fresh ingredients for all their dishes. Not all five-star meals come cheap so make the most of this special Austin spot. Don’t blame me when you find yourself visiting more times than you bargained for. 

Official Website

Tiny Pies Review: Austin’s Renowned Handmade Pie Shop

Tiny Pies, an Austin original, began from an idea owner Amanda Wadsworth’s son had as to why he couldn’t have a hand-held pie. Starting at local farmers markets, Tiny Pies has now grown to three locations with ingredients sourced from local farmers.

The newest location in Westlake offers Austinites sweet and savory pies next to another local favorite, Blenders, and Bowls. Tiny pies qualify to be on anyone’s list of top Austin food spots to visit.

Tiny Pies Menu

These unique, cupcake like pies are full of flavor and convenient for a quick treat. Pair your pie with one of the savory pot pies to make for a filling lunch or dinner too! Tiny Pies offers year-round flavors with staples like cherry, apple, and pecan. My personal favorite is the banana cream pie. Full of filling with a chocolate drizzle on top, it is what dreams are made of.

For the early risers, the company just launched their breakfast handheld pies which are flavorful and filling. Perfect for on-the-go breakfasts on your way to school or work. The chorizo, egg, and cheese is my favorite out of a personal love for chorizo, but the bacon and jalapeño options are great as well.  

Desserts

If your mouth isn’t already watering yet, the seasonal offerings and specialty holiday menus are what really puts Tiny Pies over the top. Despite the usual Thanksgiving and Christmas treats, Tiny Pies celebrates essentially every holiday with current menu specials for Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras.

For those looking spread some love, the Valentine’s Day menu is full of heart shaped gifts to give yourself or someone special. Skip the picnic date on this freezing Valentine’s Day and opt for a take home gift box which offers two sweet and savory pies. If your date plans are already set, don’t miss out on the heart-shaped cherry pies, chocolate tarts and crème brûlée’s.

Savory Pot Pies

Last on the seasonal offerings list is the annual, month-long Citrus Fest. The pies rotate out weekly with the Blood Orange Chiffon as this week’s pie. The creamy blood orange mousse in Tiny Pies’ crust is topped with blood orange zest which would pair well with a sparkling drink. The upcoming specials for the last two weeks of February are a lemon poppy seed tart and coconut lime pie, respectively.

tiny pies savory pot

For those with dietary restrictions, Tiny Pies offers rotating vegan and gluten-free options for both tiny and not so tiny pies. Vegan cherry, gluten-free apple and gluten-free chocolate are on the menu currently and are baked in limited quantities so it’s best to order ahead or call-in.

Austin’s Locations

If you’re looking to support a local business to celebrate any (or every) holiday, look to Tiny Pies. Their locations on Burnet, South Lamar and Bee Cave Road promise convenient pickups and small pies with big taste.

Official Website

Jo’s Coffee Shop In Austin – Review

Austin’s coffee scene is no joke. The kind of cool coffee shops available in the 512 may at first seem overwhelming, impossible to choose from, but both locals and tourists can agree on the need to get a cup of joe at one iconic location – Jo’s Coffee. Jo’s is a must have on your things to do in Austin list.

A Brief History of Jo’s Coffee

Jo’s Hot Coffee has become a Texas staple for their iconic “I Love You So Much” sign located deep in the heart of South Congress. With a consistent flow of visitors with cameras galore, the mural brings people far and wide to take a picture in front of the green and red sign. The message of adoration was created in 2010 when musician Amy Cook used a red spray paint can and wrote a message to her lover Liz Lambert, a majority owner at Jo’s, in efforts to confess her love. Quickly, the wall became viral. The message of endearment’s popularity has not died down ever since, even after being vandalized in 2011. Cook & Lambert quickly restored the note and the mural still stands strong.

brief history of jo's coffee shop

What lies on the right side of the wall is just as lovely, being that it is home to some of the best coffee beans in Austin. Jo’s opened on SoCo in 1999, and has a delicious menu ranging from a variety of tacos to a classic peanut butter sandwich. Jo’s has a new house custom blend by their friends at La Colombe, a medium roast coffee with notes of milk chocolate, nuts, and honey.  Known for their sense of community, Jo’s is also known to host events such as a cocktail crawl, and their infamous annual chili cookoff.

Locations + Hours

Jo’s lies in 3 classic locations. The original of course being on South Congress Avenue, and others lie in the heart of downtown in the second street district, as well as on the St. Edward’s campus in both the Ragsdale Center and Doyle Hall buildings.

Recently, an exciting new venture of Jo’s was the opening of their very first drive-thru location now open in Hyde Park. This location has the Jo classics available for order, like an Iced Turbo or Belgian Bomber, along with fresh grub as well. Open daily from 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM, this new drive through is perfect to get your coffee fix and stay safely socially distanced.

Coffee is the language of love and life, and Jo’s is the prime example of taking the Austin culture and fusing the hospitality in each drink served and brewed for anyone lucky enough to get a taste. We love you so much, Jo’s!

Official Website