Monday, February 27, 2012

Out and About: Hippie Date Night

On Saturday night, Hunk took me out on a "hippie date night". He's been getting a lot of flack for things like our plant-based diet and his new compost bin, but at least we can make fun of ourselves! So we decided to embrace it and visit a couple of local establishments that might be dubbed hipster/hippie.

We started the afternoon with a trip to Ikea. Not really hippie, but fun nonetheless. They are in the middle of an expansion, though I can't imagine it getting much bigger. I love looking at all the kitchen designs and cool drawers, but overall it's very overwhelming to me. The point of the trip was to get cheap storage containers for our pantries. I'm wishing I had grabbed more, but at least I got a good start on getting mine better organized.

Up next was a surprise stop at Black Star Co-Op, a cool member-owner brew pub off North Lamar. Hunk had mentioned it a few times before, and I'm glad we finally made our way over there. I'll admit, it was really hard smelling all the delicious, garlicky food coming out of that kitchen. I tried not to look, but I think I saw some cheese plates, yummy looking sandwiches, and definitely some french fries. <sigh> For the record, they do have a veggie burger, but we didn't want to spoil our appetites for dinner. At least we were able to enjoy some nice cold beer. The space was really cool, and the people watching was spectacular. We really saw a bit of everything, from families with young kids, to a much older couple out on a date themselves. It was a fun environment. I still don't fully understand the Co-Op part, but apparently for about $150, you can be a member-owner that entitles you to certain privileges. I think I'll just stick with going there for the beer.

Last stop was Mother's Cafe & Garden, a vegetarian restaurant in the funky Hyde Park neighborhood. Since we pretty much prepare 3 meals a day, I want to be sure that we can have at least one night where neither one of us is having to do any work. We're using that as an excuse to try some restaurants we might not otherwise go to. Mother's is classic Austin, so it's no surprise it was first on our list. Dinner was great! We had a ton of things to choose from, though we both went with enchiladas. I think I ordered best with my tofu mole enchiladas. They were really tasty and filling! We had to pass on the complimentary chips/salsa (since they're fried in oil), but ended up ordering a delicious guacamole salad to start. Again, you can't beat the people watching when you go to a place like this. Families, couples, friends....and I can't forget the stellar electronic xylophone player for entertainment. Hippie at it's finest!! We rounded out our date night with a vegan chocolate-peanut butter pie that was absolutely amazing. It was seriously hard to tell that it wasn't made with the usual ingredients.

Overall, it was a really fun night and I'm looking forward to whatever other quirky ideas we come up with. But if you love beer, and you're looking for something different to try, I definitely recommend Black Star!

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