Austin was wonderful.  HOT, but wonderful.  We always stay with Son #1, his lovely wife and now, Olivia!  Since Olivia is our first grand child we are over the moon with joy and we delight at her every move.  She is crawling and charming us with her smile.

While in Austin our kids always make it a  point to try new, well-reviewed places to eat.  I’m pretty sure I gain weight each visit but come away wishing Orange County, California had 1/4 of the fabulous places to dine.  I’m giving you the list, just in case you visit Austin sometime soon.

+ Walton’s Fancy and Staple


This little gem is owned by Sandra Bullock (yes, that one) and her sister.  the pastrami sandwich on pretzel bread was the best pastrami sandwich I had eaten in a very long time.  I unfortunately ate it all which left me with no room for one of their fabulous desserts.  The cafe also sports a florist and small gift shop.  It was wonderful.

+ Eastside (I actually mentioned this HERE)

I had eaten here a visit ago with Jamie’s mom (DIL).  We’ve decided to make it a tradition.  The food is delicious and many of the ingredients are grown on the grounds.  They even have a chicken coop with a wide array of chickens, their eggs are from those wonderful chickens.

This little rooster was very small for a rooster.  The baby chicks above are so cute.  I didn’t take a picture of the mom but there are a wide variety of chickens at Eastside.

+ Haddington’s


+ Franklin Barbecue (this was mentioned in a recent Bon Appetit as the best barbecue in the nation!  It didn’t disappoint but you have to arrive before they open to get in line.  Once they run out of brisket, ribs or any other delicious meat, they close)

When we got home I was ready for some simple recipes for easy summer meals, 87 degrees, not 107 temperatures.  I had tried a couple of recipes from Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten’s “How easy is that?”.  Even though this recipe requires the oven, I think you will enjoy the fresh flavor of the green herbs and summer is the ideal time for salmon, right.  I prepared this with rice and a mixed green salad.  Super easy and so delicious.

image via the kitchen designer blog

Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs

Serves 6

1 (2- to 2 ½-pound) skinless salmon fillet
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup minced scallions, white and green parts (4 scallions)
½ cup minced fresh dill
½ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ cup dry white wine
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the salmon fillet in a glass, ceramic, or stainless-steel roasting dish and season it generously with salt and pepper. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle the mixture evenly over the salmon. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the scallions, dill, and parsley. Scatter the herb mixture over the salmon fillet, turning it so that both sides are generously coated with the green herbs. Pour the wine around the fish fillet.

Roast the salmon for 10 to 12 minutes, until almost cooked in the center at the thickest part. The center will be firm with just a line of uncooked salmon in the very center. (I peek by inserting the tip of a small knife.) Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the salmon crosswise into serving pieces and serve hot with lemon wedges.

Hope you are staying cool and enjoying the final weeks of summer.