Rio's Brazilian

After a long day of waiting in line to see the Architects of Air exhibit, lil Phan, her friends Katie and Caitlin, and I went to Rio's Brazilian for a post-Luminaria snack.

I am currently obsessed with beets. This is a perfectly acceptable obsession as it's much cheaper and healthier to be obsessed with beets than, say, Louis Vuitton handbags, Ferraris, Monte Cristos, or shar peis (not sharpies, those are affordable). My favorite beet salad is from La Condesa, but the apple and beet salad from Rio's is pretty good, too.

My favorite item from Rio's is their famous cheese bread, pão de queijo for my Portuguese-speaking readers (of which there are none, according to Google Analytics). I wish they offered them by the dozen. They come as a trio - original, red pepper, and basil. The triple dose of cheese bread is probably best for my waistline.

While I had my apple beet salad and pão de queijo, lil Phan had the veggie Tijuca sandwich and not one, but two orders of yucca fries. Her friends had a risoli de frango each. We all loved our dishes and the fact that lil Phan had ordered so many yucca fries that we'd get to share. 

Austin Craft Riot Booth - kathyphantastic and Dottiepop

Big news! kathyphantastic and DottiePop will be sharing a booth at Austin Craft Riot in the Marchesa this weekend.

Stop by booth #41 for hand-drawn plates, mugs, and banners from kathyphantastic and gorgeous hair accessories from Lauren Blazic of Dottiepop.

Check the Austin Craft Riot website for more details.

Austin Craft Riot
November 12 & 13
11:00 am - 6:00 pm
The Marchesa - 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd, 78752

Dia de los Muertos Skull Cake Pops

photo by Tina Phan

With Halloween being only two weeks away, kathyphantastic and Objects of Confection have been baking up (and decorating) some spooky cake pops and cake balls.

First, we brought you Halloween Hello Kitty inspired cake pops and now we have Mexican sugar skull inspired cake pops for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Look for these Día de Los Muertos skull cake pops (and fall pumpkin pops) at the Austin Chocolate Festival today and tomorrow October 15-16 at Objects of Confection's booth.


Halloween Hello Kitty Cake Pops at Austin Chocolate Festival

photo by Tina Phan

Hello there, friends!

It's been a long time since I've updated. Things have been less than Phantastic at times, and extremely hectic all the time.

I'm back, and I've brought you treats—Halloween Hello Kitty inspired cake pops to be exact.

Objects of Confection and kathyphantastic have teamed up for some cute chocolate creations at Austin Chocolate Festival this weekend, October 15-16. Look for them at Objects of Confection's booth.

What flavor is Hello Kitty? Chocolate, of course.

AD2ATX Chat 'N Brew at Walton's Fancy and Staple

My friend Dani Thibodeau is always encouraging me to go to AD2ATX's events.* She's a board member so it's kind of her job.

*AD2ATX is the young professional sector of Austin Ad Fed for Advertising people under 32

On a mission to find interns, I made it out to Chat 'N Brew despite having a very hectic day and needing to pack for a conference the next day.

I couldn't figure out which side I fell on. Was I a young professional? Was I a mentor? Was I wearing underwear? It was unclear.

The room quickly split like the Red Sea and I was left in the middle. I raised a somewhat-unkempt eyebrow at Dani. We shrugged simultaneously and moved to the mentor side of the great divide.

In the course of 2.5 hours I met about 20 people who are mostly interested in working in advertising. I shared a table with a lady who worked in social media for large corporations. We got to know each other's professional lives pretty quickly. By the third round of table switches, we could tell each other's stories. By the 5th round of switches we were desparate for water. It was a lot of talking.

The mentally exhausting and laryngitis-causing experience was worthwhile overall. It was encouraging to see the genuine interest on people's faces as I described the internship program I'm building at work. Chat 'n Brew brought a renewed interest in the advertising world that I thought I had left behind a little after college.

One of these days I'll officially join AD2ATX.

By the way, I fancied a drink while at Walton's Fancy and Staple and enjoyed a champagne with lavender syrup. It gave me the the strength to be less awkward. I think...

Apothecary Wine Bar with Striped Men

A few weeks ago the Phantastics and the Kap-Rochs met at Apothecary Cafe and Wine Bar for a catch-up session full of wine, small plates, and bubbly. It's always a great time when we get together and it usually involves cheese.

The dudes were on the same wavelength and showed up wearing black and turquoise stripes.

Ryan seemed perplexed by this and then angry. The redhead was simply terrified.


Luckily the anger and confusion subsided when this delicious cheese plate from Antonelli's Cheese Shop* arrived at our table.

*I've been trying to take one of their cheese classes for six months.

I love how they identify the type of milk with cow and goat stickers.

Dee would probably skip a meeting in the name of cheese. Actually, so would I. My Wednesday 10:00AM? Consider yourself cheesed.

Cupcake Smackdown

Due to a crazy busy day, the redhead and I stopped by Jennie (MisoHungry) Chen's Cupcake Smackdown 2011, arriving only 15 minutes before the frosting-covered event came to a close.*

*One of the reasons we got there so late was a family graduation - one strange enough to possibly warrant its own blog post someday.

We missed out on the cupcakes, but were there long enough to witness 2 firings of the cupcake cannon (including a direct crotch-shot) and take a picture in Annie Ray's photobooth.

I also managed to get the redhead to agree to let me shoot him with the cupcake cannon next year in the name of charity.

Jennie, if you're listening, please organize another Cupcake Smackdown in 2012. I really want to shoot that cannon!

See the full Cupcake Smackdown 2011 wrap-up post on MisoHungry.

Today I Love: Mrs. Johnson's Donuts (and other doughnuts)

Happy National Donut Day. Lil Phan bought a bunch of donuts from Mrs. Johnson's Bakery to share! Ever since the redhead and I took her there the other week, she's been looking for excuses to go. The promise of Rapture was a really popular one a 2 weeks ago. I'm glad it's National Donut Day as donuts make a sweet ending to a mostly bad day.

Here's an old post on Gourdough's doughnut trailer.

AND another picture from Lil Phan taken at Doughnut Plant in NYC. Unfortunately, I haven't been there in 3 years.

If you click through on that picture, you'll see it's part of the "Donut Whores" flickr pool. Really?!

So what's the verdict: what's your favorite donut, and do you call them donuts or doughnuts?

East Side King Austin Food Trailer

photo by Tina Phan

East Side King is getting to be my favorite food trailer these days. Now don't get me wrong, I still love Chilantro and have posted about it multiple times.

That said, East Side King's semi-permanent locations are conveniently close to a couple of things I also love, Austin's East side and gin and tonics. Also alluring is that each location offers different food selection.

At the Liberty, the beet fries and veggie meshi are must. I like to mix sriracha and soy sauce together and pre-dip the beet fries before quickly dunking them in the kewpie mayo. (Liberty Menu)

At The Grackle, I have to get the grilled romaine with tom yum mayo dressing and the mushroom rice. I've eaten the eggplant, which was good, but I can't seem to wean myself from the mushroom rice. (Grackle Menu)

photo by Tina Phan

The other weekend, East Side King happened to be at Book People at the food truck event coinciding with the Food Trailers book signing. Here I quickly ate the brussels sprout salad (pictured above) which was was quite good. I added some sriracha for an extra kick and looking back I think it was probably too much of a kick. Might I add, this was the quickest East Side King experience I'd ever had. Because of ESK's deliciousness, they often have a long wait for food.

I found this picture of me (in the giant hat - no not that one, the one on the left) on East Side King's Facebook after they'd added me as a friend.

"East Side King has requested to add you as a friend?" Yes, please. Does that come with a side of tom yum mayo dressing?

At this event I also heard whispers that the newest East Side King may end up at Shangri-la.

I'm lucky to have partaken in ESK a number of times. Here are pictures from multiple adventures:

Coreanos Korean Mexican Food Trailer

via kathyphantastic

Coreanos food trailer is the new go-to escape-the-office lunch spot for me and my work partner-in-crime, Meagan. Feeling royally tired (Meagan woke up at 4:00 am to watch William, Kate, and most importantly, Princess Beatrice's hat), Meagan decided we needed to go to lunch.

Located a short walk away from the office a few times each week, eating at Coreanos provides a great way to leave the windowless office for a relaxing lunch outside.

As expected, Coreanos offers a fusion of Korean and Mexican food specializing in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, fries (which are neither Korean nor Mexican), and tostadas (which they have renamed the Kingstada). I had the tofu Kingstada which had a fresh crispy tostada shell that tasted good, but was kind of small - and therefore expensive - at over $4.00. I'd say it should have been $2.75 - $3.00 Kingstada.

Meagan had one regular style taco and an el scorcho. Fearing fatty meat, she veered away from pork belly. She said both tacos were good but that they were still fatty. Something about the the texture creeps her out. I'm sure fatty meat lovers would have had a field day.