Queing Up in Central Texas Part 2

Holly Mackerel! What a Summer it has been for those at the House of Been. With grand dreams of launching this blog and starting a new catering company (Traveling Bistro) all has gone well. We might not have been able to blog quite as much as we would have liked but all in all we’re satisfied with these new beginnings. Thanks to all that have supported our new endeavors. Now on to the BBQ!

Kreuz Market, Smitty’s and Black’s Lockart, Tx

Part two of this report takes us to Lockhart, Texas. Considered by many a mecca for Texas Barbeque. I agree with that assessment. A relatively small Texas town supporting at least four (that I can think of) Barbeque establishments is quite a feet. Here is the low down on three of them. Mind you I don’t intend to rank these one over the other. In fact I think they all have something to offer. Kreuz Market, Smitty’s and Black’s, were all visited on this trip to Lockhart.

Read More

Read part 1


Fan Mail Question From HOB friend Laurie R-K.

My question to the House of Been is where do you go in Austin for a nice dinner at a GOOD restaurant, not a sh!%ty chain or a mediocre kitschy place where they will trade on hip waitresses and tricky wines named for cute reptiles… But a place with intelligent helpful staff, where you can get a nice glass of wine and an interesting fresh meal in a comfortable atmosphere?

If I had to compiled a list of examples they would be

Vespaio Enoteca
Chez Nous
Mandolas (for the food BUT it is WAY too crowded to just go have a nice dinner in quiet)
Mars (but a lil $$)

BUT I want MORE!!!

This is my question for the House of BEEN! Can you please help me? L

P.S. no  thai, vietnamese texmex or BBQ please… Got that covered!

Great Question L!

Some of our favorites would be:

Real. Italian. Food. We’ve enjoyed hand made pastas and delicious lamb and perfect polenta here. The atmosphere is elegant and the staff was knowledgeable, friendly and very professional. A great experience. The bar while small is a great place to have a drink before your meal. We’ve also seen couples split a pizza and couple glasses of wine at the bar too. We’re going to do that soon!

Mikado Ryotei
While the overall Sushi experience might be a little better at Musashino, Mikado has the atmosphere. Moderen and slick with lower, dare I say, romantic lighting. The staff is attentive and always has great suggestions. Sushi not your thing? No problem. While the Sushi is creative and delicious they also specialize if wonderful grilled items. The Oak Grilled Prawns are fantastic!

Vin Bistro (soon to be VIN Midtown Restaurant & Lounge)

The dishes we’ve had here, very good and the deals on and selection of wine also very good. Beth loved the Southern Fried Chicken with a gourmet spin and the Lamb Shank in Jus was near perfect. All menu items are pared with a suggested wine or the very knowable server can offer a suggestion too.  Wednesdays offered 1/2 price wine by the glass. Atmosphere was a little lacking. However, that looks like it could change. Vin is currently being remodeled and re-imagined. Let’s hope it is for the better.


House of Been

Ultimate Coffe Preperation…… for Coffe Nerds

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I don’t get to enjoy espresso enough. I should do something about that. From Boing Boing TV we learn about espresso and coffee making from U.S. Barista Champ,  Kyle Glanville of Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea.

Cooking Young Bamboo Shoots with Joi Ito

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Over on Boing Boing I found an interesting post of Joi Ito collecting and cooking Bamboo Shoots.

RECIPE: TAKENOKO (Young Bamboo Shoots)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –How to slice:

Cut tip of takenoko at an angle. Cut vertical to down middle to front.

“Akunuki” process to remove bitter taste:

In a large boiling pot add:
* Dried Chili X 3
* Rice “Nuka” husks 2 handfuls

Cold water 2 liters

Add takenoko with the cuts and husks. Full heat from water for approximately 20-40 min (until you can stick a chopstick into the takenoko). Lower heat as it comes to a boil. After completed, cut heat and leave over night.The next day, remove husks and cut to smaller pieces and boil for 10 min.

Making “Wakatakeni”:

Make 2 cups stock from “Kobu” (seaweed) and “Katsuo” (Bonito flakes). Add Thin Soy Sauce – 3 table spoon, Sugar – table spoon, Sake – 2 table spoon. Add takenoko and boil for 8 min. Add “Wakame” (seaweed) and boil for additional 2 min.

Top with “Kinome” (Japanese herb) and eat as it is OR

Make Takenoko rice:

Make stewed Takenoko above but use “Oage” (dried tofu) instead of “Wakame”. Take the sauce from Wakatakeni” and add as flavor to rice in a rice cooker and prepare rice normally. After rice is done, add the stewed takenoko and oage and mix. Enjoy.

Note: “cups” are Japanese size cups which are 200ml or 200cc.