Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Artisan Spirits, and Mouthgasmic Food.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Taiwanese Aboriginal Cuisine: A Taste of Crickets

The quick scan of Taiwanese history is not short or without interesting stories. From native island dwellers, the influx of mainland Chinese immigrants, and Japanese rule, Taiwan is a melting pot of cultures with a unique cuisine. My cousin took us to an aboriginal themed restaurant. There was a show of singing, dancing, and drumming to entertain us during our meal. We were lucky enough to not get pulled into the line dance so we could observe from afar. I'm not opposed to dancing, but I am a bigger fan of eating.
The dancers were starting their slow descend on unsuspecting diners in order to turn them into dancers. *It was really that bad, but I wanted to eat crickets.
Here's some hot rock shrimp. They shrimp and hot rocks were covered and steamed.
These are baby corn in the husk that have been grilled. It was all the fun of eating corn on the cob wrapped up in a tiny package.
If you're going to squeamish about crickets on my blog, you should probably try some first. Crickets are surprisingly crunchy crouton-like. They add a very lovely dimension to dishes. Think of them like mini-lobsters. 
Squid is a big thing here. Everywhere you turn around, there's squid in a dish. It is a great thing that I'm quite fond of squid. Here it is with some basil.
Whole roasted chicken. This was exceptionally tasty.
Salt crusted whole fish was on the menu, and it was fantastic. I've raved about the quality of the seafood before, and I'll do it again. When you have access to fresh seafood, you can't help but to have it as often as you can and to love it.
Bell peppers, tofu, and sauce. This is a pretty standard Asian style dish.
Another popular set up in Taiwan are personal size propane burners for soup at the table.
And pretty standard Asian barbeque and sausage served with raw garlic and onions.
And this is one of the best noodle dishes I've had. The rice and noodle dishes here didn't look that much different from dishes I've had before. The difference seems to be that the level of umami is through the roof as compared to the same dishes I've had before.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ben and Jerry's Lends a Hand in Locks of Love Donation

Summer has finally hit Austin, and it will not be merciful. Luckily for us, Ben and Jerry's tour debuting two Texas inspired flavors was in town to bring us relief from the heat. The two flavors are Bourbon Pecan Pie and Barbeque Peach. While both of them won a place in my Southern heart, I’m fairly certain that the clear winner was the Bourbon Pecan Pie.

While on the Austin leg of their Texas Tour, Dan Bookmiller and Jana Steele made friends at many iconic locations. The Draughthouse is where @MouseTheDog got to enjoy a few scoops as well.

Here's Mouse and Dan on a Summer Afternoon. I love the pairing of Mouse next to the cows as his historical function is to herd cattle.

And here's Mouse and Jana posing next to the Sprinter. Did I mention that the Sprinter is equipped with a solar panel on top? That's another thing to add to my list of "Dream Sprinter" features.

Last Austin stop at HomeAway Downtown.

As if ice cream wasn’t already a treat, the Ben and Jerry’s good deed mantra struck again on their last day in Austin. @AgentMarshall and I had been planning on donating our hair to Locks of Love for quite some time now, and the Ben and Jerry’s team lent us a hand. At their last stop in Austin, Jana of Ben and Jerry’s traded in her scoop for a pair of scissors to make the Locks of Love haircuts.
Here's Jana about t make the first snip on Marshall.

Marshall is really happy to get that hair cut off!

Good bye, Hair!

I'm next up. This is my seventh donation to Locks of Love. I have two ponytails to make it easier to cut.

I am also extremely happy to get this hair cut. Jana was a pro at cutting hair. The entire process did not take more than three minutes, and that's including the time she took to give it a some style.

And here's the final results. Two ponytails. Two freshly cut hairdo's. And three very happy people.
Thank you so much to Dan, Jana, Ben and Jerry's for bringing delicious ice cream to Austin and helping us donate to Locks of Love.

Mouse thanks you too!