I’m not sure how it is in your life, but sometimes the women in mine cause me no end of grief. Fortunately, this state of affairs seldom lasts
longer than the time left until the heat death of the universe more than a short while. Truth is, I know when I’ve got it good, and I’m learning to show my appreciation, occasionally and without a thousand blatant hints.
I even remembered that Sunday was our wedding anniversary
without having to be attacked with a triple powered cattle prod all on my own. And wonder of wonders, I remembered a whole two days early! Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with any good gift ideas in that short a time frame. My brain was fried; I’d just finished a hard semester at the University, I was doped to the gills with morphine analogs recovering from oral surgery, and I hadn’t gotten all the Christmas gifts picked out. In short, I was way behind the curve. What to do, what to do!
Then I remembered that PJ and I used to have a special tradition. We’d pick out some high-falutin’ brunch place and go there on our anniversary, and we’d get
all smarmy lovey dovey to know each other all over again. Then I’d give her some trinket to celebrate. So maybe if I found a swanky enough buffet, she’d forget completely about the gift thingie?
It was worth a try
given I was otherwise completely out of options. So I started researching…
looking at a couple of Google searches massive expenditures of time on the Interwebz, I finally found a suitable target: Moonshine Restaurant, Patio Bar & Grill. I even managed to keep it a secret until we were only a few blocks away. (Normally Paula Jo won’t get into the car without knowing where we’re going; she’s not nearly the submissive spouse that the priest promised me she would be, just 23 years ago.)
The weather was dry, cool and brisk, so rather than challenge the conga line at the valet parking we chose to walk a few blocks and build an appetite. (Yeah, that’s it! Appetite!) I wanted to get there as they opened, but I had bad data from an older review and they were already rockin’ and rollin’ when we arrived. No tables available, a small crowd waiting outside; we got one of those high-tech blinkerbuzzerthingies and went to the bar. Ostensibly to get coffee and chocolate, but really to get out of that breeze. (It was just sharp enough that when it got up under your tailfeathers it hurt. It was my anniversary, I didn’t feel like freezing.)
The coffee was fresh-brewed, the hot chocolate was creamy (according to the clan’s second-best expert on the subject, after daughterperson), and the food smells were driving us nuts. I mean, just take a gander at their menu! Wafting out of one hall were the delicious aromas of migas, scrambled eggs and omelettes, King Rach Casserole, sausages and roasted potatoes and corned beef hash. (My favorite! All of them.) That was just one room.
There was a line featuring Green Chile Cheese Grits, chicken and steak tenders, hash brown casserole and roast ham. With an ample supply of hand-cut buttermilk biscuits and cream gravy that tasted wonderfully of chipotle chiles. (And you thought I wouldn’t find any chile stuff! Silly you.)
Maybe you like pastries? Well, Moonshine’s got’em! In spades. Actually, in pots and the like. For instance, the Cinnamon Pinwheels (with Amaretto Glaze): They brought them out while I was
extreme power grazing perusing the options. About eight dozen at once, they carried in! The buns were in a great ol’ chuckwagon pot. This pot must have been at least a century and a half old. It was elliptical in shape, deep and rounded, with a monster handle. Clearly intended to be used in a cookout. And it was clear it had been used as intended.
But enough about pots. Let’s talk pastries! Muffins of all types were arranged on trays. Some large turnovers were hiding in the back corner. (Not hiding well enough; I managed to spear a selection.) Banana nut bread and similar sweets were on the other corner of the table. They also had some bread poudding that PJ claims wasn’t to die for, unless you believe in reincarnation so you could do it again. And again. Moonshine also serves a coffee cake that’s reputed to be the best in town, and for sure they have waffles, pancakes and French Toast for putting syrup over.
Since this is Sunday Brunch, and there’s always a night-before the morning-after, Moonshine offers cocktails to help you recover. (Not that I’d ever need that. Not me.) I tried out their Bloody Mary, and it was nicely spicy and dark with Worcestershire. Naturally, they also offer Mimosas and the like. If you really need something, shall we say, more substantial, they offer Harvest Moon Tea (a Long Island Tea variation featuring cranberry juice), martinis and margaritas, hard lemonade and, of course, moonshine. Real, authentic moonshine. (It’s legal now, you know.) This one’s spiked with peach flavor so it won’t exactly set your hair on fire.
We sampled and ate, grazed and chatted. In short, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in a sedate, celebratory way. We did agree, this place is one of the best brunch options in Austin. (I’d say THE best, but I don’t want them getting a swelled head; their Stetson might not fit.) While we were looking around, PJ noticed that Moonshine was voted “Best Place to Take Your Parents.” Keep that in mind. (Nothing was said about bringing the kids.) Eventually we had our fill, and maybe somebody else’s too. So we slowly stood up (you don’t just jump up from a feast like that!) and
rolled strolled out the entry.
All of a sudden it didn’t seem like such a good idea that we’d parked two blocks away. And not a cab in sight…
Moonshine Restaurant, Patio Bar & Grill, 303 Red River (east side of the Convention Center, on the corner of 3rd and Red River), Austin, TX 78701. Phone 512-236-9599. Open Monday-Thursday, 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM; Friday and Saturday, 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM; Sunday 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM (Brunch!) and 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Reservations taken Mon-Thurs (online at moonshinegrill.com). Valet parking available.
Enjoy the (Texas Southern Brunch) Heat!
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