Water and Fire

Our grocery store ran a special on USDA Prime New York Strip steaks.  Never one to miss out on a deal, I bought four.  And for no other reason than “why not?” I picked up a grass-fed New York Strip to compare.  With five steaks and some new toys to play with, we invited some friends over for dinner and got cooking.  But seriously, just look at these steaks!

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40 North

I knew the location as “the place where La Barbecue used to be.”  But now it’ll be known as “the 40 North lot” because this is serious pizza.  I took advantage of a gorgeous 70 degree January day to check out what wood-fired goodness 40°N, a brand new pizza food trailer, was slinging.  I pulled up to the lot to find it nearly completely empty.

40 North Sign

The space is shared with Regal Ravioli and one table was filled with friends of 40 North.  I took my time reading the whole menu and everything sounded great — which was an issue for my indecision-prone self — before I finally settled on the “Kale” pizza and took a seat.

40 North Trailer

Clint, the pizzaiolo / owner, brought out housemade pork sausage (from Richardson Farms), fresh mozzarella, Calabrian chiles, garlic, and Parmigiano Reggiano-topped pizza.  A beauty to behold, though at first I was disappointed that I misunderstood that there was no red sauce on it.  Nothing wrong with white pizzas; I was just in the mood for sauce.

40 North Kale Pizza overhead

I forgot all about that red sauce with my first bite.  It’s garlicky and cheesy and kaley.  The Calabrian chiles and pork sausage spiced it up.  The crust was a perfect balance of soft and chewy.

40 North Kale Pizza side

This picture really tells the whole story.

40 North Kale Pizza gone

And a big thank you to Clint for offering me a vanilla panna cotta with raspberry sauce on the house.  After devouring the entire pizza, I made quick work of the super creamy, tart dessert.  I never would’ve ordered it (both from a “quantity of food” perspective as well as “not that into panna cotta” perspective), but it was wholly delicious!  I’d definitely recommend, especially if you’re not sadly bravely dining alone, to get at least one to share.

40 North Panna Cotta

If you’re in the mood for pizza and the weather’s nice, I would absolutely implore you to check out 40 North.  If the weather isn’t so great, you can call ahead and just pick it up.  Great pizza from nice people who know what they’re doing, so make it a priority to check them out soon!

Coffee Break: Sightglass Finca Zulema Reserva

Before abandoning me leaving Austin for a dream job, my good friend Jeff picked up a bag of coffee for me while in San Francisco.  Sightglass Coffee is a small family-run operation with two coffee shops and a spot at the farmers market.  Reading about them reminds me of Cuvee Coffee, both maintaining close relationships with the coffee farmers with whom they do business.

This particular coffee, Finca Zulema Reserva, tasted pretty true to its included “Taste Notes”.  I thought it was really well-balanced and maybe a little less bright than the bag would suggest.  Admittedly, and this should probably be said in all my Coffee Break posts, these have been brewed primarily in my cold-brew Bruer setup (as seen in the pictures), which undoubtedly will affect what flavors are highlighted.  But compared to previous beans, I’d say this Sightglass bag impressed me.

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Impromptu Iron Lunch

A few days ago the idea of barbecue for lunch came up but was ultimately discarded for something else that I can’t even remember.  But that idea of barbecue stuck with me, lurking in my subconscious, gnawing at the very essence of my decision-making being — until this day! — when it punched through and exclaimed “Mike, you want barbecue right now!”  If this all seems a little dramatic, welcome to my life when it comes to deciding what to have for lunch.

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Happy New Year, 2015!

Happy 2015 to you, too!  2014 had some big shoes to fill after everything that happened in 2013, and I’d say it far surpassed expectations.  Obviously and without question, the arrival of Wesley singlehandedly outdid the entire previous year.  On top of that I started a new job at an incredible company.  To celebrate the end of a fantastic year, I revisited Goldbely to order something special for Ev and me (sorry Wes).

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Happy Anniversary To Us!

In the blink of an eye, Ev and I have been married 4 years, and I can honestly say each day is better than the last.  And while the past 6 months have certainly been a little different with Wes’ arrival, they are still each getting better and better, perhaps even more so.  But that means we’ve had to change up how we celebrate special occasions, just like for our recent birthdays.  So for our 4th anniversary we decided rather than going out to a fancy, expensive dinner, we’d make a fancy, expensive dinner.

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