The most wonderful thing about lemon vodka is that it stands alone. There are plenty of things you can combine it with but really, on it's own, it's pretty delightful. So when I received a bottle of Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka to sample, I assumed it would be good on it's own and made a "martini" out of it.
Put that bottle in the freezer and BAM - cocktail time ready. Delicious.
Deep Eddy's lemon flavor is new to the scene in 2015. An Austin original, like the D.E. flavors to come before, it celebrates the laid back Austin lifestyle and is handcrafted with care in the Deep Eddy Distillery in Austin's Hill Country. Made with real lemons from California (HEY CALI!), not a flavoring agent, Deep Eddy Lemon tastes authentic -- it's not overly sweet and you get a real taste of tart lemon the second it hits your lips. Loved that!
Ever had a bad vodka? It can be flavorless and even taste like rubbing alcohol. Even "flavored" vodkas can end up flavorless. You will absolutely not find that in a Deep Eddy vodka. The fastest growing vodka in the U.S., Deep Eddy is breathing fresh air into the vodka category while supporting local communities in the true spirit of Austin.
Furthermore, just FYI, Deep Eddy comes in a few other glorious flavors - grapefruit, cranberry, sweet tea and the good ol' regular vodka flavor, of course. (I love the lemon, but their ruby red grapefruit is a close second.)
Pick up a bottle and try this twist -- use Deep Eddy Lemon in your next bloody mary! And if reading this and scoping out their website isn't enough to get you craving Depp Eddy Lemon, I grabbed some recipes for you! Pin them and save 'em for a special occasion! (Like the next day ending in Y!)
I had one of the best milkshakes I've ever had at Pono Burger in Santa Monica. The Oatmeal Stout Milkshake is made with organic vanilla ice cream, Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout, housemade salted caramel sauce, whipped cream and toasted coconut chips. (I should note it's only for the 21-and-over crowd.) It is one of several new items added to the charming beachy restaurant's menu for Spring.
I found the biggest mind blowers from the Pono Burger menu were the beverages, actually. Oh, make no mistake, the food was great and I'll get to that, but I wanted to start with the superstars -- this milkshake as well as their homemade, DELICIOUS, strawberry lemonade and some really unique, tasty, organic cherry cola. I was really glad I let the server talk me into that cola -- I am trying to find it in a store so I can buy it for home now.
It was a hard choice - especially with some really great options added to the burger selections recently, but I settled on the Piku "Fig" Burger. It is dressed with drunken caramelized fig jam, brie, bacon, arugula and balsamic (it normally has crushed hazelnuts on it as well but due to allergies, I went without). It was a juicy, wonderful tasting sandwich with every bite. All of the flavors came together as a really savory party in my mouth, guys. Highly recommend this one. I think I even appreciated it more later on, when I had time to process it. Like when you see a movie and like it even more an hour after you see it.
My partner in crime for the day ordered the Kuawa Burger and was kind enough to save me a bite or two. The server made a great call suggesting she add avocado to it -- that was great -- and the best part was that it had potato chips on it. How could you not love that? A burger with a salty, satisfying crunch?! Amazing.
At places like this, I always find myself sad I don't have more than a +1 with me or, at least, a giant stomach and a body that never gained weight. I'm just never able to try as many items as I'd like but I guess that just means I'll have to go back for the Sassy Wahine burger (wasabi mayo and ponzu!) and more of those delicious fries. And frankly, the fries were only secondary to the homemade aioli they serve them with.
If I haven't made it clear enough, I was really impressed with the service. The management could not have been nicer and our server was sweet and informed and gave an honest opinion when we asked for it. Sometimes you're going to find servers pre-programmed with salesy shtick so I value that kind of thing. The overall aesthetic of the place is very tied into the beach being nearby as well as the Hawaiian traditions the owner draws inspiration from. "Pono," by the way, means "to do things the right way" and they certianly are. Everything about Pono burger is, at the core, honest, as well as charming, communal, familial... and really yummy.
Parking is available in an underground garage - it's free!
I hated Brussels Sprouts for 34 years but not so long ago, my friend Meghan took me to The Corner Door where I had a LIFE CHANGING experience. And now, I cannot get enough of the stigmatized, delicious veggie.
When I heard they'd brought in a new Executive Chef and Chef de Cuisine, I almost wept. But I've been assured the sprouts remain. NOBODY PANIC!
But I may knock that bowl on the floor when this gets to the table, guys. Added to the menu: French Fries “Carbonade,”crispy spuds topped with beer-braised beef, farmhouse cheese and a roasted garlic aioli made of garlic, Dijon, egg yolks, malt vinegar, and garlic oil.
Yeah. That's happening.
In fact, the new menu is broken down into three categories: Snacks, Plates and Sweets. The idea being that there is something for everyone and to encourage guests to try multiple items, since this menu will be changing seasonally.
The snacks section includes dishes like Hamachi Tartare with lime, papaya and Serrano pepper; Spicy Fried Chicken with “murg” sauce, cucumber and cilantro yogurt; Avocado Toast with burrata (there is no better cheese, IMO), radish, arugula, olive oil and sea salt. You might catch some foie gras on the list as well, now that it's back en vogue.
The Plates section offers heartier portions that can serve as an entrée for one (FOR SHAME!) or choose several for a family-style meal (FOR THE WIN!). The Fish and Chipsmay be the house favorite, but let me tell you, my biggest problem right now is deciding if I have it in me to share the Lobster and Shrimp Bolognese and the Potato Gnocchi. I'll probably share, but just so people won't judge me.
"AJ, stoppit. We wanna hear about dessert."
You guys are sooooooooo bossy. Fine.
They have kept their sweets short and to the point. A delicious point. On the Sweets list you will find British staple Sticky Toffee Pudding glazed with toffee caramel sauce served with vanilla ice cream as well as Buttermilk Strawberry Panna Cotta with shortbread and meringues. I'm at peace with just two choices. At two choices, I look like someone respectable who just wants to try a couple things. If it were three or four items, y'all would have to roll me out to the car afterward.
I look forward to paying a visit soon and reporting back to you!
The Corner Door is open Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 pm to 12:00 am, and from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am on Friday and Saturday.
Happy Hour is offered every day from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and late night happy hour is also available every night.