Hillside Farmacy, Austin

After a hot, sunny, Texas-summer-time bike ride on b-cycles, we gave up our quest for the BBQ joint we planned on visiting and ducked into the nearest restaurant we saw: Hillside Farmacy.

Hillside Farmacy

The Hillside Farmacy is a New American restaurant and specialty grocer housed in the old Hillside Drugstore building, and has been beautifully restored using the original pharmacy cabinetry. Walking inside feels like taking a step back in time, and can taste like that, too. The beverage menu features homemade fountain sodas, such as a traditional Brooklyn Egg Cream as well as punch, which you can order by the glass (1 cup) or bowl (20 cups). We opted for a couple glasses of this refreshing concoction of gin, bubbles, hibiscus syrup, and grapefruit juice.

Hillside Farmacy Punch

A salad and sandwich sounded perfect to me, so I went for “the beets” with fennel, chévre vinaigrette, red onion, arugula, and radish.

the beets

Familiar flavors I’ve had many times, yet always one of my favorites. For my sandwich, I tries something a little more unique- the “Thank You.”

Thank You Sandwich

Roasted chicken, mozzarella, strawberry jam, sprouts, and aioli. I have one word: YUM.

Hillside Farmacy works with a number of local Austin farms, and sells a nice selection of hand crafted food items such as hot sauces, jams, and Texas rice. This sophisticated yet unpretentious eatery was a pleasant surprise.

Passporting in Boulder with The Passport Program

We’ve been passporting all summer enjoying two for one beverages at 42 of Boulder’s best restaurants, bars, distilleries, breweries, and wineries. Well, we haven’t made it to all 42 yet, but we’ve collected a number of stamps so far. A $20 booklet is Boulder’s field guide to fun.

Cheers! If you haven’t picked up your Passport yet, head to Cured or to The Passport Program to order one online.

Maple Masala Pecan and Szechwan Peppercorn Crusted Tofu

The first thing Sean said upon tasting the Cosmic Maple Masala Pecans by Olomomo Nut Company was that they’d make a great crust to something. Indeed they did with the addition of Szechwan Peppercorns from Savory Spice Shop.

Cosmic Maple Masala Pecans and Szechwan Peppercorn Crust

He ground them in our mortar and pestle, and then crusted some extra firm tofu that had been (of course) frozen, thawed, and pressed. The tofu pieces were crusted and pan fried in peanut oil until oh-so-gorgeously golden brown.

Crusted Tofu

These were a perfect accompaniment to sautéed greens and brown rice. Nothing fancy, but a somewhat effortless great meal thanks to the maple masala crust.

Mango Chipotle Zinger Guacamole

Guacamole has so many variations, almost all of which are fantastic. One combo I’d not yet tried is adding nuts. As I had a drawer full of Olomomo nuts, one of which was their Mango Chipotle Zinger Almonds, a bowl full of ripe mangos, and a few avocados, it seemed like the planets had aligned for my next recipe featuring Olomomo nuts.

Mango Chipotle Zinger

Olomomo’s Mango Chipotle Zinger Almonds not only add just the right amount of crunch, the flavor profile is perfect for this guacamole.

Mango Chipotle Zinger Almonds

It’s just some ripe avocado, cubes of champagne mango, garlic, salt, lemon juice, aleppo pepper, and coarsely chopped almonds. I’d say add as much or little as you like. You know how to make a good guac… You don’t need me to tell you.

Mango Chipotle Zinger Guacamole

 

Applewood Smoked Cashew Stir Fry

I’ve been a fan of Boulder-based Olomomo nuts for a number of years now, but the chef in the house hadn’t heard of them until a box of goodies showed up at our door from Olomomo a few weeks ago. I dropped everything I was doing and started opening up bag after bag and alternated between eating a few and shoving them at him saying “try THIS one.” Chai Bliss Almonds, Righteous Cinnamon Cayenne Almonds, Mango Chipotle Zinger Almonds, Cherry Vanilla Almonds… I had a really hard time showing restraint from stuffing my face with almonds.

But, they’ve branched out and are no longer faithful to just the almond: There’s Cosmic Maple Masala Pecans and Applewood Smoked Cashews. The cashews were the first to go, and I’m considering making them a staple in the house because they’re the perfect addition to stir fries.

I don’t have a step-by-step recipe here, as it was a really simple and quickly prepared dish, but I’ll tell you the basics and highlight the Applewood Smoked Cashews as the ingredient that tied it all together.

Stir Fry with Applewood Smoked Cashews

I fried some onion, garlic, and eggplant in peanut oil and soy sauce while boiling rice noodles. The noodles were done at the same time as the veggies, so I added them to the wok with some more soy sauce, a couple tablespoons of liquid tamarind, the juice of a lemon, and a bit of kecap manis. After it was all well mixed, I served it topped with avocado, chopped parsley, and Olomomo Applewood Smoked Cashews.

The cashews provided the needed crunch, and their flavor was a perfect match for stir fries. We’ll be doing it again- different veggies, different noodles, different sauce, and it won’t matter. Olomomo’s Applewood Smoked Cashews are the secret ingredient to a perfect stir fry.

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