12 August 2013

Austin: Day One

I woke up nice and early to make sure that I didn't inadvertently sleep though the first day of my training. Apparently it wasn't necessary as it took all of ten minutes to get to my destination. And even though there was enough time, I decided to skip the hotel breakfast, despite the fact that it seemed packed with cereal.

There are only three other people in the training class, everyone seemed quite nice, and my instructor is of the quirky-jokey type, which is good because the material can get kinda dry. To start the day there was some complimentary marble cake, but I passed to simply enjoy my morning coffee. The last thing I needed was that much sugar, not to mention I was still digesting last night's dinner :).

Lunch was provided by a local barbecue place, though I"m not entirely sure which one. For scientific reasons, I made sure to sample all of the offerings: brisket, turkey, sausage, beans, cole slaw, and potato salad. There is a picture of it on my instructors iPhone (because I forgot my camera) that I will try and post later.

The food was okay. The standout items were the turkey, which was surprisingly moist and flavourful and the cole slaw that was made with big chunks of crisp cabbage and a mayo based dressing that wasn't too heavy. Very tasty.

After the lesson ended, one of the ladies in the class (we'll call her Kay) was nice enough to drive me back to my hotel (her's was next to mine) and upon getting back to my room, I decided to test out the hotel "fitness room" (I guess you don't qualify as a gym with only two treadmills, two ellipticals and some free weights). I ran pretty hard for 35 minutes all while watching Cake Boss on the treadmill TV. I like Cake Boss, but it was made even better watching it on a treadmill :).

Kay and I decided to grab dinner together, which was nice, because I wasn't looking forward to eating alone again. It's fine for breakfast, but there's something about dinner that feels like it should be shared. I was tasked with researching where to eat and I characteristically over did it, coming up with a list of ten places. A quick elimination process determined we would eat at Z-Tejas. Not surprisingly another Anna recommendation.

I rarely order burgers at restaurants, there are usually other things that I want to try and burgers are typically a known quantity. However, after our waiter said that their hickory burger was award winning and I read the description, I found it too hard to pass up. I ordered it medium, even though I would have preferred medium-rare. I was just so caught off guard by the question. You can't really find a place in the GTA that will cook burgers to order. Apparently food laws are crazy in that regard.

The burger was fantastic (I mean look at that thing). The meat itself didn't seem to be spiced much, tasting simply of meat, and it wasn't the most moist burger I've had, but when combined with the bacon, cheese, barbecue sauce, and a fantastically soft bun, it was pretty hard to beat. The fries were fries, not great, not bad, kinda mediocre.

Our dinner also came with cornbread, which was terrific. Super moist, a tad sweeter than I typically make my own cornbread, but not sweet enough that I didn't love it. For some reason it came with whipped butter, but I'm not sure why you would need it.

Kay ordered the Ruby Trout (I believe), which she said was good, but other than the "relish" nothing stood out about it.

Overall, it was a great meal, made better because of the company and conversation.

Day One complete.



  1. That burger looks spectacular! I rarely slather things with butter anymore, but during my more nutritionally carefree college days, cornbread slathered with butter was perfect comfort food.

    1. I definitely understand the desire to do it, but this cornbread absolutely didn't need it :).