Tag Archives: food

La Dolce Vita Food and Wine Festival

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I have never considered myself to have a legit hobby. I know people who love fishing, mountain biking, playing the guitar (the things I classify as ‘legit hobbies’) – but I have never been able to find that one thing that I consider to be my hobby.

Last week, I was asked the inevitable interview question – “Tell me about your hobbies”. Up until recently, I would have more than likely laughed it off and said “I don’t really have any.” But this time, I looked deep down inside and realized one bases their hobbies off what they love to do…and I love to EAT and workout. So, there ya go, I DO have hobbies: eating and working out. I’d say those are the two best hobbies anyone could ever ask for.

So, when I was invited to La Dolce Vita Food and Wine Festival at Laguna Gloria this past week, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to exercise one of my two new-found hobbies: EATING!

La Dolce Vita is a food and wine festival hosted every year at Laguna Gloria on Lake Austin. If you have never been to Laguna Gloria, or seen pictures, you are definitely missing out. It is an absolutely breath taking venue.

This year marks the 23rd Annual La Dolce Vita Festival, and it also marks my first La Dolce Vita experience. Because I didn’t really know what to expect, when I walked in the entrance and they handed me a wine glass and a plate (that actually attached to your wine glass), I felt like I had just walked into the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. It was pure heaven. Unlimited food and wine as far as my little eye could see.

I wish I could have gotten more photos of all the food, but I found it quite difficult to balance a glass of wine, a plate of food, AND my camera. For my first La Dolce Vita experience, I opted to experience the event, rather than focus all my attention on my photos. Next year, I will arrive early, snap photos, then enjoy.

Though I didn’t capture nearly a quarter of the sips and nibbles I partook in, here are the snapshots I did get of this great event:

The amazing men of Spicewood Vineyards. They had the BEST wine at the entire event, in my opinion.

Spicewood Vineyards hands down won the best wine award in my books. Their Sauvignon Blanc is the best white wine I have ever tasted. They were even nice enough to give me a bottle to take home. This makes for one happy Meagan!

Spicewood Vineyards wine selection.

Grilled Texas Wagyu Hanger Steak Tostada from Tacodeli.

La Dole Vita

VIP area/Cocktail Lounge

LOVE his mustache! Cocktails provided by Midnight Cowboy.

The most beautiful bowl of delicious I have ever seen.

I love yellow flowers, so naturally I had to take a picture of these beauties.

Bubbles in the VIP area.

Told ya it was a great view of Lake Austin!

VIP area – with couches and all.

Oranges at the Drink.Well tent.

La Dolce Vita lit up on the wall of Driscoll Villa.

An awesome DJ makes for an awesome way to end the night: dancing!

I had a fantastic time at La Dolce Vita Food and Wine Festival and I cannot wait until next year. Hopefully next year I’ll be more prepared!

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Garrido’s Happy Hour

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When I’m having a bad day, I usually turn to not-so-good-for-me-foods, or its close relative, margaritas. Diego usually knows how to turn my sad face into a happy one, so he suggested we meet for happy hour after he got off work. I immediately jumped on the investigation of a late-happy hour restaurant near downtown Austin that served killer margaritas. After searching numerous Yelp and Google reviews, I finally decided on Garrido’s.

On Mondays, Garrido’s Happy Hour runs from 4pm to close, and Tuesday – Friday from 3-6pm, with half price appetizers, $4 house margaritas, $2 off specialty cocktails, and $1 off wine and beer. Diego and I both ordered a house margarita with salt, and let me tell ya, Garrido’s has one nicely made margarita – not too sweet, and just the right amount of lime. I will definitely be returning for another round of these babies!

House Margarita with salt of course

Since their appetizers were half off, we decided to try a little bit of everything. We started off with the Pork Tostadas (or what they call, Bocaditos – a much more cutesy name if you ask me).

Pork Tostadas (Bocaditos)

The crispy corn chip was topped with goat cheese, a good side hunk of moist pork, pumpkin seeds, watermelon, and drizzled with a chipotle glaze. This girl LOVES me some goat cheese, so I was all up in this dish!

Pork Tostadas (Bocaditos)

In addition to the Pork Bocadito’s we ordered the Crab Meat Guacamole – Garrido’s house made guacamole topped with crab meat and pico de gallo.

Gulf Crab Guacamole

I especially liked the way they served their chips in a cone-like display. The chips were thick and crispy. I usually like thinner, crispier chips when I eat Mexican food, but these are an exception. They were dangerously addicting.

Gulf Crab Guacamole and Chips

The third dish we ordered was the Roasted Chicken Quesadillas. The quesadillas were filled with roasted chicken and topped with asadero cheese, Mexican crema, tomatillo salsa, and queso fresco.

Roasted Chicken Quesadillas

Out of the three dishes we ordered, the quesadillas were my favorite. The chicken was moist and flavorful, which paired nicely with the cheese and cream toppings. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I liked it because it was so pretty too.

Roasted Chicken Quesadillas

All in all, I really enjoyed my experience at Garrido’s. The beautiful weather that has taken over Austin made for the perfect excuse to sit on their tropical outside patio overlooking trees and the trickling creek below. I will definitely go back to Garrido’s very soon, speaking of….its FRIDAY! Everyone go out and have a margarita there TONIGHT! Live a little, right!?