February 21, 2012

Texican, Not A Texican't

When I visit Austin, TX I most look forward to exploring the secret foodie dives my parents have discovered over the years. This weekend was no different. I arrived in Austin Saturday morning with a raging appetite and major pre-race jitters. My heart was pounding and my mouth was shooting off a mile a minute. My parents knew just what to do: stuff me silly with barbeque at Vic’s. 

This place is the definition of “dive”. Vic’s Bar-B-Que resides close to the highway in a strip mall next to a laundry mat, and is set up cafeteria style with large vats of Texas Q. I have spent the last six weeks of my life devoted to vegetarian and vegan dishes in order to grow my palate, but with the half marathon less than 24 hours away I wanted meat. This place did not let me down. The brisket was tender, the ribs had a perfect smoke ring, and the Elgin sausage was evil good. Heed my advice and steer clear of the chicken. It is a little dry and just not worth it. Also, please do not enter this joint if you are dressed to the nines and expecting a raucous good time. This place is good for one thing: curbing your craving for great Texas Bar-B-Que. Ambiance smambiance. I was too busy sopping up the super sweet sauce and brisket to take pictures, but I did snap a picture of the colossal shrine to “The Duke” John Wayne. You know you are in Texas when… 

Shrine for "The Duke" at Vic's Bar-B-Que, Austin TX

That evening I made White Hot Buffalo Bean Dip. Seriously, folks. You have to try this dip. The white beans and avocado make it super creamy while the hot sauce gives it a major kick. The buildup of flavors is like no other and it is easy, fast and different. You can’t beat it. 

White Hot Buffalo Bean Dip
Time in Kitchen: 10 minutes
Servings: 15 (4 tablespoons per serving)
Nutrition information per serving: 122 calories, 13 carbs, 6 grams fat, 4 grams protein

2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup Ken’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
1 ripe Haas avocado
2 small cloves of garlic, grated
4 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Smoked paprika, garnish

Blend all of the ingredients together until silky smooth. Salt to taste. You might also prefer more buffalo wing sauce. If so, add less olive oil in order to get the desired consistency. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with smoked paprika and a drizzle of wing sauce.
Pairs perfectly with baked pita chips, tortilla chips or thin pretzels

And then I ran...a lot.  

The morning of the Livestrong Marathon I was besieged with pre-race jitters and adrenaline. Unlike the three half marathons I have run before I was not exactly prepared for this one. Nursing an injured foot and focusing on strength training have been a top priority. Nonetheless, I was extremely pleased with my performance. I am not going to win any land speed records. I am slow, modest in my abilities, and simply love running. I finished the race slightly delirious but completely happy that I was strong enough to do it. I am a Texican… not a Texican’t.  

Last Mile of the Livestrong Half Marathon...up hill

It also helped to know I was in the land of perfected southwestern food. The dream of noshing on crunchy fish tacos, chips and margaritas was a great motivation. 

During my last few hours in town we headed to one of my favorite spots on SoCo, Magnolia CafĂ©, for some remarkable pancakes. They have plenty of choices for the gluten and dairy free like over sized omelets (sans cheese) and hash. This place attracts drunken frat boys, hipsters and celebrity chefs alike so expect it to be packed. Luckily, it was Monday at 1:30 pm so we were able to snag a table without a long wait although we would have waited with patient and eager smiles. The service was impeccable and relaxed. My family ordered the Magnolia staples: gingerbread, wheat, and pecan pancakes with a side of syrup. The colossal cakes were steaming hot, fluffy and perfectly spiced with ginger. 

It was a flawlessly sweet ending to a wonderful weekend. I contentedly limped on to the airplane back to Baltimore with a full stomach and a happy heart.


  1. Looks delish, love that spicy hot sauce. I could eat the whole bowl.

  2. Way to go, TexiCAN!!!! So proud for you. And crazy jealous of that BBQ. :)

    Pinned this dip to try - you know I love anything that will make my nose run!

  3. Oh, congratulations! That's quite an accomplishment! You wanna hear something funny? My step-mother has a shrine to the duke very much like that one in her little office cubby....she loves The Duke!

    The dip looks terrific - I've gotta try that!

    1. Thank you! That shrine to the Duke was something to behold. It made the BBQ that much better. Who doesn't love the Duke :) The dip is such a keeper.

  4. Oh dear running uphill, that too the last mile seems tough, very! The dip looks awesome...must have gone a treat with the chips :-) The shrine is so old world-ish...

  5. Congratulations on finishing your half marathon! There is one here in Anchorage too where the last half mile is straight up an enormous hill (one of the few in town). The bean dip looks awesome--my kind of snack food.

  6. How simple! White Kidney beans, garlic, avocado, hot sauce and enough olive oil to allow it to blend. Don't tell friends about the avocado, they'll never guess. Beautiful color and we supposed the vinegar of the hot sauce prevented the blended up avocado from browning. The next morning I made omelet burritos with La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat tortillas http://latortillafactory.com/product-5-overview.aspx To keep it on the healthy side we skipped adding any cheese or bacon and just smeared a generous amount of this leftover dip inside. What a surprise! Eggs, blackened red bell pepper, onion and jalapeno wrapped inside a whole wheat burrito could have been dry and a little plain, but with some White Hot Buffalo Bean Dip it was moist, spicy, and full of good-for-you stuff!

  7. Man, that last mile was evil to be uphill! Congrats on making it through, you really are a Texican! :P That bean dip sounds amazing! Sounds like something I would even slather on in sandwiches :D

    1. Thank you! The bean dip is really really really good (not to toot my own horn). It's actually great on sandwiches. We used it on a vegetable egg wrap the next day for breakfast. Perfect!

  8. Congratulations! Uphill is quite an accomplishment I say! :)


Thanks so much for leaving a comment!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...