Lunch with Brian

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Enoteca, March 15, 2010

Our choice of lunch destination was influenced by our friend, Jennifer. She jokingly asked us to bring her some Tiramisu, but the joke was on her because that's exactly what we set out to do.

Enoteca's dessert selection is so good that the last time we lunched with Jennifer there, Jennifer and I got dessert first.

We were a little worried we'd run into the South by Southwest crowd, but found that our 10 to 11:00 lunch schedule helped us beat the crowds.

For an appetizer, we ordered the Patate Fritte, or in bubba-speak: french fries. After a short discussion, Brian and I declared them the best french fries in Austin. They're coated in grana padano (some kind of cheese, I think) and parsley (which I keep accidentally calling paisley and might continue to purposefully call it paisley because paisley is cool). The fries are served in a cone shaped, metal basket with lemon aioli on the side.

Brian ordered one of the daily specials, a pressed panini sandwich with some froo froo ham and carmelized onions on pain au lait (bread made with milk instead of water). Brain liked it. I sampled it and loved the texture of the bread.

I ordered the Maiale Saltimbocca, but instead of calling it that, I read part of the description, "pork scaloppine," because I didn't know how to say the title. I find reading the menu at Enoteca difficult because there are so many words I've never seen before -- literary speed bumps, so to speak.

The pork scaloppine came with sauteed spinach and the entire meal exceeded my expectations. I found myself wanting to lick the plate after I finished the food. Brian suggested I scoop up the lemon butter with one of the few leftover french fries instead, and that worked out well and saved Brian the embarrassment of sitting with plate-licking lunch patron.

At one point, Brian headed off to the restroom where he found wine bottles embedded in the walls. While he was gone, I overheard this statement by a woman who had just entered and hugged her friend: "You smell clean. It's intimidating. In a good way."

I quoted the woman to Brian when he got back, and neither of us could wrap our heads around her statement.

After the meal, Brian ordered a couple of vanilla cookie sandwiches with an Italian cream center which he called Caucasian Oreos. I ordered Jennifer's Tiramisu and a cream cheese brownie for myself.

It's hard to get out of Enoteca for under $20, so we don't go very often, but we've never been disappointed.

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