New life, new blog! Now that we are all settled in our house I have a little more time to do something I really enjoy – writing about the things I love. So I figured I’d re-launch Ali Loves with a whole new look and feel to do just that.
And here we are. First topic – food. Y’all know how I LUZ mah food.
We’ve been in New Braunfels now for a little over 2 months. And while we were building, we’d puttered around town and ate at lots of restaurants and really tried to get a feel for our new little city.
New Braunfels is mostly a local tourist town known for 3 things: Schlitterbahn Water Park, tubing down the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers and it’s close proximity to Gruene – home of Gruene Hall , the oldest bar in Texas. It’s a little town that folks from San Antonio, Austin, Houston and every place in between flock to during the summers for outdoor fun, antiquing and nights filled with live Texas country music.
It isn’t, however, known for it’s foodie scene. I mean, it’s got great, classic restaurants that everyone visits, but it’s not a foodie haven. Which is a slight bummer for me because food is mah JAM. It excites me more than almost any other thing in life. But, I can always hit up San Antonio and Austin pretty easily if I’m looking for “Ali” type of dining.
What is “Ali” dining? Great food with a unique perspective on their dishes. I like to see a chef’s personality come out in the food. It doesn’t need to be fancy or over done – maybe just a unique pairing of flavors or a simple twist on a classic dish that gives it a wow factor. And the atmosphere is cool and hip, yet simple, comfortable and slightly eclectic.
Luckily for me, I found just a place tucked away on a side street right outside of the New Braunfels downtown area called 188 South. We’d heard about it a while back when we’d visited their sister restaurant, Blue Moose Pizza, a cool little place in it’s own right that keeps its pizza traditional, but offers gourmet toppings and a slightly more upscale vibe than your average pizza place.
Tonight was the first night we’d visited 188 South and it just screamed ALI from the moment we stepped in. Brick walls, funky cage light fixtures, a bar with blue string-light tree and a promise of made from scratch Italian-inspired food with local Texas influences. Loved the atmosphere so much. It reminded me of a reclaimed warehouse turned into a restaurant. I just hoped the food was as good as the decor.
And I wasn’t disappointed. We started with a baked goat cheese appetizer and their version of bruschetta. While the goat cheese was delicious, served in a baking dish and mixed with bread crumbs and other cheeses, the bruschetta was probably my favorite thing I ate tonight. Slightly toasted bread topped with tomatoes, creamy whipped goat cheese, pesto and a garlic aioli. So flavorful and bright with a cool, creamy finish from the goat cheese.
Main dishes we ate included braised shrimp with spinach fettuccine, roasted tomatoes, arugula, salami and locatelli cheese, meat ball linguini and honey chile seared pork with garlic mashers and fresh veggies. All amazing. No complaints from anyone – just lots of OMGs and THIS IS SO GOODs.
Definitely going back. They have desserts I need to try, including a bread pudding-like tiramisu made with chocolate chip cookies instead of spongecake and a lemon cake. And I’m bringing all my friends who come to visit!