January Girls Dinner – Recap

20140123-112436.jpgLast night we had our very first monthly Girls’ Dinner of 2014.  It’s my goal to make it to every single one of these this year, as I barely even made it to one in 2013. Pathetic and unacceptable.  It’s SO important to spend quality time with the positive and motivating women in your life, and these ladies are just that.

Bufalina was the pick of the month. I’m no food blogger but I of course am open to giving my opinion.  Obviously the first thing someone’s going to ask about a new-ish restaurant is “Was it good?”

YES.  SO good. I was torn between the Margherita pizza and the Brussels Sprouts pizza, so naturally I asked if I could just add brussels sprouts to the magherita pizza.   Yes – for $3.  Meh… ok fine.  The pizza was absolutely delish, but not gonna lie I expected more than 3 brus-sprouts to be added.  I guess the deal was 3 sprouts for $3….?  Regardless, I’m drooling thinking about it again so, definitely worth it.

Pizza with wine has been one of my absolute favs for a very long time.   I was happy with the wine selection with prices starting at $7 for a glass, and $28 for a bottle. Not bad at all.  A few of us started with a glass of the Domaine de la Patience Chardonnay, then eventually split bottles of the Perrini Negroamaro – both delicious.  I don’t think any of us planned on starting the splitting-of-the-bottles before we even got to the table, but with a wait of over an hour and a half to be seated, one glass wasn’t going to cut it.  Bufalina has a very cozy and simple feel to it.  Definitely a great date night spot, but I wouldn’t suggest going with a group as large as ours.  Luckily there was a heater outside and we didn’t mind chatting and catching up, but by the time we sat we were definitely all starving.  But again, I’d say between the mouth watering pizza, the delicious wine, the company of some lovely ladies, and the vibe of the place, it was worth the wait.   I was also super excited about how the check was presented to us – instead of the normal, sticky check holders, they had these real cool, vintage-like books that they inserted our check into.  LOVED that – props to whoever thought of that.

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Anonymous quotes during our random, yet important, conversations…

– “I loooooove pepperoni!!”

– “Do I just search ‘afro’?!”

– “This is excessive.”

– “My best friend’s mom is a raging alcoholic…”

– “Can I have one of those Mexican Coca-Cola’s” … “That’s racist.” … “NO IT’S NOT!!??!!”

– “… and the fog lights were hanging off…”  …. “Why were they hanging?!” … “Apparently I hit something.”

Lesson learned during January’s Girls’ Dinner – bring cash next time.  We’re no good at math after the wine’s been a-flowin.

Should I do a rating of sorts?  I’m struggling here because, being from NY, I’m what one might call a “pizza brat”.  So, while it wasn’t the best pizza I’ve ever had, it was freaking good.  I’d say one of the best pizzas I’ve tasted in Austin.  The wine was de-li-cious.  But I love all wine so, I’m easily impressed.  The wait – anything over an hour is a little much – I feel like organization is a factor there.  Just stop seating at the large table… no?   Cozy atmosphere – while I wasn’t in “cozy” attire (I didn’t actually know where we were going… but always better to over dress in my opinion…) I thoroughly enjoyed the laid-back-coolness inside.

I don’t technically know what type of “rating” that’d be, per say, but I would in fact go back.  With a table of 4, tops.  And I’d eat an entire pizza again.  And then I’d have to go run the next day… dammit.

A Birthday Surprise on the Lone Star Riverboat

Last week I got the chance to surprise one of my favorite Austin ladies with a private boat ride on the Lone Star Riverboat.  Adrianne had been wanting to do this for a while now, and I still hadn’t been.  So when the opportunity presented itself I knew I had to take advantage.  I picked her up and blindfolded her once we got downtown… payback for my birthday surprise 6 months ago.  Getting her from the car to the boat was an event in itself, not only because she took approximately 47 minutes to walk 30 feet, but also because there was another boat full of passengers that we had to pass to get to ours.  Pretty sure they thought we were more than best friends… it’s fine.  We were their entertainment for a solid 4 minutes while Adrianne crossed onto the dock.  Small price to pay for a birthday surprise.

Captain Dave was awesome – not only did he help me plan the private boat ride, but he also set up a romantical table for us, complete with wine and relaxing music.  Once we were settled and enjoying our fruit, cheese, and bubbly, we realized that our setup looked like a date night pulled straight from The Bachelor.  Totally ok with it.

As we toured Lady Bird Lake I was once again in awe with the beautiful sunset here in Austin.  I’ve never seen such amazing skies before; it’ll never get old.  Captain Dave provided us with a lot of incredibly useful information throughout the tour.  For instance, I learned that mother bats can postpone the gestation process.  Obviously I’ll be using this information at the bars this weekend.  But seriously, that’s actually pretty crazy that they can do that.  Also interesting is the fact that baby bats are born at about 1/4 of the weight of the mom bat….. who knew?!

Seeing the famous Austin bats is something that I’ve kind of wanted to do since moving here, just to see what all the hype is about… but I can’t say that it was on the top of my list.  Bats are ugly.  If it were bunnies popping out of that bridge, I feel like that’s something I would have experienced as soon as I moved here.  (Also, that’d mean Austin had flying bunnies.. so yeah, obviously I’m going to go see THAT.)  But I have to say, given the knowledge from Captain Dave, the scenery, and being with one of my favorite people, I absolutely LOVED it and would 100% go again.  Not only did we get up close and personal with those furry fellas, but we also got to experience the massive art installation, THIRST, as well as some of the random Austin artwork that we all love… including one of my favorites – “Never Give Up”.

Another piece of knowledge that we gained was that the Lone Star Riverboat is the longest running boat operation in the Austin area, and that they actually give back a portion of their sales to the City of Austin Parks Department.  I’m pretty sure any Austinite would be into that!  I’m also pretty sure that this won’t be the last time we drink wine on one of these boats… we’ll need somewhere to celebrate the end of yet another fabulous Austin summer…  🙂