Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Austin: CIA bummer, Guero's and La Condesa

The next installment of my Austin adventure continued with my day trip to CIA San Antonio to check out the campus and sample some student-produced fare.  I wanted to make certain that the San Antonio campus would be the best fit for me.  I set my sights there because of the emphasis on Latin and American cuisine, plus it’s in my favorite part of the country, only about an hour from Austin.  So my mom (Sudy) and I leave Austin, drive to San Antonio and decide to get some program materials before we take the tour of campus later in the afternoon.  “Are you looking at the Associate’s Degree or the 30-Week Certificate program?” asks the Director of Education of the San Antonio Campus. “The Certificate,” I say.  I already received my Bachelor’s Degree from the finest of Universities, Sewanee: The University of the South, so I really don’t need to revisit THAT.  She says, “Well you know our last program will be on May 31s.”  No, I didn’t, actually.  In fact, I called the campus about a month ago to check when the next program dates would be published and was informed that they had not yet been made available to them and would publish as soon as they were certain.  Needless to say, I was heartbroken.  Apparently the San Antonio Campus was just recently informed by the head honchos at CIA New York that they would not continue the Certificate program due to lack of facilities, faculty and interest.  So, I went outside, cried my eyes out then sucked it up and made up my mind that New York wouldn’t be so bad after all…I can endure one more New England winter, I think.
Sudy says, "HI!"
            Mother knows best most of the time, and this time Sudy knew exactly what we needed.  We hopped back in the car, dropped off our bags at the hotel in Austin and bee-lined it to Guero’s Taco Bar on South Congress.  It may not be a mind-blowing culinary experience, but I’ve been going there since I got my first pair of boots down the street at Allen’s Boots when I was 3 years old.  It’s tradition and I needed it that day.  All I have to say is tostadas, queso, salsa bar and a couple of Bohemias and an afternoon with my awesome mom made me feel SO MUCH BETTER.  Everything happens for a reason, and I know the path that I’m on to CIA New York will be a good one.
            After such a TAXING afternoon (roll of the eyes) we decompressed by having drinks with a great friend, Fay Fitzsimons- so lovely- then dinner at La Condesa.  It was de-lish.  We decided to split each course so we could try more things, so we started off with the obligatory Tito’s martini and an ocean trout ceviche- mmmmm.  Then the mushroom and cheese taquitos with a super pungent and scrumptious chipotle sauce (really just two small tacos), then what Sudy proclaims as the best Chile Relleno she’s ever had- and boy was it delicious- and finally a super chocolately cake with a rosemary or lavender caramel sauce underneath.  Here’s the link to the website for anyone who is interest:  It was definitely a meal to remember.  We steered clear of the tostados at Fay’s suggestion because of the diminutive size, duh!
            The next morning it was time to leave my beloved city.  While hanging out in the airport I had to split a Schlotzsky’s Turkey Original on Jalapeno Bread with Sudy; first to relish it because for some reason the crazy people up north don’t have them and second because Austin is home to the sammich chain.  Very sadly, I parted ways with the Mama to fly home to New Haven.  Leaving one home to arrive in another is emotionally taxing and confusing, but coming home to Prosecco, the boyfriend and the little home I’ve made for myself makes up for it.

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