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What I Ate: June 21, 2009 (Cissi's Market)

Posted 21 June, 2009 at 8:15pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Lunch: Cissi's Market (1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 225-0521‎). On Sunday's they serve brunch, so we tried a couple items on their brunch menu.
Cissi’s Market

Batting Club Sandwich The BAT (house-cured bacon, arugula, and tomato on grilled sourdough) with roasted turkey and avocado with gaufrettes (their thin, super-fine weave waffle cut potato fries) ($14). The bacon was overpoweringly salty compared to everything else in the sandwich. (Also, the tips of the bacon pieces Tina ate were a bit burnt.) Once past the bacon taste though, the sandwich was pretty good.

The highlight of the "Batting Club" was the potato gaufrettes which were so light and delicate that it was like a taste of heavenly crispiness. Unfortunately, about half of them were over seasoned and ridiculously salty - we could never tell when we'd get a salty one, but when we did we downed some of the beet salad and several gulps of water.
Batting Club Sandwich

Mom's Beet Salad Roasted red beets, arugula, walnuts, and Texas goat cheese with Sherry Dill Vinaigrette ($9). This beet salad was great, but the dressing was a bit too mild. There was a little salt sprinkled on top, but only a few bites had enough. It would have been nice if a little more salt was added. The beets were sweet, tender but firm (not mushy), and paired well what looked and tasted like baby spinach (instead of the arugula printed on the menu). Because this dish was under salted, we ended up eating a couple bites of it every time the sandwich or the gaufrettes were over salty.
Mom’s Beet Salad

Rillette "Egg in a Hole" Farm egg in brioche served with warm, braised pork, house-made red wine mustard, and arugula salad ($12). I love fried eggs and they're especially good with good bread. This was a great combination and the execution was pretty good. One egg was just flowing and the other egg was a tad overdone (the yolk was a solid gel but not yet crumbly/grainy). I apparently liked it so much I forgot to let Tina taste it. The pork turned out to be a fine textured pork terrine served with the most delicious spicy mustard - I couldn't stop eating it.
Rillette “Egg in a Hole”

Overall, the food was pretty good, but there's clearly a salting problem with salt unevenly distributed and, in some cases, just too much.

Cissi's Market is a wine bar, restaurant, grocery, and deli rolled into one. The tiny produce section of the market was clean and tidy when viewed from afar, but up close the produce was not so good. A fine layer of black mold specks topped the tips of the corn and at least one cucumber had a quarter sized deposit of fuzzy mold in the middle. A couple other vegetables had big spots of bruising and browning. I wouldn't get produce there. They do have the most amazing dried pasta we've ever had: Maestri Pastai from Italy. While buying a few bags, we noticed the expiration dates on the penne were from almost two years ago. (We mentioned it to the staff and they pulled them from the shelves. It must have been a supplier error since they've only been carrying the pasta for several months, not years.) Some great foodie books and games are available for sale as well as bulk spices, wine, beer, chocolates, and an interesting assortment of interesting (but random) food items like chocolate coated corn chips.

Eating there was fun and relaxing. It's very casual, so I just kept getting up and grabbing stuff and they'd add it to the dining bill and put it in my nice white paper bag for me while I ate.

Dinner: Half a leftover hamburger, leftover aloo gobi, turnip greens, and zong zi (glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves - these were filled with pork and shiitake mushroom).
Half hamburger, aloo gobi, turnip greens, and zong zi

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