Happy Hour at Toulhouse with AFBA

Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance let us into their tribe a few months ago. We were both thrilled to just imagine it. Talking food with people that loved it as much as we do. Obviously every human loves food. We eat it to survive. But these people also worship it. We birth it from our brains as recipes. We dress it up with dark chocolate ganache or a leaf of basil. We stay at home on Friday nights to imagine rosemary infused donuts.

It is our love. A marriage to the senses of flavor, the sense of beauty and the taste of a memory.


Every month we have happy hours. We have tasted Tyson’s Tacos, Chicon and District Bar and Kitchen. Every time we are treated like the goddesses and gods of the food world. Like royalty. It’s how the media sees us because we are the ones that tell the public what we think. They know we matter. We love to hear the passion in their voices. Their vulnerability in exposing their souls to us as we eat their imagination. They also contemplate donuts…some with whiskey or maybe truffle oil, but donuts unite us all. It is a bond we all feel.


At Toulhouse, pronounced Too Loose, you are greeted by fire in the entrance. The warmth of the French bistro follows me inside and the small inside is opened by the architect’s skills. Glass mirrors stretch from ceilings and an open kitchen reminds me I’m still in Austin. Speaking of a great movie to watch about the man that brought the open kitchen to life is Jeremiah Tower:The Last Magnificent. The food has already reached the tables and I see my fellow bloggers in an instant with their whipped out robots photographing our models. Mini sandwiches. And champagne cocktails, made with brandy.


Ainsley’s Food Review:

The croque madam was like your childhood came back in bite form. The pickled mustard seeds made it simple with flavor bursts. The smoked salmon was bright and filling with tons of dill. I think the dill overpowered other flavor notes and there wasn’t much complexity. The artichoke dip didn’t have enough artichoke to it but. The chips were crunchy and fresh. The desserts are where we found the exploration and thrill of flavor. Dark chocolate was warm and fluffy as a mini cake or perfectly tempered around Amy’s ice cream. The beignets rivaled New Orleans. The service was very pleasing to watch. There was a calmness around the place. No rush. Everyone was happy to be at their job.



Jason’s Food Review:

French cuisine has always intrigued me. Tolhouse was no different. Magical smells of butter and meat filled the room. It reminded me of culinary school. I felt like that was what we had. We had a great experience that  brought me back to why I became a chef. Our beef tartare  had traditional flavors. But we did feel like the dijon mustard was a little too much for the palate. The duck confit was absolutely delicious. Full of flavor and beautifully presented. Now the one thing that made me close my eyes and think to myself was the beignets.  So flaky and moist. The texture of the pastry was perfection. If there was anything that I would say is a must have it would be the beignets. I cannot wait to go back and have another magical moment alone with those pastries



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