Behind The Butter

Happy Hour at North

I am still in Texas.

I think I kinda like it here! Gas is cheaper than California and the Mexican Martinis at Trudy’s are reason enough to stay. We’ve become addicted to Mad Men (have been watching at least two episodes a night) and even got to buy all new clothes at Target since we ran out. Tropical Storm Hermine has just the icing on the cake….I sort of feel like I’ve been living a movie? Very, very odd.
However, on a serious note, Almanzo is having surgery right now and I’m in the hospital waiting room sipping coffee and checking in on the blog world. He’ll be just fine and we are both ready for him to get rid of those darn kidney stones so we can get on with our lives!
Despite everything, we dragged the patient to happy hour last night at North, where his cocktail of choice was water with lemon and Morgan and I each had a large glass of red wine. Happy hour wine by the glass is only about four dollars—I took a deep breath of the wine and it smelled like home!

Dude. If you live in Austin, you MUST go to North for happy hour!!!! Never have I seen such amazing deals! Send me Dexter–I’m not leaving!!!!

I had the fig and goat cheese pizza, which normally is twelve dollars on the regular menu but only six for happy hour! It was out of this world delicious.

The crust was super light and paper thin, and was studded with juicy fresh figs and fresh balls of soft goat cheese. Just looking at this picture makes me want to eat the whole thing over right now!

Mmmmmmmmm…this could quite possibly be one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I know I say that a lot but this is one of those “wake up at three in the morning and crave it” type of meals.
We also had the trio of spreads with grilled garlic bread, which was equally as fantastic and only four dollars? Seriously. I don’t lie about these things.

There was hummus, goat cheese and banaganoush, and the bread was hot and chewy.
Poor Almanzo ordered the mushroom pizza topped with arugula but only could eat half. I’ve got my eye on that when we get back to the house for a little snack later on….don’t tell him!

Almanzo should be out of surgery soon and then I get to play nurse all afternoon at Stephen and Morgan’s house. He’s already made me write down two solid pages of possible food options for later today (Rudy’s lean brisket and beans, Hoover’s fried catfish, Amy’s ice cream, pizza from Homeslice…..) because I told him I would go get him whatever food he wanted in all of Austin and I have a feeling he’s going to milk this for all it’s worth.
I’ll check in again later today and let you know what food we decided upon. Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and prayers!

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  • Elise
    September 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I hope the surgery goes well and that Almanzo comes out feeling eons better (minus the fact he’ll have just had surgery). And at least you’re making the most of the unexpected extension in Texas — the goat cheese & fig pizza looks incredible. I want to recreate it. What was the green herb on top?!

  • cara
    September 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    kidney stones are the worst! I had them twice and understand his pain. except maybe not, because mine never led to surgery. At least you go to experience of Austin while you were here 🙂

  • Katherine
    September 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    FIG AND GOAT CHEESE! I have a growing fig obsession. Good luck to Almanzo. Hope he feels better!

  • Ella
    September 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Jenna I feel so weird writing this since I have never met you, but you seem so happy – your blog is obviously a bit like a novel for your readers, and it’s strangely wonderful to sense your joy in life from the screen! (and I say this whenever I comment but I’ll say it again, keep up the awesome writing!)

  • Kath
    September 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Oh my gosh, hugs to Adam. Hope he’s feeling better ASAP

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    September 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Am so sorry to hear that Almanzo is going through all of this and pray that he bounces right back. Fortunately for him you are there to comfort and help him !

    The pizza does look amazing. All best to you both for a speedy recovery. And to Dexter that he is happy, cozy and safe. 🙂

  • MoniMeals
    September 9, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Oh wow, Fig and Goat cheese pizza, I am sold! Gotta love those happy hour prices too.:) Don’t you love in California-happy hour prices are basically the normal price everywhere else…I can see why you are loving Texas right now!

  • PattyB
    September 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Yea, I used to live across the street from North. I hit it up before heading back to Santa Rosa.

  • MoniMeals
    September 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Sorry about “Almanzo” too. 🙁 I have had kidney 2 times, and it is no joke. The pain is awful. Happy Recovery to him!

  • Angharad
    September 9, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Wow – you are having a super intense “vacation”! Hope everything goes well with the surgery! My first trip to College Station involved nursing my then-boyfriend, now-husband after he got surgery on a broken face (FYI soccer volleyball…never a good idea). You’re bringing back all kinds of nursing-in-Texas memories!

    Also: Mexican Martinis at Trudy’s are the bomb. They also get you bombed. Truth.

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks
    September 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Those pizzas look fantastic!

    When I was in Texas, I think we just ate at Whataburger. =P

    (but my chicken tenders did come with Texas toast and gravy, which made me happy!)

    Hope the surgery goes well.

  • Jess
    September 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    As someone who had surgery two weeks ago (and Kath took care of me!! totally worth it for the oatmeal!), I can tell you he may not want to eat a damn thing today! You might have to save that for when he gets his appetite back!! 😀

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    September 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Fig pizza sounds divine!

  • Leah @ Why Deprive?
    September 9, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Kidney stones suck! Hope the surgery goes well.

    That fig and goat cheese pizza looks ridiculously good! I never, ever would have thought to put figs on a pizza.

  • Brooke - One Healthy Cookie
    September 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Poor Almanzo. :/ Hope he feels better soon!

    Also, we may be culinary soulmates. I love, love, love me a Trudy’s mexican martini. They also have excellent migas. And queso.

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    September 9, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    i definitely will be going there in january when i visit family!

    hope almanzo’s surgery goes OK…i’m ready for you guys to be able to go back to California if you want/need to!

  • Linda
    September 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I’m a little scared now of all this kidney stone talk, how did he get them? are there certain foods to avoid to prevent this? ack!!

  • Kasey
    September 9, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Hope “Almanzo” gets well soon!
    I’m drooling over that pizza over here 🙂

  • Courtney @ Bread & Bokeh
    September 9, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Poor Almanzo!!! I hope his surgery goes well!

    That pizza looks incredible. I must make me a fig pizza, stat.

  • Tina
    September 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Glad you’re having such a fantastic time! And oh man on the tropical storm/hurricane. It does sound like its been a movie for ya’ll.

  • Marguerite M
    September 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Hope Adam feels better! You are both in my prayers! And yes he is going to milk this for all he can get! But he deserves it! Make sure he finds out what he should stay away from to help avoid any more in the future! Hope he bounces right back and can enjoy your last days in Texas! Now I want to go to Austin! Next time Jet Blue has their all you can jet for a month deal, I just may get one and fly all these places I want to visit for a day or two!

  • Laine
    September 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    You are so never going home, are you….

  • RhodeyGirl
    September 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Good luck, A! I hope he recovers quickly, and I love that California is now considered HOME! YAY!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    September 9, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I hope things went well with the surgery and your man friend is doing well!! Kidney stones are no fun.

  • lauren @ laurenINlawrence
    September 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    If you go back to NORTH, you MUST try the yucca chips. Flash fried zucchini in the most perfect little thin slices. SO good. Try to enjoy the rest of your stay in Austin!

  • Kelly
    September 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Hope the surgery goes well! I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers!

  • Evan Thomas
    September 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I hope the surgery goes smooth!

  • aldroe
    September 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    yikes! hope all is well soon. We have North here in Scottsdale and yes, its yum! haven’t been in awhile but I think I need to make the trek!!

  • R @
    September 9, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Sorry about Almanzo! Hope he feels better soon. And, Mad Men is the best show on tv

  • Jennifer
    September 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I hope your man is a good patient!! We all know how well men handle being sick! Nothing some pork belly and wine can’t fix! I like your blog a lot, a lot!!!

  • katiek
    September 9, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    you simply must go to Magnolia cafe and get their MAG MUD. Trust me this is so delish that I can’t wait to be back in Austin.

  • Amber K
    September 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    My prayers go out to you both. I hope he has a fast and easy recovery!

  • Jenny
    September 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Sounds like everything is going great down there! 🙂 My grandaddy just made me some homemade fig preserves! YUM!

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    September 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Glad you’re having a good time despite the health scare!

  • Sarah
    September 9, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    MAD MEN!!! I love it too and just finished season one while sick on my couch this past weekend. I will pray for his recovery since I think I missed his surgery! Keep hanging in there–you are a great girlfriend!! xoxo

  • Kathryn
    September 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    hope the surgery went well!!!! all of that food looks amazing 🙂

  • Jaima
    September 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Love the boots and the fig and goat cheese pizza. Such a winning comination. Our prayers are with Almanzo to have a speedy recovery so he can get back to his Texas adventures with you! PS-I think all guys milk the sick card for all it’s worth! 🙂

  • Lisa
    September 9, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Okay….You are starting to win me over to the side of Texas! Maybe I should visit.

  • Kris
    September 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    After having a kidney stone embedded for a month, surgery was a big relief. I felt MUCH better the next day; just kind of rotten after surgery (the scope — if that’s what they use on him — makes everything burn afterwards). Best wishes to Almanzo for a speedy recovery, and make sure he keeps drinking water with lemon. You’re a sweetie to take such good care of him!

  • Mary C
    September 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    The all time faves here-
    1. The Mexican Vanilla at Amy’s…but get some mix-ins to watch their scoop tricks
    2. Rudy’s turkey….wrapped in Wonder bread with lots of Rudy’s sauce
    3. Josie’s Enchiladas at Maudies….like a wonderful giant bowl of Velveeta, in a good way
    4. Mole enchiladas at Curra’s
    and when there’s more time…
    5. A pilgramage to the Salt Lick in Driftwood
    6. Thurs/Fri/Sat nights at the Broken Spoke for two-steppin’
    Hope he feels better!

  • The Wife of a Dairyman
    September 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Wow surgery! Glad he’ll be rid of those darn stones once and for all! That happy hour looks good! Glad you all got to get out last night despite the stones and all:)

  • Steph@stephsbitebybite
    September 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I hope all goes well with Almanzo’s surgery!

    But now you get to be his nurse 😉

  • melissa roby
    September 9, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I seriously want those cowboy boots!!!! Stickin cute!!!!

  • Elizabeth
    September 9, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I’ve been to the Rudy’s in Houston and the brisket is to. die. for.

    Sorry to hear about Almanzo!!

  • Marie
    September 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Godspeed Almonzo! You’re such a sweet girlfriend, Jenna. And I would totally steal his leftover pizza later, too 😉

  • Dorry
    September 9, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    You must have a pizza from Homeslice! One of my faves. I also love Guero’s across the street from there and Perla’s is wonderful as well. I love South Congress. 🙂

  • Coley
    September 9, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I hope the surgery went well! Sending prayers towards Almanzo.

    I must recreate that pizza this weekend!!!

  • sassy molassy
    September 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I love seeing those boots each and every time! And oh lord, that pizza… Hope Alamanzo’s surgery goes as well as it can!

  • grace
    September 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    wow, that looks delicious– i don’t live in austin but that’s worth a trip!

  • Lisa
    September 9, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I hope Almanzo feels better soon!

    I ate at North in Scottsdale last year and it was absolutely to die for, we liked it so much we ended up eating there twice on our vacation. I wish they would open up one in the bay area. I had the halibut both times and it was outstanding, perfectly cooked and great flavorings. They also have great sangria. My mouth is watering think about those meals. That pizza looks so good.

  • Sarah R
    September 9, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Hope Almanzo’s surgery went well and he’s on the mend.

    I’ve been to North (loved it!) and can totally attest to the fig and goat cheese pizza as well as the trio of dips. All the food I’ve had there has been fabulous!

  • lindsay
    September 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    North does have a great happy hour and trudy’s mexican martinis… out, those things are strong but soooo good! Glad your having fun in Austin. Wish I could have come to your happy hour! Until next time, cheers!

  • Meghan@traveleatlove
    September 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Here is to a quick recovery and lots of good food!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    September 9, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    That pizza looks incredible… but I may love your boots more 😉

  • meagan
    September 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Aw, I’m glad you’re having fun at least. If you’re here through the weekend I’d check out Vino Vino for wine. They have a “wall” of wine, each with a tag labeling where it’s from and the tasting notes. It’s just an education going and reading all of the labels! Plus, the food is great.

    And now I also want Rudy’s, Hoover’s and Homeslice….Yum!

  • stephanie@Avocado Nation
    September 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Don’t waste your time with Rudys. Go Salt Lick or go home!!!

  • eatmovelove
    September 9, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I take it his appetite will be back AFTER the surgery hah!

    Holy cripes – that pizza looks awesome – the crust looks thicker – is it “puffy” with air like then? …;)

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    September 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Hope the surgery goes well and a speedy recovery follows!!!

  • Stacey
    September 9, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    That does look like the best happy hour. Good luck to Almanzo with the surgery and recovery.

  • stephanie
    September 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Sadly I wont be getting to Austin anytime soon so, please recreate the pizza for us. The fig and goat cheese pizza looks awesome. Im sure Adam will beack to his old (young) self in no time!! Have more fun in Austin for us, I’ve always wanted to go there!! 😉

  • Jillian @ Reshape Your Life
    September 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Hope Almanzo made it out of surgery fine and is feeling loads better!

    But I am glad you are still enjoying your time in Texas! That pizza looks AMAZING!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    September 9, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I hope the surgery is over by now and that he’s recovering and well on his way to being back to his old self!

    I have never been to Austin, been to Dallas and Houston, but you are making me want to go Austin just to get that pizza. Figs. Swoon. Lovely!

    I said it the other day, but I’ll say it again: I love your boots!!!

    Speedy recovery to Almanzo!


  • Natalia @asideofsimple
    September 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I have to say that more and more your pictures are looking fantastic! Keep it coming Jenna!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    September 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Poor Almanzo! but I’m sure he’ll be OK asap!
    And that fig pizza.. delicious! And I just so happen to have some fresh figs in the fridge…

  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    September 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Wowww – that pizza lookins incredible! Poor Almanzo – prayin for a quick recovery!

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution.
    September 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Jenna…you have a twin in Michigan and I saw her tonight…

  • Jessica
    September 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Hope he’s doing ok!!!

  • Ryan
    September 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Mexican Martini’s at Chuy’s are good too. If you haven’t been to the original Chuy’s in Austin (and you like tex-mex), I would suggest going. It’s an Austin classic.

  • Brooke (Baking with Basil)
    September 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    That pizza looked amazing! And even more appealing that it was 1/2 half. 🙂

    Hope all went well with the surgery and there is a speedy recovery in his future!!

  • sirenjess
    September 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I hope all is well with the surgery. I’ve been to North two years ago the night before the Austin half. It was yummy. I’ve never been, but you should try the Saltlick instead of Rudy’s. Rudy’s is okay. There is this great do nut place called Gourdoughs on S. Lamar. It’s really good. They make crazy do nut creations.

  • Caitlin
    September 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Happy hour is the best / it is the only food I can afford. Glad to hear bf has a running list of foods to eat–he deserves it!

  • Jessica L.
    September 9, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Dadgummit! (how’s that for Texas Speak??) I love NoRTH 🙂 It’s right by my house – and I was just there with girlfriends last week!! Glad you were able to make it up to the Domain. I know it’s not “Austiny”, but whatever – it’s a great place to hang out! Try Cru Wine Bar if you’re still up north – they have great flights and specials. 🙂
    So glad to see you’re livin’ it up in my town – is it not the best ever???

  • Pam (IIN Health Coach)
    September 9, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I hope Almanzo gets to feeling better soon! Those kidney stones are serious business. Lots of lemon will have a great alkalizing effect on his body. Less coffee and soda from now on and more water.
    Poor thing, good thing he has you to take care of him. Best of luck!!
    Be well,

  • Chelsey
    September 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I’ll be praying for Almanzo! I hope his surgery goes well.

    You seem like you could fit into Texas very well – maybe you should stay. 🙂

  • Sana
    September 9, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    He deserves all the food in TX!!! What a trooper!

  • Caleb
    September 9, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    I just moved here to Austin. I might have to check that place out. The pizza looks amazing!

  • Caroline
    September 10, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Poor Almanzo. My mom went through some similar pain this week and had her gallbladder removed yesterday. I’m so glad the food isn’t lacking! Your life always looks so beautiful, tasty, and fabulous, even with a sick boyfriend in a strange town. Gotta love that blog-veneer, eh? I hope Almanzo gets to feeling better soon!

  • Rebecca Hoover
    September 10, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I didn’t know they had a North in Texas. I haven’t been to ours in ages, those Happy Hour prices are great! I think I’ll have to check it out again.

  • Laura J. (Health and Hotness)
    September 10, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Hey! I’m a long time reader, first time commenter (sorry!).

    I feel for your bf! Kidney stones are the absolute worst!! I had them a month after my first child and it definitely rivals the pain of labor! Hope the surgery went well and he’s feeling better!! 🙂

    That pizza looks divine!! The fig and goat cheese especially! 🙂

  • Lindsey M
    September 10, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I LOOOOOOOOVE homeslice!!!!

  • Jean
    September 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Nothing like a crisis to test a relationship…if you can pass this test, then you should be able to make it through anything!

    And I make this next statement with nothing but love: you say you had to go to buy all new clothes @ Target b/c you ran out – are there no washers in TX? It sounds like an excuse to shop – again nothing but love for you here, and I’m not judging AT ALL b/c you probably needed some retail therapy or a distraction, so give us the real story, girlfriend. Hope A is better soon so you’ll be able to head back home. I’ll bet Dexter is really missing you!

  • amyjogo
    September 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    That’s my kind of guy! One that craves bbq AND Amy’s! Have you tried the Mexican Vanilla yet??

  • Casey
    October 12, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Hey Jenna, Where did you get those boots?