Tasting at Coffee Shark

I have a new favorite coffee shop in Austin. Maybe even new favorite coffee shop ever.  It’s called Coffee Shark, and it will change your life in the best, most caffeinated way possible.

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Don’t let the name fool you. Coffee Shark serves far more than just coffee (also there’s no sharks), my friends. They’ve also got an amazing array of beer, sandwiches, (may I suggest the Pesto Mozzarella Tomato? Because I’m daydreaming about that cheese and pesto filled ciabatta bun right about now.) soups, pizza (from East Side Pies!), and so much more. I’m going to make a suggestion. Order the soft pretzels and the cheese plate and proceed to immediately dip the soft pretzels into the brie. GUYS. I am salivating thinking about this right now.

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The inside dons the open, industrial vibes that I am learning is something that I like a lot in my coffee shops. Games like cornhole and giant Jenga grace the back patio, which is perfect for drinking a cold beer on a hot, summer’s day. As far as beer goes, the flirty and fruity Hye-Biscus had me hooked from first sip.

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The best part? All is served with a heaping side of LOVE, y’all. Okay, I know that sounds super cheesy, (Speaking of cheese – Coffee Shark’s all comes from the local Antonelli’s Cheese Shop) but it’s true. Both the staff and clientele at Coffee Shark made me feel like family. I spent over three hours at this tasting, and when I wasn’t eating I was probably laughing or lost in good conversation. I hit it off with one group of customers so well that I made them take a picture with me and the owner joked that he had hired them for the day. After that, I spent another hour and a half chuckling and chatting with the Coffee Shark team.

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Though mine was more of a beer and food tasting, I can’t not mention the coffee. I had a regular drip coffee but this was far from any ‘ole regular drip coffee. Coffee Shark uses a steampunk coffee brewer. This is a hybrid (trybrid?) of the French press, siphon and pour over. They make their delightful drip coffees by using temperature, time, volume and water agitation.  So basically this coffee is pure MAGIC.

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I almost wish I could keep this place a secret, but that would be nearly criminal. I must share this good with the world. So, here you go, world. Coffee Shark is where it’s at.  Prepare to eat good food, drink good drinks, and make new friends.

Nate’s Coffee & Cocktails

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Last week I had a cocktail and cake ball tasting at Nate’s in downtown Buda. I’ve worked in this Buda once a week for years, but have only recently become smitten with the downtown area. Nate’s only made me fall so much harder.

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Before Nate’s was a cocktail bar, it was an auto part’s store. I adored the open and airy feel that was leftover from the past, and that they’ve kept some of the rustic warehouse vibes too.  Oh, and have I mentioned the spacious wooden patio? All of this goodness makes for such a charming environment, friends.

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The cocktails just put the cherry on top of all of said charm. Nate’s has this drink-making stuff down pat, y’all. Strong? Check. Unique and magical flavor combinations? Check. Delicious? Check, check, check. Probably my favorite drink was the Main Street Smash, which consisted of Deep Eddy Ruby Red, Starlite vodka, fresh lemon, cucumber and mint, St. Germain. Sipping on this was refreshing and delightful and reminiscent of the perfect summer day.

Nate’s also offers an extensive beer and wine menu, coffee, sandwiches, snacks and CAKE BALLS which, if you can’t tell by my all caps there, are amazing. Their coffee comes from the local and loved Cuvee and their eats from the delightful Crema Bakery.  The in-house created meat and cheese plate is also delightful and was the perfect match for my cocktails.

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Being at Nate’s solo was wonderful, but this is such an ideal spot to laugh and chat with people you like a lot. Living in North Austin, this is a bit of a drive for me. But, man, oh man. It’s worth the drive. I would more than happily daydream about cocktails and cake balls for the entirety of this little road-trip.

Sad game, Good party.

As I’m sure most of you know, Texas lost last night.  However, it was still a pretty damn good night, for the following reasons:

1. One of the best friends tagged along to the party with me.

2. Lots of food.  I think my favorite was the meatloaf cake.Yes, you heard me right.  It looks like a cake, and tastes like meatloaf. I was in awe.  I think I told the dude who was awesome enough to cook this how amazing it was about a thousand times. Looked a little something like this, but with bacon instead of ketchup (I liked the substitute,not a big ketchup fan.)

3. Leading me to this….Have any of you ever heard of This is why you’re fat.com? This is where the ‘cake’ maker got the recipe and told me I needed to go check it out. He and a couple others were surprised I’d never heard of it before and mentioned something along the lines of two donuts being used as hamburger buns….WHAT!? I had to see.After seeing this amazing food-filled web site, I’m an instant fan. Go look, go look!

4. Betting with shots. Brittany and I held strong on the bet that if Texas got another touchdown, meatloaf guy takes another shot. It definitely happened. He had his first ever shot of jager. I took one with him but couldn’t finish mine. Ick. I got made fun of a few times by different people for nursing all of my shots that night.  My gag reflex sucks, okay!?

5. Marriage talk! I don’t get to talk about marriage with girls really, ever. No friends of mine or anyone my age is married and my older friends that are married got married years and years ago. There was a lovely couple there that got married the same day as Robby and I. We talked honeymoons,house-buying, and the fact that everyone and our mothers want to know when we’re popping a baby out. (hint, NOT anytime soon,dammit.)  It was nice to have someone to relate and laugh with marriage-wise for a few hours.

6. New people. I love people, I love anything new, I especially love instantly hitting it off with new people. I met a lot of adorable new people last night and was a little surprised how sweet they all were. Brittany and Deesh were the hosts and they’re still fairly new to me too.  You know when you can tell right off the bat that people are just…genuinely good? I get that vibe with them both.  Not to mention they’re a lot of fun and can host a really good shin-dig. Brittany also introduced me to Amaretto. I didn’t even know that was alcohol, I thought it was a lovely smell/yummy coffee flavoring.Well,It’s freaking good. Or, it was until the two of us stupidly decided to mix Everclear with it. Not such a good idea. It is a good idea (courtesy Deesh) to have a board game night soon though.  I made my Apples to Apples love affair known.

7.Yeah so, the game kind of sucked. But drinks were pouring, My best friend joined me, The company was lovely; Lots of high-fives and shot-taking and laughs.  Oh, and meatloaf cakes. So I say lose or not, the night was a success. One of the reasons I love football so much? It’s about the company just as much as it is the game. I call win on that part of the night at least.