two stepping into 30...

I began my actual birthday with many festive voicemails followed by phone calls to family...and learned there was a cake waiting for me at Sweetish Hill Bakery!  (they make some of the best cakes in town, if you ask me!)  Then Carson and I drove north, windows down and music up, to the brunch I'd been waiting the beautiful and historic Fonda San Miguel!

The foyer of the place alone is breathtaking-- it's a sun-filled atrium, with gorgeous Mexican tile, blossoming greenery galore, and little corners hiding vintage pillowed couches and chairs.  I will definitely be back for happy hour in this space!

The dining room is even more grand (but in that folksy interior Mexican style I LOVE), with a cluster of hanging lanterns shining down upon Birds of Paradise by the armful and giant clay vessels of deliciousness.  Oh no, they are not messing around with this brunch...

The food was all delicious and I felt bad I found myself wasting no matter how small of a portion I tried to take because I simply had to try EVERYTHING.  My favorites were the cheese enchiladas suizas (usually I can give or take cheese enchiladas but these were just incredible!!!), the fluffy refried black beans, grilled and spiced asparagus, decadent corn pudding, salad with pepitas, rustic roasted chile pasilla and cubes of panela cheese, pork meatballs with egg in the center floating in a savory gravy, and their signature chicken mole.

(Normally, I LOVE ceviche but I found theirs to be a bit overpowering in the lime department.. I guess because it was sitting on the buffet line soaking in citrus as opposed to made fresh and to order.)

As for dessert, I didn't try every single one because I was about to bust at the point, but after sampling the flan, rice pudding, tres leches, banana pudding, and chocolate mousse, the first three were my favorites, and the absolute best was a cajeta custard served in an individual ramekin-- yummmmm!!!!

After slightly recovering from a food coma (enough to get in my car and drive at least), Tori and I went for pedicures to our favorite place-- Great Nails and Spa!  Unfortunately they were slammed and we were unable to get our absolute favorite guys, but any pedicure from GNS is always awesome!

twangy and melodic Heybale

Then I changed into a mermaidy sequined birthday dress and stopped by the last half of a Superbowl party before heading to the Continental Club for some two-stepping to the tune of Heybale, a band of old-schoolers who've played with the likes of Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard!

we're such pros, can't you tell?

Jamie and I used to come here every Sunday for a while when we'd first moved to Austin... sometimes finding ourselves in the hot tub of a South Congress apartment complex afterward (none of us lived there of course), rolling down grassy hills on the St. Ed's campus or wolfing down omelettes at Magnolia Cafe.  I remember seeing my first armadillo run in nervous circles on the South Congress sidewalk in the wee hours of the night!  Ah, the ghost of Austin past....
we took over the dance floor at times

And now, 7 years later, it seems only appropriate to celebrate my third decade here, surrounded by friends and my husband! 

my first dolla bill

I always thought the tradition of pinning dollar bills onto the birthday girl/boy's clothing was a Mexican one (I'd seen this for the first time in Austin and never once up north), but apparently it's a New Orleans-born ritual!

apparently the piano player, Earl Pool Ball, was serious about
giving birthday spankings...


Then, at the end of the night, we broke out the chocolate birthday cake with cream cheese frosting from Sweetish Hill!  Unbelievably moist with just the right amount of sweetness and density, theirs still stand as one of my favorite cakes in Austin!

And what better way to begin my 30's than by two stepping right in?

two stepping into 30!