Tuesday, April 1, 2014

PALEO IN AUSTIN: PICNIK

PICNIK AUSTIN
1700 South Lamar 400-B Austin, Texas 78704
Hours: M-F 7:00am-4:00pm; Sat. 9:00am-5:00pm

At the end of the day, these herbs, used in their fresh entrees, are watered with leftover coffee water! 

Google "paleo austin" and the first thing you see is me, in a bikini, sweating like a pig, holding a plate of sashimi. Skip that. Scroll to the next thing, because that is where you find a link to Picnik, Austin's first and only paleo coffee shop. 


In writing about eating paleo in Austin, this is the first place that comes to anyone's mind. There is NO guesswork here. In fact, it is unbelievable refreshing to eat somewhere where they "understand you" and your paleo way of eating. Where gluten-free is a given, the only dairy offered is grassfed and full fat, proteins are grassfed, pastured and organic and there are only healthy fats available. The only sweeteners are natural, and you have options: dates, maple syrup, honey, xylitol.
Mocha Chocolatte Rocket Coffee with Collagen and Xylitol
If bulletproof or rocket coffee scares you, you aren't alone. Putting butter and MCT oil, collagen and whey in your coffee is not exactly something we are all used to. However, if you follow paleo, you've taken a leap of faith once before. Now let's do it again. I had the mocha chocolatte, which is a blended coffee with butter, MCT oil, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, vanilla. I asked for xylitol as my sweetener. First of all, holy delicious. This coffee is so good and filling. It gives you so much energy and curbs your cravings thoughout the day, too. Instead of grass-fed whey protein, I opted for the collagen to help heal my nasty shin wound. Okay, that is crazy-- my coffee is packed with such awesomeness that its helping heal my stitches. On that note, the wound is horrible. Never ever do box jumps again. Never. Trust me. 
Slim Palate, Picnik and Three Diets One Dinner! Love this picture. 
 The food and the coffee and the atmosphere are awesome at Picnik, but my favorite reason to visit is this adorable nugget pictured below. That's Naomi Seifter, leading contender for the friendliest chick you'll ever meet. As someone who appreciates welcoming people, I adore this girl. She is passionate about real food, eating to feel your best, and spreading the good word about it. She will welcome you with open arms and gladly explain everything to you. She'll give you a run-down of the paleo lifestyle, her menu and anything else you need to know. She's just awesome. Go visit her and you'll see exactly what I am talking about.
Owner Naomi Seifter giving the menu rundown to Josh Weissman of Slim Palate 
I recently went to Picnik with Josh Weissman of Slim Palate. He was in town for a cooking demo and signing for his new cookbook, The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook. Check it out!

When you visit Picnik, you can borrow a blanket to lay on while you enjoy your meal. How delightful does this look?
Picnik's website explains their mission best: "Picnik Austin is your home for paleo, primal, gluten-free, grain-free, clean, healthy, ancestral cooking and baking in Austin, TX.  We source organic and farm-to-table ingredients whenever possible, and we believe in serving the most nutrient dense foods on the planet." 
Paleo Swiss Chard-Venison and Smoked Salmon Quiche
Their menu is always changing, as they use only fresh, seasonal ingredients. Their daily quiche is rotating. They day I visited, they served a venison-swiss chard quiche and a smoked salmon quiche. I had the salmon. What surprised me is how sweet the almond crust was. Made with almond flour and olive oil, the sweetness comes from the Herbs de Provence-infused oil. The infused olive oil comes from one of my favorite local shops, Con Olio. 

Whole30 and autoimmune friendly Paleo Apple Cinnamon Cake
Mmm...the Apple Cinnamon cake was delicious. It was made with coconut flour and sweetened with dates and applesauce. Hardly a "cheat," and definitely a treat! That said, there are lots of sweet treat options: cookies, muffins, cakes-- all gluten free and paleo friendly. What I like about them is that they are also in reasonable portions. Picnik recognizes that just because a treat is paleo, doesn't mean you should eat it with reckless abandon. Treats are treats; and should be treated as such.

Picnik offers the first and only paleo breakfast tacos in Austin, made with Pinkie's homemade Paleotillas

Update: I went back for lunch the week following this original post. I met a friend and fellow food blogger, Rhianna of The Posh Foodie, who helped me take some more photos of the amazing offerings at Picnik. I had the chicken salad, which was packed with deliciousness. It was incredibly filling, as to be expected since it is all so nutrient-dense. The sweet red pepper relish topping was heavenly. As a treat, we snacked on butter brownies and almond chocolate chip cookies. The butter brownie is nothing less than sinful.


Kosmic Kombucha, Paleo Tortillas, Cookies and prepared salads in the grab-&-go case
My new friend Sarah is checking out The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook by Josh Weissman.  Notice how many pages I've marked, excited to get cooking! By the way, have you entered to win his cookbook? I'll be picking the winner Thursday, April 3. Enter here: SLIM PALATE REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY And look! There is my first draft of It's Paleo Y'all on the table, too! 

Local Kimchi and Kombucha in the case!
So, if you are from Austin and have never tried Picnik, go. Now. And if you are coming in for PaleoFX, DO NOT MISS THIS PLACE. You must start your day here. And tell Naomi that Bo Duncan sent you. Try the Mocha Chocolatte and enjoy how great it makes you feel!!



Feel good song of the day: "Joy to You Baby" - Josh Ritter

3 comments:

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  2. I live on Fort Hood and even though Picnik is almost an hour and a half away I've already managed to become a "regular" in the 2 months since I discovered this place. Naomi is the sweetest person ever and everything from the coffee drinks to the soup to the treats is amazing. So glad to see she is getting such great press from awesome people like you :)

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