Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Family Night Out in Austin- Blue Baker and Arboretum

This week's Family Night Out included a trip to the new restaurant, Blue Baker, in the Arboretum shopping area.

We had been watching construction on the building for quite awhile and read local printed coverage on what this new eatery brought to Austin's culinary scene. Essentially, these guys do lots of homemade bread and pastries used for their sandwiches, pizza, salads and desserts.

For this particular family night out, we were down one child as my son was off enjoying a sleepover during the week (since you can do that over the summer months). So, it was just me, my husband and my 9-year old daughter.

We often try to go a little earlier than the general population to avoid crowds (especially at new places). We got there a little before 6. The parking lot (which is decent sized and shaded which I loved) had cars, but certainly wasn't packed yet. We found our way into the giant place -- it really does seem huge. Upon entry, you see bakers doing their craft -- at the time making the dough for the pizza -- to the left. Once you get past that, you'll see the ordering area.

They offer up a cookie of the month and have samples for you to enjoy and sample while you are standing in line. They also provided a bread sample as well. Both got a thumbs up from all three of the KidzAustin crew.

After studying the menu, we decided we all wanted to try a few things. So, we agreed to split a sandwich, a medium pizza and a dessert between the three of us. The selections were: sandwich - Powder Blue, pizza - Davinchee, dessert - Fruit Tart. All were very satisfying and tasty. They also offer a kids menu that had a nice variation of options for I think $4.25.

This particular pizza had more of an artisan feel to it (hence the play on "Davinci"). My daughter commented on the appearance of the lack of sauce and cheese which were actually there, they just all blended into the color of the pizza crust. So, if you have kids that are picky about their food looking like they expect it to, I would suggest going with the more standard fare like pepperoni or cheese. The sandwich was soft and loaded with flavor. The turkey was really fresh and highlighted by the roasted red peppers. The big commentary by all, though, was the amazing bread that held it all together. For the record, the sandwich wasn't as huge as I expected, so if you decide to share be sure to include some chips or side dish.

I thought my daughter was going to die having to stare at the beautiful fruit tart while she worked through the rest of the meal. It was bursting with color from the pink raspberries and shiny blackberries as well as the fresh strawberries and juicy blueberries. When we finally cut into it, it did not disappoint. This was the item that she gloated about enjoying to her brother that missed out on the whole trip.

Afterwards, we took the opportunity to stroll around the Arboretum. I had forgotten how shady with trees the area was. It wasn't one of those 100 degree days, so it was actually quite pleasant. We dove into Z Gallerie (which I love, love, love) which I had forgotten had moved there. We had a blast getting ideas and actually picking up a few trinkets to enhance the house decor. We also enjoyed neighbor Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. Can you tell we've been doing a little redecorating lately?

Don't forget too, that the Arboretum features the giant cows and a nice walk down to the pond where you can often find loads of ducks and occasionally a swan or two. Conveniently there's an Amy's Ice Cream right there so you can grab a treat to go and enjoy the great outdoors. It provides a great way to burn of a little energy in the case that you and/or the kids have been stuck indoors all day.

Would we go back? Definitely!

Is it kid-friendly? Absolutely!

Favorite thing? My daughter says "free samples." My husband and I vote for the pizza. The crust was delicious.

Hope you enjoyed our rundown. Please check back and/or check out our website on all things kid or family-friendly in and around the Austin area at: http://www.kidzaustin.com .

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