If you’ve been following along and reading Travis’s and my posts, you know that we both follow a Primal diet, which is very similar to Paleo and Ketogenic eating styles (imagine if the two had a baby), but with the inclusion of dairy. Essentially, we are low carb, high fat eaters, (lots of meats and veggies, limited natural sugars and no grains) and we try to eat the best ingredients possible (organic, grass-fed, pasture raised, non-GMO, not processed, etc.)
Typically, when you eat this way, you have to cook for yourself most of the time, and when you do go out, which we obviously enjoy here at Work and the Weekend, you have to be that annoying person asking for substitutions, or make a non-primal/paleo element of the meal one of your splurges.
While I love a good splurge (y’all know my sweet tooth), you honestly don’t have to truly “splurge” if your food, even your dessert, is made with the right ingredients. This is why Travis and I were thrilled to learn that a restaurant with the same nutritional values as us popped up in Austin: welcome Picnik!
As several top Austin restaurants have, Picnik started as a food truck in 2013 after it’s founder, Naomi Seifter, grew frustrated with not being able to eat out because of ongoing battles with food allergies. The truck (located on S. Lamar) is a “grab and go” style setting where you can pick up butter coffees and bone broth (two staples in the Paleo world), juices and clean breakfast or lunch bites.
Just this year, however, Picnik expanded into a legit, brick and mortar restaurant, serving the full coffee/broth/juice beverage list from the truck plus an expanded list of made-to-order, dietary-restriction-friendly breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I was a little hangry, so before we could even explore the menus, I immediately ordered the Fried Brussels Sprouts and the Loaded Guacamole off of the “Shareables” section.
Get this y’all, the guac came with grain-free chips. YES, delicious grain-free, almond flour based tortilla CHIPS. If you’re Paleo, you know how much of a BFD this is – chips you can eat!! You would never know the difference either. These things were just what you’d expect from a traditional tortilla chip – crispy, crunchy amazingness, without the corn (which is a grain, mind you)!
After the apps settled, per our incredibly friendly and knowledgable server, Kaleigh’s recommendation, we decided to go for a couple of their famous butter coffees. Well, Travis went for coffee (Little Larry) and I, being a turmeric addict, went for the Golden Milk Matcha, which was the perfect orgy of turmeric, chai spices, coconut milk, and matcha. Yummmm.
Because they use Irish grass-fed butter in their drinks, they froth up really well and give it almost a cappuccino vibe, but heartier. If you’ve ever been curious about the butter coffee craze, or even if you’re hesitant, let one of Picnik’s be your first foray into the world – however, be warned, you will be hooked. Bonus, they have everything the standard coffee shops have, but made with real shiz: e.g. “Pumpkin Spice Latte,” “Candy Cane Mocha,” “Dirty Chai,” etc…
We didn’t get to try out their bone broths, but I can’t wait to once it’s a bit cooler out. I’m a big fan of bone broth, which is super high in collagen, and all of its nutrional benefits
For dinner, I was able to order a “pasta” dish for once, and got the Eggplant Rolatini. If you’re vegan, this would be a good dish as the “ricotta” is actually made of a cashew and cauliflower blend (you’d never tell the difference). As I’m not vegan, I added the grass-fed beef sausage, and a bit of raw parmesan to top it off. So good!
Travis ordered Icy’s Chili, and sadly, I actually think he liked it more than mine (and I make really good chili). 😉
Lastly, we got the Blondie Ice Cream Sandwich. The first dessert ever where I didn’t have to convince Travis to take a few bites. This dessert is not only Paleo and grain free (the blondie sandwich pieces are made of almond flour and coconut sugar), but they use local Dolce Neve ice cream, an exclusive recipe you can only find at Picnik!
I could go on and on about how amazing this restaurant is, not only for the nutritionally cognizant, but for anyone looking for a delicious, energizing meal. Travis and I loved it so much, when we were back in our neck of the woods, we hit up the food trailer the next day for iced versions of the butter coffees we’d ordered at the restaurant. INCREDIBLE, y’all.
See you next time!