Walton’s Fancy and Staple

waltons fancy and stapleACL weekend is upon us! After a few long days of sun, music, eats, drinks and endless walking, I needed a little recharge to get ready to do it all again on Sunday. We took a stroll over to Walton’s Fancy and Staple on this chilly morning, for the first time feeling like cooler weather may soon be upon us.
Walking into Walton’s, much of the décor from the century old grocery and feed store was maintained in the design of the restaurant. The brick and restored wood beams are charming and southern. There are options for everyone, ranging from a long display case of pastries, brownies and macaroons, to traditional brunch dishes like biscuits and gravy and French toast. They also serve up a large variety of lunch items like sandwiches, salads, soups and have specials, daily.

waltons cortado
Walton’s serves coffee from Cuvee, a craft coffee company that roasts their beans right outside of Austin. Grab a cortado if you want all your wake up in a shorter shot or a cappuccino to sip with your brunch.

 

 

 

waltons shrimp and grist

~Keeping with the tradition of sampling one sweet and one savory dish, we tried the shrimp and grits and the challah French toast. Four jumbo blackened shrimp served on top of a large portion of jalapeno cheddar grits were perfectly spicy and cheesy.

waltons challah french toast

Dipped in a crème brulee batter, the Challah French toast was surprisingly light and fluffy. The fresh tangy blueberries and blackberries balanced the sweetness of the sweet batter and maple syrup.

 

Very popular for brunch, come early like we did, or grab a mimosa and be prepared to wait a bit.

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits with creole

After moving to Austin 7 years ago, I quickly fell in love with this southern staple.  It’s spicy, savory, and makes a hearty brunch or dinner.  I use quick cooking grits (not instant, the ones that cook in 10-15 minutes are so much better!) to make this dish really easy.  Instead of cooking the grits according to the package directions, I substitute half of the water for milk, and add some fresh garlic and jalapeno to give it a kick.  This goes really well topped with my spicy Creole Sauce.

 

Ingredients (Serves 4):

1-1 ½ lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

To make the grits:

1 tbsp. butter
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
¾ cup water
¾ cup milk
¾ cup quick grits
2 dashes hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

baconPreheat a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over medium heat, until chopped bacon sizzles when added.  Cook until crisp, approximately 10 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.  Remove grease, reserving 1 tbsp. for cooking the shrimp (see instructions below).  Return the skillet to medium heat and add chopped onion.  Sauté for approximately 10 minutes until onion starts to look caramelized.  When caramelized, remove from pan and set aside with crisp bacon.

Meanwhile, mix flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  After peeling and deveining the shrimp, rinse in a colander and pat dry with paper towel.  Place dried shrimp in a bowl with the flour mixture and combine to give it a light coating.  This will give it a nice brown crust when seared in reserved bacon grease.

To start the grits, melt butter in medium saucepan on medium-low.  Once melted, add diced garlic and jalapeno and sauté until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.  Add milk and water, turning heat up to medium-high.   When starting to boil, add grits and simmer on low, stirring regularly.   Cook for approximately 10 minutes until desired consistency.  I like grits to have a decent amount of the water cooked out of them, so when you put a big scoop in your plate they hold their shape, like a scoop of rice or mashed potatoes.    Add salt, pepper and hot sauce and stir to combine.

shrimp

While grits are simmering, turn skillet back on to medium heat.  Add reserved bacon grease and place shrimp in a single layer and cook until browned, approximately 5 minutes.  Turn the shrimp it the other side and cook another 5 minutes.  Add cooked bacon and onion to the shrimp and toss to combine.

 

 

shrimp and grits - no creolePlace a large scoop of grits in a bowl and top with shrimp.  Add Creole Sauce if desired and garnish with green onions.

Enjoy! shrimp and grits with creole sauce