the saturday morning itis from taqueria montenegro

For the past several months now, Mare&I have a Saturday morning ritual of going to Taqueria Montenegro for the best barbacoa tacos and beef fajita tortas in Austin. The tortas are toasted and filled with marinated beef, cheese, lettuce, and guacamole. The taste and texture is incomparable to anything I’ve ever eaten in my life. If heaven is on a bun, then Montenegro’s torta is a delicious cherub sent from above.

The barbacoa tacos are standard for authentic Mexican cuisine and very mesmerizing. Symptoms of itis from Montenegro’s tasty food cannot be full achieved without consuming their greasy barbacoa in a flour tortilla with their version of pico which is simply diced white onion and chopped cilantro.

The meal isn’t complete without using copious amounts of their signature green (verde) sauce. I’m convinced that it’s just a jalapeño purée, but it completes the mind-blowing flavor of our usual Saturday morning meal from the best taqueria in North Austin.

Taqueria Montenegro is a small taqueria located at 11300 Pollyanna Avenue on the corner of Braker Lane and I-35 connected to a convenient store next to a Money Box. The place has no seating and is busy every time we go. The service is relatively quick depending on how many people are waiting on their order. The staff is friendly, and the quality of the food is very consistent. Their prices are on the inexpensive side, and the menu has many authentic Mexican preparations which include tacos, tortas, and dishes with rice and beans.

They have the best barbacoa in North Austin, the best tortas in the universe, and other dishes you won’t find in a five-mile radius like tripas (which personally I’m not a fan). As long as we live in the North Austin area and our schedules allow, we’ll be stopping by Montenegro every Saturday morning for our usual order of two barbacoa tacos on flour tortillas with pico and two beef fajita tortas, a recipe for the best case of itis ever recorded in the history of man’s existence.

Thanks to GMN to introducing me to the best taqueria in Austin. He used to eat their food all the time when they were just a taco truck in the gas station parking lot where they’re located now. If you’re reading this and know an Austin taqueria that might be as amazing as Montenegro, then please get in touch.

the six-week body transformation by KettleWorX™

Following the Six-Week Body Transformation fitness program is easy and produces results. Working out with a kettlebell for only an hour a week and following this breakthrough program has changed the way I think about fitness. Each session gives me a whole body workout by incorporating cardio, core and resistance training. This is all done in one 20-minute workout three times a week.

Only a few weeks have gone by, and I’m already seeing and feeling a difference. Since each workout is only 20 minutes, finding time is easy. This fitness program includes a Kettlebell and a set of DVDs.

Three of the DVDs contain six workouts each and focus on a certain type of workout: Cardio, Core, and Resistance. Just dedicating three 20-minute sessions per week (one for each type of workout) will make you feel fitter, happier, and more productive.

I’m almost at that point where I’ll be adding some supplemental workouts included on two other discs. They’re quick workouts that can be incorporated into the six-week program or done by themselves.

I haven’t been going to the gym lately due to my busy schedule. Staying in shape was a challenge, but KettleWorx™ is the solution that I was seeking. The Six-Week Body Transformation is fast, effective, and enjoyable.
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the nutrisystematicism

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to the mind and body. With everyday temptations like dollar menus at fast food restaurants and deliciously greasy dinner specials, desiring tasty meals can become a constant game of give and take.

The Nutrisystem diet program is designed to combat the fight that goes on when eating healthy and eating for satisfaction collide. Other diets require people to restrict themselves to eating certain foods, taking expensive supplements, and avoiding meals that satisfy the appetite for most of the day.

Upon reviewing a couple commercials and reading up on this diet program, Nutrisystem has the ability to make dieting very easy and affordable. The system has a variety of plans to choose from to suit individual needs. The food is prepackaged and processed, so if you already use the “microwave” way of preparing most of your meals, then all you need to do to easily lose weight without sacrificing taste or starving yourself is to change out the current frozen dinners with the Nutrisystem selection.

The food is filled with good carbs, high fiber, zero trans fat, and low sodium which is necessary to lose weight while still eating enough to be satisfied. The cost of the food ranges from seven to ten dollars a day which isn’t bad at all considering that many people who get their lunch at the drive-thru spend anywhere from three to seven dollars in that one meal alone. For the Nutrisystem price, you get three meals and two snacks.

On top of the cost of the food, you can only imagine that shipping would be an additional charge. Not at all. Shipping is free, so not only do you get meals that only require you to “heat and eat”, they are delivered directly to your door. No need to spend time driving to grocery store, filling the cart, checking out, unloading the groceries, or sweating in the kitchen preparing the meals.

You’re not under any obligation and can cancel any time. If you’re skeptical about this diet program, then you can actually try out three weeks worth of food for free. How can you pass that up? With over a hundred different meals, snacks, and desserts to choose from, eating healthier to lose weight has never been made any easier or affordable.

the mighty fine burgers in austin

Mare returned to Austin from her Canada/North Carolina trip yesterday. We had lunch at Mighty Fine which is pretty fine but I wouldn’t say mighty fine. They are owned by the same people that own Rudy’s which is their gimmicky barbecue place. My only beef with Mighty Fine is that their prices are too damn high, but I’m sure it’s based in figuring out how much they can squeeze (capitalize) from the earners in that area which is a fairly nice area. That place is always packed when I go, and for what? Burgers, fries, and shakes.

The burgers are very homemade genuine-tasting, but again, I don’t think you’d normally pay someone five bucks to make you the same-quality half-pound burger and a couple bucks for a soda in a bottle. I love their half-pound burgers and their fries are good, but I’m gonna give the rest the two thumbs down. They have these chili dogs where they slice up the hot dog, so I guess they could charge more for it. Most chili from burger places are recycled burgers. You’re paying for yesterday’s leftovers.

I’m not saying I won’t go back to Mighty Fine, because I’d rank their half-pound burger in the top five in Austin, but they sure know how to overcharge for what I can get for a couple bucks less almost anywhere else and I’m not talking fast food chain burgers. I’m talking about the Crown and Anchor, Burger Tex, Bagpipes on Tuesdays, Hut’s, Dan’s, etc.

the alchemy index vols. iii & iv review

the alchemy index vols. iii and iv reviewOn April 15th, the third and fourth volumes of Thrice’s concept album, The Alchemy Index, will be officially released. The two volumes are titled Air and Earth. I had the privilege to listen to the records for the first time last night, and I’m listening to it a second time as I write this.

I initially compared these volumes to the first two that were released, Fire and Water. The first two really followed their elemental concepts. Fire was a very heavy, disoriented record, and Water was much more fluid and calm. Lyrically and musically, Air and Earth both follow their elements as well. Air has themes related to breathing and flying. Earth relates to existence and uses acoustic instruments such as piano, banjo, and of course, acoustic guitar.

I enjoy how the last track of the first volume on each pair of The Alchemy Index transitions into the second volume. Silver Wings transitions well into Moving Mountains on this set. The Flame Deluge transitions well into Digital Sea. Whether this was intentional or not, it helps make the volumes seem like two full-lengths versus four EPs which makes it more satisfying.

The Alchemy Index impressed me as a whole. I plan on listening to it from the first volume to the last. I really feel that Thrice has channeled more of their musical influences and expanded their horizon with this collection. The songs are very different from each other which keeps the listener interested track to track. Thrice proves that they have grown as a band both musically and mentally. They did an excellent job producing this record themselves which is a feat in itself.

Many fans will miss hearing the angst-driven rock that Thrice hatched with The Illusion of Safety and evolved more in The Artist and the Ambulance, but I understand that bands that are meant to succeed will grow and seek out new directions. The progression of their sound was hinted in Vheissu and came to fruition in The Alchemy Index. You will notice many styles of music that include but are not limited to: experimental rock, post-hardcore, electronic, folk, alternative rock, and acoustic rock.

Since Thrice put away their flams and finger-tapping solos, they’ve explored more options in expressing themselves through the beautiful music that they create. All four volumes of The Alchemy Index prove this. To me, The Alchemy Index to this decade is what Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was in the ’90s. They are both solid concept records where each band took their experience as musicians and brought it to the next level.

Check out their site for current updates from the band.

the memory foam mattress

Today, my memory foam mattress arrived in the mail. I entered a video contest back in December, and the company hosting the contest picked the ten best videos. The contest was to make a commercial for the company. The winners received a free memory foam mattress with a foundation. The video I made with Neil was the eighth one picked.

My previous bed was a six-year-old, full-size bed. One of the legs on the bed frame had bent and was replaced with a block of wood to keep the bed level. The box spring had a busted board in it. The mattress had springs, and they were creaking. I actually sampled the creaking of my bed to be the annoying opening sounds of the video I entered.

I also had a memory foam pad for added comfort on my full-size bed. The thing was a nuisance, because it slid around and really loved to partially slide off the bed. The fitted sheet didn’t keep it from sliding.

This new queen-size bed from BedInABox.com is amazing. My initial thought about it was that it is definitely the bed of the future.

Two boxes arrived at my door. One box contained the foundation. It was a long box, and it was full of wood pieces. I thought assembling it was going to be a hassle, but it actually wasn’t. The pieces fit together perfectly, and the package with the nuts and bolts even came with a wrench to tighten it all down. One of the odd parts were the boards that were attached with thick plastic strips, but it made sense when they were laid down. The other odd part was the piece of cardboard that wrapped the boards inside the box was used for the top of the foundation. None of that mattered though, because the package included a cover to conceal the wooden part of the foundation.

I was a little surprised that it didn’t have a bed frame, but after it was all assembled, I was able to see why. After the foundation was put together, it appeared like the bed was going to be the same size as my full but longer. This was incorrect.

The other box was the mattress. It was fairly big and pretty heavy. Inside this box were: a protective cover for the mattress, a European down mattress pad (bonus!), and the memory foam mattress itself.

The mattress was in a bag that seemed like it would slip off easily. Not true. I busted out the scissors and sliced that bag off. No big deal. The mattress itself was rolled like a Fruit Roll-Up in a vacuum-sealed bag held in its cylindrical form with plastic wrap.

The plastic wrap was removed, and the bed unrolled and was folded in half. It wouldn’t unfold without cutting the edge of the bag it was in. I must have cut into the seal, because the mattress started to restore itself to its full size as it was being set up. I’d say it grew three times its size once the vacuum seal was removed.

The mattress was longer and wider than my full-size bed. This was something I assumed, but after assembling the foundation, I was thinking that it was only going to be longer.

After putting on the protective sheet and the down mattress pad, I put on my old fitted sheet but it wouldn’t fit. I left it on as much as it would fit, but I do plan on purchasing one that fits.

I laid down on the mattress, and it felt like I was laying on a dense cloud and all of the pressure in my back started easing away. I could feel my lower back muscles cry in happiness while the memory foam consumed my tired body. The feeling was a mix of pleasure and pain. The pleasure was the relaxation generated from laying in the bed. The pain was the response from my back muscles feeling the immense comfort.

A memory foam mattress always remembers.

Memory foam mattresses are really the beds of the future. I’m done with spring beds and all of that other fancy overpriced snake oil. The noisy creaks are gone forever, my old memory foam pad is useless because the mattress itself is memory foam, and the bed is larger than my old one which is a definite plus.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to receive a memory foam mattress. I would like to thank BedInABox.com for giving me this opportunity, and Neil for helping make a winning video.