Happy Fifth Birthday, Snack Bar!

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Snack Bar recently celebrated its fifth birthday! We had the honor of joining Bethany Andrée, Karl Gilkey, and their friends and family yesterday in celebrating the occasion with excellent food, drinks, and company. Wonderful party!

The Atmosphere

If I didn’t mention it in my Snack Bar happy hour post, the atmosphere at Snack Bar is great. It’s a nice blend of retro and modern that comes off as warmer and more relaxed than either retro or modern feel on their own. Very cool, a place you could easily settle into for a meal, a drink, or a work space away from home when cabin fever sets in.

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I especially love their patio. By day it’s open and bright and airy, and by night it feels like a classy/relaxed outdoor lounge.

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The fire pit adds to the relaxed feel. Fire pits make every space warmer (physically and figuratively).

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The Food

Bethany and Karl provided Snack Bar’s own smoked deviled eggs (my favorite food of the night), curried chicken salad sliders with pickled green tomatoes (my second favorite food of the night, tied with the cupcakes), avocado quinoa salad, pulled pork tacos with fruit salsa and pickled onions, and black bean dip. All of the food was amazing, as always. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

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And the birthday cupcakes. Wow. Imagine a dense banana bread muffin with a lightweight, not too sweet icing that tastes like fresh bananas and something else I can’t quite put my finger on (maybe whipped toasted marshmallow?), and a banana slice and spices on top. That was the cupcake. Yum. Now I want to make some banana bread.

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Blast from the Past

And since we’re talking about Snack Bar’s fifth birthday, I thought I’d dig up the photos I took the first time I visited Snack Bar (I was only blogging about recipes I tried back then, but I still took photos everywhere I went!). While I didn’t realize this at the time, it turns out my husband (then boyfriend) and I visited very shortly after they opened, in November 2009. I can’t remember what date Bethany said Snack Bar had opened, but from what I found in this Rebeccamendations post and this Tasty Touring post, it looks like their official opening was in October, about a month before our visit.

I like seeing how the patio has evolved since then. And despite the changes, it still has the same relaxed, open vibe with plenty of South Congress people-watching opportunities.

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The strongest memory I have from that day is this green wall. I LOVE this wall.

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In fact, I love it so much that I included this photo in the Austin photo book that I made a few years ago for our wedding guest book.

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I also really loved the place’s style as a whole, right down to the details. As you can see, the focus of my one food shot from that day was not actually the food, but the Erlenmeyer flask containing our water. It brought back memories of two of my favorite classes in high school: Chem I and Chem II. I love the trend in restaurants of giving each table a swingtop water bottle to refill their water (I’ve mostly seen it in 2014, but it looks like the trend actually started in 2011), but the chemistry geek in me secretly hopes that someday Erlenmeyer flasks will be the trend.

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