About AFDA

Austin Friends Dining Association was created in September 2007 as a city organization focused on celebrating friendship around the dinner table. AFDA's purpose is to enjoy new tastes among good company. All members are hand-picked to create a joyous atmosphere.


December '10

AFDA 4th Annual New Year's Eve
As a tradition that has fills our hearts with joy and the bellies of incredibly deserving people, members donated canned goods and items to local charities at the end of 2010. Although the donation wasn't actually made until 2011, the gathering took place around New Year's Eve and excitement of giving was the perfect end to another year. The charities chosen all aligned with AFDA's purpose: food & enjoyment. Be sure to check out these charties and more in Austin, and see how you can spread a little something.

Caritas of Austin
(AFDA donated non-perishable items last year)
Caritas serves hot meals every weekday through our Community Kitchen and take-home groceries through our Pantry to individuals and families in need.

Link to other services Caritas provides

Capital Area Food Bank of Texas
CAFB provides food and grocery products to more than 350 Partner Agencies in 21 Central Texas counties. In 2009, CAFB provided more than 23 million pounds of food. The CAFB service area covers 19,064 square miles in Central Texas.

Link to other services CAFB provides

Meals on Wheels & More
Meals on Wheels and More delivers daily meals to about 2,000 homebound and disabled persons with the help of 3,000 volunteers and runs eight additional programs designed to keep our clients healthy.

Link to other services MOW&M provides:

November '10

3rd Annual AFDA Thanksgiving

November 20, 2010

November happens to be one of AFDA member's favorite times of year. It's our annual potluck dinner, and it is a night filled with laughter, stories, football & food comas. We held it at Kristen & Carter's for a second time, and it was fabulous. The house was set with the warmth and grace of friendship. We arrived and sipped cocktails courtesy of the lady of the house. The reindeer as she called it. A martini concoction that boasted the noise of Rudolph via a cranberry. Our mulled cider was present again and filled the house with smells of the season.

The spread lived up to its name yet again. Here's a peak into how the group made mountain high plates:
Green Been Casserole & Spiked Cider
Squash Casserole
Sweet Potatoes
Potatoes AuGratin, Butternut Squash Soup, Bacon Wrapped Dates
Luby's Mac & Cheese
Baked Brie
Pumpkin pie, Pecan pie, Hot chocolate peppermint Schnapps

Live it, love it, boom. It was amazing. The stories that led to intense ab workout laughter were just as good as the food. A perfect celebation of the true bit of the holiday. Thanks to friends, food and complete and udder enjoyment. Here's to your New Year and may it bring as much joy as you can imagine.


October '10


October 29th, 2010

The folks of AFDA gathered at the newest addition to South Congress in Austin. Replacing Cissi's Market, Hopdoddy, focuses on homemade burgers, beer, and specialty cocktails. When I say homemade, I mean homemade. The guys running this place (from Austin's Moonshine), put their heart and soul into any preparation. All meats are hand ground, the bread is freshly baked, and the fries are hand cut. To say you can taste the love is an understatement. I'm not sure if we've ever had so many ooohhs, and mmmmms at another dinner.

When we arrived, we sat down at a few high tables and ordered cocktails and beer. Hopdoddy also offers a good selection of reds and whites for vino lovers. Black Cherry Limeade and a ton of local brews filled the table as we look over the mouth watering menu. Burgers are the main focus, but there are veggie options, as well as, other meats and fish. A few salads are on there too for any one going green.

We placed our orders and talked about how much we liked the place so far. A Magic Mushroom (Beef, Pure Luck goat cheese, field mushrooms, and basil pesto spread) made its way to the table. Along with a Llano Poblano (Beef, pepper jack cheese, roasted poblano chiles, and apple-smoked bacon), Buffalo Bill (Bison, Maytag blue cheese, Frank's hot sauce, and apple-smoked bacon), an a Ahi Tuna Burger (Sushi-grade tuna, sunflower sprouts, teriyaki, honey wasabi, nori chips, and pickled ginger), and more. Orders of Kennebec fries made their way into many mouths as well.

I cannot say how fantastic each burger was. Absolutely delicious with such thought inspired ingredients and combinations. We all could eat here more than once a week. Perfect for a casual date, drinks with the boys, or burgers with the gals. So incredibly tasty and the rarity of such excellent staff.

Curious about the name? Apparently hop is representing the brews, and doddy is a term given to the Aberdeen Angus cattle of Scotland. The restaurant is serving them both exceptionally well. Make your way down to South Congress, and after you're done eating one of the best burgers you've had, walk it off with the Capitol in the background. Cheers!

Hopdoddy Menu
Twitter: @hopdoddy


September '10


Green Pastures

September 29th, 2010

That's right folks, it has been 3 wonderfully delicious years since AFDA's first dinner in Austin. I cannot say how much I have enjoyed the evenings of fantastic food and friendship. I am incredibly excited to have many more nights around dinner tables for years to come.

To celebrate AFDA's big night we started with a champagne toast on the rooftop of the Crescent Apartments off South Congress. We watched the sun go down, and soaked in the Austin city skyline. After the bubbly was gone, we headed to one of Austin's finest and most beautiful restaurants, Green Pastures. I have been going to Green Pastures since I was a little one, and can remember my Mom's 40th birthday party there like it was yesterday. The luscious sprawling green lawn, free roaming peacocks, and gorgeous white home set the perfect southern atmosphere in the city. Nine members gathered on a Wednesday night not only to raise their glasses for AFDA, but also for Austin Restaurant Week. Green Pastures participated in this week long wonderland for foodies by creating a 3 course menu and donating a percentage of proceeds to the Sustainable Food Center of Austin. A marvelous trifecta.

We began our dinner with a few bottles of an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon recommended by our waiter as the special of the night (about $30). We intensely reviewed the menu and made our choice of appetizer, entree and dessert. The table was set with a bountiful bouquet of roses from my mother, so lovely. Our first course arrived and it was as if we were kids in a candy store. Forks met knives and mini bites were passed of SOUTH TEXAS TRIO (Bacon-wrapped Jalapeno-stuffed Texas Quail, Valencia Orange and Fresh Bay Pork En Croute, Ancho-Garlic Goat Cheese Chicken Sausage with Poblano Sauce and Navajo Bread), SAKE BOMBED LOBSTER TAIL (BBQ Kirin Tempura Lobster Tail with Black Pepper Ginger Sake Butter and Sesame Scallions), and CITY VIEW BRUNCH (Brie and Caramelized Mushroom Rosemary-Garlic Stromboli with Fig-Balsamic Avocado Soup with Texas Goat Cheese Fried Poached Pasture Raised Egg with Grilled Artichoke, Roasted Onion and Tomato Chutney). If you require a nap now from your mental food coma, no judgment comes your way. It was all splendid. The lobster tail literally cannot be described in words. If you find one, eat it, and you'll be happy the rest of your life. Light, crunch, succulent, the end. All delicious and so thoughtfully created.

Next we moved to Entrees. SALOON STYLE STEAK (Brown Sugar and Tellicherry Black Pepper Cured USDA Prime Beef Filet, Roasted Sweet Potato, Cabbage Confit, Pasilla Essence), TEXAS HYDROPONIC REDFISH (Coriander Spiced Redfish, Steamed Crab Cake, Coconut-Jasmine Rice, Fried Cilantro, Curried Cashews and Lime-Long Pepper Butter), FREE RANGE HUMANELY RAISED VEGETABLES (Crispy Mushroom Spring Rolls with Miso-Garlic Dip Truffled Yukon Torta with Chipotle Asparagus Spinach Flan with Cured Tomato, Spiced Red Wine and Lavosh Butternut Squash and Arugula Crepe with Pecans, Maple Syrup and Creme Fraiche). The biggest relief was that the vegetables were humanely raised. Nothing satisfactory about a scorned vegetable served on your plate. The majority chose the steak and it was excellent. A large portioned filet, very passionately cooked.

We ended the evening with decadent dessert, which was the icing to our celebration cake. GREEN PASTURES BREAD PUDDING (Traditional New Orleans Style Bread Pudding with White Chocolate, Pecans, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg. Served with a Jack Daniels Sauce), KOOCK CHEESECAKE Rich and Velvety New York Style Cheesecake with Raspberry and Blackberry Sauces), HELEN CORBITT TEXAS PECAN BALL Large Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream Rolled in Crushed Pecans and Homemade Fudge Sauce. Texas enriched all the way around. The pudding a creamy drunk, the cheesecake shockingly light, and the pecan ball a childhood favorite.

A special night with a group whose stories and laughs could entertain the most reserved of folk. We celebrating Ms. Cassie's birthday along with AFDA's, which was an extra special treat. Make sure to get yourself to Green Pastures any time you can. It's a place you can unwind, enjoy, and treasure.

Here's to whatever you're celebrating currently, and that you're able to toast with those you enjoy around a special table of your own. Salute!

Top Picks: Sake Bomb Lobster Tail, City View Brunch, Saloon Style Steak, Koock Cheesecake

Green Pastures


August '10

Sandy's Hamburgers

August 26, 2010

If you've lived or been in Austin over the last 30 plus years, you've probably heard about Sandy's Hamburgers. As a kid, my brother and I would be giddy with excitement, while eating our chocolate fudge sundaes in the parking lot. This Austin institution sits on the side of Barton Springs Road with it's brightly lit sign and tiny restaurant guiding you into burger mania. For AFDA's last summer dinner, we headed to the joint for all things old school. We met at the order window, said our hellos, and began with the Thursday Special: hamburger, fries and a coke for a total of $3.69. To say this was our cheapest AFDA would be an understatement. We grabbed a picnic table at the back under the yellow lit concrete. We dove in, and talked of childhood, our love of burgers and the great city of Austin, Texas. The original plan was to head to the best sno cone place in Austin (where a few AFDA members worked during their college summers), Sno Beach, down the street but it's trailer doors were closed. We walked ourselves back to Sandy's where orders of delicious hot fudge sundaes, chocolate shakes, and swirl cones were made. The perfect way to end our 2010 summer. Stop by Sandy's (or drive thru) Thursday and Saturday for their famous specials, or any other day of the week. You'll feel like a kid again.

Top Picks: The Special, Chocolate Shake, Swirl Cone, Hot fudge Sundae

Sandy's Hamburgers on Yelp

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