Earlier this week, Adam and I reserved two seats for an Olamaie (pron. “Ola-may”) pop-up dinner, held at Lenoir. According to their website, Olamaie is a modern Southern food restaurant set to open in Austin in early winter 2013. Olamaie will be located at 1610 San Antonio Street, in the old Sagra location.
They are building buzz for the new venture, as well as working out the kinks, with a series of pop-up dinners in August, September and October. The final pop-up dinner this week is tonight, but you can still reserve seats for one of the upcoming pop-ups to be held both in Austin and Dallas at www.olamaieaustin.com/pop-ups.
At our meal, prices hovered at around $9 for starters, and $20 for entrees, with beer and wine offered complimentary due to TABC rules.
The biscuits ($6) are a must-order, and come with honey butter and chicken grease (aka schmaltz), that I recommend slathering on together for one perfect bite. They were delicious.
We ordered the pickles ($6) to cut some of the fat in the biscuits, and they did the job, but certainly aren’t a must-order. They’re pickled vegetables — pretty simple.
We were encouraged to order Edna’s Tomato ($9), a simple dish with fresh tomatoes, tomato water, salt, pepper, and chervil. With a dish this straightforward, the tomatoes need to be amazing — but for me, they were a little mealy, and while fine, they weren’t bursting with flavor enough to make this a dish I would recommend. Of course, it all depends on the tomatoes they receive that day. However, I really enjoyed slurping up the tomato water at the end.
We loved the Ham and Egg ($19), that featured wonderful and thinly sliced ham, a beautiful egg, and grits, black-eyed peas, and spicy peppers to round out the dish.
We were highly encouraged to order the Smokey Hen of the Woods ($18) for its uniqueness, and we enjoyed it, although I wouldn’t say you have to get it unless you are a big fan of smokey mushrooms and baked beans with the surprise of fresh-braised peanuts added into the mix. That said, it’s truly hearty for a vegetarian entree, and we had no trouble finishing every last bite.
The pecan pie ($6) with a buttermilk ice cream, whipped cream, and caramel was plate licking good, with a crust that was more flaky and buttery than the usual southern pie crust. It almost reminded me of a crust you would see on french pastry. Adam and I shared this dish but we could each have easily polished off our own.
I recommend checking out one of Olamaie’s pop-ups. Co-Executive Chefs Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nonas are clearly putting love into their food, and what they’re putting out is unlike anything else being served in Austin today.biscuits, olamaie, pop-up, schmaltz, southern