New Culinary Worlds

Although the major objective of our trip to Austin was to attend the New Politics Forum’s Boot Camp, we always search for ways to enhance our experiences. On this trip, one of those ways was to try as many ethnic foods as possible, and we started on our first day!

As we picked up Yvette Mendoza, who is half Puerto Rican, we celebrated by having lunch at The Point Panaderia & Cafe. While we generally enjoyed the food, the forty minute wait (for sandwiches!) was not appealing.

We made it up for it somewhat with some Austin food, from Kerbey Lane Cafe, which is also something of a LEAP tradition.

LEAP, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, New Politics Forum, Campaign Bootcamp, Experiential Education

We did try different foods from KLC, including queso, burgers, and sandwiches.

On Saturday, the most grueling day of the Boot Camp, we dug into some lunch from Ramen Tatsu-Ya, which was a first for many of us. The food included eggs, meat, noodles (of course), and salad. It was, in a word, delicious.

Not to be outdone, following the long day of Boot Camp, we topped off our night with Balkan food. This consisted primarily of various types of meat: pork, beef, chicken, in the form cutlets, various sausages, and bacon. We also managed some wonderful veggies and eggs, as well.

For our final day of Boot Camp, we began with lighter fare: Swedish Hill bakery, with sandwiches and pastries. This gave us sufficient fuel for the filming of our Campaign Pitches.

Our big meal, however, came in the form of a Brazilian Steakhouse, Estancia. (No public funds were used for this meal.)

Brazilian Steakhouse: Estancia

By Yvette Mendoza

Wrapping up our final day of Campaign Bootcamp, LEAP Ambassadors were treated to a premiere Brazilian steakhouse called Estância. A few Ambassadors had actually never been to a Brazilian steakhouse before, but it was a brand new experience for two of us. There were an array of options to choose from, including various salad greens and toppings and freshly cut cheese. As for the appetizers, we sampled plantains, mash potatoes, pão de queijo (Brazilian bread), and yuca fries.

For the main entree, a selection of Brazilian meat was brought out for us, and whether or not we were served depended on whether our card on the table was flipped to green or red.

LEAP, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, New Politics Forum, Campaign Bootcamp, Experiential Education, Estancia

Since some of us (aka, Yvette) never flipped the card over to red, we had delicious meat pouring onto our table continuously. 

LEAP, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, New Politics Forum, Campaign Bootcamp, Experiential Education, Estancia

The favorite foods of the evening consisted of filet mignon wrapped in bacon, grilled shrimp, juicy linguica pork, and the flavorful fraldinha. Our stomachs were full but we made room for dessert being the creme brulee, Papaya Cream…  

…and the Fire New York style cheesecake, which for some was truly mind-blowing.

After dessert, one Ambassador was taught how to properly fold a cloth napkin.

LEAP, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, New Politics Forum, Campaign Bootcamp, Experiential Education, Estancia

Not only was this dinner filled with an amazing amount of endless foods, but we also still managed to continue opening our minds to learn something new.

Final Day

By: Jessica Cuevas

After a great tour of the Texas Capitol, the LEAP students were in for a nice cold and creamy treat from a local favorite ice cream shop: Amy’s Ice Creams.

LEAP, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, New Politics Forum, Campaign Bootcamp, Experiential Education, Amy's Ice Cream

This shop had a variety of different flavors, including Oreo, Mexican Vanilla, Dark Chocolate and many more.

LEAP, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, New Politics Forum, Campaign Bootcamp, Experiential Education, Amy's Ice Cream

It even had a good selection to choose from when it came to “crushins” or toppings, which allowed for many different combinations.

Despite it being a first-time place for most of us, we really savored the sweet and delectable treat, although we did wonder why they could only do one order at a time….

Right after Amy’s, we were taken to JuiceLand. This was my first time here, and I was excited to try something new. Juice Land offered a variety of smoothies, juices, coffee, and other drinks. After looking through the whole menu, I battled between getting the Peachy Green Smoothie or the Morning Sunshine Smoothie, but ultimately ended up getting the Morning Sunshine along with Yvette. Quinn ordered a honey lemonade, and Jade had a Blue Hullabaloo.

Our trip came to an end as we drove back to Huntsville drinking our flavorful drinks and reflecting on a fun and educational weekend.

LEAP, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, SHSU, New Politics Forum, Campaign Bootcamp, Experiential Education

Author: mikeyawn

Mike Yawn teaches at Sam Houston State University. In the past few years, he has taught courses on Politics & Film, Public Policy, the Presidency, Media & Politics, Congress, Statistics, Research & Writing, Field Research, and Public Opinion. He has published academic papers in the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Security Quarterly, Film & History, American Politics Review, and contributed a chapter to the textbook Politics and Film. He also contributes columns, news analysis, and news stories to newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, Huron Daily Tribune, Laredo Morning Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Connecticut Post, and Midland Reporter Telegram. Yawn is also active in his local community, serving on the board of directors of the local YMCA and Friends of the Wynne. Previously, he served on the Huntsville's Promise and Stan Musial World Series Boards of Directors. In 2007-2008, Yawn was one of eight scholars across the nation named as a Carnegie Civic Engagement Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation.

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