Awesome Austin Part 1: Where to Eat!
I recently took a trip down to Austin to visit my friends Carrie and Doug, and it was pretty exciting because I’ve never been to Texas before and I love exploring new places. They moved down south over the summer so Doug could volunteer for Habitat for Humanity (whata guy!) and I was lucky enough to get to go visit and have them show me around! They live in an awesome area right near the University of Texas, so there is lots of fun stuff to do…especially a lot of cool and unique places to EAT! Pretty much the entire time I was in Austin, Carrie and I joked about how looking at our pictures it looks like all we did was eat. I swear we did other things too, but since it was kind of an ongoing joke, I thought it only appropriate to have my first “Austin Post” be about Texas’ culinary hot-spots
Central Market: Central Market was the first stop for me, Carrie, and Lupe (their new puppy) once my plane got in! We walked right over to it from their apartment and got some great sandwiches! Central Market is located within Central Park and has a cool outdoor seating area where you can eat, play on the play scape, etc. And dogs are allowed, which in my book makes it about 100x better! I got a mozzarella, tomato, and basil sandwich and Carrie got an Asian chicken sandwich. Both were delicious! Of course we shared some fries and fruit with the lunch…it was very well rounded and delicious!
Pinthouse Pizza: Pinthouse Pizza is not only a pizzeria, but they also brew their own beer, which is awesome! Who doesn’t love pizza and beer?! We got the Man O’ War IPA. I’m not a very good “beer describer”…you ask me how it is I’d tell you what I thought “it tastes like beer…it was great!”, but for you beer connoisseurs out there, here’s a little description right from their website: “Bright tropical fruits and juicy citrus in the nose are followed by a mouthful of resiny citrus and just a wee bit of clean bitterness to balance it all out. Much less bitter than many IPAs out there, yet so much hoppier.” I love IPAs so I thought it was delicious. We got dinner with Carrie’s brother and a couple of their Austin friends, including their friend named Austin…talk about getting confused! The pizza and beer were both great! And even better because both were made in house! Wayyyyy better than a bud light bottle and slice of Dominos!
Carrie and Doug’s Kitchen: Every morning while I was visiting, Doug got up and spoiled us with a delicious homemade breakfast! One day we had bagels with eggs that had chipotle peppers, onions, and cheese on them…it was super delicious, however unfortunately I couldn’t stomach the whole meal thanks to the prior night’s party. The next day we had sausage egg and cheeses made with venison sausage. It was delicious, especially because we know how much Carrie lovvvvvvesss sausage!
Austin Java: We stopped at Austin Java for a mid-afternoon ice coffee located in….you guessed it! Austin! I got a toffee crunch ice coffee, and besides it being probably the most expensive ice coffee I’ve ever purchased, it was delicious. Hey! I was on vacation! But if I lived in Austin I’d probably have to make coffee at home or find a slightly less expensive java-joint!
Chuy’s: Apparently there is a saying “If you see one Chuy’s….You’ve seen one Chuy’s”. And let me tell you…I believe it! This is the kind of place that is decorated with everything from a street signs to sports apparel to even a car sticking out of the wall (which is actually the booth we sat at). And of course is complete with a shrine to the king himself, Elvis that is! This place has some cool history too! Founders Mike Young and John Zapp started the place in 1982 with nothing but an old abandoned BBQ joint and $20. There was a women’s bathroom about the size of a broom closet and a men’s bathroom…uhh in the dirt parking lot, where else?! From there they took their eclectic charm to a new level and came up with their reknown decorating style and some famous dishes that include “Burritos as Big as Yo’ Face”. It was easy to tell this place was going to be a crowd pleaser from the moment we walked in the door because as soon as other customers found out we had never been there before they were eagerly offering their expert opinions on what we just HAD to eat! I got enchiladas, rice, and beans, and it was all delicious. In fact, my mouth is watering just thinking about it, but unfortunately, it’s too late to eat…and I’m in CT again…damn!
Ruby’s BBQ: We went to Ruby’s for a BBQ lunch my third day in TX. I was left to choose between this and a local taco place, and was having the WORST time deciding. What can I say, I’m a fat kid at heart (and maybe a little on the outside too :P) so I ended up choosing BBQ because I don’t eat it as often and it seemed delicious, and I’m glad I did! Everything at Ruby’s is authentic pit smoked BBQ slow cooked on oak wood in brick and mortar pits. Ruby’s has been family owned and operated since 1988 when they opened and they use only hormone and steroid free beef. I got the spicy chopped BBQ beef sandwich with homemade potato salad. My sandwich definitely had a kick to it and was complimented by the crisp potato salad and fresh ice tea! It was a really cool place to eat too because there was an “indoor-indoor” seating area, an “indoor-outdoor” seating area, and an “outdoor-outdoor” seating area. We sat in the “indoor-outdoor” seating area, where Lupe was able to join us, and we were also joined by the restaurant’s cat. Now, if you know me, you know my feelings on cats…but I am a sucker for businesses that have animals, what can I say!
Sandy’s Frozen Custard: Normally I’m not a huge ice cream or frozen yogurt fan, but in Texas frozen custard is a big thing, and I’m not talking about the “frozen custard” you can get at Rita’s here in New England. This is Real Deal! I opted for chocolate in chocolate dip, which I immediately regretted. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely delicious, but the custard was melting under the dip faster than I could keep up (like it always does with “dips”, yet somehow I never remember this until I’m in the moment!). Whats the difference between Frozen Yogurt/Ice Cream and Custard? In addition to ice cream’s cream and sugar, custards also use eggs as one of the main ingredients. It was so creamy and fattening, I’m glad they only make it down there in the south!
Stay tuned for Austin Parts 2 and 3!
Posted on January 17, 2013, in Austin, TX, Bucket List, This is Me!, Travel, trips and tagged Austin, austin java, Central Market, Chuys, custard, Pinthouse Pizza, ruby's rubys bbq, Sandy, Sandy's Frozen Custard, Texas, TX. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.