Tag Archives: Food

A Few Things To Do Austin Texas

Austin from South Congress
View into Downtown Austin from South Congress

The other day, my cousin messaged me and asked if I knew of anything to do in Austin… Of course, I have some great recommendations for thinks to do in Austin. I love it there. It’s been our second home for over ten years.

 

Austin Capitol at Night
Austin Capitol at Night

Visual treasure
For sights, I really enjoy the architeure of the Texas State Capitol Building on Congress. Also, the bridge on Congress Avenue over Lady Bird Lake at dusk with the bats flying out from their roost.

IMG_3319

 

 

Plus there are miles of fantastic walking, running and biking trails all along the river in downtown Austin. Loads of places to wander and get in touch with nature.

Melissa's Kung Fu Grip
Melissa’s Kung Fu Grip

 

Shop til you drop!
South Congress Avenue and 6th Street West of Lamar are great neighborhoods for browsing and window shopping. There are a several uniquely Austin businesses around there where I have found some funky finds. From homegoods to clothing, the shop owners are proud of being Texans and they support their local artists and designers.

Curiosities and randomness in Austin Texas
Curiosities and Randomness

Food & Tunes
On the South Congress side of town, The Continental Bar and Guero’s Taco bar are great places to socialize and also happen to have good live music. Just check what time the band starts online… It’s almost always a good representation of local Texas music.

IMG_3278

On Sunday’s the brunch time band at Joe’s Coffee is also awesome. I’ve been to Austin in January when it is freezing rain and there’s nothing happening outside. Rarely though does the cold keep Texans inside when they could be out playing music.

Here’s a little video that is 15 seconds of exactly “What I love about Austin”

Another place that’s got a great band most Saturday nights is called the White Horse & it’s east of I-35 a couple blocks and near 6th Street. Look it up, my friend Dave Insley has a band called the Careless Smokers that usually plays honky tonk swing in there. They also offer dance lessons on Saturday nights. Super good times, not fancy, but as a bonus they have a pool table.

Dave Insley at White Horse Austin
Dave Insley at White Horse Austin

Another great iconic Austin place is the Driskoll Hotel on the famous 6th Street. Even if you’re not staying there, it’s beautiful to have a drink inside in the bar. I’d recommend 6th Street, but only if your college age or into a crazy shot-shot-shot-shot scene. For me, “Dirty 6th” is not really my cup of tea. Generally, I prefer the places that are off the beaten path a bit. Even Antone’s, the icon for live blues music has moved to the East side of I-35. What’s the city coming to?

IMG_3293

Great trendy Vietnamese food at a place called Elisabeth Street on First Street (also on the South side)… and as always the Torchy’s Taco Truck would never steer you wrong. Those guys can make tacos out of the most amazing ingrediants. The guys at Torchy’s recently opened a retro dine in taco dive that has a huge bar area and outdoor seating to boot. For those of you familiar with the bygone Austin landmark, Fran’s, you’ll note that Torcy’s Taco is on that same plot of land.

Torchy's Taco
Torchy’s Taco

Another idea is the Whole Foods headquarters store. It’s downtown Austin on the corner of 6th and Lamar. It has an ice rink on the roof. Also enough prepared food to pick up anything your tastebuds fancy for a great lunch on their patio. While you’re there, across the street is one of the only record stores left in the world called Waterloo Records and they have our 7 Million Jigawatts cd on their shelf somewhere. 🙂

Check out Cedar Street in the Warehouse district at night when my pal, Rob Wagner and his band Suede or the Jukebox Junkies are playing.  The place is “inside-outside” and has a totally fab Austin vibe.

A great outdoor concert venue to see major label artists is Stubb’s BBQ.

IMG_3273

I would not recommend their bbq, but I do love their sauce. The outdoor stage with the wild west style lean-to beer and bbq stands surrounding the main hill. The stage sits on the edge of some valley would have been stream if the weather ever rained in Texas.

IMG_3274

That’s not all!
There’s Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, swimming in Barton Springs, tubing the Colorado River, drive through the Hill Country, take in a pickers circle in Lukenbach, shop till you drop at the San Marcos Outlet Mall… There’s so much to do in Austin. All you really have to do is put your feet on the ground and bring your appetite.

View from the Lamar Walking Bridge
View from the Lamar Walking Bridge
Gorillas in Austin
Gorillas in Austin

Photos of Budapest

Folks, here’s some great shots from Europe and Hungary’s greatest treasure, Budapest.

Food food food food, Hungarian Food

let me tell you if you think you can get fat and Italy you can. But there’s no way you could stay thin in Budapest. I can’t get over how fantastic the food is and how easy it is to find something that you were going to love to consume. You’re going to be sad when your meal is over and wish you could start again. 

On our first night we went for a wander around our little neighborhood. There are so many great smells from the street and it was a holiday weekend when most places would be close the next day so every restaurant was bustling with activity. Each hostess standing in the street recognizde that we spoke English and offered to help us with the menus.

The area we chose to eat was Liszt Ferenc square. Right by the Liszt school & loads of statues of Franz Liszt. The Cafe Vian had outdoor seating and a large menu. The staff was super friendly & went out of their way to recommend some great local Hungarian wine & dishes. I has traditional Chicken Paprikash – my favorite Hungarian dish.  

Chicken Paprikas Budapest Hungary
Chicken Paprikas @ Cafe Vian

Jake ordered the Duck Breast prepared medium rare with a creamy pepper sauce. I always thought the French had a good handle on their au poivre sauce, but I now know the Hungarians do it better. (Yes, I said it!) His sauce was spicy & sharp like biting int a peppercorn the cream didn’t over power or cut the flavor of the sauce… To die for! 

Jake & his Duck Budapest
Jake & his Duck

Lastly we had some sweets. The Hungarians are famous for desert. It was a hard decision since everything on the menu sounded great and the people next to us had amazing looking sweets at their table. In the end, in honor of J’s Dad’s favorite we had lemon meringue pie. Wow! Never had better. I’m certain the crust was a pound of butter & it was not flaky in the sense I’m used to but I started from the back with the crust first. 

Budapest Food Travel
Oh the sweet finale the Lemon Pie

Order a Flat White

I know that those folks from home reading this blog think that all we do is run around and eat… and well, it’s sorta true. Some of the best parts of traveling are exploring other peoples cultures, tasting their cuisine and of course seeing the “famous sights”. Well, if you ever find yourself “Down Under”, and you enjoy a coffee with milk, cream or even a cappuccino or latte… I recommend skipping all of the above and instead ordering a Flat White. I’m sure that my description isn’t quite accurate and I apologize to the barista’s reading this, but here’s how my taste buds experienced that fine hot caffeinated beverage. It has a fluffy, creamy, frothed top, more dense than either a latte or a cappuccino that is only about 1/2 and inch deep; then below that top layer is a mixture of steamed hot milk and espresso that is thick; it also has a nice pressing of crema around the outside edges of the cup and the result tastes of rich and dark beans with the mildness that adding milk to your coffee creates.

Flat White or Long Black Coffee in New Zealand
Flat White or Long Black Coffee in New Zealand