Austin (Part II)

Saturday and Sunday can only be described as ‘wound down’ days where I did nothing but relax; check out the convention; and try out some Texas BBQ.

Day 3

I made it a mission to find decent breakfast on a Saturday morning before hitting the convention floor, so I opted for Houndstooth Cafe. Got a cup of early grey (their mugs are so great) and a breakfast taco from Tacodeli, but that didn’t do the trick. My brother and I were running on fumes as soon as we got back to the convention, scanning the floor for free giveaways and activities. There were tons of freebies sponsored by Geico that we picked up. The rest of the time was spent waiting in line to watch panels.

(My brother, at this point, tried the spin wheel contest and won the last Voodoo donut which he shared with me. So there you go, can’t say we didn’t have at least one (and it was free).)

Lunch was a pick up effort on my part as I walked to Koriente, an Asian fusion restaurant with quality ingredients and choices. Somehow I managed to spent $28 for two but considering how hungry I was from the morning it was worth it.

Later, we thought of trying out some BBQ. Unfortunately, Franklin’s was too much of a long shot for us so we instead were able to reserve a table at Lamberts at 5:30 PM. Note to self: while the walk down from the hotel was enjoyable (hello, Willy Nelson statue and Google Fiber!), it’s best to come at a much later time preferably when the live band plays (after 7:00 PM). We tried the natural black angus brisket along with their mac and three cheeses and mashed potatoes. Both sides highly recommended, but we weren’t digging the brisket (it was decent, just not what we wanted). Should’ve gone for the pork ribs.

Afterward, we ventured to Halcyon Bar and Lounge where we had cocktails. I indulged in the Madison Ave (recommend 10/10) before going back to the convention for more events. (We didn’t go on a happy hour day — those are better.)

We regrettably didn’t make the most of our second-to-last-day, but the convention occupied much of the time late. It was my sort-of first introduction to RTX (decidedly not for me) and I would have much preferred going out to listen to some music on Sixth. Perhaps next time.

Day 4

While my brother went down to the convention, I again made the right choice in going to Blenders and Bowls on my last day. Acai bowls have become an obsession for me because of this place, but since I got back I haven’t found anything close to what I had in Austin.

Our last lunch was appropriately spent at Easy Tiger, where we also picked up their breads to take home with us (along with a pretzel). I ordered my usual and a local beer. We were then on our way.

  • Austin is a fantastic city. You can’t compare it with New York because it’s different. What I loved most about it was the food scene. I loved the murals. I loved how Texas it was. I loved the hospitality and kindness of the people — all very engaging.
  • The next time I visit I’ll definitely take more photos. I’ll also visit the same food places and try out new ones. There’s so much more I didn’t see, including their state history museum.
  • I can only vouch for where I stayed — at the Hilton on 4th in Downtown. I also walked across the river to South Congress. The restaurants and stops I mentioned were all within walking distance.
  • Beware the heat: I can’t say enough. We came on June 30 and left July 3. The (dry) heat can be unforgiving, so wear shades, hats, loose fitting clothing, and drink plenty of water. It’s cheaper down there. Starbucks offers it for free, too.
  • I can’t wait to go back. I miss it already.