Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blackened Out Travelogue: Austin, Texas

"So far everything has gone pretty much perfect," Lindsay said as the car eased into a parking spot at MSY.

For the next 12 hours, things were far from perfect. When Lindsay uttered the kiss of death all we had done to that point was manage to shower, pack, drop the dogs off at the boarding spot, and drive to the airport. Somehow these small accomplishes deserved kudos. Then we spent the next half of a day in an airport watching it rain. Or in an airplane not being able to land due to rain. Then when we got to Austin, our luggage was sopping wet. Which translates into, damp clothing. Fun times.

We got to the hotel, lamented our wet clothes, and went in search for some grub which is when we found Casino El Camino. The Amarillo burger has a fresh ground, hand formed patty, pepper jack cheese and chili verde sauce. My major qualm with it is the bun is larger and spongier than it needs be. But the spice level makes you drink beer fast (Lone Star, Boddington's and Newcastle). This great burger was the perfect anti-venom to a crap day of air travel.
But the real tonic to our troubles was the chili verde french fries. Hands down, likely the best cheese fries I have ever had. The fries, queso, and vibrant green chilis were layered a la lasagna. This had two purposes. First, the fries stayed remarkably crisp throughout the grazing. Second, the last fry was just as delectable as the first. The chili verde provided a freshness which reminded me of chimichurri sauce.
The next morning, after a really well done rehearsal dinner, we awoke slightly hungover and starving. We went walking down Congress Ave. But with our luck we went the wrong way and ended up somewhere else than we intended. A taxi brought us to Guero's, where at 11:15 am we slammed down chips, salsas, pico de gallo, guacomole, margaritas, and some tacos. But the standout were these beans which were delightfully rich, tender, and hinted at the cumin scented broth they had simmered in.

Then some more perambulating led us to a trailer park of culinary carriages where Airstreams sold popcorn, things in a cone, and cupcakes. This is a Double Dose-chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing-from Hey Cupcake. The white stuff is whipped cream forced into the cupcake until it erupts out, they call this option the Whippersnapper. The cupcake had a dense level of chocolate and the interior was very moist.
A few more paces down South Congress and we ran into Home Slice. There was a line out the door which is always a good sign. Luckily for us, they have a window where you can order za by the slice.
Guess what type of za we got?
Then onto Doc's Motor Works for a few beers. This Widmer Ale was Lindsay's favorite. Fresh, and vibrant with a citrus flavor punching up the finish, this is the kind of beer you could drink all day.
We left Austin wanting more. I would love to get back, have a car, and really explore the food places with a local guide. But the wedding was great, especially the food. I have a theory about wedding food which goes like this, it usually sucks. But the food at this wedding was splendid and smartly chose items that could be made ahead of time without losing their punch. My favorite were probably the late night mini grilled cheeses and brandy Alexander shots. Tomorrow I will show you the best thing we ate all weekend...

1 comment:

kathy said...

Hi Rene-It's Tripp's mom....loved reading about Austin....I'm hoping to make it to New Orleans and would like to visit with you two...the wedding wkend flew by and I didn't get to spend enough time with every one....loved the seersucker suit...a true fashion statement!