Helping to Keep Austin Weird: Day 1

Sorry for yet another long delay in posting, but I did a big overhaul of organizing photos recently and also haven’t been in town over a weekend in almost a month. It’s good to be back, though, and I’m hoping I can get some time to cook again soon. In the meantime, I’m going to keep going with some honeymoon posts. Next up, Austin!

I’m really excited about this post since Akil and I just booked tickets to go back to Austin for another visit. We really fell in love with this city when we visited. It has a really relaxed vibe, an unbeatable music scene, a healthy and energized population, and some pretty amazing restaurants.

Now, what’s the first thing you think of when you think of Austin? BBQ? Music? UT? How about…WHOLE FOODS CAPITAL OF THE WORLD? No? Just me? Well, either way, we woke up and headed towards Whole Foods, where we stocked up on some food and drinks for the RV, It took a lot of effort to not buy the entire sweets section, but I refrained.

The other goal of the Whole Foods trip was to get food to nibble on and drinks to sip while waiting in line for the famous Franklins BBQ. Apparently the brisket is so good, that people wait in line starting at 8am to get their food when it opens at 12pm. We got there at around 11am, and were told there was no way they’d still have food by the time we got to the front of the line, which wouldn’t be until about 2pm. With Akil’s dreams officially crushed, we went to another barbeque joint nearby and trudged back to the RV.

At this point the heat was getting pretty unbearable, but there wasn’t much we could do. Fun Fact: the air conditioning in an RV can only get 15-20 degrees colder than outside, and if you’re RV is in the sun, it can get past 100 degrees. Simple math means even the inside of the RV wouldn’t be a respite. We decided to just suck it up and walked to Zylker Park, where there’s a fun mini train, a trail, and a great view of Austin and the water. We also saw a mini train but decided to not test the weight limit.

After the park we grabbed a bus back downtown, mainly to enjoy the AC on the bus. The first place we went to was one we saw on the show “Best Bars” on Esquire, called Midnight Cowboy, so we knew we were in for a treat. You also need a reservation AND a password, so we felt super cool. It’s a small speakeasy with creative cocktails and very knowledgeable bartenders.

About a month before we left for the honeymoon there was a food truck listed as one of the best restaurants in the US in Bon Appetit magazine AND it was featured on “Best Bars” AND the chef was on Top Chef. On top of all of that, it was parked behind a relaxed bar called Wonderland, where they have hipstery cocktails on draft. I knew this would be a big hit, and it didn’t disappoint. The food truck, called East Side King, served authentic Thai surrounded by picnic tables. Authentic Thai + Hipster cocktails?? Yes and please. This place was everything I wanted it to be and more. It’s moved recently but is well worth seeking out.

Road Trip in Austin, Texas

Road Trip in Austin, Texas

After Dinner #1 we went to Rainey Street, which is a street of houses converted into restaurants and bars. Most have either food trucks or music in the backyard, as well. It was as cool as it sounds, and there we found some music fitting for a relaxed evening. After our stomachs finally settled, we headed to Dinner #2: Bangers, where they have every type of sausage and beer you could ever want. Again, Akil’s heaven. The sausages were great (I got one with beets and goat cheese), but the mac and cheese was disappointing. Overall a cool place to eat, though.

I’m going to keep this post short since Day 2 of Austin was a really big one, and too much to fit here. For your cat fact this week, I will leave you with a doozy. In case you haven’t heard (or don’t live nearby), we are getting our first Cat Cafe in DC, and it opens this Saturday!! I can’t make it on Saturday but you bet I’ll be there as soon as I can. I promise to report back.

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