Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Austin Lovin'

I'm head over heels... for Austin freakin', Texas!

I have lived here almost a year and I can't get over how much I LOVE this place! The weather, the food, the sports, the music, my school, my job, and again, my God, the foooooood. I have eaten Tex-Mex approximately 289 times since I moved here, and this is very likely not an exaggeration.

A short list of what I love about this town:
  • Red River -- my favorite street in Austin. Home to lots of fun music venues like Stubb's and Emo's. And delicious food like Moonshine, Austin's best brunch, and Ironworks, probably the best BBQ in town.
  • UT football games -- the roaring crowds, the occasional Matthew McConaughey sighting, a real band, sweating to death and screaming at the 'Horns... What could be a better way to spend a Saturday?
  • Austin City Limits -- you already know this
  • Zilker Park Botanical Garden
  • Peter Pan -- BYOB mini golf
  • road trips to close-by towns to sample Texas-style BBQ (beef brisket, etc.)
  • that awesome snowcone place beside P. Terry's on Lamar, just north of intersection with Barton Springs
  • UT's on-campus oasis, the Gregory Gym Aquatic Complex, for outdoor lap swimming when motivated, and lazy poolside relaxation
  • kayaking on Town Lake
  • movies at Alamo Drafthouse
  • funky and fun coffeehouses like Spiderhouse, JP's Java, and Mozart's
And well I wouldn't even scratch the surface without a full list of my favorite Tex-Mex places thus far, I must stress. I'm always looking to add more to the repertoire:
  • Chuy's -- great queso, delicious food
  • Hula Hut... sister restaurant of Chuy's but with a patio overlooking Lake Austin. They mix Polynesian and Tex-Mex flavors. I'm partial to their BBQ chicken tacos.
  • Guero's Taco Bar -- yummy South Congress place where you can eat chips and salsa and watch bands play while you wait for your table
  • Torchy's Tacos -- might be my new favorite. Fresh and exciting ingredient combinations... I recommend the Brushfire taco, filled to the brim with Jamaican Jerk chicken, mango, sour cream and a spicy "Diablo" sauce.
  • Freebirds -- the Texas chain beats Chipotle at its own burrito game. And the chicken is always wholly cooked! (Though kudos to Chipotle for having intoxicatingly delicious guacamole over and over again.)
  • Taco Shack -- my weekend go-to breakfast taco staple... simple, no fuss
  • Trudy's -- this college town favorite has legendarily strong Mexican Martinis and limits you to two per outing
  • The Oasis -- panoramic views of Lake Travis and the self-claimed "Sunset Capital of Texas"
  • Iguana Grill -- the lesser known Lake Travis treasure that I'd have to say beats The Oasis on the Tex-Mex food and live music, and certainly rivals its sunset allure
I know there are quite a few obvious "can't miss" places I didn't mention in Austin, but there are lots more places I need to see! Still haven't gone to Barton Springs or Greenbelt, but I'll be working on making it to both places in the coming weeks.

Happy 4th of July! Go out and enjoy the best of wherever you live has to offer!

1 comment:

Whitney said...

There's another Tex-Mex restaurant off of 38th - across from the Seton hospital called Santa Rita's or something! I've only been once and it was pretty good. We'll have to go again so you can check out yet ANOTHER Tex-Mex food place!!!