Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Classic Austin Eatery Instituitions

Austin may have just recently hit the list as one of the top towns in the U.S., but this city has been buzzing for quite some time. And there are plenty of places that have stood the test of time where you can find old Austinites, the true locals. Here are some favorites, just to name a few:

1607 San Jacinto Blvd

Along with some of the other nearby towns, Germans made their way down to Texas in the late 1800s and thus a pop up of German food and beer took over. Some have stood the test of time, and Scholz is no exception. After all, when you're in Austin and you have food inside with a music venue outside, it's hard not to meet your market. Add the campus next door, put the Longhorns on the TV, and you've got a line out the door.

603 Barton Springs Road

There's a reason Sandy's is frequented by well known names, both celebrity and politician alike. Pull in through the drive thru or walk on up, order a good old burger, fries, and a shake. Finish it off with a custard in a cone, and who isn't smiling from ear to ear.

2938 Guadalupe St

In Texas, there are Tex Mex options a-plenty. So when you encounter a Tex Mex restaurant that is over sixty years old, you know it has stood the test of time. And having married into a native Austinite family, I love that there is a place where we can say that family has dined there for at least four different generations. El Patio is well known for the chalupas.

2808 Guadalupe

Then and now, horse carriage aside, not much has changed at Dirty Martin's over the past 90 plus years. When we first moved to Austin, my husband kept telling me that I couldn't call myself an Austinite until I had a burger at Dirty Martin's. So one day we finally went, ordered our food, surveyed the memorabilia on the walls inside, found a seat outside on the back patio, and waited until our number was called. The food came, delicious, and the milkshake was hard to share, although share I did. It was a great experience, memorable, and I appreciated the understanding of why I may now call myself an Austinite.

 5621 Airport Blvd

I find joy in hearing the stories of times past. One of my favorite stories is when my mother-in-law tells me about how her sister used to park herself at the wooden bar inside of Quality Seafood and order oysters on the half shell along with a glass of champagne. So nowadays when we stop into Quality Seafood for some fresh deliciousness, unbeknownst to my husband, I look over at the bar and I picture the young version of the woman I knew as Marcia and it makes me smile. There are many things about Quality Seafood that make me smile, but knowing just a mere glimpse of the previous lives once lived there, I find even more respect in a wonderful place.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Day Trip to Blanco, TX

One of the things that brings me back to Blanco each year is the annual Lavender festival where I have been introduced to some lovely products, but each time I go back, I remember what a wonderful town it is on its own.

Starting with the center square, Blanco is like any other old classic Texas town. The beautiful, almost intimidating County Courthouse stands tall and proud right smack in the center of it all. It's magnificently breath-taking on its own.

410 4th Street
A perfect stop for lunch, Redbud Café offers a plethora of soups, salads, and sandwiches. I lean towards the Reuben, the husband likes the French Dip, the Fish Taco is delicious, and of course there is always the Pimento Cheese. And during the lavender festival, they take it to another level with lavender dishes, both to eat and drink. The lavender tea is a must.

49 Main Street
Open every day of the week from 7am to 10pm, El Charro provides that classic Tex Mex comfort food that we all love. For breakfast you can get eggs any and every style. Lunch provides tacos, tortas, gorditas, and a few classic plates. Dinner offers just over 50 different options to choose from - enchiladas, flautas, fajitas, and more!

231 San Saba Court
And just right on the edge of the outskirts of town, make sure to stop in and visit the genius behind one of Texas's finest beers, Real Ale. Take a tour if you want, or just visit the tap room and enjoy some of their refreshing product on-site. Some of my favorites include the year-round Fireman's 4 Blonde Ale and Rio Blanco Pale Ale, or the seasonal Oktoberfest and Coffee Porter. Yum, yum, delicious!

So go to Blanco, walk the town square. Take in, enjoy, and indulge.