Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cousin Weekend 2015 - Eating & Drinking Austin

At the end of March, I had two cousins come to Austin for a spontaneous cousins weekend.  About a month before, my cousin Laura called and said she wanted a getaway vacay in Austin.  Knowing my cousin Aria wanted to check it out, too, we all worked it out and thus began a {hopefully} new tradition! 
Aria arrived on Thursday.  We did a lot of catching up on life while Mike cooked up some delicious beef bourguignon for dinner.  We enjoyed it at our card table {yes, Laura, a card table}.  We got rid of our kitchen table when we moved and never replaced it.  Tease all you want. 

We topped off the night with seeing Cinderella at The Alamo Drafthouse.  They are an awesome movie theater that is also a full service bar and restaurant while you watch.  It is fantastic and affordable compared to other theaters.  Get the cookies or a milkshake!  They even have adult milkshakes...

Speaking of adults, Laura arrived on Friday and we commenced our weekend of eating and drinking. I will put some of my favorite highlights here for you!

We went out for a few drinks on Rainey Street.  This is a a fun area a few blocks away from downtown that you can easily walk to.  It is a street full of old houses that were turned in to bars and restaurants.  So neat!  The vibe is a bit calmer and not as loud as Sixth Street.  There is a little something for everyone, from mezcal, to sausages, to beer, to loud music.  We opted for beers, plus more beers and cheese curds.  Here we are toasting to the weekend!

Craft Pride

Saturday we went on an excursion out to Lockhart, Texas to try some famous BBQ.  It was worth the small wait to have our pick of delicious sides and fresh carved meats from the famous Black's BBQ. If you have a few extra hours, load up the car and head out to Lockhart.  It's a cute little town with some neat shops. Get to Black's early and save some time for walking around and digestion!

We then drove all the way to the opposite side of Austin to visit one of our favorite places - Jester King Brewery.  This is a farmhouse brewery on several acres of land west of Austin.  They specialize in "making wild ales and spontaneously fermented beers".  The use the local land, water, resources, etc. to get uniquely flavored beers that are fantastic.  The place in huge, with tons of space to hang out, kids included.  Bring your shades and sunscreen to bask outside and enjoy some fantastic beers which you can purchase in 4 or 8 ounce pours, or bottles.  They have several serving stations and will even give you a tab number so you can run your tab through different serving stations.

When you get hungry, get in line for some Stanley's Pizza, made fresh on site.  They'll text you when it's ready!  If you need a little crunch and a few extra carbs to fill your tummy for extra beers - go for the salad and garlic knots.  WORTH IT.

Another fun place I love to take visitors is the Gourdough's truck.  It sits on South First right next to a moontower - another neat Austin feature.  You'll have to choose an amazing donut from a rotating list of about 15-20 options.  We each settled on an flavor, plus an order of blueberry donut holes to share. FYI - the donuts will run you 5-6 dollars, but can last you 3-4 servings if you have self control.  In any case, they are deeeelicious and totally worth waiting in line for at 10:00 PM.

One place we like to visit when we're close to our house is the Moontower Saloon.  They have coined themselves "Way South Awesome" and have a HUGE outdoor space filled with fire pits, heaters, and tons of fun lights.  They also have a few food trucks, sand volleyball courts, washers, and bean bags. You can keep yourself occupied here for hours.  Plus it's dog friendly.  And you can ride an armadillo.  Being that there are not many options in way south Austin, this place is a hit.

After a long weekend with lots of catching up, storytelling, several beverages, tons of food that's not good for you, shopping, history, sleeping in, late night Whataburger, and memories - everyone got home safely.  We had an awesome time hosting the hopefully First Annual Cousins Weekend in Austin, Texas.  Thanks for visiting Laura and Aria!
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