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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Awesome Austin - Part Deux

As promised, Part Two of my Austin trip!

Sunday, May 24th

Coming off a crazy party night on Sixth Street we weren't feeling too well this morning. We made the hungover decision that Mexican breakfast sounded amazing and found ourselves walking into El Sol y La Luna at Red River Street and 6th St. I had an omeletto while my boyfriend ordered the Huevos Rancheros. I wish my headache/stomache had allowed me to enjoy it more but it tasted like it would've been good if my tongue didn't feel like cardboard. The atmosphere was cheerful, the decor colorful, and the service homey.

From there we took a cab to the University of Texas to see my mom's alma mater. The campus is HUGE. I definitely wouldn't have commited to walking across it had I known. We desperately tried to find a way up to the top of the infamous Tower but apparently tours are only available during the school year. The Tower was the site of a snipping incident and a suicide and has only been open for the past couple years after being closed due to these tragedies.

We lost interest and wandered down to the football stadium and store. The store was filled with pictures of the Longhorns brutalizing the Trojans during the National Championship. It made me want to throw something heavy through the front window so I had to be removed.

Next up was Guadalupe Street which is the home base to buy all things college. There was a yummy frozen yogurt shop where you could create your own dish! There were also some cute boutiques but nothing really caught my interest.

Originally, we had chosen Austin as our Memorial Weekend destination because it coincided with the annual Austin Wine Festival. Once we got to Austin we found so many things to do that we weren't sure we wanted to drive all the way out to where the festival was being held (it's not near downtown). But at this point we had sort of run out of things to do and our hangovers were finally subsiding so it was time to start drinking again. We hailed a cab and headed to the festival.

In retrospect I am SO glad we did. I think the cab was about $40 which is definitely steep but not as expensive as we were expecting. Keep in mind, if you ever go, you can take the metro there but it takes awhile and we are very impatient. The wine festival was awesome and had a wide range of great wines. It has actually converted me to drinking white wine which I used to look upon with disdain. They also had this slushy made with peach flavored wine that was so refeshing and delicious. Eventually it started to rain so we packed back into the cab and went back to the hotel.

For dinner we tried to go the famous Stubb's BBQ restaurant but apparently they close early on Sundays. LAME. So we ended up on Sixth Street at Casino El Camino, famous for burgers. I'm learning that every restaurant in Austin seems to be famous for some type of food. The restaurant was really crowded and first come first serve for a table so we ended up in the outdoor patio, which we actually preferred. The place reminds me of the vampire bar in True Blood. It's dark and smokey with low red lighting and strange tribal drawings on the walls.

I was trying to be open to new foods so I ordered the Amarillo burger with roastes Serrano chiles, jalapeno jack cheese and cilantro mayonnaise. It took forever to get our order but when it came we were happy to see that the burgers were gigantic! Unfortunately, after one bite my eyes, noses, and mouth started watering from the searing hot peppers. You would think that four years of working at Albertsons in the produce department would have taught me the difference between Serrano and Anaheim peppers (although in my defense they look EXACTLY the same). It ended up being so hot I literally couldn't finish my burger. Luckily, the fries were amazing and not hot so I just filled up on those.

To see the full menu click here.

After dinner, we decided to go to Speakeasy, a bar meets concert venue meets club. The bottom floor contains a bar and a stage area, the second floor is more like a landing that looks out over the stage, and then the roof is an outdoor club. We were pretty exhausted and hungover AGAIN so we just sipped beers from the landing and watched some of the music acts that were playing.
I was literally falling asleep in my Heineken so we decided to call it a night.

Monday, May 25th

Today is our last day in Austin and boy have we taken full advantage of our time here. We decided to spend the remainder of our morning before heading to the airport at Cafe Crepe. Run by real life French staff the crepes are both authentic and legit. It took FOREVER to get them though which was kind of annoying. The taste was almost worth the wait - my strawberry, fudge and vanilla ice cream crepe was the perfect breakfast.

It was also the perfect end to the trip.

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