Thursday, January 17

Postcards from Austin (dining out)

When we last left our heroes on their travel adventure in Austin, they had just finished a run around Town Lake and were headed to 24 diner where they beat the crowds to demolish huge plates of food...
Being awake early (and not hung over) on New Years Day
meant we beat the brunch rush...
Brunch of champions:
deviled eggs, strong coffee, and steel-cut oats with apple chutney at 24 Diner.
Thanks to the recommendations of an ol' grad school pal, we also dined at Trudy's and the South Congress Cafe. The cafe, like many restaurants in Austin, serves brunch until late in the day so I enjoyed carrot cake french toast at 3pm.
Carrot cake french toast and venison sausage at South Congress Cafe
Goat cheese salad at South Congress Cafe
A word to the wise: The lines are long and the dining areas are crowded at every popular restaurant in Austin. Be prepared to wait an hour for a seat and to dine elbow-to-elbow with the strangers at the next table.

We spent quite a lot of time staring at the front door of the South Congress Cafe... (but the food was delicious).
South Congress Cafe
The Texas Chili Parlor was the one place where we didn't have to wait for a table. Soooo divey. But soooo delicious. The restaurant is a favorite among local UT fans. (Be forewarned, the XXX chili is not for the faint of heart, but then neither is this restaurant...)
Texas Chili Parlor
(I tried to take photos of my chili, but it was too dark inside to get a good pic.)
Austin also has a thriving food truck scene. Hubby enjoyed Torchy's Tacos...
Torchy's tacos: an Austin favorite
... while I browsed a nearby open-air market.
Arts market on South Congress
I am both ashamed and proud to admit that I ate several meals at the Whole Foods flagship store on Lamar and 6th.
Whole Foods
The store has the fresh produce, whole grains, unique spices, and healthy foods you'd expect at a Whole Foods... (with crowds galore)
Floral section of Whole Foods Austin
... and also has a series of cafe-style mini restaurants within the market, along with the biggest salad bar I've ever seen.

Seriously, if you're in Austin, go to the store. Eat there. Browse the beer cave (yes there is a beer cave). It will not disappoint.
Brew pub "cafe" within Whole Foods
Speaking of beer... the nightlife scene in Austin offers something to suit almost any taste. Be prepared to stay up late.

And not for nothing... the bartenders in this town make a mean margarita. Look for "Mexican martinis" on many bar menus (a double margarita served in a cocktail shaker is often the economical purchase if you plan to have more than one).
Margaritas: The Skinny & The Silver Spur at The Iron Cactus (6th & Trinity)
We'll end this culinary adventure where the (actual) trip began... The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que just north of the city in Round Rock, TX.
Slicing brisket at The Salt Lick
We feasted on ribs, smokey brisket, smoked sausages, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, pickles, and onions. (No Texas bbq plate is complete without a side of pickles and onions.)

What's your favorite style of barbecue?
Favorite post-run meal?

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