March 25, 2004

The Best of Austin, TX

So I'm a couple days out of Austin, perhaps blessed with perspective, but probably not... The conclusion so far? Its a fabulous place to spend a winter month or two. Culturally its far liver then SF is for real. The live music capital marketing is no joke. This is a place where you can stubble upon punk rockers rocking Irish jigs then flipping into Greek syrtos with a near virtuoso drop of the dime. On a Monday night at 1am no less.

Austin may be the freak show of Texas, but its also in Texas and that means meat. And in Austin two places reign supreme. Sam's Barbeque kills it with brisket, not to be missed. Back in the heart of town though is Casino el Camino, close to the only good bar on Austin's notorious 6th Street. A street that's basically a Disneyland of binge drinking... Austinite's will deny ever gracing this street, but someone is filling the bars. Casino though is the one to hit. Start with a burger order, they take ages to complete, but are worth it all. Top ten nationwide, perhaps, really. Vegetarian's order a 'blackjack' and relax. Then go upstairs and play pool while waiting, or just soak up flawless atmosphere, it's hard to finger, but this place is just plain comfortable with itself. Broken in like a cowboy's leather, lovely.

Then the coffee culture. 24 hours coffee shops, finally. I guess it takes cheap rent plus a massive university to make the economics work, cause really every city should have one. Free wifi at each one too. And space. Only in Texas is it economical to have people sitting all day nursing caffeine while sipping free internet. Spiderhouse is the personal pick, but there are plenty others.

The trump card of Austin though is rollerderby, Texas Rollergirls, the ultimate in punk rock feminism. Tatoos on women on rollerskates, moving really fast. Its a sport too, I shit you not. A good one even. With Texas sized women. Root for the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers ya hear?!?

Posted by Abe at March 25, 2004 06:35 PM


I don't know if you have a rental car out there, but you need to drive out to The Salt Lick. I promise it's the best BBQ experience you'll ever have. It's an all you can eat thing, so prepare yourself physically.

Curiously, you'll drive by a colorful Hindu temple (yes, in the middle of Texas) to get to said slaughterhouse. Sometimes I wonder if there are militants at the temple that hijack the freezer trucks en route.

Texas will be a Democratic state in 10 years.

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