Friday, June 8, 2012

Keepin Austin Weird

A few weeks ago my bf & I flew to Austin, Texas for his cousin's wedding. I was skeptical, but I immediately fell in love. The first two nights we stayed at a rental with his parents, so we didn't get to see the sights until our last night. We stayed at the Omni downtown and were able to walk everywhere.
Here are my recommendations:

Salt Lick: They re-did their outside patio. We sat underneath big shady trees in cute little picnic tables. They allow you to BYOB, so definitely save a pretty penny and bring your own delicious beverages. They also have a vineyard onsite, but we didn't get a chance to explore their wine. The brisket was unbelievable. The potato salad was nothing like I've ever had before (it was tinted orange!) and the coleslaw was sweet and tangy, not gross and mayonnaise-y. The BBQ sauce was the best part. I wish I bought a bottle of the good stuff while we were there.

La Condensa: This place was decorated so cute with bright colors and large windows. We ordered their breakfast margaritas which were made with orange marmalade. I really hope you get a chance to try one of those tasty treats, it was incredible. I ordered the taco plate with pork shoulder and it was delicious. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals, but the drinks were the star of the show.

Koriente: We came here on our way home after a long day of drinking. I am so glad we did. We ordered the bibimbap with beef. The ingredients were fresh and all the veggies were crisp. The next morning we woke up refreshed instead of feeling gross and nasty like after a late night Taco Bell run.

Easy Tiger: We were walking around downtown when we ran into this little coffee place. Downstairs they have a bar with an amazing selection of microbrews and wine. Brian loves beer gardens, and they had a cute back patio with beer pong and large picnic tables. We ordered the pretzel and beer cheese which were very tasty, and a few new friends recommended the reuben sandwich and goatcheese/pear/fennel sandwich (we were too full to order it- but next time we will!)

East Side Kings: This was BY FAR my favorite meal. It took quite a drunken hike to get to this bar. Behind the Liberty Bar is an amazing little food truck. This place came highly recommended by our new friends at Easy Tiger. We ordered the Tori Meshi and the pork buns. They were both unbelievable. I found a recipe for the chicken that was used in the Tori Meshi online, and I am going to take a stab at it. The chicken was crunchy, sweet, and spicy. The rice was buttery soft with hints of ginger and garlic. Then there was lots of fresh jalapeno, cilantro, mint and thai basil mixed in. The herbs were amazing paired with the deepfried chicken. I am in LOVE. The pork buns were so soft, the pork were fried and crispy, and the sauces complimented the mesh of flavors and textures. I want to fly back to Austin just so I can try the rest of the menu. I heard the beet fries are unbelievable.

It was a long and adventurous day in Austin. We actually bumped into people we knew. Small world. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at a gas station and I was DELIGHTED to find these little suckers... SPONCH!
 They are my favorite mexican treat since childhood. The bottom is a soft cookies, with marshmallows coated in coconut on top, and a dollop of strawberry jam in the middle. It is sooooo good. I can't find these in WV (can't really find any ethnic food here.. **sigh**) Tastes like home.

Austin stole my heart. I want to go back and explore more of 6th street. I love the beer gardens, the culture, the hipsters, the BBQ, the food trucks.. the list is endless.

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