Any weekend spent in Austin, TX is a good weekend.
Last weekend was a good weekend.
I rolled out of OKC Thursday before 3:00pm and hauled the mail down I-35. Fort Worth traffic held me up just a bit...but considering it was five o’clock, it wasn’t too bad.
The first stop was for fuel in Hillsboro, at Big Willy’s. I played it safe and didn’t go inside....
After fuel and a quick sandwich (from Schlotzky’s...NOT Big Willy’s) it was a beeline to downtown Austin’s Swan Dive for Neosho’s album release show! Neosho is my buddy Justin Williams and his cohort Jackson Bennett. Theirs is an amalgam of sound including saxophone, a plethora of electronics, guitar, and vocals. YES they are on Apple Music and YES you should check them out!
Neosho throwing it down!! It was a fun show full of energy and was taken in by a receptive crowd. Much dancing took place...fueled by a conspiracy of killer tunes and tasty beer. We partied until the wee morning, then I helped Justin load out and we headed to his place for some much-needed rest.
Friday started with a chill morning shaking off the beer fog. Then it was off to Veracruz for some excellent lunch. Austin loves tacos, and so do I. Above is a Migas Poblanos and a Chile Relleno. Once upon a time there was guacamole in that white bowl.
Veracruz has a unique setup - they are paired with Machine Head Coffee for a neat taco/coffee combo. Machine Head is also run by Justin’s pal Nolan who I had the great pleasure of meeting. Though I’m not a coffee drinker, I do appreciate a good setup and business model. Kudos to the folks who have poured themselves into these business ventures!
We cruised around Austin for a bit after lunch and made a stop at the local graffiti (obviously) wall at Castle Hill. We weren’t really seeking this out, but since we were nearby, we took a quick peek.
Next was a quick stop at Mellow Johnny’s. I kept my billfold tucked tightly in my pocket...which was probably a good thing. Such a cool shop!
I found some suspenders in Justin’s car.
I put them on.
Next stop - Jester King Brewery. About a half-hour outside of Austin is the infamous Jester King. It’s a true farmhouse brewery, using local ingredients and water to brew some of the most interesting beers I’ve ever tasted. They go all out to find creative twists on all of their releases. This was my second visit to the king...and certainly not my last! On the way we picked up J’s lovely lady Tara and our merry band of gypsys was born. Between the three of us, I’d say we did our share of damage at the brewery.
Beer plus hands equals happiness.
Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza is also right on site. They have awesome wood-fired pizza to sponge up all the beer!
After beer and pizza, the next logical stop was somewhere to get more.....food. The general concensus was that Kerbey Queso was essential to the success of the evening. We soon found ourselves lapping up piping hot liquid cheese while pouring over the 24 hour menu.
Vegan pancakes, vegan sausage patties, and tofu scramble landed in front of me and was quickly Houdini’d.
After the Friday Farmhouse Food Festival coma wore off Saturday morning, J and I loaded up and raced out to Reimer’s Ranch to do some climbing.
Hanging at the crag with Justin!!!
It felt excellent to pull on some real rock instead of plastic gym holds. Nothing against climbing gyms of course...it’s just so nice to be outside. We had a great climbing session...then jammed some Lionel Richie on the drive back into town (it’s a long story).
After a stop by Whole Foods (the flagship location is downtown and is awesome) for a quick bite, it was showerville, then the beer chase continued.
Zilker Brewing was first...
...then a nice stroll to Lazarus.
I’m typically not a fan of mounted animal heads, but when it’s plated up like a disco ball....yea....my opinion quickly flips.
A quick stop at Arlo’s food truck for maybe the best veggie burger I’ve had. Very ‘diner-like’...wrapped tightly in white paper, greasy even on the bun, and just loaded with saucy goodness. Another excellent beer sponge!
Next was Hops and Grain. Tasty brews and a local artist’s market made for a nice combo after our dinner.
We closed out the evening at Brew and Brew, a unique joint that serves up fine coffees and fine beers. We sat outside sipping beer and looking at the Austin skyline. It was a great way to wind down.
Do yourself a favor and set up a nice three-day weekend in Austin!! Buy the new Neosho album for the drive, have your mind blown at Jester King, bring your appetite for great food and the great outdoors, and cruise by all the local breweries you can find!
Just promise to leave some beer for us...
Dig it ~ bc