A Taste of Austin, Texas

Austin may be known for its barbeque, but there are a lot more food options than just smoked meats. With its proximity to Houston, there is an abundance of seafood and the restaurants offer everything from comfort food to creative plates that are sure to please. Needless to say, we could only sample a few of the many restaurants in this historic old city, but we enjoyed everything that we were able to taste. It isn’t just the food, though, the ambiance and historic feel of many of the restaurants provide an atmosphere that invites you with southern charm or surround you with a feeling of elegance.

Ironworks Barbeque
Red Beans and Rice
Irish Pub

We definitely had to get some barbeque while we were in Austin and, to be more specific, we had to get some beef brisket. As always, we asked the locals for recommendations and received several, but we decided to go to the Ironworks in the Red River District. Fortunately for us, we arrived early as the line was starting to really grow by the time we left. We sat at the outside deck, slathered our sandwich with barbeque sauce, and had some corn on the cob and potato salad. The brisket literally melted in your mouth it was so tender from being smoked over a low heat for hours.

Moonshine Grill
Beef Brisket Sandwich
Local Beer

For seafood, we had two very unique and different experiences. In downtown Austin, we went to Truluck’s Seafood Restaurant for an upscale dining experience. We couldn’t resist getting a dozen oysters on the half shell, but the escargot was different than usual and the presentation of their shrimp cocktail was equal to the restaurant’s atmosphere. For pure comfort food, we went to Sam’s Boat in the suburbs of Austin, which was near our hotel. With its abundance of options like po-boys, fried oysters, crawfish, and shrimp, they offered seafood comfort food.

Rooftop Bar
Line Forming
Crab Queso

For more unique experiences, we went to a couple of different taverns for drinks as well as small bites. We enjoyed Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill in the Red River District, which had a good happy hour and friendly bar staff. They offer a nice variety of southern and Texas options, all with their eclectic flair. The Southern Grit Cake was definitely an unusual option with fried crawfish, aioli, and hot sauce served over a grit cake. For a wide variety of local beers, North by Northwest (NXNW) couldn’t be beat. They too were located in the Arboretum area of Texas and were relatively new, but that didn’t keep the crowds from filling up their outdoor seating area.

Oysters on the Half Shell
Shrimp Cocktail

We seem to find an Irish pub wherever we go and Austin was no different. We enjoyed an Irish Boxty while listening to some wonderful country-western music. We could have spent all afternoon sitting and listening the band if it weren’t for the fact that we had places to go. For a classic cocktail, the Driskill Bar inside of the famous landmark hotel serves up anything that you like in an relaxed, yet upscale, atmosphere. There are also many rooftop bars in downtown Austin that will give you great views of the city and a refreshing drink while you try to beat the heat.

Cajun Mac and Cheese
Patio Bar

Regardless of your style of dining, Austin has something for everyone. If you make your way to Texas, you have to try some barbeque, but don’t be afraid to try something a little more unique. Austin claims that they are “weird”, but really they are just authentic, friendly, and have a true southern charm. We are looking forward to our next visit where we can try even more of the wonderful options that Austin has to offer.

Driskill Bar
Patio Bar
Upscale Seafood

Austin, Texas – Music, Food, and Fun

Capital Building

We had the opportunity to visit Austin, Texas, and enjoyed the opportunity to have some good barbeque, country-western music, and wonderful hospitality. Congress Street in downtown Austin has a variety of restaurants, shops, and music venues, which makes it the perfect place to stroll. Austin is the capital of Texas and the tourist section of Congress Street starts or ends there depending upon how you look at it. At the opposite end of Congress Street from the capital is the Congress Bridge, which will take you across Lady Bird Lake, which is a river-like reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin. There is a nice park and walking paths to enjoy.

Walking Congress Street
Line for Barbeque in the Red River District
Mix of Architecture in Downtown Austin
St Elias Church
Vietnam Memorial on the Capital Grounds

We only had one day downtown as we were there for a work trip, so we made the most of our time walking the streets of downtown. We started our day in the Red River District and made sure to get some beef brisket before heading towards the capital, which seems to be the most photographed image of Austin. The grounds of the capital are quite beautiful with several statues and you can even take a tour of the governor’s mansion depending upon when you visit. After walking in the Texas heat for a while, we decided to stop in The Driskill Bar and Grill, which is located in the historic hotel. The inside of the hotel is quite beautiful and it was an elegant place to sit and relax before continuing to enjoy downtown Austin.

Historic Driskill Building
Walking the Red River District
Lobby of the Driskill Hotel
Walking Path in the Red River District
Moonshine Tavern

We couldn’t leave Austin without listening to some country-western music and oddly enough we found an Irish pub with a live band that met our needs perfectly. It was almost a family affair as different members of the band joined at different times, so the music was constantly changing. It was quite a lively atmosphere and we enjoyed it very much. Afterwards we continued to walk around downtown Austin looking at the varying architecture, which is a mixture of historic and modern buildings sitting side by side.

Enjoying the Music
Rooftop Bar in Downtown Austin
Historic Building
Downtown Architecture

After having some seafood for dinner, we made our way back to our hotel. We definitely enjoyed our time in Austin and are looking forward to visiting again in the near future. There is more to see than what we were able to do in such a short period of time, but what we did see left us wanting to see more.

Convention Center Grounds
Street Art
Downtown Skyscraper
Texas Peace Officer Memorial at the Capital
Another View of the Capital