Sunday, July 26, 2015

Scouting For Local Eateries

We enjoy getting out site seeing, however when the heat slaps you in the face when you open the door, we just prefer to stay under the air conditioner.  Our entertainment on this trip to the Austin area...searching Trip Advisor for locate eateries.

Black's BBQ, Lockhart: saw it was #1 on some listing, so of course wanted to go check it out.  We saw Black's Original BBQ in Austin...hey it's Black's, so let's stop here instead of driving to Lockhart.  Bad decision apparently.  We tried brisket, turkey, pork rib, and sausage, coleslaw, and potato salad.  All were SUPER DRY with no favor.  The sides were nothing to rave about either, seemed as they were nothing more then store bought.  Supposedly location is "key" to good BBQ for Black's.  We never got pass the bad experience to drive to Lockhart, TX.

Sausage link, pork rib, slice brisket

Rib didn't even pull off the bone

Cute place downtown Bastrop
Paw Paw's Catfish House, Bastrop, TX: fried catfish & shrimp, hand-battered onion rings, and hot fudge chocolate chip brownie sundae.  Heard the burgers were good but couldn't get past the fish each time.

Paw Paw's Platter

Only sign about cafe

Hit The Spot Cafe at The Library of Garfield, TX: Yes there is a restaurant inside the public  library, but unless you pay close attention you wouldn't know it from the outside.  Burgers were awesome on homemade bun & hand-battered onion rings. Also known for their chicken-fried steak.  Kids said breakfast was really good, so of course had to try it out...and Jerry confirmed the CFS was pretty darn good.
Jerry's chicken fried steak breakfast

Awesome local eatery: breakfast or lunch

Grilled Chicken Tacos

 Torchy's Tacos, Austin, TX: started out as a food truck/trailer, but now have store front locations in Austin & Dallas.  Delicious!

Jerry & Lisa

Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Austin, TX: Popular spot in Austin - people line up out the door for  their food (burgers & salads). We had to wait for approx. 20 minutes to order, so guess not to bad according to others. Fresh Angus burgers, fresh local produce, homemade buns. Good, but think The Library had the better burger.

Inside dining area

Stout Chocolate shake & Llano Poblano Burger

At least saw the place (lol)

Franklin's BBQ, Austin, TX:  We came to Austin to try Franklin's, but they were closed for vacation.  Guess it kept us from standing in line not knowing if we would even make it through the line before running out.

Us at end of line @10:45, 1of3 smoking pits
La Barbecue, Austin, TX: Kyle recommended us trying this place if we didn't want to wait at Franklin's.  Kinda hard to find until we realize it's a food trailer not a store front - behind a fence, next to the church.  Got there approximately 10:30 - people sitting around at picnic tables, lady told us we open at 11, so we took a seat. Few minutes later she announced people could start lining up, about 20 people in front of us, seat down to eat at 11:40. Jerry talked with the pit guy; they have three pit areas ( two for briskets, which cooks 26 briskets each and one for all other meats) usually enough to serve till 6 p.m. as of this post.  Of course we wanted to try a little bit of it all:  Pork Rib tender - fabulous favor (favor stayed with you), Brisket pulled apart nicely - tasty with nice smoke ring, Turkey good- heavy on pepper, Pulled Pork good - shredded nicely, but more vinegar base instead of sweet, Sausage looked good but forgot to order it.  Potato salad yummy - chunky red potatoes, season nicely.  Chipotle coleslaw spicy - too much spice for us.

Brisket, Turkey, Coleslaw (Pork Rib Bone)

Line by the time we left - approx noon

Us at The Market with Truluck's in the background

Truluck's, Downtown Austin:  We decided we wanted Seafood for our anniversary dinner, so Trip Advisor was our go to for the best rating - Truluck it was.  Our reservations wasn't until 8p.m., so we took the opportunity to visit Ryan at work, after all The Market Tap House was literally across the street from Truluck's and our parking lot - Score!  Our waiter Austin was such a pleasure to visit with during our diner.  He had done some extensive traveling and currently working on plans for a tiny home in Austin.  Jerry had the Sea Bass, which he described as being fabulous it was like dessert.  Where I had the Copper River Salmon, which was good, but but not to the level of Jerry's - maybe it was the way I had it cook. I must say I would definitely get the Sea Bass next time!  Then Austin surprised us with cherries jubilee over some type of chocolate bread pudding with Happy 7th Anniversary. We didn't even get a photo.

Maxine's, Bastrop, TX: Decent breakfast, but nothing unusual.

July 11-24, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

Austin Trip: Kids, Anniversary, Food

Wrapping our time up in Central Texas; heading back to West Texas.

We came down from Lubbock to visit our oldest son Ryan, Lisa, and grand dogs Millie & Beanz, before they head back to Florida, celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary, and of course scout out local food. And get in a little baby talk - Lisa is 17 weeks pregnant with our first grandchild, sex unknown, but we predict a girl.  They were already in The Oak RV Park in Cedar Creek, TX, so we just got our reservations there as well. 

The kids purchased a RV trailer knowing there were some issues, but really didn't know the extent until we got started.  Isn't that normally the case.  We were able to get them in pretty good shape in the limited time we had; water damage fixed, carpet out, painting started, and minor maintenance.  They will continue with the remodel by painting rest of trailer and add wood flooring...can't wait to see the transformation completed.

Water damage left corner, built-ins, and all that brown

Rebuilt corner/floor, closed bay door

Finish product (without flooring)


We might of had limited time, but being foodies, we made plenty of time to search out local eateries (so we thought; afterward found out some have moved into the Dallas Metroplex). Stay tune, as it really deserves its on post.

Featuring breakfast for three

It has been so hot our RV weather station showed temps as hot as 105 (heat index around 110) during the day. Needless to say we didn't get out to really site-see much during our two week stay.  Yes we made a few side trips while out, but the one thing we wanted to see was "bats".  Congress Ave bridge is the BIG hangout to see the bats in Austin...hundreds, thousands, or even millions of them, so I checked the bat website (yes the bats have their own website) for the time schedule during our stay (8:45-9:15 p.m.).  The site states the bridge is known for its 1.5 millions bats - SWEET the biggest siting yet.  The first time I ever seen bats was in Big Bend N.P. and they scared me to death, now I want to see millions in one place (lol).  
Unfortunately that didn't happen :(( We seen maybe a handful before a water vendor came strolling through, soon hearing a soft voice say... "Have you seen any bats yet?" 
Us:  Oh just a few...
Vendor:  "They haven't been coming out much, it's been a long time since the masses where seen".
Us:  Really
Vendor:  "Your best bet is to go under the bridge to see them".  
Us:  We wanted to see them in flight.  We had already been standing there overlooking all the water activity below, so snapped  selfie and we opt to go look for food.  

People everywhere waiting for the bat show

Selfie on the bridge
Our hopes, but only saw a handful

July 11-24, 2015