So, while we travel collectively and individually for random reasons NEVER EVER do my husband and I go it together without some combo of the boys. But with my whistle whetted from my book tour reminding me of all the awesome cities and towns in regional America, I just decided that the two of us needed to head somewhere together that neither of us had ever been. No small feat dealing with care of dogs, teens, sports plans, food etc but somehow we managed to pull it off and hit the road together this weekend. We chose Austin cause it fit criteria #1 and, well–we love music and food, duh. And, it turns out, Austin Texas IS soul personified! With a combination of twitter, FB, colleague suggestions and my nose to the ground upon arrival–we’ve been having the most amazing time already in under 48 hrs.
Churros: tamales: http://www.currasgrill.com/
Waterloo: record store extraordinaire (music for our travels) : http://www.waterloorecords.com/home.html
BookPeople: Indie Bookstore: http://www.bookpeople.com/
Heritage Boots: Yes, I bought some: http://www.heritageboot.com/
Salt Lick BBQ: best BBQ I’ve ever had (so far): http://www.saltlickbbq.com/
Mean Eyed Cat: rock and roll live music Graham Wilkinson http://www.themeaneyedcat.com/
Antones: Blues with Gary Clark Jr.http://www.antones.net/
Meanwhile–a few words on the BBQ at Salt Lick in Driftwood Texas. First, it is absolutely the most consistent, flavorful and well seasoned I’ve ever had. It is located in the hill country which really is beautiful rolling limestone, scrub and wildflower meadowed hills. It BYOB and cash only so folks arrive with coolers of beer and happily sit around waiting for a table–live music easily playing in the front yard. But with the BBQ: sausage (rarely is it this good), brisket and pork ribs are sides, so well matched and simply prepared that its hard to believe. Pinto beans, cole slaw, warm cubed potatoes, chopped pickles and pickled jalapenos and white onions (served solo for you to nibble on throughout the meal) and the fluffiest, soft white bread roll. Tangy, not to thin sauce is on the side although totally unnecessary since the meat is perfect. How can you be in Texas and pass up pecan pie being that pecans are grown here and all. It was-eyes-rolled-back-in-the-head good. Warm soft filling, small sweet crunchy pecans on top AND ice cream. The crust was tender and dry underneath yet crispy too–it had to be a crisco crust. I’m just salivating writing this and thinking about it. Today’s plans do not include BBQ but, while my husband, who insists upon watching Jets play off football today, sits in front of TV–I am making the trek to Lockhart, TX (BBQ capitol of TX)–about an hour away by alone, if need be. I just can’t help it. But first–breakfast tacos and Migas. More on that later.