Food Finds in South Austin

I begin to wonder if there is a typical dining day in Austin.  I started out at one of the best Mexican breakfast options in town, El Meson on Burleson Rd in SE Austin. There is something mysterious about this spot, but the food isn’t it. Great tacos, red hot but very flavorful hot sauce (you have to get there early for the really spicy one) and the best nopalitos and egg taco I’ve ever had. Bill swears by the chorizo and potato tacos. It’s self-serve and unvarnished, but home cooked goodness permeates the atmosphere. On a more pedestrian note, Dottie and I ate lunch at Scholtzky’s on South Lamar after walking Addy (the chihuahua with a Napoleon complex) around Lady Bird Lake. I wouldn’t mention it, but mid-way through my salad a magnificent rooster strolled by looking for a lunch snack. The staff said he comes by every day to visit, making out like a bandit I’m sure. I’ve seen some chickens loose in the woods by Lady Bird Lake before, so my guess is he makes the rounds; who knows where he has dinner?

After washing my car on Manchaca Rd., I noticed signs along the street for fresh, organic produce and eggs. I saw that a new cafe had opened with a large 78745 tag. Upon further investigation, I discovered Full English an English breakfast cafe and bakery that also serves high tea during the holidays. Their baked goods are all natural, mostly organic as are their eggs and bangers and their homemade chutney. What a find! I haven’t eaten there yet but did make off with some hearty raisin shortcakes that were delicious. They sell their baked goods at two South Austin Farmer’s markets. I knew about the Sunset Valley Market but the Austin Urban Farmer’s Market is one I will need to visit. The next time I’m out and about I will bring my camera.

Dining Recommendations

The East Side King food trailer at the Liberty Bar lived up to its press. While the menu sports a number of fried items, the brussels sprouts and beets were lightly dusted, not crusted. Cilantro, fresh jalapeno and a smattering of spicy condiments made for a tasty snack. The chicken was tender and fresh 3.25 stars.

The Bombay Bistro Restaurant in the Brodie Oaks Shopping Center brings more savory Indian fare to South Austin. Tarka offers great Indian food to go and a slightly noisy, modern ambiance. Bombay Bistro offers decent music to accompany a diverse menu and very attentive service. The lunch buffet, served every day, does not disappoint. The variety of dishes, wonderful sauces, “street food” and delicious desserts make me want to go back again this week. They have a full bar and comfortable, tasteful decor for a pleasant dinner experience.  It’s not hard to ignore the TV when your taste buds have so much to decipher. 3.5 stars.

East Austin Studio Tour 2010

Perused several art complexes in East Austin: on Smith Road, Bolm Rd and Shady Ln then back to the Eastside Showroom for good food but alas,  poor service. Off to the Davis Gallery for an opening, and the Saxon Pub to see a classic performance by Miss Lavelle White.  Be forewarned, at the Saxon the headliner plays at 8:00 (WTF) so we missed seeing Malford Milligan.  Live and learn, even a well-worn path holds surprises.

Seeing life as art finds beauty in odd places.  I include a few random objects in the gallery below.  Makes for fun sauntering.

19th Austin Pow Wow

Austin’s 19th Annual Pow Wow

I’ve been going to the Austin Pow Wows since they began.  The grand entry begins with the color guard (military veterans) who are followed by the gourd dancers, another group of warriors.  First, the eagle staff is carried into the circle, followed by the American, state and tribal flags. Then, chiefs and headmen enter, followed by head dancers and royalty (i.e. honorary Powwow Princesses)

Other invited dignitaries are next to enter followed by the men: traditional dancers first, then grass dancers and fancy dancers.  Women enter next: traditional dancers, fancy shawl dancers and jingle dress dancers. They’re followed by junior boys, traditional and fancy dancers, and the little girls, traditional and fancy shawl dancers. The dancers dance clockwise, around the arbor.  The people coming together, uniting heaven and earth in a sacred spiral.

Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival

Circle the food wagons, are the days of restaurants numbered?

Strolling Ladybird lake anticipating the first annual trailer food festival.  Music, foods from around the world, kids, people of every stripe.  Classic Austin, all ages no holds barred Auditorium Shores – we’re in the dog park don’t you know.  I’m not sure I will go to Pick up Stix any time soon (the only line that was less than 2o minutes long) but I’ll be on the lookout for new and exotic trailer food in South Austin and on Rainy Street.  I do recommend the Fish trailer on South Congress and 2nd.  Fun to sit curbside and watch the zoo pass by or, alternatively, to be exhibit A.

Sauntering around Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead  sauntering around Austin

A classic outing, beginning with breakfast  at Sazon on South Lamar.  Aside from the red bordello patterned wallpaper, the migas tacos were good and the coffee decent.  After a walk at Ladybird Lake, where a rowing regatta took center stage, we headed to the  Mexican American Cultural Center for their day of the dead celebration.  Since we arrived early, we wandered down to Rainy street for a beer and a trailer taco that had more flavor than substance.  Enjoyed the Icenhauer patio, shown above.  I’m sorry for the inconvenience to the denizens of Rainy street but I like the new development there.  It’s fun and somehow reminiscent of old Austin.  There are some who will disagree but playing ping pong over cocktails . . . .

Dia de los Muertos was just beginning at MAAC when we arrived; parking was already at a premium.  The altars, uniquely appointed with memorabilia and  favorite foods of the dearly departed, reminded me of my own loved ones. I would like to make an altar next year. The harvest cycle, death and rebirth, threads through every generation,  Honoring the past, acknowledging death as a part of life is more restoring of sanity than yesterday’s parade I’m guessing.

Sad farewell to Club 21

Club 21 cannot be replaced.  I took these pictures of the Lucky Tomblin Band playing there last October and set them to one of Lucky’s tunes.  A classic dance hall since the late 1800s.  If those walls could talk . . .