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Texas Thuesday

Wow, okay so it’s been a hot minute seven months since I’ve written my last post. And I can give you many-a-excuses as to why I haven’t been writing, but I will only give you one: I thought I lost all creative sense for writing. I still briefly feel that way, but with my one small stroke of inspiration, I’ll attempt. There may or may not be some (Houston) liquid courage involved…**

I’m writing about how I feel about Houston, Texas. The 713, 281, HOU, HTX, Clutch City, etc. The city has many (debatable) names. I’m writing about how I miss it.

YERP. I miss it for a multitude of reasons even though I’m in the city I’ve wanted to be in for nearly two years. The reasons that kept me from moving are the reasons I miss it (of course):

  • The people
  • Supper club
  • The [diverse] food
  • The Vietnamese grocery stores
  • The Heights and its esplanades
  • Some dude I have my blinders on for, whatever

This seems like a short list, but you’d be surprised of its impact. I mean, the whole lack of Vietnamese grocery stores (yes, I know about MT) could be a whole blog post itself. Yes, I’ve only been here a month and I know it takes time (ugh). I’m keeping an open mind, I promise. However, if you ask me, ask anyone, don’t you find Austin different than what you remember when you visited last? You can’t deny its growth. I mean, look at the new medical school on Red River…or the multiple complexes that have popped up on the east side (where it was once scary AF).

All in all, I’m saying something my thoughts will probably change again…because it happens. Change happens. (Gosh, Thu, what a revelation you had…) Houston will change, Austin will change. Heck, Dallas is probably changing (but who cares as long as the State Fair is still there?). This post is my appreciation and apology to Houston, its people and its food. How did you wedge yourself into my heart?

Recently, while driving in the rain I thought about Houston like this:
You’re like dry socks on a rainy day. (Caveat: I’m not very good at analogies, but go with it.) My friend, Eric, always told me to have a pair of extra dry socks, especially in Houston weather. There’s nothing like putting on dry socks after running from a flooding parking lot to your dry location. It’s kind of amazing. I guess what I’m saying, Houston, is that you’re amazing. When I have those “rainy days,” I’m glad I can look back and put on those dry socks and think of 8th Wonder Brewery, Coltivare, supper club and Viet Hoa (among many, many other things you have to offer).

Cheers to you Houston, but not to your traffic. I will see you again soon. Thanks for being those dry socks.

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Thank you for my reminder, JT.

**Drinking a 11th Below ‘Oso Bueno’ beer

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Three words: Iced Vanilla Latte.

Before you coffee snobs roll your eyes at me, go have one and then you can tell me that I’m dumb. But I know you won’t because 1) I’m right and 2) If you have had one, you know I’m right. Sidenote: You can also get this hot with the cooler weather, but I prefer it iced.

I remember the first time I heard about Vintage Heart Coffee…sort of. I think their social popped up on my Twitterfeed and I checked out their website. It looked convincing, so I thought I would check this place out when it opened. I think this was the first time I went to anywhere that existed on East 7th. I walked in the door of VHC and never looked back. Wood grain, good music, and good coffee? Where can I sign up for a permanent seat?

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My VHC-etched mason jar

As time went by, they started to pick up. I remember the first time that I had to get my drink to go because there were no seats available. I felt entitled and it saddened me. I knew I shouldn’t have written that sparkling Yelp! review, but I had to give them their kudos!! And I’m doing it again by writing this blog post.

They also have a bomb lavender latte, which was unheard of (to me) pre-VHC. I think it might be the only place in Austin, but I also have to add that they make these syrups in house! And I’ve interviewed with Mallory (the owner) before, she’s incredibly sweet.*

So…what I’m trying to say here is: Don’t come to Vintage Heart Coffee, the coffee is too great I don’t want to share it with anyone. But come on your own, whatever, I’m not the boss of you or VHC. Just maybe scooch over if you see a lone studier.

*Fun Fact: She’s interviewed me before too! That’s how that interview actually happened.

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Where do I begin? P. Terry’s is underrated.

While some people may have switched over to In-N-Out, I will stay loyal to the local choice. I think it’s a dang good burger with locally-sourced veg!! When I was studying for classes in undergrad and wanted fast-food, P. Terry’s was my top choice. It still is my top choice. Maine Root Beer on tap? Yes please! Have you had Maine Root Beer on tap from P. Terry’s? It’s what Tom Haverford describes as “super water.”

p terry's burger stand

This is my phone background, I’m not kidding.

In short: 100% pure beef, never frozen. Cage-free eggs. Local. Yumness. They even make their own salsa.

Their chicken burger is a nice alternative if you’re craving something like a burger, but not. Is that just me? P. Terry’s, your color schemes are also on point.

I will never forget the time I convinced my friend Hannah that we should drive from Balmorhea to Austin, so that we could have dinner at P. Terry’s. It was out of the way, but it was worth it. I inhaled that cheeseburger, got a refill of Maine Root Beer, and savored the fries. Hannah thought it was worth it too. She had the veggie burg, which I read is made fresh too!

I hope you guys stay in Austin forever, but sometimes I wish you delivered to Houston. You guys win the burger game.

This is my ode and love letter to P. Terry’s.

We love you Pieous.

We love you Pieous.

I remember the first time I heard about Pieous. It was from my friend Jaime, and I feel like she told me that:
1) They make their own pastrami and 2) They import their water from Brooklyn.

I’m 100% sure about the former, less sure about the latter. Regardless, there’s something in that dough that makes it’s so, so good. It’s the best pizza I’ve ever had in Austin, and maybe ever.

My brother and I went there together and waited for about 30 minutes in line. The staff are like a family, and some of them are! It’s husband- and wife-owned, they’re precious. Their kids are there too, I spotted one hiding behind the t-shirt counter. This made me reminiscent of my own experience as a child of small business owner, and made me love Pieous even more.

Even though you might have to wait, they will take your drink order while you’re in line. You can have a beer while you’re making your decision about which pie to get. Savory OR sweet- they’re both homemade.

What To Get At Pieous:

  • If there’s something that even remotely sounds good, get it. You can never go wrong.
  • Don’t forget about the plate-sized chocolate chip cookies.
  • Salads here are delicious.
  • Did I mention they make their own pastrami?

One time I went and there were just dudes with beards drinking beer and eating pizza.
There’s nothing wrong with that, I just find it hilarious and worth mentioning.
Pizza + beer + homelike atmosphere = the best. Don’t you think?

*Click this to look at more proof of Pieous love.

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Brussels & Jam 'za is...my JAM. It's really good.

Brussels & Jam ‘za is…my JAM. It’s really good.

Writing about food is probably the most consistent thing I’ve ever done. I’m the girl who has a Yelp! account. Read allllll of my reviews here.
& If you have a suggestion, leave one below and I’ll check it out asap! 

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Welcome to Texas Thuesday where I write a love letter to one of my favorite local places to eat, drink, and be merry.

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I remember the first time I heard about Counter Cafe. It was included in this eat.shop austin book that I received from Caroline. She included notes and tips to which places she had been to already (i.e. las manitas avenue cafe “yum-o mexi-breakfast”). This was a time when my Austin Restaurant IQ was pretty low, but growing slowly.

I will never forget my first visit. I pulled up and thought, “Wait, that’s it?” Not because I was underwhelmed, but it’s hard to miss if you don’t know what to look for. It’s the size of a hallway. I quickly learned to take Counter Cafe seriously because despite its size, it packs a lot of punch.

Here’s the important part: my favorite item has to be breakfast tacos…or biscuits and gravy…or a plate of bacon. Okay, so I don’t have 1 favorite item, but you would understand if you’ve been here. It saddens me to hear the latest news about the upcoming lease, BUT they’re preparing to move to the East side! And that’s something that I’m not opposing, I’m quite taken by that side of the city.

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There’s just something about that Lamar space, and especially that beautiful woodgrain counter. Whatever their fate might be, I’m glad it still ends with a seat at their counter (original location or otherwise).

If you’re into cool [brother] chefs, nice staff, and breakfast tacos- this is a place to visit.
If you’re not- I don’t think we can be friends (maybe, we’ll talk about it).

Writing about food is probably the most consistent thing I’ve ever done. I’m the girl who has a Yelp! account. Read allllll of my reviews here.
& If you have a suggestion, leave one below and I’ll check it out asap!