James Turrell Skyspace vibes in ATX
So I haven’t been writing, and I have a very good reason (that is actually a terrible reason): I’ve been working. And while it hasn’t been that long since I’ve started working, I’ve felt
creatively exhausted and so I haven’t felt compelled to blog. Again, excuses. But don’t you feel this way sometimes? I get all of the articles that have “X Ways To Stay Creative.” I get it now.
Anyway, it was brought to my attention that I’m the hippie dippie girl at work and recently, someone told me that I was brainwashed in Austin.
“HMMMMMMMM,” I thought to myself.
I didn’t think very long, because it’s true. Austin, Texas brainwashed me, and even though I no longer live there, the Austin state of mind has stayed.
- Is it bike-able?
- Music (aka SXSW) is ingrained in my music search.
- Coffee should obvious be roasted by Cuveé. I have coffee issues.
- Food should be local. “Where’s the closest farmers market to me?” is a question/mission I’ve given myself to answer.
- It’s been a hard adjustment to the “no sneaker” rule. Woof.
- Beer? Bring it on, but is it Austin Beer Works? Live Oak?
- In football, there’s only one team: the longhorns. And no matter how they do, I will still root for my team.
- Last, but not least: will I ever find anything comparable to Town Lake? (My answer is no.)
So frequently, my coworker friend calls me a “weirdo,” and while it’s a part of her “Name Repertoire,” I’ve been notoriously called “weird” before I knew what that word meant. It must be a sign that since the dawn of “being called weird,” I have been drinking the Kool-Aid that Austin, Texas stirs and serves. You know what? I’m completely okay with it.
If you’re trying to decide where to go for BBQ, you’ve come to the right place. I know the choice has usually been Franklin (rightly so), but I believe I’ve found a better place.
I’m not a professional BBQ professional or anything, but here are my credentials.
I have eaten at Franklin!
I have eaten BBQ in Lockhart, TX!
I have eaten Salt Lick!
I have eaten La Barbecue!
So, I think I have an idea. Actually, I know if you go to La Barbecue, you won’t regret it. The line is shorter, on a certain day they give you free beer and cider (I hope this is still a thing), and the brisket is dang good. What I heard is that they’re opening up a brick-and-mortar, and that seems to be the trend for a wave of food trucks. Good for them! The best thing about barbecue places like La Barbecue*, Franklin**, and John Mueller Meat Company*** is that they all have active Twitter accounts that let you know availability. So if you wake up a little late or you’re wondering if they’ve run out of ribs- you can check Twitter!
Through all of this BBQ research, I found Killen’s BBQ and I can’t wait to drive lengths to try it!! Texas BBQ is the best. Even more so, Texas BBQ Twitters. They are so sassy, funny, and a testament to the dedication that Texans (and non-Texans) have to BBQ. #meatchurch is probably the best hashtag I’ve come across this AM.
*La Barbecue isn’t open on Mondays or Tuesdays.
**Franklin isn’t open on Mondays.
***John Mueller Meat Company isn’t open on Wednesdays. Sometimes they give out free Lonestar (is this still a thing?) and the beef ribs (I heard) are reign supreme.
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?
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.
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.
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!