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Brisket plate with jalapeno cheese grits and campfire chili beans at Micklethwait Craft Meats food truck in Austin, Texas.

Life List #216: Eat everything in Austin, Texas.

I had but one goal for my four-night vacation in Austin, Texas: eat everything.

Austin’s food scene excited me. The city is probably best known for tacos and Tex-Mex and barbecue. And who wouldn’t be excited for tacos and Tex-Mex and barbecue? But it goes beyond that. There are food trucks on seemingly every corner, in every empty lot, attached to every bar. And those food trucks specialize in every cuisine and fare imaginable. Indian food. Eggrolls. Bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Peruvian creole. And there are just as many brick and mortars, from tiny whole-in-the-walls to fancy cocktail joints. And then there’s ice cream or cupcakes or any other desserts.

Austin, Texas, has a lot of food.

My friend Nick graciously served as my host and tour guide while I visited Austin and he graciously put his own stomach in peril to show me all the food Austin had to offer. He promised me that I’d eat everything in Austin. And he did not disappoint.

We ate a lot of tacos and Tex-Mex and barbecue. And we ate at a lot of food trucks. And we ate at everywhere in between. And we ate a lot of ice cream. And when we weren’t eating, we were drinking.

At the end of our last full day, after eating and drinking at six different places, he turned to me and said, “you know, I probably could have stopped after the first place today, and not eaten anything else, and have been fine.”

“Yeah,” I laughed, “me too.”

But what would have been the fun in that?

While sitting in the airport, on my way out of town, belly more than full, I did the math: we ate and/or drank at 26 different places over the course of four days. Twenty. Six.

So maybe I didn’t eat everything in Austin, Texas…but I sure as hell came as close as anyone possibly could.

Plus, you know, there’s always next week…

 

Here’s everything and everywhere I ate (and drank) in Austin, Texas:

Live Oak HefeWeizen at Little Woodrow's in Austin, Texas.

Live Oak HefeWeizen at Little Woodrow's in Austin, Texas.

Little Woodrow’s

You know you’re in for it when instead of giving you directions from the airport to his apartment, your friend gives you directions from the airport to a bar. Nick gave me directions from the airport to a bar. And that just meant that I’d have to drag around the suitcase the rest of the night. And that also meant that one of the first things I’d have to ask would be, “what’s a good local beer?” Nick recommended the Live Oak HefeWeizen when I said I didn’t like IPAs and it was light and lemony and a good beer to suck down in the Texas heat.

Little Woodrow’s
520 W 6th St

 

 

The Mighty Mo (garlic lime shrimp taco) and a fried avocado taco at The Violet Taco in Austin, Texas.

The Violet Taco

After spending the afternoon on a plane and the night guzzling three hefeweizens, it was time to eat. All of the bars in Austin have their own food trucks so we could have grabbed tacos at Little Woodrow’s, but Nick said the ones across the street at Star Bar were better. So I carried my suitcase across the street, and we got tacos.

I went with The Mighty Mo, which had garlic lime shrimp, tangy slaw, avo de gallo, and sriracha lime aioli, and a fried avocado special that came topped with corn relish, crema, and tomatillo salsa.

The Violet Taco
600 West 6th St

 

 

The Ginger Man in Austin, Texas.

The Ginger Man

After thoroughly stuffing ourselves with tacos, it was time for another beer. So we dragged my suitcase to The Ginger Man, a bar that had one of the longest walls of taps I’d ever seen. Nick recommended the Revolver Blood and Honey, an American wheat ale that was a little spicy, a little sweet, and the perfect night cap before calling my first night in Austin a night.

The Ginger Man
301 Lavaca Street

 

 

Coffee at Launderette in Austin, Texas.

Zucchini bread and lemon blueberry scone at Launderette in Austin, Texas.

Buttermilk pancakes with blueberry maple compote, crème fraiche, and a kitten syrup dispenser at Launderette in Austin, Texas.

Launderette

Nick raved about two things at Launderette, the cute cafe we had brunch at on my second day: the pastries and the pancakes. So we ordered the pastries and the pancakes.

He was right to recommend them. The zucchini bread was moist and sweet and topped with the largest, thickest, slab of butter you could imagine. And the scone was crunchy with a soft center and came with a decadent swirl of lemony whipped butter.

And the pancakes. I don’t even normally like pancakes but they got such a glowing revue I had to get them. Plus I was told they came with a cat. And how can I pass up something that comes with a cat? I can’t. The pancakes were sweet but the tanginess of the blueberry maple compote and crème fraiche must have balanced it out because I ate the whole damned plate. And I could eat the whole damned plate again and again and again…

Launderette
2115 Holly St.

 

 

The Democrat taco at Torchy's Tacos in Austin, Texas.

Torchy’s Tacos

Torchy’s Tacos is apparently an institution in Austin. It started as a food truck and now has over thirteen locations in Austin plus many more around the state. We weren’t that hungry when we stopped at Torchy’s and we were on our way to an event that would have food…so we just settled for one beer and one taco each. I had an Eastciders cider and The Democrat: a shredded beef taco topped with avocado, queso fresco, cilantro, onions, lime, and tomatillo salsa.

You know, a light snack.

Torchy’s Tacos
Various Locations

 

 
Pho Tai Bo Vien (noodle soup with eye round steak and meatballs) at Thanh Nhi in Austin, Texas.

Thanh Nhi

Nick and I had plans to go to this Asian street food event, which turned out to be kind of lame, packed, and almost out of food. So we left pretty quickly but decided that we still were in the mood for Asian food. So we decided to get some Vietnamese pho. The woman taking my order for Pho Tai Bo Vien (noodle soup with eye round steak and meatballs) laughed when I quickly followed with, “small please,” after she saw me eyeing the gigantic bowls at another table. The small was still pretty big.

Thanh Nhi
9200 N Lamar Blvd

 

 

The Infinite Monkey Theorem wine bar in Austin, Texas.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem

We dropped by The Infinite Monkey Theorem because a friend of Nick was celebrating her birthday. Everyone amongst us kept commenting on how cool the wine bar was and how no one had heard of it before. I had a glass of tempranillo while making new friends and eying the crossword puzzle projected on the wall.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem
121 Pickle Road, #110

 

 

The White Horse

Nick gave me the option of going to a bar with a DJ or going to a two-step bar. As if there was actually an option. We went to the two step bar and after a beer each (I had another Eastcider) we were ready to bust a move. OK, so, neither of us actually knew how to two-step but after watching others we were pretty confident that almost no one could agree on what a two step was anyways but, in general, if you did one step one way then two steps the other you were kind of on track. So we two-stepped for a song or two, had another drink, danced for another song, and decided that obviously we would be back every week for lessons because obviously I need to live in a city where two-step bars are a thing.

The White Horse
500 Comal St.

 

 

Angel Eyes cocktail at Whisler's in Austin, Texas.

Whisler’s

Ready to sit down for a second we headed to a fancy cocktail bar with a bathtub in the garden and we ordered fancy cocktails. I had an Angel Eyes — blanco tequila, cocchi americano, blueberry, sage, and lime.

Whisler’s
1816 E 6th St.

 

 

Lone Star Beer - the National Beer of Texas - at The Liberty in Austin, Texas.

The Liberty

I was told that I had to have a Lone Star, the “National beer of Texas,” while in Austin. So we ended our night at The Liberty. Which seemed like just the perfect place to drink a Lone Star. It was…ummm…beer.

The Liberty
1618 E 6th St.

 

 

Paperboy food truck in Austin, Texas.

Watermelon Agua Fresca and Hash Bowl (Texas Yukons, Braised Pork Belly, Grilled Onions, Poached Egg, Pecan Mole) at Paperboy food truck in Austin, Texas.

Paperboy

Sunday morning was a brunch morning. We skipped out on finding a place for $1 mimosas (next time?) and instead went to a food truck. Paperboy is a relatively new food truck and everything on the menu sounded too good. Everyone I was there with ended up ordering the same thing though: the Hash Bowl. The Hash Bowl came with Texas yukon potatoes, braised pork belly, grilled onions and was topped with pecan mole and a poached egg. It was a Texas brunch version of papas bravas. Or something like that. It was spicy and rich though the pork belly could have come in larger portions. It was chopped so finely I often missed the fact that there was meat in there at all. Still, if I lived there I’d probably go back again and order everything on the menu at some point.

Paperboy
1203 E 11th Street

 

 

White chocolate blackberry ice cream with gummies at Amy's Ice Cream.

Amy’s Ice Creams

Amy’s Ice Creams is incredibly popular in Austin. And ice cream in general is incredibly popular in my mouth. So, despite the fact that we had just gorged ourselves on brunch, we stopped for ice cream. I got a scoop of sweet and tangy White Chocolate Blackberry and when I asked the server what he thought would be a good topping he said gummies. So I topped it with gummies. Because I am totally not a five year old y’all.

Amy’s Ice Creams
Various Locations

 

 

Chocolate chip vanilla buttercream sandwich cookie at the flagship Whole Foods in Austin, Texas.

Whole Foods

The Whole Foods in Austin is famous because it’s the flagship store. It’s also pretty huge. It’s also, somehow, less congested than the Whole Foods on the DePaul campus. They also have food. Not just groceries, but food. Pizza slices. Barbecue. A sushi bar. Despite the fact that I was still full from brunch and definitely full from ice cream we picked up some sandwich cookies from the cookie bar. Because the Whole Foods had a cookie bar. And because my mouth also likes cookies.

Whole Foods
525 N Lamar Blvd.

 

 

Guadalupe Scotch Ale at Craft Pride in Austin, Texas.

The Cadillac pizza (Gorgonzola, Fig Preserves, Prosciutto di Parma, Parmesan, Balsamic Glaze) at Via 313 in Austin, Texas.

Craft Pride/Via 313

That afternoon Nick and I headed to Rainey Street — a stretch in Austin where historic homes were turned into bars. Our first stop was Craft Pride where I got a dark and thick Guadalupe Scotch Ale. Because we were totally hungry and totally didn’t have plans for dinner that night we got a Detroit-style pizza (Detroit has a style of pizza?) from their food truck, Via 313. The thick slices of the salty/sweet Cadillac pizza were topped with gorgonzola, Prosciutto di Parma, parmesan, balsamic glaze, and, appropriately, fig preserves.

Craft Pride / Via 313
61 Rainey St.

 

 

Lucille on Rainey Street in Austin, Texas.

Strawberry Mojito at Lucille on Rainey Street in Austin, Texas.

Lucille Patio Lounge

The next stop on our mini Rainey Street bar crawl was Lucille Patio Lounge. One of their Sunday brunch specials was a strawberry mojito. So I ordered two.

Lucille Patio Lounge
77 Rainey St.

 

 

Moscow Mule at The Blackheart on Rainey Street in Austin, Texas.

The Blackheart

It was Sunday in Austin so we obviously couldn’t stop at just two bars or just three drinks, so our next stop on our Rainey Street bar crawl was The Blackheart, where I had two Moscow Mules.

The Blackheart
86 Rainey St.

 

 

512 pecan porter, rabbit and mushroom sausage, and jalapeno mac and cheese at Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden in Austin, Texas.

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden

Because a slice of pizza does not a dinner make, our next stop on Rainey Street was Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden. They have beer and sausages. I had a rabbit and mushroom sausage made with shiitake mushrooms, manchego cheese, garlic, & rendered bacon fat. It was decadent and creamy and slightly gamey and just the most perfect sausage that I’ve ever put in my mouth (insert your jokes here, y’all). And we shared a slightly spicy jalapeño mac and cheese on the side. And I washed it down with a 512 pecan porter because I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to eat a sausage without a beer. Pretty. Sure.

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden
79 Rainey St.

 

 

The Kelsey cocktail at Icenhauer's in Austin, Texas.

Icenhauer’s

It was Sunday in Austin so we obviously couldn’t stop at just four bars or just six drinks, so our next (and final) stop on our Rainey Street bar crawl was Icenhauer’s. I got The Kelsey cocktail. Maybe. I think. I was pretty drunk at that point so I’m not sure. But I compared photos online and that looks like what I drank…

Icenhauer’s
83 Rainey St.

 

 

The Rancher Plate (A sampling of Brisket, Pork Ribs, Sausage and Turkey) at Salt Lick BBQ in Austin, Texas.

Salt Lick BBQ

You can’t go to Austin and not get barbecue. I’m pretty sure TSA looks for the sauce stains in your luggage on your way out. Pretty. Sure. And Salt Lick BBQ, just outside of Austin, is one of the most famous BBQ places around.

I got the Rancher Plate — a sampling of brisket, pork ribs, sausage, and turkey — because why get one meat when you can get four? It came with a sides of potato salad, cole slaw, beans, bread, pickles, and onions and a wheelbarrow to bring your too-stuffed body back to the car. OK, maybe there were no wheelbarrows but I probably could have used one because I ate so much delicious barbecued meat and so many rich sides and washed it all down with so much sweet tea that I have no idea how I was ever able to move again.

Salt Lick BBQ
18300 Farm to Market Rd 1826, Driftwood, TX

 

 

Tasting at Dripping Springs Vodka Distillery.

Dripping Springs Vodka Distillery

Nick and I had meant to go to a couple of breweries after barbecue, but, apparently, none of them are open on Mondays. So we did go to Dripping Springs Vodka Distillery, because they were open. And for $4 we got a shot glass and a tasting of three vodkas and a gin. And I drank shots of alcohol straight up and didn’t puke. Be proud. Be very proud.

Dripping Springs Vodka Distillery
5330 Bell Springs Rd, Dripping Springs, TX

 

 

Easy Shandy, pretzel, and beer cheese at Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden in Austin, Texas.

Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden

Easy Tiger bills themselves as a bake shop and beer garden and that is exactly what they are. Because why be one or the other when you can be both? We mostly went to grab a beer (I had the refreshing Easy Shandy made with Live Oak HefeWeizen, lemon, and Angostura Bitters) but we also shared a homemade pretzel with homemade beer cheese. The waiter kept trying to get us to order more food until we finally had to say, “hey man, we just ate all the meat at Salt Lick.” He backed off.

Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden
709 E 6th St.

 

 

Truffled deviled eggs, duck fat fries, and crispy brussels sprout leaves at Salty Sow in Austin, Texas.

Pig Pen cocktail (strawberry infused Pepe Z Blanco, Aperol, lime, syrup) at Salty Sow in Austin, Texas.

Charlotte's Web cocktail (strawberry moonshine, black pepper simple syrup, balsamic drizzle, lemon juice) at Salty Sow in Austin, Texas.

Salty Sow

You know how sometimes you’re not at all hungry but if food is placed in front of you you will eat every last crumb? Despite not being hungry at all, we went to Salty Sow for happy hour. And I got two cocktails and we shared plates of truffled deviled eggs, duck fat fries, and crispy brussels sprout leaves. And we ate every last crumb. No regrets because everything was beyond tasty and I could probably live on that brussels sprouts salad if I didn’t know that barbecue and tacos also existed in the world.

Salty Sow
1917 Manor Road

 

 

Margarita and chips and salsa at Polvos Mexican Restaurant in Austin, Texas.

Chili Relleno al Nogal at Polvos Mexican Restaurant in Austin, Texas.

Polvos Mexican Restaurant

You know how sometimes you’re not at all hungry but if food is placed in front of you you will eat every last crumb? I couldn’t leave Austin without eating some proper Tex-Mex so we planned on dinner at Polvos. Of course, neither of us was really hungry so we decided to split an order of Chili Relleno al Nogal (a chile poblano pepper stuffed with chicken and topped with pecan cream sauce and Monterey Jack cheese). And, of course, we demolished a whole basket of chips and salsa while waiting for the chili relleno to come out…

Polvos Mexican Restaurant
2004 S 1st St.

 

 

Dolce Neve ice cream sandwich at Dolce Neve in Austin, Texas.

Dolce Neve

OK, so I know I was thoroughly stuffed four restaurants ago, but there’s always room for ice cream, right? And Dolce Neve was just down the block. And they had ice cream sandwiches which are so my jam so I got their namesake lemony Dolce Neve ice cream sandwich. And then we went back home and passed out.

No regrets.

Dolce Neve
1713 S 1st St.

 

 

Micklethwait Craft Meats food truck in Austin, Texas.

Topo Chico at Micklethwait Craft Meats food truck in Austin, Texas.

Brisket plate with jalapeno cheese grits and campfire chili beans at Micklethwait Craft Meats food truck in Austin, Texas.

Micklethwait Craft Meats

On my last morning in Austin we determined that I couldn’t leave the city without one more plate of barbecue. So we went to the Micklethwait Craft Meats food truck and ordered plates of brisket. We discussed just sharing a plate because, at this point, after four days of eating everything in Austin, I probably could have gone another month without eating anything at all and been OK. But you only live once and I was only in Austin once and so I ordered my own plate of brisket and jalapeno cheese grits and campfire chili beans and white bread and pickles. And I’m pretty sure that’s what heaven feels like.

I actually liked Micklethwait way more than Salt Lick. The brisket was juicy with a nice spicy crust and the fat was so tender. And the grits and the beans were so flavorful I could have dove into a gallon of each. If, you know, I hadn’t eaten at 24 other places already.

Micklethwait Craft Meats
1309 Rosewood Ave.

 

 

Fromage & Fig and Caramel Salt Lick ice cream at Lick Ice Creams in Austin, Texas.

Lick Ice Creams

One more ice cream for the road? Why not! My last stop in Austin, my twenty-sixth stop in Austin, was Lick Ice Creams. And I’m pretty sure it was fate because their special ice cream of the month was Fromage & Fig. And, if you haven’t figured it out, I’m obsessed with figs. So I had a scoop of fig/neufchatel ice cream topped with a scoop of Caramel Salt Lick ice cream. A sweet end to a sweet trip.

And I thanked Nick for thoroughly succeeding in making sure I ate everything in Austin.

And I vowed to return so we could eat some more.

Lick Ice Creams
1100 S Lamar Blvd #1135

 

“Eat everything in Austin, Texas,” was number 216 on my life list.

 

What did I miss? What's your favorite place to eat in Austin? What should I eat next time in Austin? Or, you know, when they convince me to move there???

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