Something about Texas for Memorial Day sounds just too American to pass up. So I packed up my cowboy boots and denim shirt and headed to Austin for a long Memorial Day weekend. Okay, I didn’t bring cowboy boots – but I was excited to head to Austin, a city I had been wanting to visit for some time.
I arrived in Austin at around 12 pm on Saturday. Taking an early morning flight on Saturday saved me close to $200, an early wake-up call was definitely worth the savings. And my arrival time was perfect to get the day started in my favorite fashion, with brunch!
We went to EastSide Tavern – a perfect way to kick off my Austin City BBQ tour. A modern/rustic restaurant with an extensive BBQ and beer menu, it was a great location to spend a couple hours catching up with friends and enjoying bottomless mimosas. I had an over the top brisket texas toast dish that was covered in gravy.
From there we grabbed a couple bikes from an Austin B-Cycle station and biked from the east side, and all through downtown. Weaving our way through the downtown streets was a perfect way to experience downtown. A girl who is reluctant to ride her bike downtown in Oakland or San Francisco – Austin is a much smaller and safer downtown for a shaky biker.
We made our way to the Capitol building and spent some time on the property enjoying the views and weather. It was cool to see how the historic streets and new architecture are in such close proximity and work together.
First stop of the night was Stay Gold Bar, a fun indoor/outdoor venue with a food truck outside. We enjoyed a couple drinks and I had yummy brisket tacos from the Toast food truck.
We headed over to Red River St. and popped into a couple bars. The street was bustling with young people bar hopping. I felt a little old, but it was a fun atmosphere for a night out. While I didn’t make it to the famous 6th St. at night, this street was a nice taste of Austin nightlife. For somebody who loves warm weather and being outside, it doesn’t get much better than this!
Boating on Lake Austin is something out of the movies. After a scenic 30 minute drive from Austin into the Lake Travis, we unloaded our cars and grabbed our rental boat. Once we were out on the water, we rode around a bit, turned a corner and saw a collection of close to 100 boats all docked together partying. I had no idea!
It was so fun, we opened our food, made drinks and played music. I even jumped in the water! Unfortunately, our evening was cut short by a storm, but it was such a fun afternoon.
Of course, I ended the night with BBQ – brisket and chicken. (Do you see a common theme here?)
For Brunch on Monday, I was ready for a break from BBQ. *gasp* Sawyer & Co. was that and more. Creole food in a funky retro dinner setting, my meal was mouth watering. I got the Cajun Scramble which has 3 eggs scrambled, crawfish, cheddar cheese and green onions with cheese grits and a biscuit. Everything was melt in your mouth amazing, I cleaned my plate!
We spent the afternoon driving around the parts of Austin I had not yet visited. We drove back through downtown, around South Congress to see all of the shops and restaurants.
All in all, Austin was amazing. It’s such an eclectic mix of old and new- just about every restaurant, bar, and shop I went to was an older venue given a new life. Such a fun city with so much character. I can’t wait to visit again!