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Austin 4.0 Preview

Time for some sunshine!

We are heading back to Austin soon and wanted to give you a preview of our trip.  Although we will miss the madness that is SXSW (intentionally) we thought that our agenda may be of help to anyone heading down to ATX this week.

We will be in town for 4 nights – that ends up being 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners plus a bunch of grazing in between. We won’t be able to make it to all of these places, but we are hoping we can hit most of them.

(*places we will be visiting for the first time)

Hotel –

*Hotel Saint Cecilia – we decided last visit that we’d stay here on our return to Austin and we are glad that we followed through. Absolutely gorgeous. Right now, as the clouds are gray and dreary outside, not much sounds better than having a drink while sitting poolside at Hotel Saint Cecilia.

Breakfast –

Coffee is on our agenda this trip and we plan to check out a few new coffee shops, as well as return to some of our old favorites.

*Houndstooth Coffee – the original shop is on North Lamar in the same strip as Uchiko but they have just opened up a new downtown shop in the Frost Bank Tower.  They use beans from multiple roasters including Counter Culture and brew using several techniques.  They also serve pastries from Bakerman Bakery and have beer on tap.

Jo’s – no trip to Austin is complete without a stop at Jo’s for an Iced Turbo. We love both the South Congress walk up outdoor cafe as well as the 2nd Avenue shop with full menu and indoor/outdoor seating.

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Patika Coffee – we loved this downtown coffee truck from our last visit and plan to hit them up after a run on Town Lake Trail for a latte and some of the delicious looking pastries from Flour Bakery.

*Frank – great coffee at a hot dog joint? It sounds weird to us too, but everything we’ve read sounds as if they take their coffee program seriously. Their beans are from up and coming Handsome Coffee Roasters in Los Angeles a La Marzocco GB5 for their espressos and Hario V60 for their pour overs.

Caffe Medici – we tried the Clarksville location last time but they have a newer location in the Austonian downtown that we’d love to try.

Elizabeth Street Cafe – we loved the decor and the pastries last visit but were not blown away by their vermicelli or their banh mi. We want to give it another try and plan to head there for breakfast with some good friends. We also love that they brew Stumptown Coffee.

Saturday Brunch – (Which one of these we head to will be a game time decision)

South Congress Cafe – known for their brunch we are hoping to try their famous Carrot Cake French Toast

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*Downtown Farmer’s Market – if we are too stuffed to imagine eating French Toast then we may head here to sample some fresh organic food from quality farmers and artisans before we head back to TN

Lunch –

Lucy’s Fried Chicken – why is it so hard to find good fried chicken?? Since we last had Lucy’s, other fried chicken has left us disappointed. We plan to gather the in-laws and head here for a family feast – one of the best places in Austin to bring the whole gang. We can see Lucy’s becoming an Austin tradition for us.

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*Lick Ice Cream – we likely won’t leave Lucy’s without having some of their delicious pies but we will still find room to try out this creative ice cream shop on South Lamar.  The hard part will be deciding which flavor to get – Lemon Poppy Seed or Dark Chocolate with Olive Oil and Sea Salt or Strawberries and Cream??

Franklin Barbecue – we didn’t go last visit and have regretted it ever since. Aaron Franklin’s brisket is in a league of it’s own and we find it impossible to believe anyone anywhere is making it better.

*Clark’s Oyster Bar – this is one of the new places that we are most excited about trying. This little brother to Perla’s has taken over the former Portabla site in Clarkesville and the photos of it look beautiful. We love fresh oysters and Clark’s has a nice selection along with very tasty sounding seafood options.

*Sway – this upscale thai restaurant from Chef/Owner Rene Ortiz (La Condesa) was on our ‘Must List’ since we read about it’s opening. Open for lunch and dinner we thought we’d opt for lunch, sit on their patio and try some upscale Thai cuisine. Everything on their menu sounds delicious.

Dinner –

Uchiko – although Paul Qui is no longer in the kitchen (he’s opening his new namesake restaurant, Qui, in the next few weeks) we have heard that the kitchen is still at the top of it’s game. Always tough to decide between here and Uchi – arguably the two best upscale restaurants in town. The Ham & Eggs roll with pork belly and yolk custard is a must.

*Barley Swine – We have always wanted to try Chef Bryce Gilmore’s critically acclaimed creative small plate gastropub. We had been deterred by the reported long lines. They now offer some reservations Mon-Thurs and we jumped on it.

Home Slice Pizza – What can we say? We love us some Home Slice.

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*East Side King @ Hole in the Wall – amazingly we have never tried any Paul Qui’s East Side King food trucks. He has recently opened up a brick and mortar site in this bar on the Drag near the UT Campus featuring some of his greatest hits from his trucks.  We checked to be sure we could bring our 9 month old (they said “Absolutely”).

Food Artisans –

*Salt & Time – new butcher shop and salumeria in East Austin selling meats and sandwiches. Opened up the first official Cuvee Coffee shop inside as well.

*Chameleon Cold Brew – cold filtered highly caffeinated bottled coffee. Available in the uber-cool Royal Blue Grocery (please open up a grocery in Nashville) and Whole Foods.

Bars/Drinks –

*East Side Showroom – cocktail bar in East Austin. Has been on our list for some time.

Easy Tiger – great beer selection and great vibe

Doc’s – if it’s nice outside we are for sure going to be watching some March Madness having a drink here.

Rainey Street Bars – I am itching to check out this happening area downtown featuring multiple bars and food trucks.

*Hopfields – gastropub with tons of quality beer on tap and small Belgian style fare
Shopping –

No trip to Austin is complete for us without shopping at Stag, Service Menswear and By George

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