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Vol. 6, No. 33 | Thoughts in Austin
I skipped over to Austin for a couple of days and had a lot of thoughts. This is pretty lengthy, so I’ll jump right into it.
The cocktail bars in Austin are top notch. Here Nor There was my favorite. And not just because they had ting (a Jamaican grapefruit soda) and St Germain. Every detail was done right and the even though it was a speakeasy, there wasn’t even a slight hint of pretentiousness. I tried four different cocktails and they were all unique and delicious. When a Popcaan “chune” came over the speakers, I was sold.
In addition to the pockets of reggae, the playlist was mainly old school hip-hop. I’ve decided that old school hip hop makes cocktails taste better.
While the cocktail bars and concepts shined bright, I was a little underwhelmed by the food. Everything was good enough, but the menus were all a bit lackluster and very expensive. I maintain my stance that Atlanta has some of the best food in the US and at varying price points.
We have a breakfast taco place in Atlanta called Muchacho. I love Muchacho. Being in Austin, I now fully understand this concept. Austin revolves around breakfast tacos and it’s clear to see this was the inspiration.
On my last day I went to Loro and it gave me everything that I was looking for food wise. The chef from the best barbecue restaurant and the chef from the best Japanese restaurant combined forces to create a fusion of the two and the food is incredible. I thought it was a really cool idea for chefs to do in a city and I can’t remember coming across this anywhere else.
Random: When did shishito peppers get so big?
Another sidebar: I’d like all creators of QR code menus to consider Android phones when they test to make sure they work. My Google Pixel and appetite thanks you.
I went to Joann's Fine Foods one morning. And after a little Googling I found myself totally entranced by Liz Lambert’s (the founder) story. I came across an article on her and there were so many good bits. She’s pretty much the reason South Congress street is South Congress. Then she was fired from the company she started. It’s a fascinating read.
And I'm living the rest of the year with this:
It’s the story you’re going to tell,” she concluded. But, she added, “if you start to target your customer? Then you find yourself playing to the lowest common denominator. You’d never get any of this done.
We’re playing to the aspirational,” McGuire agreed. “We want the city to be more delicious.” “And to show people something they’d never discovered before,” she said.
I don't think I've ever met a rooftop restaurant or bar that I didn't like. The Soho House Austin (on South Congress) has one of the finest.
The rooms are also amazing. For a second as I twirled around the hotel room, I saw myself in my 50s owning a really great boutique hotel in Jamaica . Maybe it was the river water getting to my brain but honestly, it's kinda always been my dream. I just don't think I've ever seen it so clearly.
Oh…I fell in the Colorado River. And I wasn't drinking. I was kayaking like Austinites and the kayak flipped over. (Long story). I lost my shoes, but I have a good story. If you're not creating good memories, you're not living.
Hope you’re all well!