Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The City Different


Downtown Austin


Austin is the only city in Texas that does not belong in the state. Trust me when I say that Austinites are enormously proud of that fact. They do not hold to the mantra, Keep Austin Weird for nothing. Its one of the few cities where options in industry and entertainment are numerous and balanced. Its also one of the few cities that I've visited where the population is not segmented according to decade in which one was born. On my last trip to Austin I found a night club near the 6th street area where 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 somethings were doing something you would never see in Dallas, they were sharing their evenings out together; interacting, laughing, drinking, listening to music and not remotely acknowledging their differences.

I could go on and on about the reasons I love Austin but I won't. My parents have heard so much about the city that they decided to pop out and investigate Austin as a second place to live. Mostly my trip was to introdce them to the city. They ate, drank and surveyed some homes by Lake Travis. It was a fantastic weekend!

Of course one my dearest friends, Leslie, who I have known for 20+ years, relocated to Austin 9 years ago, so we spent some time with her as well. Poor baby had just sold her house so she was packing and moving but she still managed to be tour guide between cussing at yet another closet and drawer she forgot to pack. (Yes, I helped :)

I tried some new restaurants this time down. Wow, I have to say Austin is good at the food scene. Here are my picks for places to try.

Mikado
9033 Research Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78758
512-833-8188

They won for best sushi in Austin, 2006. Definitely, they have their act together. Modern, upbeat and relaxed professionalism. Some of the most creative and well-presented rolls I have seen. Full-featured, fully cooked Japanese plates were also very good and made for a nice option for those not adventurous enough for the raw.


East Side Cafe
2113 Manor Road
Austin, Texas 78722
512-476-5858

So Austin. They actually grow most of the vegetables they use in their menu offerings out back in their organic garden. I loved the quaint environment of the weathered house setting with the many tastefully quiet rooms in casual seclusion. A return visit will be necessary to try the pecan crusted catfish and to indulge in my new addiction, their squash casserole!

You can see the rest of the Austin pics here Austin: 8/2006




12 Comments:

Blogger purpletwinkie said...

Wow. I've never been to Austin. Now I want to visit!

11:39 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

You must, Scott! :)

8:55 AM

 
Blogger Jason said...

Oh cool. I have yet to visit Austin. I have a friend who moved there last year, she loves it. I always hear good things.

9:04 AM

 
Blogger Ryan Charisma said...

I've never been to Austin either. You do make it sound fun. I have lived in both Houston (fun) and San Antonio (horrible, awful experience). I'm just so unsure I want to go anywhere that produces the unpleasantness that is the Bush family. I mean really, what good can from a place that produces people like that and then is proud of it? Maybe I can sneak in under the cloke of night so as not to hurt my 'blue' eyes with the 'red' sights of Texas. I did, after all, swear off spending my money in any 'red' states. So in conclusion I need to ask again, "why do you Texans act as though you're proud of our president who bought his election, sent thousands off to die in war and is, in general, a little less than mediocre as intelectual?"

2:03 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Its a great city, Jason, if I move there you will be hearing alot more about it :)

3:05 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Austin is fun Ryan! Sorry you had a bad experience in San Antonio, I havent lived there but visiting it can be fun, well anytime in the cooler months, you know January and February :)

Can't address your political diatribe since Im not a Texan but I would need to see some statistical analysis following an unbiased double blind poll re: how Texans act before projecting that kind of assertion about them.

3:15 PM

 
Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

I love Austin...you're going to be very happy there.

12:45 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

I think I would be too, Steve Shortly we will se where I land!

7:05 AM

 
Blogger JC said...

Yep, i grew up in Corpus Christi, when to school at A&M - two bastillions of conservativism, yet I love living in Austin. Maybe I have had this hidden side all along - and yet there are somethings that still stop me in my tracks ...
You must have missed a 'Leslie' sighting on your visit, the hairy cross-dressing bikini man, he actually run for Mayor! He is usually protesting something somewhere in town. Haven't seen him in awhile - hope he's still around, from a distance it's fun.
One thing I like about Austin, is there really is not a ghetto. I don't mean that in a derogitory manner, in East Austin there are more Hispanics and Blacks, but in any neighbor anywhere in town you can have people of all persuasians and orientations. There is not a gay ghetto, or this and that ghetto. In some ways there are safety in numbers and I understand the need for a'community - family feel', but it's nice to know that you shouldn't really be worried about being accepted anywhere you are in town.
And the food is great - and there are a lot of ways to work it off :-)
A radio personality and consumate food critic for Austin Area: Rob Balon
www.diningoutwithrobbalon.com
He's almost as good as you Jim!

5:46 PM

 
Blogger Jim said...

JC, I think you touch on a very interesting aspect of living in Austin - the complete and total disrespect of labels. In my experience no Austinite cares much about your age, orientation, race, political affiliation, car, or neighborhood. You wont be able to define yourself with these in that city.

LOL, not familiar with Leslie (not my friend Leslie) I will have to keep an eye out for that one :)

Thanks for the Rob link, I will definitely check him out!

8:13 PM

 
Blogger john said...

I've heard about Austin and how great it is. I plan to visit it someday.

8:02 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Hope you enjoy AUstin as much as I do, John.

1:31 PM

 

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