over the top

Love yourself, girl, or nobody will
Oh, you a woman? I don’t know how you deal
With all the pressure to look impressive and go out in heels
I feel for you
Killing yourself to find a man that’ll kill for you
You wake up, put makeup on
Stare in the mirror but its clear that you can’t face what’s wrong
No need to fix what God already put his paint brush on

Austin, Texas

My current trip planning generally includes flight and accommodation, but I did have the foresight to book a Best of Austin Food Truck Tour with Austin Eats. This tour was definitely worth it simply not to have to wait in line and all the really great food advice.

We met our guide Scott at Republic Square where every Saturday there is a Farmer’s Market. Scott has eaten at over 700 restaurants and still manages to maintain a trim figure, so it’s easy to be skeptical about his eating prowess but he did take us to some worthwhile destinations. He greeted us with a Golden Egg, nutmeg infused yellow cake dipped in melted butter and coated with cinnamon sugar, from Walton’s Fancy and Staple. This is a delicious, moist but not overly sweet cake from the cafe owned by Sandra Bullock. I could have eaten several of these and called it a good day.

Inside the farmer’s market Tacodeli has a little serving breakfast tacos. These are way better than the breakfast burrrito and the Austin breakfast taco is the Migas Taco. The signature salsa is fantastic, spicy but not a mouth burning heat, and this salsa is what really sets it apart from its competitors. Another stop inside the market was to Cocoa Puro for some chocolate. Chocolate is not something that particularly gets me excited because it all tastes okay, but not earth shatteringly good.

We then drove to the next stop, La Barbecue. We got there just before 11 and it hadn’t opened yet but there was already a long line despite the miserable weather. The first people in line had been there since 9 with their foldout chairs and beer. The company had connections and we were able to get our food before the trailer had even opened. This to me was well worth the price of the tour. The texture of the brisket and pulled pork were fantastic, but flavour wise it was definitely on the salted side.

By now a few people are getting full. They are clearly amateurs who do not know how to pace themselves. At Lucky’s we’re treated to a puccia, traditional wood-fired Italian sandwich, with mozzarella, arugula and tomato. Here we also get to meet Lucky who is happy to share his passion for Italian cuisine and ingredients. This is seriously delicious bread in a country which is so difficult to get decent bread. I met a couple who had just moved to Austin and the husband, Henry, and I lamented over how difficult it was to find decent bread. He’s become a bread maker himself because of this. I don’t own an oven so I’ve basically given up on bread. We both agreed this was the best stop.

The next trailer we visited, Hey… you gonna eat or what?, where we got the Shiner Monte Cristo was a favourite for everyone else. The Monte Cristo Sandwich is smoked turkey and provolone cheese which is then battered in Shiner, a Texan beer, and then served with a fig jelly. It wasn’t as disgusting as I thought it would be, but it’s not something I would crave. I think southerners just like anything deep fried.

By now almost everyone is in a Food coma but I still have room for the El-Pacolypse, a chilli infused dark chocolate cupcake, at Sugar Mama’s. It was a good chocolate cake, but there was no spice to it which made it pretty disappointing.

The places chosen were very cool taking us to quite a few different neighborhoods. Scott was also a great guide with that mix of knowledge and personality that is required. If I ever make it back to Austin I will try to get to one of their other tours.

Hidden around Austin is some interesting street art. Austin is also home to Hope Outdoor Gallery where anyone can add their own artwork which means a lot of it also easily destroyed unless you get to the hard to reach spots. Otherwise there is a lot of dick graffiti. Getting up to the top requires some scrambling so it was lucky I was wearing jeans and comfortable shoes.

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Hope Outdoor Gallery

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Hope Outdoor Gallery

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Frank's Restaurant

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Handlebar Bar

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