Austin, TX | Something to Taco-bout

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Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to go on a trip with my lady frousins for the second MLK weekend in a row. Last year, we visited Charleston, South Carolina to eat our faces off and to have the be-Yeezus scared out of us by ghosts in a jail. This year, the crew headed to Austin, Texas to eat just as much, but with zero ghost encounters on the agenda. Here’s what we were able to fit in our bellies:

We’d done our research before heading to Austin, so we knew we’d be looking out for tacos, barbecue, and food trucks the whole weekend. Our flights arrived pretty late on Friday night, so we were only out for a little bit, but we each had a nice little taco nightcap at White Horse.

The next day’s breakfast was at Bouldin Creek Café where we shared the blueberry cornbread (because you need appetizers with breakfast sometimes). I ordered and devoured an El Tipico, {two scrambled organic and pasture raised eggs served with a scratchmade potato hash cake, diced locally grown tomatoes, shredded lettuce, salsa and warm tortillas, and added avocado & cheese}.

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First breakfast was followed shortly by second breakfast at Gourdough’s doughnut truck. We saw the ginormous and smothered-in-toppings doughnuts coming out of the window of the bullet-shaped truck so we only ordered two between the five of us. It took us FOREVER to choose the two, but we chose right: the Naughty and Nice {rolled in cinnamon and sugar, served with honey butter} and The Carney {apple pie topping, dry roast peanuts, and caramel}. It’s moments like when I was eating the Carney when I wish my stomach were 55 times larger than it is. I could’ve eaten that doughnut forever, if I’d only not already been full from first breakfast.

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We had a few more tacos and some queso at Guero’s Taco Bar that afternoon, and enjoyed some cones at Amy’s Ice Creams, even though the sun was hiding and everyone was shivering from the cold air and wishing we’d had gloves on to protect our hands from the even colder ice cream.

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The “treat ourselves” meal of the trip was dinner that night at Olamaie, a restaurant that’s getting a lot of attention and many awards (including best new chefs in Austin & nominations for the James Beard award)! One of my frousins had an “in” with the chef/owner so we felt like we were VIPs, which made the experience even more awesome. Even if we hadn’t had the “in”, it would have still been the nicest meal any of us had had in a while (aside from the doughnuts earlier that day).

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We dined on everything – to start: Salad of Smoked Potato {Thomasville Tomme, dijonnaise, dill, radicchio}, Kil’t White Button Mushrooms {warm country ham vinaigrette, tarragon, catsup}, Bay-Scented Carrots & their Butter {black trumpet mushrooms, soft egg yolk, fried bread}, Salad of Chilled Gulf Crab {crème fraîche, tarragon, honeycrisp apple, turnip}, Carolina Gold Rice & Cauliflower Hush Puppies {buttermilk ranch, chives, hackleback caviar} and more.

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We made sure to order the off-the-menu biscuits which were freaking to die for – we actually took what we couldn’t eat with us and ate them as pre-breakfast the next morning. For our mains, two of us ordered the Strube Ranch Wagyu Gold NY Strip {with smoky onion, beef fat soubise, roasted broccoli}, two ordered the Dewberry Hills Farm Chicken {with Huguenot oats, soured Madeira cream, crispy sunchoke}, and one the Day Boat NC Swordfish {with sweet tooth mushroom, chestnut cream, sweet & sour cabbage.}

The meal wasn’t over yet, as we also shared three desserts – Carrot Cake {with chocolate, cream cheese, chestnut}, Ruby Grapefruit {with Swim Spot gelée, white chocolate, caramelized grapefruit}, and Meyer Lemon Sorbet {with mint marigold, meringue, sweet yogurt}. These desserts looked like works of art, but tasted even more like them.

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It took us the whole night and a long morning to be hungry again after our Olamaie feast, but when the time rolled around, we went to a Torchy’s Tacos food truck (Obama is also a fan). We ordered the most delicious breakfast tacos of all time for five people for about $25 total, which is what it would have cost for just one person’s brunch in NYC. Christie and I also drank delicious mocha lattes from Holy Cacao, a neighboring food truck.

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Because you don’t go to Texas without eating barbecue, we went to Stubb’s BBQ after walking around the Texas State Capital. Maura and I split a brisket and ribs platter. Everything was awesome, but I think I liked the pull pork the best, that I tried from Emily’s meal.

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We went to The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company (ABGB) for some live music, beer, and some drinking games. We got a few appetizers (pulled pork sliders and a cheese plate) but we were really there for the beer.

We talked about how good Torchy’s was for the entire day so we agreed to go back to a different location for a late night taco session. We each got more tacos and added on some Lil’ Nookies to our order – deep-fried chocolate chip cookies dusted with powdered sugar & topped with cherries, because HI did you read that description?

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My last meal in Austin was when I was alone at the airport, a brisket breakfast taco from the Salt Lick. This brisket, being from the airport, was of course not the same as if we’d actually driven out to Driftwood and had brisket straight from the pit, but it was still worthy as my reward for giving up my seat on the plane for $1300 in future flights. I had ZERO regrets that morning.

xx

Descriptions of food items in {brackets} are from the restaurants’ menus.

8 Responses

  1. Ummm….this looks delicious! While I can’t eat a good amount of it, maybe some of the restaurants have veggie options? I sure hope so! At least I can have El Tapico (at least until I give up eggs) and the doughnuts (omg!) and that blueberry scone. ❤ My cousin lives in Austin and I really need to visit her soon. I'll keep these places in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ehhhrrrmergerd I’ve been wanting to go back to Austin- basically just to eat- and this did not help! Gourdough’s was the end of me. I was hungover and had woken up early to go to La Barbecue that morning, so I took one bite of my donut and just couldn’t do it anymore. Must return to redeem myself, and definitely adding these spots you shared to my list!

    Liked by 1 person

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