Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Everything really is bigger in Texas, including the hangovers.

So Zach picked me up in Austin, we went and got my first meal in literally days that was not a Clif Bar. I caught up with Zach over sushi and pad thai, only to learn that he now lives in Forney, Texas on a petting zoo with emus and a bounce house.

Next I went to my first stop on what would become Meg Zandi’s Tour de Booze & Food in ATX at Barfly’s, a hole in the wall where its so dark you can’t see anyone and beer is only $1.50, so its pretty heavenly. But it’s also pretty fitting that Barfly’s is one letter off from being Barfys.

The next morning I get a phone call from a friend telling me “Hey, I live in Austin now, I’m coming to pick you up.” We spent the day exploring vintage shops, listening to records, garbage-picking furniture, playing with kittens and drinking Modelo under his pomegranate tree. My life is really hard.

I was dressed for that. One doesn’t really need any kind of protective apparel to be supremely lazy. However, then we somehow ended up hiking (albeit through one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been). You know how they say “Anything Fred could do, Ginger did backwards and in heels?” Well that day, I did everything that Phil and Vinny did, including climbing a mountain and fording a river, in a floor-length chiffon skirt and ballet flats.

From here its probably easiest just to do briefs of what else I did, because otherwise I’ll ramble on about Austin and how I’m planning on quitting my job, selling my possessions and living on Steph and Carrie’s floor for the rest of my life.

Whataburger- I told myself I would not eat at any chains on this trip. I made an exception for Whataburger because its regional, so not really cheating. I do not regret this decision at all, because Whataburger is fucking phenomenal.

Rio Rita’s – organic veggie pizza, a patio filled with dogs and friendly people, and giant bloody mary’s.

Torchy’s Taco’s – famous Austin staple, fried avocado tacos with Phil & Vinny as our physical-activity reward/negation.

Homeslice- despite being so full of fried avocado that I was physically in pain, I still went to Homeslice to drink more of Texas’s sweet nectar, Lone Star beer. Also, our waiter here was a perfect doppelganger to the Elmo Gym Buddy in I Love You, Man.

Alamo Drafthouse- a gorgeous old movie theatre that comes and brings you cake and beer while you’re watching the fucking campiest films ever. After a preview for the only horror movie I think I’ll ever see, our eyes feasted upon “Phantom of the Paradise”, a horrifically-acted, fabulously campy Brian De Palma film about a deranged machinist-composer killing people covered in sequins named Beef because a poor-man’s Bud Cort stole his cantata.

Nomad’s - $1 Tecate, free packs of cigarettes, a dog that lives out on the patio and comes and sits next to you while you drink. No further explanation needed.

East Side Café- great menu, but we went at the same time as all the Ladies That Lunch, so we were too scared to talk so we just ate our fancy burgers and eavesdropped on people talking about what plastic surgery to get next.

Barton Springs- a natural swimming pool where the water is warm and the people are naked. As a Chicago native, swimming and sunbathing in April was enough to almost make me want to join the nudey crew.

Mighty Cone- not enough food these days come in cones, but Mighty Cone is out to change that. A trailer full of fried foods that come in cone form is precisely why I am considering never leaving Austin.

Hey, Cupcake! – delicious vegan cupcakes served out of an Airstream trailer by really adorable boys.

Haley’s Porch- this is not a Texas landmark. This is really just my friend’s porch where the beer is plentiful, the neighborhood is full of Bouncey Houses and a professional clown lives across the street.

The Liberty- it was after Haley’s porch. Recalled details are few.

Kerbey’s Diner- ah Kerbey’s. Its open past bar close, and serves massive amounts of queso and avocado-based foods, so I was in love. There is nothing like sitting at a table with 7 people you met in the last 24 hours laughing so hard you can’t breathe, inhaling a plate of food like you’re (insert name of that hot dog eating champion guy here).

 A million thanks to Steph and Carrie for not only letting a stranger sleep on their couch, but also taking me all over the city and showing me what's up. So much love and gratitude!

And to the new friends in you all.


  1. Dood! Phantom of the Paradise is amazing, as well. You know, Daft Punk have mentioned it as a jumping off point for their film projects. Both Guy-Manuel and Thomas watched it over and over again as kids. Maybe that explains a lot...

  2. lol i love that someone asked for a food swap, i think that's really cute


    pls come back!