WE were in town for volleyball.
But I was in town for a meal. I mean, this was AUSTIN! I arrived ready with my list of foodie hot spots, plenty of cash, and a plan to ruin my diet – prepared to unfasten the top button of my pants if needed.
However, other plans would prevail. In town with a picky 10 year old and a husband whose main criteria in restaurant selection is portion size, along with coordinating our appetites with our older daughter’s tournament schedule, I was made to take a detour off my list in the name of convenience and compromise.
After our plane ride, we were famished, and it would be several hours until we sat down for dinner with the team and all the other parents. Finding ourselves on the touristy 6th Street, I Yelped! for a barbecue place at my husband’s request. And that’s how we found ourselves at our first stop, Stubb’s Barbecue, where I ordered Chips and Queso and the Chicken Sandwich Plate.
It wasn’t until we were almost done that I realized the “Stubb” was the guy from the bottles of barbecue sauce in the grocery store. The food wasn’t awful – it had it’s thrilling moments with the queso – but the meal wasn’t memorable. And my husband would have enjoyed had a larger portion. But he found his Peach Cobbler tasty.
Later, we joined our daughter’s team before the first day of play, heading to a sit-down chain across the street from our hotel, with several locations in the south – Texas Land & Cattle Steak House.
I couldn’t find the alcohol in my drinks, but their crab cakes sure were tasty.
The next morning, I was ready to pull out my list, but my 10-year-old and the hub overruled me – had seen a commercial for Whataburger and had to try it.
I was not on board with filling my stomach (it can only hold so much Austin food per day) with any fast food, but I was overruled.
Not really my idea of a foodie experience, but I did leave satisfied. Really, that vanilla shake was pretty darn good – something I would go back to have again.
Okay, it was the best friggin’ shake I’ve had in my life… yes, at Whataburger.
With my fast-food sacrifice, I was sure my posse would be down to try one of my spots. But no. Instead, my husband saw the words Happy Hour at the Iron Cactus as we walked downtown in search of souvenirs, and it was over. Those magic words worked on him: Happy Hour. And on me too. And after enjoying two of their Mexican Martinis, I was Happy indeed.
However, the chicken in the Chicken Jalepeño Poppers tasted a few days old. Nice idea, but the dish left me wishing I’d ordered something else. So eating “off the list” wasn’t a total disaster, but there was no way I could leave Austin without some sort of rapturous experience. Did it happen? Stay tuned for Eating Austin, Part 2.
Texas Land & Cattle Steak House
6007 North IH 35 and other locations
801 Red River Street
Several locations from New Mexico to Florida
606 Trinity St. and other locations