wednesday, october 17 2012 Everything is Bigger Here: Days 13-16

Thursday: Flipnotics & Bar Chi

Matt’s dad is coming in this weekend and so we wanted to get an earlier start on our last full workday. We headed over to Flipnotics, a 2nd story coffee shop just south of Lake Austin, to put some ideas down on paper. It was sprinkling as we left, but as we settled in on the deck with our mugs, we had front row seats to a full-on downpour. We took down our first cup just watching the rain, and then settled in to work. Personally, I thought the setting was very Swiss Family Robinson, which was fun, but that the coffee was a little too bitter for my taste. Cool ambiance, but I don’t know that it’s a must-see.

After leftover ”okra gruel” we watched game 5 the SF Giants vs. Reds. It was a solid game by both the Giants and the Reds, but a grand slam and huge out at 3rd by Posey, as well as Crawford and Pagan’s impermeable fielding, earned the Giants another playoff series. Thank God.

Matt, Scott and I went out for a celebratory dinner at Barchi downtown. I would not recommend Thursday nights for sushi going forward (I think they buy fresh fish on Fridays if you know what I mean), as we’ve all had better, but hey at least it was expensive.

Friday: Austin City Limits Festival

Today was the kickoff for Austin City Limits and we were excited to be a part of our first music festival. We were only able to snag 1-day passes this year because we went online 2 hours too late, but Friday turned out to be the best day both for our musical tastes and for weather, so it all worked out wonderfully. We parked our Car2Go at Whole Foods, grabbed some coffee and kombucha and began our walk to Zilker Park, which was just under 2 miles away. We had great views of downtown and the park on our walk and could feel our anticipation building as we started to hear the music.

We scanned in with our wristbands and were welcomed in to a sea of 8 stages and roughly 70,000 people. They had huge water stations for you to fill up your camelback or water bottle and the food there was uh-maze-ing. All local, Texas venues, Matt and I chose The Woodshed Smokehouse for their rabbit/rattlesnake and elk/beehive sausage. We liked them so much we went back for seconds. Just before our last concert we bought a bottle of wine in a water bottle further proof that Austin knows how to party. Throughout the day we saw A-track, Tegan and Sara, Florence and the Machine, and The Black Keys. Florence had a great stage presence and was stunning live, while The Black Keys though talented musicians, were less impressive, saying maybe one or two words between each song.

Nonetheless, our day was very successful and we enjoyed our first trip to ACL.

Saturday: Lambert's and Midnight Cowboy

Even after the late night at ACL Matt and I set our alarm early to go check out the local goodness at the Guad & 4th Farmers market. We drive all the way down town, only to realize that the park has since been turned in to a bus stop for ACL shuttles. That's why you always double check the website. (J. Walter Weatherman) So still in search of food, we ventured up to Central Market where we met Doc. He was a chef who has been working at CM for 14 years and he gave us a tasting tour of the produce department. Dragonfruit, Passionfruit, pears, plumcots you name it. He even made me put my peaches back because it was the end of the season. Again, more people who are passionate about food which are exactly the kind of people we like!

Once we got home, Scott came over and ML whipped up a delicious breakfast of butternut squash, japanese purple sweet potato, sausage and bacon for the three of us. After some digesting and terrible UT football, we headed over to the park for another muscle-up workout. And guess what? I got my first, second and third muscle-up ever! If the day ended there, I would have been completely satisfied.

But it didn't. And it only got better. Big Dave, Matt & Scott's dad, came in to town and the four of us headed out to an amazing downtown barbecue spot called Lambert's. Their meaty meals came Oak Smoked or Oak Grilled and they had everything from pork chops and hangar steak to lamb and osso bucco on the menu. This place tasted good, smelled delicious, had a live jazz band upstairs, intimate, low lighting, and a cozy feel. In case you lost count - they got an A+ from me on all five senses.

After dinner, Scott had made reservations for us at Midnight Cowboy; a speakeasy off 6th, that looks like an sketchy, abandoned building on the outside and an exclusive, retro side car on the inside. The menu is full of classic drinks that Matt, Scott, and I had hardly even heard of, but were anxious to try. Specially marked drinks on the menu are made on a cart that they roll down to your table so they can tell you about the liquors used, the order, and helpful tips to craft the perfect drink. I think I like my martinis and paleo-margs better than any of the drinks that I tried here, but the early 1900's ambiance, overall experience and intimacy of our booth led to some fun conversations and banter so I think it's definitely worth making a reservation to check out.

Sunday: Abel's on the Lake

After our late night out on the town, we started the day a little bit slower that Saturday Morning. We ate a late breakfast, and spent some time shuffling around to get ready before we headed out the door on a walk to Abel's on the Lake. It is a bar/grill on Lake Austin (and right next to Motzart's) that has three stories and a covered deck that juts out on to the water, perfect for watching a game with a breeze. And since the only two things on our agenda that day were to watch the 49'ers and the SF Giants, this was a great place to start.

Unfortunately for us, the 49'ers game was a blowout and the Giants couldn't rally back from the Cards' 6-4 lead, so all the time we committed to out teams that day left us with broken hearts and cursing Joe Buck. But at least we got to spend that time cursing together. Tonight's Game 2 - Go Giants!

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