Hey folks, this is my 5 part recollection of our trip to the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, TX from March 16-21. I'll talk about the shows I played, the dozens of bands I saw perform and can recommend to you to check out while it's still early, and the hilarious people I met in Austin. But part 1 deals exclusively with food...
So the week before I left I read this amazing article in the NY Times about breakfast tacos in Austin. This gave me a list of taco places that were essential to visit. And at the top of that list was Torchy's.
Now as I don't eat red meat or pork, this presented somewhat of a problem for me. Being this is Texas and all. Not knowing what to expect, I ordered the following 2 items at $4 each:
- Baja Shrimp
"Hand battered shrimp fried with cooked cabbage slaw, topped with pickled onions & jalapenos, queso fresco, cilantro and a lime wedge. Served on tortilla of choice and our creamy chipotle sauce."
"Jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapenos, mango, Sour cream, and cilantro served on a flour tortilla with our Diablo sauce."
It was awesome! Especially the Brushfire. I gulped it down with a famous Jarrito's Mandarin soda. Oh and here's my friend Sandeep.
Funny enough, Sandeep checked out my apartment in NYC on Craigs List about 2 years ago and we've been friends since (though he didn't take the apartment). He moved down to Austin soon after that doing finance, but just quit his job to travel the country and write a book on energy. Straight out of Yale, he's a pretty brilliant dude and definitely hilarious when you get to know him. And he was nice (or stupid?) enough to let me crash with him at his place on South Congress. More on that in a post to come. Oh, and here's Janessa.
What an awesome name! Janessa lives down the hall from Sandeep and they've developed a Jerry and Kramer pop-in type vibe. She's a sweetheart from Utah, working to help people with eating disorders. Janessa was also nice enough to let me crash with her for 2 nights. Also more on that to come.
But in the meantime, I woke up the next morning to the much-discussed breakfast taco! From a place called Taco Deli (also on my hit list), here's what I had:
Eggs topped with queso, monterrey, jack cheese, avocado and pico de gallo, Mexican mashed potatoes and refried black beans.
Now a thing in Austin (which I really don't understand) is trailers. There are food trailers parked all over the city serving all kinds of food. The best one I ate at was Izzo's. I had a grilled talapia taco with all kinds of crap on it. This time with a Jarrito's Tamarind soda. It was amazing...
And lastly, just before one of my concerts I decided I needed to have a little something. Nothing too heavy, obviously. But soon I discovered that Austin's famous Iron Works BBQ was just next door and I couldn't resist. There were signed pics of all kinds of celebrities - Obama, George W, etc - and a line out the door. However before long I was eating a delcious BBQ Chicken Platter with potato salad and baked beans. Needless to say, I felt a bit bloated on stage. But worth it!
There were other places I ate, like a Korean BBQ Taco trailer, but above were the ones really worth mentioning. Hope this gets you hungry, and see you in Part 2!