Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Have Bike... will Pub Crawl

About a month ago, Jim and I headed out on our bikes to explore downtown on our bikes. The weather was still pretty nice so it wasn't terrible to peddle around downtown.  We didn't have a solid plan, just some ideas on where we wanted to go.   We did try to hit places that we haven't been to before to see if we could find some cool places.  

Our first stop was a bar that bases the prices of the beer on supply and demand.  Meaning... the more people order a certain beer, it will go up in price.  It allows some of the lesser known beers the option to get ordered for cheaper.  They have around 72 beers on taps (always rotating).  They have booths inside that have their own TV, so you can pick and choose what you want to watch (good for sporting events).   We had one beer, enjoyed the patio then hopped back on the bikes to our next destination.

We tried to go to Peche but they weren't open yet, so we headed over to Cantina Laredo for a couple of margaritas.  This wasn't a new place to us, but it was on the way to our next destination so we stopped in for a couple of drinks.  I got the raspberry margarita... love those! :)

Our next stop was for some grub, and I couldn't wait to get back to this place. We went to Second Bar and Grill to get some burgers. I have heard excellent things about their burgers and knew this would be a perfect time to get one. We started off with their buffalo fried pickles.... YUM. I am a HUGE fan of fried pickles and these did not disappoint. The buffalo sauce was good but it seemed like it was brushed on to the pickles because it was uneven on the pickles. But that didn't stop us from eating all of them :)


This burger was GREAT and the fries were so crispy.   It was hard to get back on the bike to continue our journey with a belly full of delish food (and more beer). 

After eating, we headed over to Rainey Street to check out the new bars over there.  Our first stop was Blackheart Bar.  It has an awesome feel... laid back and comfortable.  They have seating in the front of the building as well as in the back with one bar in the house.  We were one of the few patrons in there, but I'm sure they got busy when night came.

After Blackheart Bar we headed over to Javelina.  Javelina was smaller than Blackheart Bar but had just as much character.  The bartender was pretty cool so we chatted with him for a bit while watching UT baseball on their TV. 

Javelina Bar

After we were done on Rainey Street we decided to ride up to the pedestrian bridge over Town Lake to watch the Sunset.

It was a beautiful way to end a very fun day!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Eating our way though Lockhart BBQ

We were both off this weekend (well... it's really just me since I work most Saturdays) so we decided to head out to Lockhart to see how much BBQ we could eat in one day :)  We had a plan of sticking to brisket and pork ribs and only ordering enough to snack on.  We did order a side here and there but we didn't want to eat to much of the sides and then get full.  Living in Austin we hear a lot about the BBQ out in Lockhart... between local shows, friends, and network TV shows. 

Our first stop of the day was Smitty's. I think we walked in the back entrance because it was a kind of errie dark hall that was empty. We decided to keep on going (we are quite the adventures) and eventually we saw a door to get to the market area.  We walked in and had to ask were to start and we were directed to the meat ordering area.  Sweet... let the fun begin!!   You can see in the first picture, there are no frills in this area and it is damn hot. In the 2nd picture you can see why it is damn hot... OPEN FLAMES!  It smelled heavenly in there... a little smoke and a lot of meat smells.  We ordered a half pound of pork ribs and a quarter pound of the lean pork shoulder.  We goofed...we should have ordered the fatty becuase that was the actual brisket.  But we didn't figure that out until after we sat down.  Oh well.

After you order your meat, you walk into this area and order drinks and any sides.  We got a small potato salad and a couple of beers (a whopping $6 for all). 

Not sure what is up with the crackers but they added a litle crunch to the meal.  First and foremost I must say these were the best ribs I have had.  At least I think they are... I loved Franklin's ribs the last time I had them but would need to do a taste test with both of them in front of me to know for sure which ones I liked better.  Either way, these ribs were damn good.   The pork shoulder was good, had a nice natural beef flavor but it wasn't what we had originally wanted.  Again, it was our bad for ordering the wrong thing.

Jims thoughts on the food at Smittys:
Ribs were excellent, super juicy. Brisket (which we now know is pork shoulder) needed a stronger spice rub or some type of sauce

Our next stop was just a couple of blocks away, so we walked to help burn through some of the BBQ that we just ate :)

What happens when we see a random fish along the way.... take photos!

Blacks had a sign on the door that said they have been open 80 yrs... Impressive!!!  Blacks and Smittys are somewhat related.  Years back some type of family issue caused some of the family members to branch off and start their own BBQ store.  Lucky for us... more BBQ! :)

Blacks had some really good looking sides to choose from.  How they are set up, is you walk through the door and grab a plate.  Each side is $1.49, so you get to pick and choose what you want. We opted for the corn and a couple of deviled eggs (who doesn't love deviled eggs?!!?) to go along with our meat.

View of the guys cutting the meat

Our 2nd BBQ "snack" of the day

The brisket was our favorite of the 2 meats.  There was a nice char and smoke ring on the meat, and it was damn tender.  The ribs were almost fall of the bone tender but they had a layer of pure burnt on one side.  It was hard to enjoy the flavor when you only tasted the burnt outer layer.  I think they had potential to be tasty.

Jim's thoughts on Blacks:
Brisket was excellent, would go back for more.  Ribs had good flavor but were overdone

View of inside Blacks sitting area

After Blacks we walked around the town square (so cute that the little towns in Texas have town squares) to work off some of the food.  We popped in a couple of antique stores to look around.  Lots of neat things but nothing that we really needed. 

Our 3rd and last stop of the day was Chism Trail BBQ.  I'm not going to lie... this was going to be a small tasting... we were FULL.  We ordered 2 ribs and 1/4 pd of brisket. This place is known for their sides so we'll have to go back and give those a try.

The ribs were okay,, once you got past the fact they kind of look like a witches finger :)  The ribs were kind of chewy and dry but the brisket had a nice flavor and just a hint of salt which I didn't really taste on the other brisket.

Jim's thoughts on Chisim Trail:
Ribs had a nice flavor, a bit over done.  Brisket was also good but not as good as Blacks.

After we filled our bellies with BBQ we moved on to Gruene to hit up the Market Days.  We got lucky the festival was going on... I'm always a sucker for a festival :)  We went through some stores and ended up a a wine tasting store.  We had a few samples and then grabbed a glass to to.  I guess during the festival you can walk around the city with an open container.  I like this festival even more. 

There was music playing at Gruene Hall so we walked on over to check it out. 

The band stopped as soon as we walked in, so we headed to the outdoor area to hang out.  It was pretty hot outside so we were trying to find the best area to be cool. Guess what... we couldn't find that area since Gruene Hall has no AC.

Oh well... I just had to deal with back sweat while enjoying the music and my Shiner.

These two were a cute little old couple.  There was a lot of great people watching while the band was playing.

We finally made it to the booths to check out the goods. We ended up buying an Eagles Wine Stopper, roasted garlic olive oil and a special treat for a family member.  Can't say... don't want to ruin the surprise! :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Zoo

The animals have been super cute lately.  Jelly is typically the cat that will go up to lay down with the dogs but recently Slinky has been getting closer and closer to laying down with the dogs.  He was practically on top of Abbey last night but I didn't have a camera near me. 

Chewie and Jelly

Abbey and Jelly

Slinky - he slept on his back like this for over an hour.  He didn't even flinch when I took a few photos and the flash went off.  It is hard to see, but he little mouth was slightly open.  Too cute!

Cat hang out... Slinky on the left and Jelly on the right

Monday, June 04, 2012

Kickball and Visitors

I officially like to play kickball.  I'm not very good and that annoys me, but I have only played twice in my adult life.   Luckily my brothers team from AZ travels out to Austin to play in a kickball tourney, and that is when I get to play.  This time around was WAY fucking better than the last time.  The first time they came was in the middle of August last year, and if you were in Austin last summer you know it was brutal. 


This year it was beautiful weather however the wind was a total bitch.   The ball would swerve, it would die in the air, it would make a right hand turn while it was coming at you and basically the ball had a mind of it's own.  Last year Lee's team made it into the semi-finals and they did really well.  This year was a different story.  As in... we didn't win a single game.  I'm not sure what was different this year (besides some key players were missing), but it just wasn't the year of the Whiskey Richard Kickballers.

Aaron pitching

Lee kicking... he looks like he is dancing every time I got a picture of him kicking

A little high kick move from my little brother

Is Lee snapping? That is a white guy dancing move... 
see.. it always looks like he is dancing while he is kicking

Sweet large ass dog watching his owner play kickball

Jim kicking

Before the games (pictures are a little out of order... deal with it ;) ) as the team was rolling into town we met downtown and enjoyed some drinks on 6th street

Me and my little bro... with his dirty face... aka... grown out man hair

We came across a bar that had a mechanical bull to ride... so we jumped at the chance.  Most of the guys went first and then Traci and I got our chance :)  I should also mention one of the kickball guys was the operator of the bull.  Not sure why the bar let us operate the bull, but it was DAMN fun!

I had to wear the cowboy hat while riding the bull to look official.  This was soo much fun but my freakin inner thighs hurt for DAYS.

Later that night we picked up Jim (poor guy had to work while we were playing) 

Lee's team had some nice dance moves

Lee and Traci resting between games

After the games (losses), we met up at the hotel where most of the team was staying.  Some of the guys had this neon blue... drink.  I have no idea what it is exactly... some type of fucked up wine?  It tasted like a thawed out blue raspberry snow cone mixed with cough syrup.  

chug, chug, chug

After some dinner and showers we headed back out to party with the rest of the kick ball teams.  The theme of the night for the team was tuxedo shirts :)

Thanks for stopping by and reading my modest little blog :)  

On to more adventures!!