Monday, August 28, 2006

Austin is Good to Us

Eating breakfast on Saturday at El Sol y La Luna. We found it by driving to a part of Austin called SoCo and picking a place with a bunch of cars out front. SoCo is fun, hip shops and restaurants and El Sol y La Luna turned out to be a great choice. The Huevos Rancheros were good (and the serving, for one, was only large, not huge.) While we were sitting there, Bob said, 'The guy at that table looks like Howard Waldrop.' This was pretty amazing because 1. it was Howard Waldrop and 2. Bob has never met Howard.

I went over and said, 'Excuse me, are you the famous Howard Waldrop?' and Howard looked up thinking, I suspect, 'what the hell?' and then saw it was me and said, 'Are you here?' meaning have you moved? He introduced me to a bunch of cool people including Brad Denton, Bud, Krista and a couple of other people (one of whom is going to give me really good advice on Margaritas.) I got to introduce Bob to Howard. Bob has heard Howard stories for the last couple of years and loves "Night of the Cooters." Since Bob is the kind of guy who is forever saying about some character actor, 'He was the guy in [name of movie] who said [game over man, or whatever the guy said.] He is tailor-made to read Howard's stuff.

We saw Talladega Nights at the Allamo Drafthouse. The Allamo Drafthouse is a movie theater (there are several around the city) that shows first run movies. Every other row of seats has been replaced with a long counter. They sell beer and wine, appetizers, sandwiches, pasta dishes, salads, deserts, a full course restaurant meal in other words. As well as popcorn and movie candy. I had a Shiner Bock, since we were in Texas. Bob had white zinfandal, which seemed to me to be a bit fancy for a Will Farrell movie.

I meant to blog all this yesterday, but we looked at neighborhoods and houses and saw the movie and then went to Gueros. Bob's boss's wife took me to Guero's on Friday and we had Margaritas and I fell in love. So I took Bob. I'm not a terrific fan of margaritas. I can go a couple of moths at a time without drinking, but I like my mixed drinks to taste like alcohol. Most margaritas in Ohio are made from mix and they're sweet. Walter Jon Williams makes a good margarita. The margaritas at Guerros aren't sweet. They have a long list of different margaritas, the way a lot of places today have a long list of 'martinis.' I like some of the drinks that people call martinis--I'll have a cosmo or a sakitini. But to me there are gin martinis and vodka martinis and they have dry or sweet vermouth in them (or both, if you like.) The big discussion involves onions and olives. That's the way Guerros is about their margaritas. You can get a strawberry or mango margarita at Guerros, but the list is just different tequilas and lime juice, sometimes with a splash of agave or cointreau. They are served in a short glass rather like places used to use for soft drinks before they got supersized, not one of the fancy margarita glasses. I am reliably informed that there are lots of places for equally good or better margaritas in Austin. I don't know. Bob had three and I had two in a couple of hours and then we staggered home and I didn't blog anything.


Blogger meredith said...

Ahh, Gueros! El Sol Y La Luna!! You're eating at my favorite places in Austin. :) Now I want to go back ... I don't think I can wait until next March for SXSW.

August 28, 2006 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We here in Socorro, N.M., "Athens of the Southwest," look to Austin for the next coming trends. Sounds like the movie-theater-cum-restaurant is the next coming trend. That one I'm looking forward to!

--Kathy H.

August 28, 2006 5:32 PM  
Blogger Gregory Feeley said...

Bob had three and I had two in a couple of hours and then we staggered home and I didn't blog anything.

Can't bloggo when you're blotto?

I don't drink much spirits, but when we go to a Mexican restaurant, I will order a margarita unless they have really good Mexican beer. The idea of "sweet" margaritas, made from a mix, is disgusting. One more reason to hate Ohio!

August 28, 2006 7:59 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Greg, it would have been really easy to blog. In fact, in some ways it seemed like a good idea. Interesting or fun to read? Not so much. But most restaurants east of the Mississippi use a mix, unless they specialize.

Meredith, come to World Fantasy.

August 28, 2006 8:56 PM  
Blogger Gregory Feeley said...

"Friends don't let friends blog drunk."

August 29, 2006 12:45 AM  
Blogger Jayme Lynn Blaschke said...

Maureen, it sounds to me like you're finding your way around Austin just fine. You'll be giving the newcomers pointers before long!

When you get a chance, try out Freebirds World Burrito. They're the ones who started the whole gourmet burrito/wraps trend you see in restaurants across the country, but honestly, nobody's even come close to replicating the 'Bird. :-)

August 29, 2006 3:52 PM  
Blogger Beth Adele said...

I have a suspicion that while I may not *remember* World Fantasy this year, I will very much enjoy it.

(On a related note, I support Helen Pilinovsky's suggestion that blogs come equipped with a breathalyzer. The things one might see fit broadcast to the world at large whilst intoxicated... [shudder])

August 29, 2006 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

El Chile ( on Manor Road just east of I-35, also has excellent margaritas -- the chilango is tasty -- as well as micheladas, which are just plain weird. Good, but weird.

... and then there's El Chilito, its sister taco stand just down the road, with some of the best migas & fish tacos in Austin.

I could go on and on -- the Tex-mex bounty here is pretty astounding. But it sounds like you're having a blast discovering that yourself.


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