The Measure

Exploring what it means to be a better man.

Saturdays in Austin, the Way the Locals Do It

September 30th, 2015

It’s the “Fastest Growing Big City in the Country for 2015” (Slate), ranks in the top 5 for great-paying jobs (Washington Post), ranks best for job creation (Time), and even beat every other country in the world in a recent study on the top tech cities (WSJ). 

Hell, this place is even called one of the best cities for dating globally by the BBC

For such a booming place, it may surprise visitors to see how laid back a lot of Austin’s recreational scene is. This is a sort of symptom of being in Austin it seems — even the roads are considered nightmarish due to people regularly driving too slow.

With all of this in mind, The Measure set out to show how one local couple (the girlfriend and I) spends their average Saturday in Austin.

There are plenty of Top 10 lists out there so we’re doing something a little different. We spend our day doing as we would on any relaxed Saturday if showing a visiting friend around — all while taking the best iPhone pics we can in the process.

 

 

Breakfast

Tyson’s Tacos

4905 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751 – 4 Miles from Downtown Austin

Tysons_Line

We start our day (after sleeping in too late) by going to grab a genuine Texan staple — breakfast tacos — at local favorite Tyson’s Tacos. Being nearly noon, these tacos basically work as lunch as much as they do breakfast but we aren’t officially calling this one brunch.

 

Coke_MexicanBfast_Taco

Sometimes, Tyson’s gives out free keg beer with breakfast but no-dice today unfortunately.  Fact is though, that doesn’t much matter. Tyson’s breakfast tacos are the truth and the line outside proves it.

Taco 1: “Avocado Abogado” – Egg, Rib-Eye, Avocado, and Skillet Potatoes – $2.95

Taco 2: “Robinsonian” – Tortilla Strips, Egg, Pico de Gallo, Cheese, Bacon, Avocado -$2.45

 

Tysons_Policy

Tyson himself (who is usually around), thought it was a bit crazy that Thrillist named his restaurant one of the best taco places for musicians. “How the f*ck do they know that?” The new policy seems to work well keeping the line entertained at least.

 

Morning Vibes

East Austin Succulents

801 Tillery St, Austin, TX 78702 – 3.9 Miles from Tyson’s

Succulent_Entry

After filling up on a morning Coke and tacos, we head to East Austin Succulents look around and maybe find some new plants for the place.

It’s a big nursery in the East Austin neighborhood and is a great place to spend an hour or so shopping around for some of the most self-sufficient plants on earth. 

Succulent_Walkin

The entry area has your usual big plants to fill out a hill country xeriscaped home – which we’re working on…

 

Succulents_Wideshot

There’s plenty of diversity in the succulent nursery as well. Many an otherwise boring desk is adorned with these little guys.

 

Penis_Plants

These, on the other hand, may be less desirable in your office.

 

Afternoon Tradition

Barton Springs Pool

2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746 – 5 Miles from East Austin Succulents

Barton_Entrance

Barton Springs is so “Austin” that it’s pretty much cliché to mention it.

That said, this Austin landmark has remained relatively unchanged with Austin’s major growth and is the local favorite place to cool off – even in September.

University of Texas professors in the early 1900s would come to this then-secret spot to read and write and three of these men are memorialized at the entry’s statue. 

 

Barton_Above

The pool is a natural, spring-fed creek bed with lifeguards on duty and a year-round temperature of 70° F — almost cool enough to help on a 103° summer day. The pool also has its own endangered breed of salamander.

 

Barton_Laid

There are many similar swimming holes in the Austin area but Barton Springs is within city limits — just across from Zilker Park where the Austin City Limits music festival takes place.

It costs just 3 bucks per adult for daily entry.

 

The Low-Key Dinner

Lucy’s Fried Chicken

2218 College Ave, Austin, TX 78704 – 3 Miles from Barton Springs

Lucys_Logo

Lucy’s is a local joint with two locations in Austin: one off the tourist-slammed South Congress and the other up north on Burnett. This place is so popular they bought an extra parking lot.

 

Lucys_Beeer

The wait isn’t usually bad but there are plenty of local beers (and unique cocktails) to have with your green tomato or fried deviled egg appetizers.

 

Lucys_Food

Our team pretty much has the same thing (and frankly, this is the most popular “dish” at Lucy’s), the Chicken basket. Note that Tyson’s and Lucy’s have the same red and white paper — poor form for this photo essay.

Entree: Fried Chicken Basket – $9.50

Sides: Smoked Potato Salad and Collard Greens – $2.25 each

Drinks: Austin Beerworks Peacemaker – $4.50/can

 

Last Call

Hotel San José Lounge

1316 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 – <1 Mile from Lucy’s Fried Chicken

 

Bar_Entry

This popular boutique hotel in the heart of South Congress Avenue is – for its quieter atmosphere alone – a great place to cap a busy day exploring the city. 

 

Bar_Drinks

It turns out Hotel San José does not, however, serve true cocktails. All well and good, we decide to opt for the hotel’s wine-based variations over beer.

Frozen Hanalei  (for him, yep) – Sake, Guava, Mango, Lime, Fancy Umbrella – $11

Tropical Sangria (for her) – White Wine with Champagne and Fruit – $12

 

Band

 

After drinks, we finish the night with a live street show by LA’s The Sleeping Ghost and many more. Odd location, typically great music. 

 

Last Words

When You Visit

This is a very independent place and the fun is yours to be had. Austin is well known for its live music scene but a real Austin experience should honestly go all day.

Don’t come for Sixth Street unless you’re college aged, single, and into big crowds with spilled drinks. We prefer a more dynamic experience over that.

Check out the only F1 Track in the U.S. or drive your own fast ride with a hill country exotic car tour (it’s really a thing!). Definitely eat tacos for breakfast but follow it with a local beer at a nearby outdoor bar on either East Sixth (it’s different than regular Sixth) or Rainey Street. On any sunny afternoon, you’re sure to find good times, nice crowds, and an adventure that goes at whatever pace you like.

In any case, avoid the “Top Lists” and just go with the flow. Ask the locals. Austin is the kind of town with plenty of great places to wander into.

 

Thanks To:

 

Related posts

Trumaker