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 Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue

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ChiTownDiner

Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Mon, 05/13/13 7:18 AM (permalink)
Love Austin...so many places to visit, so little time!  Didn't make the Dr. Seuss museum but wished I had.  Thanks for sharing! 
 
#31
    rneiner

    • Total Posts: 87
    • Joined: 11/4/2011
    • Location: lake ozark, MO
    Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Mon, 05/13/13 8:01 AM (permalink)
    Thanks for the post on Southside Market we go to AUSTIN every winter the market is one my favorite spots.
     
    #32
      ScreamingChicken

      • Total Posts: 4737
      • Joined: 11/5/2004
      • Location: Stoughton, WI
      Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Mon, 05/13/13 9:46 AM (permalink)
      That plate of brisket and sausage is beautiful!
       
      #33
        love2bake

        • Total Posts: 1279
        • Joined: 8/10/2008
        • Location: SFBay Area, CA
        Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Mon, 05/13/13 10:46 AM (permalink)
        I'm enjoying your report!  All those breakfast tacos looked fantastic, and the Dr. Seuss art exhibit was great.    Oh yeah--and the BBQ!!  Mmmmmm
         
        #34
          ChiTownDiner

          Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Tue, 05/14/13 6:12 PM (permalink)
          I still remember on that tour being introduced to the term "meat sweats" for the first time. That was some mighty fine eating!
           
          #35
            Sundancer7

            Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Tue, 05/14/13 6:33 PM (permalink)
            The best sausage I had around Austin was with some Roadfooders about five years ago.  Bushie bought some sausage at Smitty's in Lockhart and sampled  a little of it.  Outstanding and I had brisket at Kreuz.  I like mine with some fat on it and the same with sausage.  Lockhart is in my opinion the best BBQ town in TX.
             
            http://kreuzmarket.com/
            http://www.smittysmarket.com/
             
            Paul E. Smith
            Knoxville, TN
             
             
            #36
              Ralph Melton

              Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 05/15/13 11:06 AM (permalink)
              We had a special dinner planned, and it ended up being not just special, but utterly outstanding.

              Our dinner destination was Royer's Round Top Cafe in Round Top, Texas (population 90 according to the sign at the town limits).


              If you look closely at the picture, you may notice what we noticed when we got to the porch: Bud Royer was sitting outside. (I don't think you can look closely enough at the picture to make out the sign on the beer cooler: "Beer on the honor system. Lawyers and bankers pay cash." We recognized Bud from meeting him at the New Orleans Roadfood Festival in 2010. Chris was the first to introduce himself and shake Bud's hand. And Chris's explaining that he was a senior writer for Roadfood.com may have contributed to the feast we were about to have.

              Chris said that we were five for dinner, but I corrected that to seven. In retrospect, I should have called to book a table in advance, because the cafe does not have that many tables. But they had a large table open right next to the door.

              As we were ordering iced tea and lemonade, the door opened, and in walked Steve Koenigsberg. I wasn't surprised; I had been receiving text messages about his progress, under the name "Mystery Guest". (I had renamed his entry in my phone, in case I had to ask Lori to read my texts while I was driving.) I had been trying to surprise Chris and Amy - but Chris said that he has met Steve in enough unexpected places that no encounter with Steve surprised him anymore.

              Steve was accompanied by Cara, a professional colleague of his. I hope that he will chime in, because this is really his story to tell. But it's something like this: he and Cara had been together at a recruiting fair in Houston, and he had offered to give her a ride back to Austin. When the fair had ended, there was just enough time for him to join us at dinner. He feared that Cara might prefer to spend time with her colleagues in Houston, but when he suggested that they drive an hour and a half for dinner in a tiny town in Texas ("Round Top? You mean Round Rock, right?"), she agreed without hesitation.

              I think this picture perfectly captures both Steve and Royer's Round Top Cafe:


              We ordered two appetizers that Bud Royer recommended: the grilled shrimp BLT (great)


              and the enormous stuffed jalapeños (good, but tricky to cut to share among eight people).


              About the time that we prepared to order entrees, we all - the five of us with plenty of Roadfood experience, our guests Adam and Cara, and Bud Royer and his staff - realized that we really were game for anything Royer's might serve. I've thought that before and had it turn out to be false, so I was a bit slow to recognize it now, but discovering now that we were all game was a heady, intoxicating realization. Where we had ordered appetizers by name, for entrees we just asked for five entrees and let Bud and the staff decide.

              If you ever have an opportunity like this, to dine at Royer's with a large group of people who are all happy to enjoy whatever comes, I strongly recommend you take it. It was about this time that we started describing the dinner with words like "bacchanalian" and "epic revel". It's hard for me to describe these dishes in detail, because my impressions all swirl together in a kaleidoscope of flavors. I think presenting a jumble of pictures captures the evening better than paragraphs of careful description:

              Jud's Great Steak, served with Bud's Smash (mashed potatoes, creamed corn, red onion, and blue cheese crumbles)


              Grilled pork chops with chipotle-raspberry sauce, with mashed potatoes and creamed corn


              "The Awesome Steak", served on mashed potato casserole, topped with portobello mushrooms sautéed in a red wine cream sauce


              Fried Red Snapper


              Rack of Lamb, served with a lemon, garlic, basil sauce and sautéed vegetables


              Bud decided that in addition to that, we needed to try the grilled quail (top) and the stuffed quail (bottom).


              Here's a closeup of the stuffed quail (stuffed with shrimp and cilantro - it was really tasty)


              By the numbers, it doesn't seem an excessive amount of food - less than one entree per person. But the sheer variety (and all of it very good) made us feel overwhelmed. There were leftovers of everything after the first servings, because it's far easier to divide things into eighths than sevenths, and the vast bounty overwhelmed all greed, so we kept proffering each other the last tidbits like doting ethnic grandmothers. "Would you like to finish the lamb chop?" "Surely you want a bit more quail?" 


              Of course, the other reason that we were slow to finish our entrees is that we were saving room for pie. Royer's is renowned for their pies, and for Bud Royers' insistence that his pies be eaten with ice cream, to the point that pie without ice cream costs an extra fifty cents. We asked for five pieces of pie. Bud decided that we should get eight. (When we got the check, the pie was free, which made me happier about the extra pieces. But we made up for that with a giant tip.)

              One down side of ice cream on pie is that it makes it hard to take pictures of the pie underneath. This plate had pecan pie, chocolate chip pie, Texas trash pie (I can't remember what was in this. It's akin to the buttermilk delight pie that has chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut, but the Texas trash pie had more stuff. Very tasty), and the Texas-sized Ho Ho.


              The other plate had Junkberry pie (a medley of fruits), apple pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie, and cinnamon-roll bread pudding.


              The Ding Dong in cross section. It was one of the best of its kind we've encountered.


              All the desserts were delicious, but I do have some commentary on the pies. The filling on Royer's pies is superb, but the crust is not so great. The crust is pale and somewhat shortbread-like - it is far from the best pie crust I've had, and I can make better pie crust myself on a good day. However: ice cream is rough on pie crust; even a good flaky pie crust will turn soggy under melting ice cream. So it all fits together that a passion for ice cream-bedecked pie would go with mediocre pie crust.
              To my own taste, ice cream is a better friend to cobbler than to pie. So if Royer's was going to change to suit me (I didn't even suggest this to Bud Royer, because I felt that he is obviously not), he would turn his filling talents towards cobbler instead of pie.




              After such a splendid gastronomic debauch, anything else would be anticlimax. But we had one more stop: I had discovered that this trip would give us a chance to see the Austin Lounge Lizards perform in Texas, at the Bugle Boy in La Grange. The Bugle Boy is a very nice space for a concert - it is very strongly focused on listening to the performance, instead of dancing or drinking or talking. I hope that the others enjoyed the Austin Lounge Lizards at least half as much as I did; I had the advantage of being familiar with most of their songs. And some of their topical tweaks to "Old Blevins" made me laugh so hard that I became lightheaded.

              I had planned for us to visit Weikel's Bakery for kolaches before the concert, but our long dinner at Royer's made that impractical. After the concert ended at 10:30, I drove us to Weikel's under the belief that they closed at 11. But Weikel's was dark and empty. But this was not exactly a case of not doing my homework: when I checked my notes later, I saw that according to my notes, Weikel's closed at 10pm. So does this count as being travelin-manned, or was this merely being dumb? 

               
               
              #37
                Ralph Melton

                Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 05/15/13 11:37 AM (permalink)
                Sundancer7


                The best sausage I had around Austin was with some Roadfooders about five years ago.  Bushie bought some sausage at Smitty's in Lockhart and sampled  a little of it.  Outstanding and I had brisket at Kreuz.  I like mine with some fat on it and the same with sausage.  Lockhart is in my opinion the best BBQ town in TX.

                 
                We visited Kreuz Market and Smitty's on Monday, April 15. Descriptions and pictures will come.
                 
                #38
                  icecreamchick

                  • Total Posts: 99
                  • Joined: 9/26/2009
                  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                  Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 05/15/13 12:32 PM (permalink)
                  Our meal at Royers' was really amazing. Good company, good food...and the "Pie Man" himself sat with us for a while!  Of course, I went easy on the main dishes so I could try lots of the desserts, and I wasn't sorry I made that choice. That said, Royers' makes an awesome steak, and I recommend that place to everyone!
                   
                  #39
                    HollyDolly

                    • Total Posts: 1065
                    • Joined: 1/18/2006
                    • Location: Schertz, TX
                    Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 05/15/13 1:27 PM (permalink)
                    Great photos and a great trip. I've been to the New Braunfels Bucee's and it is huge. Now I've been to Bastrop,but never Elgin or Round Top.But i have heard of both places up there.
                     
                    #40
                      BuddyRoadhouse

                      • Total Posts: 4082
                      • Joined: 12/10/2004
                      • Location: Des Plaines, IL
                      Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 05/15/13 2:20 PM (permalink)
                      That meal at Royer's may be the single most beautiful array of dishes I've ever seen!  What a feast.
                       
                      And the fact that you invited The Travelin' Man to join you, thus risking the restaurant might be closed when you got there, showed great courage on your part.
                       
                      I think you should end the report here; I don't see how it can get any better than it already is.
                       
                      Buddy
                       
                      #41
                        ChiTownDiner

                        Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 05/15/13 3:26 PM (permalink)
                        Ralph & Lori and the gang of five - what a night!  I loved your description, photos and Bud's choices!  A Roadfood night in heaven! 
                         
                        #42
                          Ralph Melton

                          Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 05/15/13 9:02 PM (permalink)
                          BuddyRoadhouse


                          I think you should end the report here; I don't see how it can get any better than it already is.


                           
                          Well, you're not wrong. That could have been the high point of three Roadfood trips, and it deserves to be recorded in the annals of the greatest Roadfood meals, to never be forgotten. Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, but we’ll remember, with advantages, what feasts we did that day. 
                           
                          But we were in Austin for three more days, and people may take a moiety of pleasure in some of the remaining barbecue pictures. So I intend to continue with this chronicle.
                           
                          #43
                            love2bake

                            • Total Posts: 1279
                            • Joined: 8/10/2008
                            • Location: SFBay Area, CA
                            Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 05/15/13 10:07 PM (permalink)
                            Wow--pies at Royers--I'm so envious!  They're legendary and look/sound amazing.
                             
                            I hope there will be pics of Texas CFS coming! 
                             
                            #44
                              Ralph Melton

                              Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Thu, 05/16/13 9:41 AM (permalink)
                              The next installment of this report should have pictures of chicken fried steak.
                               
                              #45
                                mr chips

                                • Total Posts: 4715
                                • Joined: 2/19/2003
                                • Location: portland, OR
                                Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Thu, 05/16/13 10:04 AM (permalink)
                                If there is a heaven, i think u all went there. What a feast! what food! what company! good to see the photos of TTM and other favorite roadfooders i have had the privilege of mreting. it looks like such a marvelous time. Frankly meals like that are what this site is all about and what makes our road food meet-ups so special. Congrats to u all.Can't wait 2 hear more.
                                 
                                 
                                #46
                                  ChiTownDiner

                                  Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Thu, 05/16/13 2:13 PM (permalink)
                                  I loved the CFS at Hoovers...one of my most favorite meals ever! 
                                   
                                  #47
                                    Ralph Melton

                                    Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 05/22/13 10:53 AM (permalink)
                                    One of the sad truths of taking the lead in a trip like this is that people may follow you when you don't know where you're going. And that in one sentence is the story of how Steve joined the four of us at Threadgill's gospel brunch.

                                    I thought that Threadgill's gospel brunch would offer us a way to get two desirable things at once: we could get good food at Threadgill's, and sample another slice of Austin's music scene.

                                     

                                    Unfortunately, instead of getting two good things together, we got two mediocre things. The brunch buffet was perfectly serviceable, but it was just a brunch buffet, distinguished only by two things: it included migas (albeit not splendid migas), and it served salsa in the largest bowl I can recall used for serving salsa. There was probably two gallons of salsa in a large metal bowl.
                                    The gospel was not what I had hoped for either. We were seated in a different room from the musicians, so it was hard to hear them over the sound of our own conversation. Because I didn't hear them well, I can't say much about the quality of the band, but I think that if they had gotten the room clapping, we would have heard it.


                                    Chris suggested that we order the chicken fried steak, to get a sample of one of their specialties that wasn't on the buffet. It was certainly a good chicken fried steak, but I had been hoping for an outstanding one.



                                    We finished at Threadgill's with enough time to pay a visit to John Mueller Meat Company. This visit itself was a fortuitous result of our trip to Royer's Round Top Cafe the night before, because Bud Royer had said that the best barbecue to be had in Austin was at Franklin Barbecue and John Mueller's. Now, I only know of changes in the Austin barbecue scene fromscrumptiouschef's posts to the Roadfood forums, but I had been under the impression that John Mueller had been kicked out of the business bearing his name. But because Bud Royer mentioned him, I did some research that morning: John Mueller had indeed been fired from one business earlier in 2013, but he had started a new enterprise, John Mueller Meat Company.

                                    John Mueller Meat Company was a food truck in a fenced lot of its own.

                                      

                                    They opened at 11am, but by 12:30, they were already sold out of brisket and side dishes. There was little line, so we speculated that they must have had a very large order. (The prices look cheap at first glance, but they're sold by the half pound instead of the pound - correcting for that makes them seem on the high side.)


                                    Bereft of brisket, we ordered some luscious smoky turkey


                                    and some sausage. The sausage had a very heavy hand with the black pepper, so much so that the bite of the pepper clobbered all the other flavors.


                                    Steve thought through the lack of brisket and concluded that if he was to sample beef at John Mueller's, it would have to be in the form of the beef ribs. Then he added pork ribs (behind the beef ribs in this picture). Both species were very tasty, but the beef ribs were particularly notable, succulent and unctuous with rendered fat, with a flavor-packed bark.
                                     

                                     
                                     
                                    #48
                                      icecreamchick

                                      • Total Posts: 99
                                      • Joined: 9/26/2009
                                      • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                                      Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 05/22/13 11:48 AM (permalink)
                                      To clarify one thing: the music wasn't bad, we just couldn't really hear it. The food was fine, but not great, it's true. But the decor of Threadgill's is outstanding! I could've spent all morning looking at their collection of signs and old neon. However, the siren call of barbecue was not to be ignored, so I left with my ride. 
                                       
                                      <message edited by icecreamchick on Wed, 05/22/13 11:50 AM>
                                       
                                      #49
                                        love2bake

                                        • Total Posts: 1279
                                        • Joined: 8/10/2008
                                        • Location: SFBay Area, CA
                                        Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Thu, 05/23/13 11:34 PM (permalink)
                                        Beautiful picture of CFS!  Glad it was at least good CFS, too.
                                         
                                        #50
                                          Ralph Melton

                                          Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Sat, 06/1/13 6:14 PM (permalink)
                                          We bade farewell to Steve and went off for a walking tour of downtown Austin. (We like walking tours in general on these tours; it gives us a little time to digest.) This was a fine walking tour, particularly because it was free, but I can't remember much about it at all.

                                          I do remember the unabashedly pro-Confederate tone of the Civil War memorial.


                                          And I remember the tale of Angelina Eberly. She saw the soldiers of the Republic of Texas coming into town to move the government records to Houston, and she fired the town cannon (damaging the land office) to rally the citizens of Austin to resist.
                                           

                                          The tour ended at the Driskill Hotel, so we stopped in at the 1886 Cafe and Bakery in the Driskill for a drink and a snack. (And we noticed that Steve was in the Starbucks next door, so we invited him to join us.)

                                          The two we chose were both fancy renditions of plebeian treats. The house made Moon Pie was not a smashing success. I don't recall that I've ever had a genuine MoonPie, so I lacked a basis for comparison, but this was not a pleasant treat; it tasted mostly of thick, crumbly graham cracker.


                                          The banana pudding, however, was outstanding. (The description from the menu: "Layered with "Nilla" Crust and Banana Bread, Banana Sabayon, Warm Banana-Rum Sauce".) It had a superb, rich banana flavor, and a nice play of textures - this was one of the best things we ate on this trip.


                                          Lori says of the Driskill Hotel: "It is now my ambition to spend a night (if not a weekend) in this beautiful old hotel. There are many stories of the Driskill Hotel being haunted; I looked and looked, but saw no ghosts."

                                          I had marked time in the schedule on Sunday afternoon for us to visit Austin food trucks, but I didn't have particular food trucks in mind. Multiple Austinites recommended East Side King as a food truck par excellence, but their hours were wholly incompatible with this time - for example, at one location, they are open 5pm - 1:45am, Monday - Saturday. So instead we drove down to the South Congress food court to see what was to be seen there.

                                          The first truck we saw was Burro, serving specialty grilled cheese sandwiches. I hope they have some good air conditioning, because the thought of being stuck in a metal can on a hot Texas day seems really fierce to me.


                                          We ordered their special of the day, a grilled cheese sandwich with brisket from La Barbecue (formerly run by John Mueller), Redneck Cheddar (cheddar made with beer), and mango serrano sauce. It was good, but really quite mild. The brisket was very gently flavored, without the pepper punch of so much other barbecue we'd had. And though I could slightly taste the mango, I couldn't taste the serrano peppers at all.


                                          We also ordered fried pears, because we hadn't heard of fried pears before. I think I had been expecting something batter-fried and tender, but these were batter-free and mostly hard. The frying softened the outsides a little, but mostly it just made them very hot - which was no virtue on a 90° day. I wouldn't order them again.


                                          We ambled past the rest of the trucks (I remember Wurst Tex; I'm not sure whether we actually saw Mrs. P's Electric Cock or whether I've just constructed a memory based on Travelin' Man's description) but the thing that really appealed to us on this hot day was shaved ice. It appealed to others as well; the line was much longer than at any of the other food trucks.
                                           

                                          Unfortunately, I didn't record which flavor Amy chose, but it was sweet and fruity.


                                          I saw that they had a special "pickle" section on the menu, and I remembered that Central Texas was the origin of the Pickle Pop. So I ordered the Dilly Surprise: shaved ice with pickle juice and chunks of pickle. The four of us had widely diverging opinions on the Dilly Surprise. At one end of the spectrum, Lori thought it was freaky and unpleasant, but on the other end, I thought it was great. The sour pickle juice cut through the dusty taste of summer heat, and It wasn't at all sweet and cloying the way lemonade can be. But although I happily finished it, no one else seemed to be hoping I'd share more than a sample.


                                          (In the course of writing this up, I've learned that the South Congress Food Truck is now gone; the food trucks have been sent elsewhere to make room for a new hotel.)
                                          <message edited by Ralph Melton on Sat, 06/1/13 6:35 PM>
                                           
                                          #51
                                            Sundancer7

                                            Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Sat, 06/1/13 7:13 PM (permalink)
                                            Where is the write  on Lockhart.  I was sorta looking forward to that?
                                             
                                            Paul E. Smith
                                            Knoxville, TN
                                             
                                            #52
                                              myterry2

                                              • Total Posts: 526
                                              • Joined: 4/15/2007
                                              • Location: Lake Forest, IL
                                              Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Sun, 06/2/13 5:24 AM (permalink)
                                              Great report...wish I was with you...pictures turned out A1...Thanx.
                                               
                                              #53
                                                billyboy

                                                • Total Posts: 2363
                                                • Joined: 1/23/2005
                                                • Location: New York City, NY
                                                Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Sun, 06/2/13 5:43 AM (permalink)
                                                Man, so jealous of this trip.  That meal at Bud Royers' place looked and sounded EPIC!  And I'm just about swooning over the barbque!  So glad you and Lori were able to break bread with so many RFers.  Just a great mix of people and places.  Love that David Komie billboard.  I think he should form a firm with a New York/Florida based attorney, Jim "The Hammer" Shapiro.  They could be Hammer & Rocks, LLP!  He had the craziest, in-your-face ads!
                                                <message edited by billyboy on Sun, 06/2/13 5:45 AM>
                                                 
                                                #54
                                                  Ralph Melton

                                                  Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Sun, 06/2/13 10:40 AM (permalink)
                                                  Our trip to Lockhart was midday Monday - my chronicle has only made it to Sunday afternoon so far.
                                                   
                                                  #55
                                                    Ralph Melton

                                                    Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 06/12/13 10:20 AM (permalink)
                                                    One of the pleasant surprises of this Austin trip was how many dear friends we were able to meet there. I’ve already told of how we got to spend time with Steve, in spite of the fact that he lives in Florida. And weren’t really surprised by the chance to spend time with Adam, because he lives in Austin. But we were surprised when Adam told us that his parents were coming through Austin on Sunday evening, and we happily made plans to join them for dinner at Hoover's.
                                                    We didn't try to draw Frances and Elliott completely into our habits of sharing everything equally, but they did fit right in with our Roadfood group, cheerfully sharing their own plates and sampling ours.



                                                    I think the most exotic choice of the evening was Amy's drink selection: the beetarita. A margarita made with beets could be anywhere from very good to horrible; this turned out to be pretty good, but there are some good reasons that the beetarita is not as popular as its lime-flavored cousin.


                                                    I was skeptical of the smoked hamburger, because a hamburger usually wants to cook too quickly to pick up much smoke. But this smoked hamburger really did have a nice smoky taste.
                                                    The candied sweet potatoes were super sweet.


                                                    Fried catfish, flanked by fried okra, porky green beans, and bacon-laced mustard greens.


                                                    Chicken-fried steak, flanked by black-eyed peas, mac and cheese, and jalapeño creamed spinach. Chicken fried steak may be one of those foods that I like more in my imagination than on my plate (haluski is another). Although this was a very good chicken fried steak, it didn't satisfy my desire for a chicken fried steak against which all others would fall short.


                                                    Frances and Elliott did join us in sharing all the desserts. The peach cobbler was my suggestion, and again it wasn't quite what I wanted it to be; it was topped with a pie crust, and I much prefer a biscuit crust on my cobbler.


                                                    The pecan praline bread pudding was probably the best thing we ate at Hoover's.


                                                    I think we were all surprised that the buttermilk pie was served in a bowl. The filling was good, but my notes say that it was "a little strange" (without providing details, unfortunately). The crust was only so-so.


                                                    The banana pudding cheesecake was very good, but not nearly as good as the banana pudding we'd had at the Driskill.





                                                    I don't recall who suggested miniature golf after dinner, but it was a lovely suggestion. I love mini golf; it reminds me of summers with my grandparents and and simpler times that may or may not have actually existed. And Peter Pan Mini Golf turned out to be a nice course, with some interesting holes and funky statuary. I would have been most delighted if it had had a motorized windmill, but it is nigh impossible to find a motorized windmill in mini golf these days. It was a great pleasure to play a foursome on a warm evening, and I hope that everyone else was as happy as I was.
                                                     

                                                    It took us a bit of looking to realize that this statue was depicting an armadillo atop a lone star atop a mustang's head with a cowboy hat flanked by a pair of cowboy boots. It's hard to get much more Texan than that.


                                                    I may have won the match on points, but Lori gets the glory: she got two holes-in-one in eighteen holes!


                                                    After that, a warm summer night called for ice cream, so we went out to seek a location of the local chain Amy's.


                                                    Although we had enjoyed Amy's ice cream at non-Amy's locations, our blackberry ice cream with cake mixed in was a disappointment, because it had large ice chunks.



                                                    Although we'd had a full day of eating, Chris incited us to just one more, because he noticed that near Amy's was Home Slice, which he had read to be the best pizza in Austin.


                                                    We spent quite a while discussing the figure depicted on the neon sign. She seems feminine at first glance, and the signage says "Queen of Pies" - but she sports a virile bushy mustache. (I later discovered that this is addressed on their website, in the Flash animation at http://www.homeslicepizza.com/queenofpies/ .)


                                                    I don't have enough experience of New York pizza to judge this slice by NY standards. It was flexible and a bit messy, but it was satisfying in a late-night way.


                                                     
                                                    #56
                                                      brisketboy

                                                      • Total Posts: 1058
                                                      • Joined: 6/11/2007
                                                      • Location: Austin, TX
                                                      Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 06/12/13 10:47 AM (permalink)
                                                      Tell ya what, I'm jealous of this trip and I live here.
                                                       
                                                      #57
                                                        love2bake

                                                        • Total Posts: 1279
                                                        • Joined: 8/10/2008
                                                        • Location: SFBay Area, CA
                                                        Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 06/12/13 10:58 AM (permalink)
                                                        Cute animation about the Queen of Pies!!!
                                                         
                                                        Wow--Hoover's has been on my bookmark list for a long time.  I'm a big CFS and fried catfish fan so your pics looked GREAT.  I've been thinking about making smoked hamburgers in my Cameron smoker, and your experience just reinforced that. 
                                                         
                                                        What a great trip!
                                                         
                                                        #58
                                                          icecreamchick

                                                          • Total Posts: 99
                                                          • Joined: 9/26/2009
                                                          • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
                                                          Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Wed, 06/12/13 12:31 PM (permalink)
                                                          Ralph gives a false impression in his write up of the mini golf. Oh, don't get me wrong - the course was delightfully kitschy. 
                                                           
                                                          But he makes it sound like I'm a good mini golfer. This is really, really wrong. I am terrible at it (usually), and I informed our companions that I sometimes get frustrated and cheat horribly (but not on the scorecard). For example, I kicked a ball up a steep incline that night. How I got two holes in one that night is beyond me. :-)
                                                           
                                                          I also want to say that I sampled several flavors of Amy's Ice Cream at several different locations, and the icy blackberry was an anomaly. They make a superior ice cream, and I really loved a rocky-road style flavor purchased at their airport location. I neglected to write down the name or take a picture, sorry. I was too busy saying "Mmmm...do we really need to leave Austin?"
                                                           
                                                          It is also worth recording that at Homeslice Pizza (which was yummy, despite my full stomach), there was a bumper sticker on the trash can that read "Don't Dallas up my Austin." I really do hope Austin stays weird forever. It's a great town!
                                                           
                                                          #59
                                                            billyboy

                                                            • Total Posts: 2363
                                                            • Joined: 1/23/2005
                                                            • Location: New York City, NY
                                                            Re:Bluebonnets, Bats, and Beaucoup Barbecue Thu, 06/13/13 2:44 AM (permalink)
                                                            Beetarita, eh?  You're all braver souls than I!!  Those meat & threes sure do look good but I think I would ask for the gravy on the side of the CFS, for dippin' and to keep the crust from getting soggy.  Love that pic of you and Chris!!  He looks worried that you might toss him on the grill! 
                                                            The mini-golf place in my hometown (Rome, NY) always had a motorized windmill that endlessly taunted me as the ball would inevitably bounce off of it.  While I never acted this out, I sometimes imagined myself "going off" on that windmill like Adam Sandler and the Laughing Mini-Golf Clown in "Happy Gilmore! 
                                                             
                                                            Lori, love that bumper sticker!  Anytime you want to come to NYC and do a pizza slice tour I'll be happy to put one together for you and show you my fair city.
                                                            <message edited by billyboy on Thu, 07/25/13 7:23 AM>
                                                             
                                                            #60
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