Next stop on my North American adventure was Austin Texas, to visit a couple of more friends, Jane and James. I was not really sure what to expect in Austin, anywhere that has a motto of “Keep Austin Weird” could turn out to be anything. Luckily for me Austin is good “Weird” and is a great place to visit with a lively food and music scene, both of which I planned on checking out, one more than the other. I wonder which one.
Austin is the State Capitol of Texas. Austin is named after Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas”, was incorporated in around 1839 when it was decided to make it the Capitol of the Republic of Texas, replacing Houston, Texas.
On my first night I Jane and James took me to Manuel’s, a Mexican Restaurant, which has been around since 1984. I did not take my camera with me, was more interested in catching up with my friends, I had plenty of time for photos coming up. Whilst Manuel’s does not get rave reviews I found the place to be pretty good. A restaurant that serves great food, has excellent service and makes a mean Margarita, ticks all of the boxes for me.
Austin Texas Barbeque
Something else that Austin is known for is its barbeque. My plan was to visit one of the better ones, but I underestimated the effort required, ie getting up before dawn, needed to be able to partake in the better ones.
Franklin Barbecue is one of the best BBQ joints in Texas, probably the US, Anthony Bourdain stated “It is the best. It is the finest brisket I have ever had”. So I wanted to try the place, however, I did not feel like getting up at 4 or 5 am whilst on my holidays to stand in a line for hours. The photos below are of the line at around 9:30am on a Saturday, the place does not open until 11am. Must be good!
Oz’s Useless Trivia
- The original name of Austin was Waterloo, it was changed to Austin when it was selected as the Capitol of the Republic of Texas in around 1839
- A resident of Austin is an Austinite
- “The Live Music Capital of the World” is the city’s official slogan
- “Keep Austin Weird” is the unofficial city slogan
- This slogan refers, apparently, to Austin’s desire to protect small businesses from being overrun by large companies. I thought it was due to their music and eclectic population
- Austin was the home to the TV Concert Show Austin City Limits
- Willy Nelson lives nearby on the shores of Lake Travis and there is a statue of him outside the Austin City Limits Venue
- Austin is also, occasionally, know as Silicon Hills, due to the number of technology companies and start-ups that have made Austin Texas their home
- Due to the tough their smoking laws Austin is also a “Clean Air City”
- Austin Texas was named in 2017 as the best place to live in the US
- The “Circuit of the Americas” situated near the Austin Bergstrom International Airport, is the home of the United States Formula One Grand Prix and a round of the MotorGP World Championship
- Austin Bergstrom International Airport was originally Bergstrom Air Force Base and was one of the bases used by the Strategic Air Command before, in 1999, becoming a civilian airport.
- There is no Major League / Professional Sports Team in Austin, the University of Texas at Austin Longhorns are the “local” team
- Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium is the home of the Longhorns Football Team and seats 101,000 spectators, making it the second largest stadium in Texas
- Austin Texas is the most bike-friendly city in Texas. It is also the home of Lance Armstrong
- Austin is the sister city of my home town, Adelaide, South Australia, and 13 other cities around the world
Next up Stone House Winery in the Texas Hill Country.