Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Austin Eats Tour Recap

(long post warning!)
So I have the coolest aunt ever and she refuses to buy us "useful" gifts. 
When my sister, Lindsey, graduated from high school, 
Aunt Robin gave her tickets to see Wicked (awesome!). 
And when I graduated from college, she gave me a certificate 
for two people to go on the Austin Eats Tour! 

(my mom and aunt, making fun of the way 
my sister and I pose for pictures)

If you can't tell, I love food. And I love Austin. 
So I was all kinds of excited about this tour!

I would have loved to do the South Congress tour, 
but they are only on Sundays and that's not an option. 
So instead, we signed up for the Downtown tour! 
(photo from Austin360.com)

It began at the Downtown Farmer's Market, 
where we were all given a bag and a bottle of water. 
I'm ashamed to say that I've never been to a farmer's market before. 
I am definitely going to be going back! 

Our first tasting was from Dai Due's stand. 
We had the sausage biscuit and gravy
Now, this was a staple breakfast at my house growing up 
so it had a lot to live up to!

It was fantastic. 
Everything made at Dai Due is locally sourced and very fresh.
I really like the flavor of the breakfast sausage, 
and the creamy gravy brought it all together.

We had some time to explore the farmer's market and just check everything out. 
They had everything from breakfast tacos and coffee 
to specialty desserts at the prepared foods area. 
The fresh produce looked amazing! 
I think in the future this would be a great brunch date- 
take the dog, grab coffee and shop the 
fresh goat cheese and locally harvested honey! 

(picture from bolapizza.com)

Before we left, we sampled at Bola Pizza. They had a super cool (mobile!) tiled wood fired oven and even more impressive pizza.  The cool thing about Bola is that they do the farmer's market and catering, but don't have a brick and mortar building! We sampled their Truffle Daisy, Polka Dot and Godfather pizzas. The Truffle Daisy was my favorite! 
It was chock full of fresh flavor!

After our pizza samples, we walked over to Hut's Hamburgers. I've seen Hut's before but never stopped in. The each sampled the Sink Burger- with lettuce, tomato, ham, cheese and hickory sauce, and a massive onion ring

Honestly, I'm not a big hamburger fan. 
If we must dine at a burger place, I normally get the chicken option. 
But, Hut's had really flavorful, moist hamburger patties. 
They also have Longhorn and Buffalo patties available, which are more lean!

The restaurant has a colorful history- 
especially the part about surviving a huge flood in 1981! 
That's where "God bless Hut's" originated.

All of the decor is very reminiscent of Arnold's in Happy Days and the retro theme is actually quite endearing. Check out the framed wallpaper and aged banners. I really like those dancing poodles!

After Hut's, we walked around the corner to Whole Foods (which ironically enough, got wiped out in that great flood of 1981). 
This was the first and is the biggest and best Whole Foods!
Now, I'm already a big fan of Whole Foods. I don't buy groceries there because I'm poor... but they have great prepared food counters! I've been known to get their pulled pork tacos (quite often) as well as their blended coffee. And gelato. And pastries! You get the idea.

First, we sampled three cheeses at the cheese counter. Mmm, cheese. We had a really tasty goat cheese from Dripping Springs that had honey and black pepper. Then, a brie with orange-cranberry jam, very festive! And last, a gouda! I'm not sure if I'd ever had gouda but it was great.

Some random shoppers came by and helped themselves to the cheese too. 
It was awkward. 

Then we sampled, the lean and moist brisket, and chicken and feta sausage at the barbecue counter. David really liked the lean brisket and I really like the moist brisket! And I got to take all the leftovers home!
Note- I was too busy eating to take any pictures of the barbecue goodness.

After Whole Foods, we walked to Walton's Fancy and Staple. It's an adorable little bakery/store/florist in a refurbished rail station. 
We sampled their "white trash mix", blueberry crumble, golden egg- a cinnamon vanilla cake, and cream cheese brownies. 

Oh and did I mention that Sandra Bullock owns it? 
And that SHE WAS THERE?! 
Yeah, she was super low key, feeding her cute little boy. 
I didn't even notice that she was there until someone else on the tour 
asked David and I if we'd seen her. 
And so we went back inside to "check out some cookbooks" and catch a peek!
Sorry, no pictures. She seems way too nice for paparazzi! 

Then we moved on to Frank, a gourmet Chicago-style 
hot dog and sausage restaurant.I didn't think this was going to be 
my kind of place. I'm not a huge fan of hot dogs. 
But their manager came and brought everyone coffee 
and explained the history of the restaurant.

They use Intelegencia coffee- it was excellent quality!
 two different sausage samples- this one had macaroni and cheese!
wait for it... 
Chocolate Covered Bacon.

Bad for your arteries though.
The salty bacon perfectly contrasted with the semisweet chocolate. I'd totally recommend it.

And then our last stop was at The Ginger Man, where they make in-house root beer!

I'd definitely recommend an Austin Eats Tour to any food or Austin-lover. 
It would make a great gift or a special occasion date! 
I would love to take some of my out-of-town friends on a tour.

Things to remember:
  • Although everything is served in small portions, there is a lot of food. Be sure and activate your metabolism with a small breakfast earlier in the day, and don't overeat just to feel like you got your money's worth!
  • It is a walking tour, so if you're injured or out of shape, just know you'll be walking several blocks at a time!
  • The restaurants included in the tour rotate, so your tour won't be the same as mine.
  • Sandra Bullock sightings not guaranteed!
  • Talk to the other people on your tour! It's a great way to meet people.

Let me know if you have any questions!


  1. Love this post! Walton's Fancy and Staple is such a cute little place and that is so awesome that Sandra was there! A food tour would be so much fun, I'm going to have to be on the lookout for one in our area!

  2. So fun! We did a tour like this at the Pike Place market in Seattle. It was awesome! :)

  3. Okay.. so all the food looks incredible! Except of course the bacon.. No likey bacon.. BUt other than that.. wow!!! Drooling over here right now!

    Janette, the Jongleur

    PS. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting!!! MUCH appreciated girly!

  4. hey!! thanks for stopping by my blog. :) so you're a youth minister? that's awesome! is that kind of like a youth pastor? i love my youth group, it's so much fun. :)


  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Wow, looks like you had and amazing day of eating! :) I think I like Aunt Robin. My birthday is tomorrow... just in case Aunt Robing is handing out any more Wicked tickets!! :) Just kidding! :)

  6. CHELSEA! Oh my goodness you are making me miss Austin SO MUCH! Spring semester I was at that downtown farmer's market every Saturday morning for my internship! Oh how I miss that Afghan hound that was always wandering around, the delicious coffee, the chicken mole tamales (I know, I had thought it sounded weird too but they were amazing), and that kombucha brewer who was always there (i always got the blueberry flavor). I never did get anything from that butcher, partially because it seemed they were always sold out of things! A sure sign that it's good though. I have LOVED Hut's since high school (go back and get the chocolate malt...price is steep, but it's the BEST), but I've never had the sink burger! I usually get Arnold's Best, which has guacamole on it. :) And Walton's Fancy and Staple I'd never heard of, but it sounds so cute and delish, even without Sandra Bullock!

    So, summary: When I get back to Austin, we shall go to these places together. Yes.


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