Gourdough’s Public House: Austin, TX

 

I’ve heard from several people rave about Gourdough’s Specialty Doughnuts so I decided it was time to check them out. They actually have a food truck for the donuts but the night we wanted to go was a bit chilly so we went to the public house instead. Their menu of donuts is quite extensive and if you go on their website, they have a photo of most of the donuts so you can see what it looks like before you order it. I went with 5 other people and we each ordered a different doughnut to share. Each doughnut was sinfully delectable, packed with sweets and chocolates, depending on what you ordered. I got the “Black Betty“, which my friend pointed out that it was “very northwest of me”, which I suppose is true. It’s a doughnut with house made blackberry filling, cream cheese icing, cake mix, cinnamon, sugar, & locally harvested honey butter. It was amazing and so filling, I could barely finish it. Another favorite that was ordered was the “Ring O’ Fire”, a doughnut with chipotle infused brownie batter, chocolate icing, brownie bites, salted butter caramel sauce, & cayenne candied pecans. It was extremely chocolatey with a bit of a kick to add some uniqueness.

 

 

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Mozart’s Coffee Roasters: Austin, TX

We had just visited the graffiti park and wanted an afternoon snack. Mozart’s Coffee Roasters was only a 5 minute drive from the wall and I had read really great reviews. The weather wasn’t amazing that day but I’m sure this café is packed on a nice day. It’s situated right along the water with inside seating facing the waters as well as outdoor seating.  It serves a variety of coffees and desserts. I ordered an affagato which was a really rich brownie with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and a shot of espresso poured over. It was spot on and delicious. If you’re looking for a good place to study or a location for a coffee date, this is the place!

 

Castle Hill Graffiti: Austin, TX

On Sunday afternoon, we decided to pay a visit to the famous graffiti park. I hadn’t been sure what to expect and definitely did not realize it was on such a massive hill. Maxi skirts and sandals were not the smartest attire choice I could have made and I definitely recommend wearing pants with shoes that have some grip. You’ll be climbing over some walls and going up/down a dirt hill that can be slippery in parts. The wall itself was really cool with a lot of very vibrant colors in its artwork. There were some artists working on parts of the wall while we were there and its walls are open to the public to contribute their own art to.  Some of the artwork stood for political reasons, some told person stories, and some were just for fun. Certain ones were simple while others were more intricately done but both were really interesting to look at. There’s something for everyone to enjoy and if there isn’t, you can create it yourself! Here are just a few snapshots from my visit, the wall art is constantly changing so if you see one you really like, be sure to take a photo:

Amy’s Ice Creams: Austin, TX

Amy’s Ice Creams is sold in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. It’s kind of like a hipster Coldstone where you can mix toppings into your ice cream. They sometimes will do cool tricks and try to throw your ice cream around until it lands in the bowl. There’s definitely a different type of ice cream culture but their ice cream is absolutely divine. I got the Irish Cream Coffee flavored ice cream and did not regret that choice, not one bit. It was creamy, it tasted like coffee but not overbearingly with a slight hint of alcohol and it was delicious.

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The Salt Lick: Driftwood, TX

Last time I was down in Texas, I ate at The Salt Lick in the Round Rock location which seemed to be a little further out. From what I remembered, the barbecue was divine, especially the brisket. This time however, we went to the Driftwood location which was about a 30 minute, cute and scenic, country-side drive through some winding roads. We had tried to make early reservations but they don’t take reservations on weekends between 5-8pm because they’re always packed. I didn’t realize just how packed this place was until I saw the entire parking lot (a very large parking lot, mind you) completely filled with cars. We were lucky to find a parking spot quickly as we stumbled upon a car leaving when we looped around the lot. After walking over to the restaurant, we could see a lot of people standing around waiting for a table, standing in line for “Salt Lick To-Go”, and others sitting in a small “Wine Garden” section with picnic benches and a stage set up.IMG_2871

There was a band playing live (Cody Bryan Band, if anyone’s interested) and everyone just seemed to be relaxed and having good time. The place had pretty lights and as it got darker, it’s charm only increased. We had to wait about an hour but I didn’t mind sitting/standing around chatting in the sun, listening to some good music, and just soaking it all in. I just loved the place and you could tell, everyone else felt the same way since the it was packed the entire time we were there. When it finally came time for the actual barbecue, we devoured 10 lbs of meat (sausage, ribs, and brisket). The brisket is extremely moist and tender, the ribs came off the bone easily and the sausages were good as well. I could eat that barbecue for a long, long time. Their slaw is also really good too, it’s not the traditional mayonnaise/buttermilk slaw, rather it’s a vinegar slaw which compliments the meat perfectly. When we finished our meal, there were the still the same amount of people waiting for their turn to sit and still endless amount of cars pulling into the lot.