Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Short and Sweet Guide to Marfa

S: Chris and I met in Marfa, Texas, so it is a tiny town with a big place in our shared history. In our living room, we have a framed Marfa Film Festival poster print. Almost two years ago, I went to the festival with two girlfriends of mine. Chris went (bravely!) alone. We met somewhere in the middle.

 The frame in our living room

Friends of ours are thinking of stopping by Marfa as part of their honeymoon, and I couldn't help but make them a list. This lady loves lists! And also, because I met Chris there, it just seems like such a magical (YES, MAGICAL) place.

So here's my Short and Sweet Guide to Lovely Marfa. I hope their visit is as memorable as ours was.

To Stay
Perfect if you want to stay in a yurt, tent, tepee, or trailer. And seriously, who doesn't want to stay in a yurt?

Same owner as Hotel San José on South Congress in Austin. Obviously more expensive than staying in a yurt, but a little more comfortable, too.

National Historic Landmark. Makes you feel like you are simultaneously acting in a Western and vacationing in a small Italian villa.

This is where me and my girlfriends stayed during the festival. Cute little house within walking distance of the town center.

To Eat
A little on the expensive side but definitely worth it. They make a flourless chocolate soufflé that I still have dreams about. Also, America Ferrera was at the table next to us during dinner. Random, awesome, totally Marfa.

Also on the expensive side. Not as good as Cochineal but still delicious. Close to Hotel Paisano. (At both Cochineal and Maiya’s you should make reservations.)

Great, inexpensive lunch. They have odd hours sometimes, so definitely check their website before venturing over.

Cheap and very tasty.

To Drink
The bar we went to every night. Where Chris and I met. Pool tables, video games, bar food, occasionally live music, and the potential to meet your future fiancé. Seriously. It happened to us; it could happen to YOU.

Hotel Paisano
They also have a full bar at the hotel if you get tired of the dive-bar-iness of Padre’s and want to try something a little swankier.

To Do: Nature, Books, Art, Art, Art, Art

Everything listed below is what makes Marfa MARFA. I cannot recommend each and every one of them enough. 

(All photos taken by Sandra, 2010, Marfa, Texas)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saturday BBQ: Spicy Sriracha Shrimp

S: Yesterday was yet another gorgeous day in Austin, so we decided to have an impromptu BBQ dinner in our courtyard with a few friends. I had been wanting to try the Spicy Sriracha Shrimp recipe from my Food52 Cookbook, and I was not disappointed. That shrimp be delicious! I failed to capture a picture of said delicious shrimp because we scarfed all of them down so fast. But I did manage to take probably one of the cutest photos of my nephews ever, hunting for roly-polies under the deck. Happy spring, everyone!

Pease Park

S: Friday was so gorgeous, Chris and I cut off from work early and set out to Pease Park in central Austin. I had forgotten what a great alternative this park is to the hike & bike trail farther downtown. Fewer people equals more parking spaces. Fewer people also equals a city park feeling more naturey. And since it's been raining so much lately, everything was springing, green and lush. Here are a few shots I took of Chris that afternoon.
S: We ended up on our red blanket reading magazines (me: Bust, Chris: New York) in a shady area. After that we headed to our favorite comic book store on North Lamar and then had Tex-Mex at Vivo. Perfect "playing hooky" afternoon.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Elizabeth Street Cafe

S: Yesterday, some girlfriends and I had a ladies' night at the fairly new French Vietnamese Elizabeth Street Cafe in south Austin. Deliciousness! And such charming decor. Their menus are crazy extensive, so we spent way too long deciding.
Photographic proof of GIANT menus.
S: I finally decided on the broiled Niman Ranch pork belly bún bowl and smothered half of it in the sriracha sauce they had on the table. 
S: The portion sizes are HUGE, so I had them box about a third of my bowl so that I could save room for the perfectly sized cream puff I ordered for dessert. Recommended for sure. Also, the waitresses all wear dresses in the same design but different prints. Super cute.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Short and Sweet Guide to Austin

S: Here's my current list of go-to places in a town that continues to rewin my heart on a daily basis.

  One of the last remaining moon towers in Austin.
(At the corner of East Eleventh and Lydia Street.)


-Barley Swine: My favorite place in Austin. The owner was named one of Food & Wine’s best new chefs last year. New American gastropub. (2024 South Lamar)
-Justine’s: Supercute French place far on the east side of the highway. Charming. Good cocktails too. (4710 East Fifth Street)
-Uchi/Uchiko: Excellent sushi. The chef won the James Beard award recently. (801 South Lamar)
-Hopdoddy: Delicious burgers and local beers. (1400 South Congress Avenue)
-Foreign & Domestic: Tiny new American restaurant up north. (306 East Fifty-third Street)
-Vivo: Great Tex-Mex. (2015 Manor Road) Also, Curra’s is great for Mexican as well. (614 East Oltorf)
-Flip Happy Crepes: I could do a whole list about the food trailers in town, but Flip Happy is my favorite for brunch crepes. (400 Josephine Street)


-Progress (500 San Marcos Street)
-Jo’s (1300 South Congress Avenue)
-Bennu (2001 E Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard)

-Easy Tiger Bakery and Bar: Supercute bar with a great selection that serves things like giant soft pretzels. (709 East Sixth)
-Yellow Jacket Social Club: Laid-back bar on the east side. Lots of outdoor seating. (1704 East Fifth)
-Haddington’s: Nice gastropub that has great food and cocktails. (601 West Sixth)

Live Music

-ACL Live at the Moody Theater: My favorite venue. Fairly new. Austin City Limits films there now. They often have free shows.
-Mohawk: Tons of indie bands come through here.


-Alamo Drafthouse: Awesome local movie theater chain. Great selection of alcohol/food, and they do tons of special screenings and events. 
 -The Paramount Theater: One of Austin’s oldest theaters. They have a lot of classic film series here.

-South Congress: Tons of local shops. Favorites: Uncommon Objects, New Bohemia, Parts and Labour.

SXSW 2012

S: Chris and I had such an awesome South by Southwest this year. I made a playlist of all the great bands we found out about or saw in our adventures here on Spotify. Here's us at the French Legation. Warby Parker curated a great three days early in the week, with bands like Yellow Ostrich and Y La Bamba playing. And we got supercool red roll-up blankets for free! Freebie icing on the music cake!
S: Chris snapped a photo of me watching Savoir Adore at the Wild Honey Pie showcase at Uncorked. Every band that played the showcase was awesomesauce.
S: Jukebox the Ghost playing at Uncorked. The band did a Whitney Houston cover that blew my mind.
S: We ended our six-day SXSW dayfest extravaganza at South by San Jose where Ben Kweller played the second to last set of the day.
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