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Entries in TRAVEL Texas: Austin (1)

Thursday
Jun032010

Babies, Boobies, BBQ & Beer

...The title of this post sounds more akin to an MTV reality show than to a food-website.  But for the life of me, I simply could not come up with four better words to describe my Memorial Day weekend in Texas. 

I had not been back to Lubbock, Texas since May 2004, when I made the 12-hour journey from Dallas to El Paso.  Just three weeks prior, I was elated to learn that my company (whom I was working for at the time) had agreed to transfer me to NYC.  I broke my apartment lease, packed up everything I owned, and gave all of my furniture to my sister, who was residing in Austin at the time.  Six years later, almost to the day, I returned to Lubbock; the college town where I spent four years of my life and, coincidentally, where my 3-year old god daughter resides (her mom was my roommate throughout university).     

My sweet god-daughter, Blair. Isn't she delicious?Paige (my dear friend, mother to my god-daughter, and former college roommate), Blair, and baby Walker, the newest addition to the family, fetched me from the airport.  We went on a scenic drive-by tour of Lubbock, hitting memorable spots such as: Texas Tech University, Greek Circle (an area, not on campus, that is home to the sorority and fraternity houses), and the 3-bedroom house, on the corner of 33rd Street, where we lived during our junior and senior years of college.  A highly-anticipated Mexican-food lunch followed shortly thereafter.

Durango's Mexican Restaurant - Lubbock, TX: tostados y salsaDurango's Mexican Restaurant - Lubbock, TX: cheese enchiladas served with rice and beansWhen we got home, Miss Blair and I made vanilla cupcakes from the Sprinkles mix that I bought at Williams Sonoma.  I was pleasantly surprised by the recipe's simplicity and, most importantly, the cupcake's "almost as good as going to the shop" taste.  This is, most definitely, a product that I will buy again.  

The next morning, Paige and I made the 6+ hour drive to Austin.  As we meandered out of West Texas, I found solace in the familiar scenery: oil pumps, small farming communities, and trucks/SUV's as far as the eye could see.  For lunch, we stopped at Cooper's BBQ in Llano, Texas, which is about 120 miles outside of Austin.

Cooper's BBQ - Llano, TX: note the parking lot filled with gas-guzzling trucks & SUV'sCooper's BBQ - Llano, TX: BBQ pitCooper's BBQ - Llano, TX: jalapeno-sausage atop a slab of beef brisketCooper's BBQ - Llano, TX: beans, beans, the wonderful fruit...Cooper's BBQ - Llano, TX: 'nuff saidCooper's BBQ - Llano, TX: nothin' like taxidermy of a feral-pig to whet your appetite!Paige and I finally arrived at Jessica's house in Austin just before 5pm.  I was excited to meet her 10-month old son, Luke, for the very first time.  

Jessica's son, LukeThe next two days were spent on both Lake Travis and Lake Austin.  Aside from swimming, sunbathing, day drinking, and seeing more boobies with and without pasties than on the Jersey Shore, I definitely over-served myself in the BBQ and Mexican food departments.   Oh, and I also attended a bachelorette party on Saturday night!

Lake Travis' "Devil's Cove"A turtle clan suns themselves on Lake TravisManuel's - Austin, TX: bowl of chile con quesoManuel's - Austin, TX: homemade flour tortilla smothered with chile con queso and fresh salsaManuel's - Austin, TX: cheese enchiladas served with rice and black beans

Celebrating Maggie's upcoming nuptials over dinner at Manuel's in Austin, TX

Torchy's Tacos - Austin, TX: chile con quesoTorchy's Tacos - Austin, TX: the "Dirty Sanchez" breakfast tacoTorchy's Tacos - Austin, TX: the "Dirty Sanchez" taco, composed of: scrambled eggs with guacamole, fried poblano chili, escabeche carrots, and shredded cheese served on a flour tortilla with poblano ranch sauce

My whirlwind tour of Texas was exactly that, a whirlwind.  Aside from Paige and Jessica's families, I was able to see my sister, my cousin and his girlfriend, and the clan from the bachelorette party.  I successfully "killed multiple birds with one stone."  What I took away from this adventure was: while there are so many things about Texas that I love and miss, I was anxious to return to my beloved Manhattan.