Things to like about Austin, TX
Austin and Portland are pretty similar: There is great food, good bars, bike culture, a huge art scene, good coffee shops, and local products. It’s even gentrifying like Portland, so if I was going to move there I should probably do it sooner rather than later. I love Portland but there are a few things in Austin which make it so appealing:
Tacos – Portland has a lot of taco trucks, and there are some good ones, but something about the taco trucks in Austin was a step above (possibly they were greasier). Austin also has the famous fried avocado tacos (from Torchy’s), but I think they pale in comparison to the taco (also from Torchy’s) that came with scrambled eggs, guacamole, esabeche carrots, shredded cheese, poblano sauce, and topped with a deep friend poblano pepper.
Barbeque – Barbeque in Texas means something different than what it means up here in the Northwest. Instead of burgers or pulled pork barbeque means grilled hunks of meat. I went to Salt Lick, which seats hundreds of people and must require the slaughter of hundreds of cows every day. Because an obscene amount of meat is grilled throughout the day your food comes out within minutes of ordering. I ended up with brisket and sausage which were delicious. The sides were mediocre, but I don’t care because the meat was amazing.
East Side King – Deep fried beets. Cripsy, salty, and sweet. Portland is all about beets, but where are the deep fried beets? Step it up Portland.
Whole Foods – I went to the Whole Foods flagship store in Austin. It is the ultimate Whole Foods. But the main reason I think that it is because they sell cookies by the pound.
Lightning Storms – I saw the most incredible lightning storm my second night in Austin. Sheet lightning turned all the clouds above the city purple and I saw bolts stretch out across the sky.
Swimming holes – I am not a fan of ‘going to the river’ in Portland. Why? Because the river is cold and rocky and fast moving and swarming with people and jet skis. The natural springs in Austin are warm, with no rocks, still waters, but the free areas are swarming with people and dogs. We ended up paying $5.00 to go to Deep Eddy, a beautiful and quiet freshwater pool with grass for laying out (it was quiet because eighty is apparently not swimming weather for most people in Austin).
Soul Dancing – I managed to catch the second Sunday Sock Hop at White Horse. It was the best dance night I have been to in years. It was so good that it deserves to be a reason to live in Austin. What makes it good is not that I knew all the music, it’s that the music was danceable, every song was meant to just cut loose to.
I could live in Austin. I’d just have to figure out how to deal with roaches.