- David Ubben, College Football
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We're back again with the next installment of the "Home Turf" series introducing fans across the Big 12 to all the cities in the conference.
If you missed our past entries, here you go:
The Big 12 guides to:
Thanks to all who emailed. Now, without further ado, here's the guide to Austin, Texas, from the people who know it best.
Kenton in Austin, Texas wrote: Great food in Austin. You have the Shady Grove down on Barton Springs, just south of Downtown. Chicken fried steak or their tortilla fried queso catfish are both fantastic options. If you want wings, check out Plucker's and their boneless wings basket. I'm normally not a fan of boneless, but these huge chicken strips quickly became my favorite food after arriving on campus. Also, Player's has some of the best burgers and milkshakes around is is located right on the edge of campus on MLK (19th) Street.Otherwise, the Texas Capitol is always something interesting to checkout, but the cool waters of Barton Springs are constantly beckoning you to come to them during the hot Texas summer at the start of the season. 6th Street is the main attraction for nightlife, and rightfully so. This city has so much to offer than you can go on and on, but I think my professor caught me not paying attention so I'm going to get back to taking notes. Always excited to read the blog!
Madhu in Houston wrote: Food to check out: Flip Happy Crepes, Food trucks on East 6th Street (LOTS of options, across 35 away from the bars), Food trucks on South Congress (LOTS of options), Pluckers (wings), Salt Lick (BBQ in Driftwood, TX), Franklin BBQ, "The Drag" (Guadalupe St bordering campus) Sites to see: Zilker Park, UT campus (DKR, the tower), walking around anywhere in downtown (restaurants, bars, shops), 360 between Mopac and 183 around Westlake (just very nice drive, "rocky" area that's very distinct from rest of Austin)
Jason in Houston wrote: Ok, so Im an Aggie but if your in ATX, which really has some of the best eateries in TX, you have got to try Torchys Tacos. Its not on the menu but order a taco w flour tortilla, chorizo, jalepeno sausage, brisket, sour cream, avacado and cilantro w diablo sauce. Rolaids not included.
Devon Shestko in Austin, Texas wrote: Austin is too large to check out all there is to offer. Great places to eat: Breakfast must be Juan in a Million eat 8 Don Juans and become famous. Plus it was on an episode of Man vs. Food which proves it is a challenge. Great food, great people, and the best handshake you will ever receive from Juan himself. Lunch: Mongolian Cafe. Its off Congress and is a great place with a surprisingly large menu open 24 hours and always quality for not alot of cash.Dinner: My favorite is the Hula Hut off of the lake. Enjoy the lake and sunset while drinking great Margaritas and excellent food. Hula Hut shares a parking lot with Able's on the Lake which has 80+ beers on tap!The night life is on 6th street. Just walk up and down the street going into anyplace and you will find fun.Also take in the largest stadium in the Big 12. DKR Memorial stadium seats over 100,000 and booms with TEXAS FIGHT! Austin is a great city that is very laid back and we welcome all fans of college football. Hook 'Em!
Andrew in Lubbock, Texas wrote: Word ubb! Austin is probably the best place in the big12 to get good healthy eats without sacrificing awesome quality. Everyone else will tell you about the wonderful barbeque and drinking, but go to Bouldin Creek Cafe and get the best vegan burger in the world. Topped with homemade pecan-chipotle pesto, it'll actually make you forget you're not eating meat. Also check out veggie heaven for amazing vegan asian-ness, and Beets Cafe has a fantastic selection of raw vegan noms.
Alex in Austin wrote: If you want the college atmosphere hours before kickoff you have to hit up Abel's in West Campus. It doesn't get more Texas Football than Abel's a few hours before the game. Great food, better drinks - the Texas Tea is a must.
Doyle in Austin wrote: Whats up Ubbs!! Here is the guide to my city. First thing to check out when you get to Austin is the Salt Lick BBQ joint. Its the best austin has to offer. Stay away from Iron Works BBQ. Some might imply that it's good but they don't really know what they're talking about. The sauce tastes like canned tomato sauce. If You want mexican food check out Chuy's. For good Chinese food go to Lotus Hunan. And for a good 5 star wet-aged steak check out Trio at the Four Seasons hotel. For the night life in Austin, I'm sure most have heard of 6th street down town. It has 18 and up clubs, hip hop clubs, pool halls, alternative clubs, as well as bar and grill joints. Not to mention all the venders and freaks that walk the street on weekends.If you have kids to occupy while you're in town check out Barton Springs. It's an incredible natural spring turned into a public pool. This is more for WVU fans because it'll be too cold by the time TCU gets to Austin. Also there is the Main Event which is cool for kids and adults alike. It has lazer tag, indoor glow mini golf, bowling, pool tables, rock climbing, and tons of archade games. Welcome to the best league in the nation guys, glad to have you.
Jeff Walker in Elgin, Texas wrote: Whether you are a fan of the burnt orange and white or a fan of the visiting team, you will find plenty of food and drink in Austin. On gameday you must visit Scholz Garden, which is only a few blocks from Royal-Memorial Stadium. Scholz's has been open since 1866 and is where locals and out-of-towners wet there whistle on gameday. HOOK EM!
Travis in Austin wrote: You can't come to Texas without getting BBQ and the Austin-area has some of the best joints. Franklin is hands-down the best place in the city - you just need to be in line an hour before they open because they go until they sell out. The ribs are godly and and fall off the bone. The brisket is no competition. And ya' gotta try their unique cappuccino BBQ sauce! A two-meat meal costs you $15 and you'll want to take a nice meat nap afterwards. Rudys, JMueller, and The County Line are other local favorites and prepare their meat and sides right.If you don't mind a short drive, try the Salt Lick in Driftwood, Smitty's Market and Kreuz Market in Lockhart, and City Market in Luling. They all have incredible meat.
Aaron in Houston wrote: Any visit to Austin for a Horns game is not complete without a visit to the Drag and S Congress. On S Congress, I definitely recommend a visit to the Big Top Candy Shop. A tour of the Tower is a must do. If you're in Austin on a weekday, I recommend a trip to the athletic center to see the trophy room which includes the National Championship Trophies, the Heisman Trophies, the last SWC Championship Trophy, and the first Big 12 Championship Trophy. You should also go to the North End Zone Gate and watch the Showband of the Southwest and Big Bertha march in about 30 minutes before kickoff.Hook 'Em Horns \m/
Nmodi in Austin wrote: Guadalupe or the drag is the best place to be on in terms of finding different varieties of food. Definitely go to Torchy's Tacos and get their "Trailer Park" taco trashy style! You can also go to Kerbey Lane Cafe which is open 24/7 and has great pancakes. Additionally, their queso is really really good. Try Tiff's Treats; amazing cookies or if you're in the mood for some wings, Plucker's on 22nd 1/2 street is awesome. Zilker Park is a beautiful park to relax and picnic on a sunny day in Austin with a view of the skyline. You can go see the bats come out at night under the South Congress Bridge. Lastly, there's 6th street. Loads of great bars and clubs are there or near the vicinity. Great place to be at on Friday or Saturday Night.
Blake in Austin wrote: Lived in Austin for 6 years now; didn't attend UT, but let's just say I'm a fan of the home team. The game-day atmosphere permeates the whole town, which is why hitting up a breakfast spot on Saturday morning is a must. I recommend heading east to Juan in a Million for the Don Juan breakfast taco (ask for at least 3 extra tortillas). I'll ignore the obvious live music oppurtunities in favor of the lesser know plethora of great breweries in town, which can all be found at the Draught House, which saw Anthony Bourdain pay a visit just two weeks ago!
Andy in Austin wrote: I know you've been to Austin before, and I'm sure you'll hear tons of great places to eat and drink from the blog, but here's a few you might not hear or already know about:- Crown and Anchor: great spot for tasty burgers and bar food (and beers) in the North Campus area. Great gameday and post-game atmosphere; I remember watching USC's "Bush Push" there after UT beat Colorado during the '05 season.- Salvation Pizza: located up Guadalupe ("the Drag") from campus, great thin-crust-style pizza. The Hawaiian is excellent, but you really can't go wrong with anything.- Nau's Enfield Drug: actually just learned about this one recently. It's an old-school-style lunch counter inside a pharmacy/drugstore, they have a great burger called the "Nau and Later": bacon, fried egg, cheese, and hash browns piled on top of two patties. It's not really in the campus area (more in the west-of-downtown area), but worth checking out.- And of course, barbecue. Everyone will probably tell you about the Salt Lick, and rightfully so - it's amazing. But if you have time and stomach space, head down US-183 to Lockhart and check out Kreuz Market. Different experience than the Salt Lick; bring your own sauce and forks (or better yet, don't - that's how they roll).
2dJake Trotter, Brandon Chatmon and Max Olson