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Hi everyone and happy Tuesday. I’ve been on vacation for the past few days, visiting family down in Austin, Texas. What a great town. Naturally, all I ate while I was down there was Mexican food and barbecue. We started with barbecue.

Franklin Barbecue is so popular that the line stretches around the corner.


We got there are 11:15 a.m. and waited 45 minutes for our lunch. It was worth every second.



Look at that brisket.


Rumor is the guy who owns Franklin used to work for the famous Louie Mueller Barbecue, but I can’t find any confirmation of that. I think the barbecue is among the best I’ve tasted, though.


What really makes it is aterrific espresso barbecue sauce. (The joint is behind a coffee roaster, so it makes sense.)


For lunch the next day, we visited Frank, which makes its own artisan sausages and hot dogs:


Here’s the German currywurst, a sliced brat with curry barbecue sauce and curry powder:


We tried other hot dogs, and a few sides, too. All were great.

The next day, we hit up Guero’s Taco Bar, a terrific Tex Mex:


Making tortillas:


Here’s one taco al pastor and one taco with carne guisada:


Friday night, we cooked at home and made watermelon margaritas and chicken fajitas. Slurp! (Click here for the recipe for Frozen Watermelon Margaritas.)


When you can get great freshly made tortillas, even in the local HEB grocery store, I want to eat them as often as possible!


On Saturday night, we went to La Condesa, a hip interior Mexican restaurant downtown. It was simply gorgeous and the food was fabulous:



It was super-dark, so I wasn’t able to take very good photos of the food, but we shared a bunch of small plates and enjoyed the sophisticated flavors and balance of textures:


Above you can see one of the ceviches, some tacos and a side dish of broccoli with bacon and grapes. Delishy.

Then we went dancin’. Y’all didn’t know I could two-step, did you?


The Broken Spoke is a legendary Texas dance hall, and it’s been the same way — down to the drop ceilings and uneven floors — for more than 45 years. Big long tables with metal chairs surround the dance floor:


The Derailers were playing, and they always bring out a big crowd:


My favorite song of theirs: Bar Exam. (My mom’s a lawyer so the lyrics are double-funny.) Great fun!

On my last night there, we hit up El Chilito, which is right around the corner from my sister’s house:


Well-made Tex Mex —


— and Cal-Mex, too. The fish tacos are my favorite:


What a great time. If you’ve never been to Austin, I highly recommend a visit. It’s known for its live music, but guess what? It’s a damn good food town, too.

And with that, here’s what people have been talking about this week:

MH likes the decor and most of the food at Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua. (NYT)
Martha in Westchester. First, a visit to Lisa Schwartz’s Rainbeau Ridge Farm in Bedford; then she plants the espaliered apple trees she bought at Hardscrabble Nursery in North Salem. (TMB)
Todd has the scoop on TK Casquarelli’s grand opening in Croton-on-Hudson. (WE)
Rinku goes to Valhalla Crossing. (CiW)
Doug brunches at Sweet Grass Grill in Tarrytown. (HT)
Julia goes to the opening at Fairway, and she likes the porchetta sandwich at Juniper in Hastings-on-Hudson. (WME)
Hounds like Neo Bistro in Mount Kisco. (CH)
A disappointing meal at Commissary in Tappan. (CH)
The word on Cafe Barcel in Nyack. (CH)


About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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