Phew--haven't done an On the Road post in a few days, but let me start off by saying that we ARE still on the road, though we are currently not with one another on said road--I'm blogging today from Chicago in the beautiful studio of Letterform, sitting next to my adorably good friend Julie of Nourishing Notes, while Ian is in Austin, TX enjoying probably way too much BBQ and the free coffee mug exchange at the local YMCA. I fly back to Texas on Tuesday and we'll hit the road towards Louisiana at that point, with our next designated deadline being December 12 in Raleigh, NC for a Pat Conroy event (heaven, absolute heaven, let me just say will be seeing this good man in person again. I fully intend to wear my I Heart Pat Conroy shirt and I am completely fine if I could across as a stalker).
Ok...slow down, I'll back up--
After we photographed a great wedding in Tyler, Texas last week, we hit the road and headed towards Austin. It's been on our must see list for quite some time (it goes without saying that a huge amount of our routes are planned around where we can eat the best food) so we planned to spend nearly a week there. Austin has been fantabulous, folks. Seriously...if you've never been or are considering a trip, I cannot encourage it enough.
First things first--the food. Lord in heaven, this place knows good food. The best eats we've had, hands down, on the trip, happened last Thursday afternoon at La Barbecue. We had heard all about this rad BBQ in Austin and had multiple options and recommendations including Franklin's, but we just aren't the type to make a "thing" out of waiting in line, so La Barbecue came highly recommended from our local friends Holly and Shane--so off we went....and the rest is history.
Starting with some basics--first, they have kegs of free beer. Right. I know. Now, something must have happened, because the day we were there, they did not have free beer, but it is a BYO situation, so most folks just rolled in with a 6 pack (I am constantly wondering about who these people are who can wait all day in line for a BBQ lunch and drink beer and where they work, but then I'm like, "Oh wait, I'm doing that too....." so I assume everyone here is just working for themselves? At any rate, there were also multiple galvanized tubs of sparkling water and cold soda, so that was fab.
Then, you wait in line (outside, under twinkle lights) for the doublewide trailer to serve out the heaven on a plate. And when you get the front to place your order, there is a man chopping up brisket and he GIVES you a giant hunk to "taste" and it melts in your mouth and then you collapse into a pile of giggling food induced ectasy because you know what is coming....more brisket. Like...he gives you a hunk of free brisket. Can it get better? You think it can't....but then it does. Because there is a serve yourself pickle, relish and pepper bar. I KNOW, guys, I KNOW. It is life-changing.
Then you take your tray that is covered in a nice sheet of brown butcher paper and you find your way to the picnic tables where you sit next to strangers and drink your ice cold soda and then you start to look at the El Sancho sandwich and you start to get nervous that you won't be able to eat that much food....but then to take a bite of it. And then your life changes....again, for the better....for the best....for the REST OF YOUR LIFE all you will think of is this brisket.
It was an unbelievable, out of the world, "holy crap there is no way I can eat more, oh wait, yes I can, keep shoveling it in because there is no way in the world I will ever taste anything better" kind of meal. We ordered the El Sancho sandwiches--one with pulled pork and one with chopped brisket, and while the pork was also amazing, the brisket took the cake, hands down, no questions asked. We swiftly made a plan for Ian to return on Tuesday to pick up a few pounds of brisket that we full intend to eat for our Thanksgiving meal, which we plan to eat at a Louisiana State Park complete with green bean casserole (which I will prepare in the Airstream oven), a pie from Bang Bang Pie Shop and bottles of red wine.
There is so much more to say about Austin and the fabulous time we had while there, but I have a to-do list that is reaching epic proportions, so I'm cutting this short today and will continue to update in the next few days.
Xoxo and hope all of you are fabulous!