Our last full day in Austin was such a mix of random things all over the city that we hadn’t yet done.
We started our day with an all-you-can-eat brunch at Taco’s and Tequila near Lamar Street. We met up with my old friend and his co-worker for a wonderful buffet and large mimosas. I loved the wide choices of food and how well-made it all was. It definitely would have been a great place to go to at night too. This place had a real DJ in the corner mixing chill music. I was a little taken aback at first, but now I kinda think it was pretty cool (especially since the DJ was actually pretty good)!
I ended up eating way more food than the three guys I had came with! For $20 you get the buffet and two mimosas and since breakfast food is my favorite, I more than got my money’s worth! Make sure to come as soon as this place opens, it fills up quick. The turnover on tables seemed rather though.
After brunch we drove to Zilker Park’s botanical garden for a stroll. The immense amount of traffic flooding into the park should have been a warning sign that finding parking wasn’t going to happen. After deciding to go later and use a Lyft, we ventured back out through the mob at Zilker and to grab some brews at Austin Beer Garden Brewery (ABGB).
My last visit here was at night with a killer, all-female band playing in front of the brew tanks. The place was packed, inside and out! We arrived at 1 PM this time though, and people were steadily starting to file in. The thing I love most about this place are the long tables and benches that promote socializing with your neighbors!
We didn’t order any food but it was clear to see they are popular for pizzas; almost every group had ordered one! Also cool, is that the table markers for waiters to find you are not numbers, but instead pictures of 80’s cult-favorites (Alf, Molly Ringwald, Prince, etc.).
Sadly, the beers here weren’t that phenomenal, many of them tasted the same. But it certainly wasn’t bad and the environment and fun staff made up for it.
Next up, we decided to try our luck again for the botanical gardens. We drove back to our Airbnb and picked up a Lyft (they were doing a promotion at the time that had I known about I would have skipped getting a rental car altogether, all Lyft rides were half-off the whole time we were there!) to avoid the parking issue.
When we arrived at the botanical gardens there was a cactus and succulent show and silent auction taking place. It was a wonderful surprise as succulents and cactuses are about the only plants I have never killed with my “black thumb.” Greenhouses and gardeners had brought their best plants to showcase and sell. It was quite packed with young people! We spent a good bit of time here before moving onto the actual gardens.
Through my travels, I have been fortunate in having visited many botanical gardens but this one in Austin absolutely blew me away! There were so many areas but my favorites were definitely the Asian and Dinoland areas. The Asian area was an extensive garden featuring many water components and toriis. The dinosaur area was awesome! SO awesome! It featured many of the foliage that was common during the time that dinosaurs roamed the earth and it really felt like I was right in the middle of a Jurassic Park movie. But it gets cooler, there were even a few large statues of dinosaurs! Some of the other areas included a herb garden, rose garden, butterflies gardens, and a cactus area. If it hadn’t been so brutally hot we would have stayed much, much longer. Though, there is plenty of shading and resting areas, I just recommend bringing an insulated bottle of very cool water! Weather aside, I’m glad we went at this time of day; the crowds had died down and the lighting was perfect for getting some great shots of the gardens!
After that, we took a Lyft to a brewery recommended to us by a few residents; Hops & Grain Brewing. This is my second favorite brewery that we visited (right after Austin Beerworks, of course)! They didn’t have much of a selection, it seems that they rotate and make smaller batches as they are still quite new, but everything I tasted was quite great! The woman working the tastings was so friendly and explained a lot to us. They had kombucha and we both got to try it for the first time. She did an amazing job explaining to us the gist of this new, hip drink.
The building was quite lovely and intimate inside, well besides the extremely high ceilings! This tasting room had tons of art done by local artists. I relished in walking around and checking out the pieces. A lot of them spoke to me and if I had a place in Austin, I probably would have walked away with a piece or two.
As it was getting pretty late in the day, our stomachs were starting to grumble. We ordered a Lyft and took off for Rainey Street area for dinner at Banger’s! The kitchen was closed for remodeling but they still had some pretty dope brats to serve! And an endless selection of beer. The place did a really great job of sorting the beers into categories and if that is too much, just tell your waiter what you typically drink and he’ll known of something that is just perfect! I loved Banger’s and the Rainey Street was ALIVE that night! I wish we didn’t have such an early flight out in the morning or we would have stayed for a while. Oh well, maybe next time!
I always have a splendid time in Austin and I’m beyond eager for the day Him and I are Austin residents. There will be endless supply of fun things to do and try and see!