Attempted Tour Guide Impersonation: Day #1

by Sarah on July 8, 2011 · 8 comments

After the slight snarkiness of yesterday’s post, I return to my originally positive programming. [Although I'm still mad at you, Delta.] Part of the reason I was so stressed coming home was that yesterday at noon my best friend growing up–that’s about 15 years of friendship–arrived in Austin, making her my very first visitor EVER.

[Not the best picture of us. Liz got a better one on her camera, but she's still sleeping, and I'm not sure that the appropriate "hostess with the most-est" action is to wake up your guests and say, "I really need to get a photo off your camera for my blog."]

Naturally, I had thought over and over about what we should do, where we should go, and–most importantly–what we should eat. I consulted my own “Newcomer’s Guide to Austin“* to analyze potential points of interest, and debated about which tacos really were the best and attempted to rank the hundreds of BBQ possibilities in order of ambiance, taste, and quirkiness in a TLC Four Weddings-style showdown.
*And laughed that the very first thing I tell people to do is go to a grocery store that is now somewhat of a ‘rival.

I then realized that there is too much to do and DEFINITELY too much to eat, and that the best thing to do would be to just shrug my shoulders and just see what happened.

Me: “So, what are you in the mood for for lunch?”
Liz: “A turkey sandwich with cheese and avocado.”*

*I choose friends who are the complete opposite of me and have razor-like decision-making abilities. It’s important to balance out when ordering at restaurants so the server doesn’t become completely annoyed.

And thus, we ended up at Foodheads for lunch, where Liz was able to get her turkey and avocado sandwich (on very tasty sourdough bread), and I had the Salmon Salad Salad…
…impressive not only in its alliteration, but in its simple, undiluted flavor. [This is the salad I coveted during my first Foodheads visit, and the one I reinvented earlier this year.] I of course needed extra pickles on the side.After that, the day just barreled on, full speed ahead. [OK, this is Austin time, so "full speed" is about 30 miles per hour...but still. We were busy.] First, a jaunt around South Congress, to peek in boutiques, investigate quirky imports and design finds at Tesoros and Uncommon Objects, marvel at the number of trailers that seem to pop up overnight……and remember what makes Austin weird—and amazing.
Of course, the thing about Austin is it’s hot. But the type of hot where you sometimes don’t realize just how hot it is until you’re back at your car and you have a headache and you need water….and maybe a Diet Coke.
After a bit of relaxtion, I got to introduce Liz to the Austin food blogger world at a Chef’s Tasting Event at Haddington’s (the second one this year). I’ll post more on this later–it deserves more attention–but it was great fun to see Liz’s reaction to the frenzy of photography and grabbing for bites from the waiters before they could even make it into the room.
Hey, I had to get in there with my booklight, and I didn’t actually knock anyone over…so what’s the problem with being a little aggressive?

Liz was up to the task, though. I knew we’d be fine as soon as she looked at me and said, “Sarah, I can be aggressive” and then waxed poetic about the fried green tomatoes while critiquing the textural pairings of the tuna tartare.To quote my guest, “This did not a dinner make,” and after much waffling about just where to go for the next meal—I swear a visitor to Austin is treated like a patient with only ten days left to live and every meal and moment feels like it must be utilized to the fullest—Suzanna guided us to an Austin institution that I had never tried: Hut’s Hamburgers.

I wasn’t all that hungry, but if I was going to be at Hut’s, I had to get a hamburger, right?

I went with the Fats Domino Burger–lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, shredded cheese, mayo, jalapenos, and Cajun spices. The server came over and said, “Spicy, right?” which confused me at first, as there were no tears coming out of my eyes or sweat pouring off of me…and then I realized he had filled up my water glass 12 times and was probably assuming I needed it to combat the not-THAT-spicy burger.

(I almost ordered a buffalo burger, but if you’re going to cover the whole thing in cheese and mayo…

…what’s the point, really?)

Burger? Amazing. Fries? Not so much. But it’s not called Hut’s French Fries, is it? Liz was able to satisfy the hankering for fried pickle chips that seized her around 2:00 in the afternoon.Because I’m not the most thoughtful hostess, and didn’t factor into account that my guest might be tired after all of this, I had also bought tickets to a later-at-night event at the Alamo Drafthouse downtown. What “event” you might ask?

The Justin Timberlake Sing-A-Long.

I know she was skeptical. And then I was skeptical. But watching hours of JT concert footage, dancing and singing to all of his music videos, AND watching the downward spiral of *NSYNC as slowly Justin was the only one given anything to do and you could just see the resentment in Joey and Chris’s faces….

…it was all quite priceless really. [Although I did feel like I was back at a high school dance and/or college sorority date function on occasion...I did NOT dance on stage.]

Day #1 as an Austin Tour Guide: Complete.
Day #2: Just beginning.
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria @ Oh Healthy Day July 8, 2011 at 10:21 am

Justin Timberlake Sing A Long AND burgers (you know I love my burgers)? You are the coolest hostess ever. Really. If I don't make it to Austin by mid 2012, I'm doing myself a huge injustice.

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teabagginit July 8, 2011 at 10:59 am

okay, that sing a long actually sounds fun. i don't know if i know all the words to jt songs, though. you know what would be fun? a beer infused disney sing-a-long! all our old disney favorites … with booze.
just like my childhood. ;)

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lovesweatandbeers July 8, 2011 at 11:10 am

You sound like a lovely hostess! If someone took me out for friend pickles, I'd be a happy camper. :)

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Mary @ Bites and Bliss July 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I would LOVE to have friends like yours that have razor-like decision making skills. My friends literally spend all day going back and forth between people trying to choose what to do/eat/whatever because they don't want to be the one to make the decision. It gets annoying.

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table July 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Fried pickles are where it's at! I would have had to ask for some hot sauce on the side though after the not-so-hot burger. :)

JT sing along??? I dunno, hostess… LOL!

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Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde July 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm

How much of an awesome hostess are you?
I love that TLC show and i always know as soon as i see a * in your blog that laughter is soon to follow :o )

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Maris(In Good Taste) July 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm

You are showing her an amazing time! Have a great weekend and relax!

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Allison July 8, 2011 at 8:43 pm

oh my goodness…i love the alamo drafthouse! a couple years ago i went to the "in da club" singalong and had the time of my life!

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