Three days in Austin, TX (visit #4)

Bugsy in Zilker Park overlooking downtown Austin
the view of downtown from Zilker Park

Austin made us forget all about our disappointing stopover in Vidor! I need to write an Austin Favorites post, because our activities are starting to repeat themselves. If you’ve read our past Austin posts (here’s #1, #2, and #3), you’ll recognize a lot of the following names and places. Yes, we went out a ton, but it’s hard not to in Austin! And remember that we visited during the pandemic, so only patronized places with outdoor seating.

Campground

When we last visited our favorite urban campground, Pecan Grove, in 2018, rumor had it that the park was transitioning to mostly long-term residents, only offering a few less-desirable spots up front to passers-through. But no! The park has since changed hands, and it’s still the same delightful mix of long-term and short-term residents, to our huge relief! We love Pecan Grove.

The neighborhood is changing! Thankfully, P Terry’s and Juliet and Thom’s Market are still there, for late-night burgers, cocktails, and beer and supplies, respectively, and we hit those three every visit. But heading out of the campground in the other direction, where there used to be a brewery (that we didn’t really care for) and a coffee shop (that had been replaced by an Irish pub in the time we were away) there is now a cidery and a beachy burger cafe.

Eating

Breakfast

breakfast on the patio at Snooze

Snooze is a chain restaurant, but it’s reliably healthy and delicious, and the South Lamar location is close to home and has outdoor seating. We breakfasted there our last morning in Austin before packing up the Airstream.

Lunches

Bugsy begging for Franklin Barbecue

J’s #1 priority in Austin is getting multiple pounds of multiple meats from Franklin Barbecue. On previous Austin trips he had to wait in line for hours for his fix, but now, thanks to Covid, you can order ahead for curbside pickup! Wonder if they’ll keep this much more convenient new system in the post-pandemic world?

eating fish tacos from Turf n Surf at Pecan Grove
yes, those are fish tacos!

J requires Franklin barbecue… and I require fish tacos from Turf n Surf. We tried the grouper and mahi mahi, and liked the mahi mahi better. YUM. The actual name of the place is Turf n Surf Po-Boy, but we’ve never tried their po-boys. It’s hard to order anything but fish tacos, but I’m putting it on the to-do list.

tacos at Barton Springs Picnic

The day we arrived we grabbed a quick lunch a block from the campground at The Picnic food truck park. It’s super convenient, has a range of food choices (and some clothes and jewelry trucks and a dog treat truck!!) and outdoor seating, but our tacos were ho-hum.

Dinners

Loro, an Asian smokehouse, is the brainchild of Aaron Franklin (of Franklin Barbecue) and Tyson Cole (of Uchi sushi). YES PLEASE. We’d been looking forward to eating there for a year and it was fab. The outdoor space is awesome, and the service, drinks, food, and concept were top-notch. J said my salmon was the best he’s ever had. We’ll be back!

birthday cake ice cream sandwiches at Launderette

Launderette has been lurking on my to-do list for years and we finally got there. Sitting on the front porch of the converted launderette in a quiet neighborhood felt very homey and again, the service, food, and drinks were great. We especially enjoyed the beet hummus with everything crisps and the birthday cake ice cream sandwiches.

fish tacos at Comedor in Austin
more fish tacos!

Comedor was new to our eating wish-list. The secret patio downtown is gorgeous, as was the presentation of the food. We were three for three for stellar service and the modern Mexican food was good (the fish tacos were our favorite dish!), but we’d rank the other two restaurants above Comedor.

Dessert

voodoo doughnuts in Austin

If you’ve read any of our previous Austin posts, it’s no surprise that we went to Voodoo for a box of donuts. We walked there after Comedor and usually bustling 6th Street was dark and empty and sad. It’s hard to be an indoor establishment during a pandemic.

Drinking

Beer and Cider and Seltzer

beers in the beer garden at ABGB

ABGB is one of our usual brewery go-tos. It’s a longish walk from the campground, but doable. In non-Covid times we like to sit at the bar and listen to live music; this time we happily sat on the big dog-friendly beer garden.

Lazarus also has a huge pandemic-friendly patio, and tacos! In the non-Covid past we always thought very highly of their beer; this time the beers we tried were ho-hum. Maybe next time the tap list will be friendlier to our palates.

cocktails at Eastciders on Barton Springs

And we had to check out our new neighbor, Austin Eastciders! They make really interesting ciders and seltzers–and cocktails using those ciders and seltzers–AND they make their own bourbon and vodka. The food menu looks casual and fun (we didn’t try any food this time, too many other places on the eating list) and it seems like a great addition to the neighborhood.

Cocktails

cocktails at Eberly on the patio

We go to Eberly for a cocktail just about every time we’re in Austin. It’s walkable from the campground, and the cocktails and service are fantastic. They have a small, private patio area that we had all to ourselves.

cocktail on the patio at Juliet in Austin

We also go to Juliet every visit. It’s right next door to Pecan Grove, and has fancy and delicious cocktails. They’ve done an amazing job making the patio pandemic-friendly. And it’s right next door!

After our Eberly outing, we popped across the street into Golden Goose, a cocktail-dive bar hybrid. It wasn’t very friendly to the covid-paranoid set, so we left. Let us know if it’s worth checking out post-pandemic!

Exploring

Bugsy over Lady Bird Lake

The best way to explore Austin is to go for a run around the lake. But everyone agrees with that, and therefore the trail can be quite crowded. You’ll want a mask if there’s still a pandemic when you’re there.

playing disc golf at Zilker Park

On the long list of reasons Pecan Grove is wonderful is its proximity to Zilker Park, called by the parks department the “most-loved park in Austin.” Just a short walk from the campground, it has rolling meadows, trails, city views, a botanical park, the Barton Springs natural pool, and a disc golf course. We are newly into disc golf and enjoyed the 18-hole Zilker course very much.

Bugsy on the shore of Lake Austin at Laguna Gloria

For a dog-friendly cultural outing, we walked Bugsy through the sculpture park at Laguna Gloria. The path is pleasant, the sculptures are beautiful/interesting/wacky, and the lake-front property is pretty. Currently, you have to get a ticket in advance as crowd size is very limited, and Thursdays are free.

To Do

Our current, kind of strange list:

quiet night downtown in Austin

Stay tuned for our next stop in Austin on our way back east. It looked VERY different from this visit.

7 Replies to “Three days in Austin, TX (visit #4)

  1. Yours is the most useful travel/RV site. Excellent pix, descriptions, etc and very thorough. Thanks for the hard work!

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