Thursday, April 14, 2011

Good Day for Radio

Don't know if I was in my car more yesterday or listening to news more or if it was just a day of REALLY GOOD RADIO! I thought I'd share a few of the gems I heard yesterday-throughout the day in my car.

KCRW's The Treatment replayed an interview with Russell Brand from 2010 where he was promoting his second memoir. In the past I thought the guy could be funny, but this guy shared how optimistic he currently is and how life has changed for him. If he keeps up with interviews like this, I see myself becoming a fan! Now the question is, do I see Hop! or Arthur first.

BBC and WGBH's The World ended the show yesterday with a piece about Clay Ross and Brazilian Bluegrass.  Fun to hear the reporter pronounce bluegrass and from there hear the southern dialect of Ross talk of South Carolina, Brazil and New York.

And while listening to All Things Considered last night, Wade Goodman did a piece on highway driving and driving fast as Texas votes to raise the speed limit to 85!  Fun, since I was there last week and have driven out to El Paso on Interstate 10-it is desolate!  I was only going 75mph as I listened to the report!

Hope you enjoy the links! _______________________ _________________________________

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


This song reminds me of summer and world cup and my visit to London. Other songs bring me back to that summer but I remember hearing it as I landed and seeing England flags (and learning about St. George's cross) flying everywhere on the bus from the airport to another destination. Although I love the Gnarls Barkley rendition, it seems that a few other artists thought this was fun to cover! I have to admit that the Ray Lamontagne version is currently on my ipod rotation.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Austin Eats-barbeques galore

So barbeque really is king down here. I know I did spend part of my childhood down here and I keep telling people that I'm American by birth and Texan by the grace of God-always said with a twinkle in my eye and I flash that dimple I seem to be famous for...BUT I had forgotten how important beef and barbeque are...

My father suggested we take a trip from Austin and head over to Lockhart, the Barbeque Capital of Texas. Lockhart is the county seat of Caldwell County and houses many the good barbeque joint. The city website has the hook up and boasts that over 250,000 tourists visit and eat in Lockhart. We drove by Kreuz Market (pronounced 'Krites') but focused our efforts on Black's Barbeque, a family owned establishment and one of the oldest in town. The tour books also comment on the fact that while president, LBJ asked to have Black's cater a White House Function.
A visit to Black's means you're greeted with a sign that
says it's open 8 days a week-how can ya question the
goodness of a place open that much?

Upon entering, the customer is greeted with all the great sides that accompany good barbeque. Lots of vegetables, mac and cheese and such-we skipped it all due to the constant fullness and eat-a-thon the family was participating in. We DID add on a cobbler to our brisket sandwich orders-mom went for the peach, Dad and I hit the cherry.  We made it a combo so Dr. Peppers in styrofoam cups with the good crushed ice and frito chips completed the order.

There was great things to look at in the dining area.  Not only were there buck heads mounted on the walls, but 2 jackelopes!  No stuffed animals posed playing cards but still....Black's also had a great choice of vending machines the kids can ding dong quarters out of ya for fun toys-mom's and my favorite was a buy a disguise kit showing  kid with a Freddie Mercury mustache.

Two days later on the trip to Georgetown to visit my cousin Joe, Mom spotted the Salt Lick.  The sign outside says "you can smell our pits for miles.  Since I was driving I missed seeing it but not the giggle outburst from my mom in the back seat.  Upon the list of eats my cousin went over, was The Salt Lick!  He said he knew a retired city worker that had no sense of humor and when they drove passed it, his colleague stated he "didn't get it" where my cousin thought-yeah no shit!  We were so BBQ'd out that we missed our chance at The Salt Lick and even had a chance at the airport but missed it--good excuse to come back and believe me, it's on the list.

Our family trip of years past had taken us to the famous Stubbs.  I recall it being good, but what I remember more is mistakenly ordering the beef ribs when given the choice and then getting a Fred Flintstone plate of ribs and not knowing how to tackle them once they came out.  So I took a picture of it,  making it superimpose my mouth, like a smiley face-Of Course!  Instead of hitting the tourist place, I decided to take the podcast, Too Beautiful to Live's Jen Andrew's account of her trip to Austin and headed to Ruby's instead.  It was great-parents went for a brisket sandwich, I went for the brisket barbeque and bean taco on a whole wheat tortilla.  It was just enough, although Mom shared part of her sandwich too.  Ruby's sauce had a hit to it that sneaks up on ya.  I first took a taste with the dip of the pinky and it waited a minute before kicking hard!  We showed up right before the lunch crowd hit and I was glad, the line seemed to go on and on.

Hate to admit that I didn't have the stamina to eat all the BBQ beef I used to be able to in the past.  My flexitarian lifestyle had me reaching for antacids mid week but I'm not sure if it's the beef that's talking back or the smoke that permeates the barbeque.  Either way, it's still a taste of my childhood and I love how the meat is always so tender.  That being said, I had great BBQ and can't wait to head up to Libertyville, Illinois next month and have Main Street Smokehouse which is probably my favorite place outside of the South for all kinds of BBQ, beef, pork, Carolina and Texas-YUM! _______________________ _________________________________

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Austin Eats-Trailer Park Eatery

Since my trip to Austin has been one of meeting new people and gathering information, I met someone new, had a wonderful chat about everything under the sun, and the subject came round to food.  I told the man I was interested in the gourmet trailers and wanted some of the "good stuff".  This led to me finding Torchy's Tacos.  They just opened a new location during my visit-missed the free beer and eats- but I went to the Trailer Park and Eatery and had some wonderful tastes.  I tried the Fried Avacado and The Brushfire-a jamaican jerk chicken taco.  The diablo sauce and mango were a fabulous balance and a tasting of the pork had me coming back at another time.

Beyond ordering the official drink of Texas- Dr. Pepper (elixir of the gods), Dad saw a sign for the best hot chocolate in the United States.  Although it was a hot day, the hot chocolate wasn't very hot but it was really good.  Don't know about being the best in U.S., but as you can see from the picture collage at the top, the homemade marshmallow was fantastic and a great addition to a really authentic cup of cocoa.  Mom and I saw the nookie and were keen on trying it.

It was a bit of a disappointment as we had hoped upon skimming the description that it was a cookie that was deepfried.It was close, but not cooked- it was chocolate chip cookie dough that had crumbs on it and then was deep fried- like a sweet desert hush puppy.  The park was interesting and along with it had a the trailer Man Bites Dog.  We were so full after being told we needed to order 2 tacos to be satisfied that there wasn't any room for a dog.--We saved the dog for the day at the ballpark.

This place can be rented out to private parties-although parking could be limited or a possible problem.  There is a game room with ping pong and foosball, plenty of bar space and places to sit and visit as well as a great view of nature on the back of the lot.  Mom noticed that they had outdoor lights strung like a pulled back curtain-pretty and magical and possibly something we will be doing for the summer at the Scott house. _______________________ _________________________________