BOS → AUS: It's a Hipster Thing Part II by Catherine LaMacchia

The next day, Rachel and I began the afternoon with lunch and paddle boarding down the Colorado River. Followed by the most interesting coffee experience I have ever had. Nitro Cold Brew Coffee at "Radio Coffee and Beer." First this coffee shop combined two of my favorite things beer and coffee, into one hipster place. Second it had different food trucks on site for you to eat while you enjoyed your brews. (A lot of Austin restaurants do this actually, my guess is that it saves them time and money in the long run having to forgo the cooking aspect, as well as helps makes them money. Austin also has coffee shops, law firms and everything in between, in old houses and such in the middle of residential areas so they have limited space.) You could sit outside or inside and they had free stickers. The coffee was great! I am not usually a fan of cold coffee unless it is an iced coffee from Dunkins, but this was so good. I met a woman on the plane back who actually mistakenly went to this other coffee shops brewing site instead of the actually coffee shop, and she was given a brief tour of how they brew and put Nitro Cold Brew Coffee into kegs. Such a fun concept! And yummy!

After coffee was dinner. I'm a huge pizza fan. I probably eat pizza at least...5 or more times a week. So obviously I was obliged to see how Austin does Pizza. That meant a visit to "Pinthouse Pizza." We ordered a 5 beer sample board and a Margarita Pizza (arguably the best kind of pizza).

This pizza ended up in my top 5 pizzas ever had. It was absolutely amazing and worth ever
y single bite and then some. I definitely recommend a stop here if you are ever in Austin.

The "Bouldin" Restaurant is a  vegan/vegetarian establishment that I was skeptical about. I eat pretty healthy, but I just admitted how often a week I have pizza...I'm all about the carbs and meat. But it was actually very good and satisfying - for a few hours. I ordered a sandwich with cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, onion and feta cheese, with chipotle aiola.

From there we went into downtown. And to say I was out of my element was an understatement. Austin and Boston, while they may sound alike have nothing in common. Boston is always a bustle, parking is impossible, traffic is inevitable unless it is some random Sunday and it is always, always busy. Austin...not so much. It was a total 180 for me. The word ‘city’ didn't accurately describe Austin.Anyways, we toured the old Driscoll Hotel (I love, love hotels, fitting since I work in hotels). And then did some more window/meandering shopping on 6th Street. After a while we made a required stop at "Gourdoughs." A donut and beer restaurant with a few food trucks. Let me preface by saying you can never ever go wrong with donuts and beer; put them together and you basically reach nirvana.

The Nutella Donut had cinnamon sugar, Nutella, strawberries and was all placed on top the most heavenly donut I had ever consumed. I still dream about that donut...

Dinner that night was a little outside of South Austin. We drove out to "Crawfish Shack and Oyster Bar" on South Interstate 35. Here I had my first ever Cajun crawfish experience.

2LBS of crawfish later...we left happy. The corn was amazing - and I usually don't like corn - it had a perfect butter and spice flavor. The potatoes where perfectly cooked. And the crawfish were indescribably good. We left there very happy and very full. Dessert was at a little ice cream parlor on SoCo (South Congress St.) called Amy's. We ordered our Belgian Chocolate cones and did some more wandering and admiring of the street art and murals all over the place.

Friday was our adventure day. We made the 45 minute drive out to Hamilton Pool and spent a lazy morning in the sun. Not before we stopped at "Summer Moon Wood-Fried Coffee" for a caffeine fix. This little coffee place was very good as well. The coffee is made with 'moon milk' a "Summer Moon" specialty. Once you had it, you can see why.

I am going to take a moment here to steer off the topic off food to explain the amazing nature made wonder that is Hamilton Pool. A quarter of a mile walk from the parking lot into the woods and you come across a small pebbled beach with and a water fall; Hamilton Pool. The water is clear and very blue. The rocks all formed naturally most likely due to years of erosion. The pool leads into a river that winds through the woods surrounding the pool. So peaceful. It's like visiting the mermaid pool in Neverland with Tinker Bell and Peter Pan. Breathtaking and so serene. If you visit Austin and make it out this way, make sure you either get there early (since they only allow so many people in at a time) or make a reservation ahead of time. 

Austin was amazing. A great vacation and wonderful place to visit. I don’t think I could live there, but I would go back to visit again. There are still so many food trucks and restaurants to try. They have probably everything food wise. So if you're love food make sure to stop off in Austin and try it all.

I left Austin with a few new stickers for my fridge, a hefty credit card bill and a few more pounds. All worth it though. In the name of travel and food!

Catherine LaMacchia
World Traveler


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