summer in the city: sno-beach

Whoever came up with the idea of a sno-cone is genius.

I mean, crushed ice and pure flavored sugar in the form of syrup. What more could you want on a hot summer day?

Following one of our Barton Fridays a few weeks ago, my friends Ashley, Kate, Caroline and I made the trek to Sno-Beach. We were practically melting in the Texas heat, and it was really our only viable option. I think this could go without saying, but when it’s 107 outside, a diet of Sno-Beach becomes necessary to keep your body temperature at a reasonable level.

The ice is crushed perfectly. The syrup generously applied. Refreshment… and maybe a colored tongue for just $2.50.

Similar to my philosophy on Barton Springs, if you live in Austin and haven’t tried Sno-Beach, you are wrong. The loved trailer just celebrated their 20th year in this city, and they make a mean sno-cone. You’ll find them in various part of Austin – namely on Barton Springs or Guadalupe – so you really have no excuse.

If you’re out and about this weekend, I recommend trying one of their awesome flavors. My favorite is tangerine and coconut with fresh lime juice.

Have a great Friday.

summer in the city: live music

It’s about time I wrote one of these again. I know you’ve just been dying over there with no knowledge of how I’ve been spending my summer.

Austin has dubbed itself the Live Music Capital of the World, so it really would be criminal of me to not sweat through see a show before all the college students get back in town.

Last night one of our favorite bands, The Friendly Savages, opened for Seryn at the Parish. Taylor won free tickets with his outstanding skills on Twitter, which made the experience a little more enjoyable considering it was still 95 degrees outside at 9 pm.

But in all seriousness, the concert was awesome. The Friendly Savages are a summer soundtrack for me- I’m pretty sure I listened to them on repeat for the whole 16 hour drive to Colorado earlier this month.  It was so fun to see them rocking out live.

And Seryn. They are pretty incredible as well, and will be coming out with their second album this fall.

Here’s a clip from last night of the Friendly Savages covering The Head and the Heart. The guy on the right? He’s my friend who rapped Macklemore. 

That’s correct: I’m friends with rockstars.

Happy Friday, y’all.

summer in the city: franklin barbecue

You know how there are those times that a place just doesn’t live up to its hype? Those times when like a MILLION legitimate publications review the place and all RAVE about it and then you go and leave with a “meh” reaction?

This is not one of those times.

I’ve been hearing about Franklin Barbecue since I moved back to Austin about two years ago, and finally decided to take the plunge last Saturday. I went in thinking, “I’m sure it will be good. But how good could it really be? Is it really worth waiting in line in the boiling hot Texas sun for at least four hours? REALLY?


And I am here to tell you that I was WRONG.

I was wrong to doubt the barbecue masters all over the country who have praised Aaron Franklin’s skills. I was wrong to doubt the value of waiting in line. I was wrong to doubt how delicious barbecue could be when only seasoned with salt and pepper. (Yes, that’s right. Believe it.)

Going to Franklin’s last Saturday was quite possibly the best decision I’ve ever made in regards to food and putting it in my mouth. 

We did the whole thing. Well, I should say my friends Gregg and Aaron (not Franklin, although that would be cool), did the whole thing. They showed up at 8:15 am (on a SATURDAY in the SUMMER), with lawn chairs and coolers to claim our spot in line. The rest of us lazybones rolled in around 9:30. We hung out, made friends with the people around us and waited.

photo 1

When the restaurant opened at 11 a.m. a surge of excitement went through the line. People packed up their lawn chairs and card tables and rushed them back to their cars. We slowly moved up in line, dreaming about what we would order. And finally… right at noon…

It was time.

Taylor and I approached the counter where maybe the nicest man I’ve ever met cutting a brisket greeted us. Asked us how our days were going like there weren’t 100 more people waiting behind us. Thanked us for waiting, and handed us a sample of heaven.. I mean, brisket. It was the most glorious thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. I almost wet my pants from excitement. I’m pretty sure Taylor might have shed a tear.

We ordered 1lb of brisket, half lean and half fatty, one link of sausage, 1/2 lb of pork ribs and a small side of cole slaw. Top it off with a Mexican coke and sweet tea and we were ready.

photo 4

Sometimes you taste things so good you don’t have words.. only emotion.. to describe them. That’s how this was. We were all just so overwhelmed by how delicious the meat was that there were no words. At one point Aaron Franklin himself stopped by our table to see how we were doing. We all just looked at him holding the meat he smoked with eyes that said, “We’re forever grateful. You’ve changed our lives.” He made a quick joke and moved on, leaving us trying to comprehend how this much flavor could possibly exist.

You might think I’m exaggerating. I am not. At one point, I picked up a piece of lean brisket and it literally fell apart in my hands. That doesn’t happen in normal life.

photo 3
Gregg, surrendering to the brisket.

By the time 1 p.m. rolled around we were all feeling so accomplished and spent that we did the only logical thing: went home and took a nap. After all, I felt like I deserved that after making the best decision I’ve ever made in regards to food and putting it in my mouth.


*I’ll be in Colorado all next week and will be taking a break from posting. But don’t fear, my good friends Peggy and Katie will be filling in with a few guest posts, so y’all show them some love. 

Have a great weekend!