Austin In My Rearview Mirror

Back from a very short weekend in drizzly but gorgeous Austin, which has somehow become the size of Tokyo since I last laid eyes on our little capitol city.  What happened?  Where did all this steel and glass come from?  Have the Highland Park and Midtown folks in Dallas and Houston abandoned their posts for the Hill Country?  Sadly, it would seem so.

Despite that, Austin is still gorgeous.  Sprawling and covered with yuppies (yes, I realize they were always there in some quantity, but now moreso than before) but gorgeous.  The wedding was on the lush grounds of Laguna Gloria, a Spanish-style house that’s part of the Austin Museum of Art and overlooks Lake Austin.

The bride (from West Virginia by way of Texas and Georgia and Connecticut and now living in Washington – this is important in a second) and groom seem to have suffered a bout of culinary schizophrenia while choosing the menu for the night, since it included tamales, sushi, Thai noodle salad, cheese biscuits, guacamole, brisket, chicken satay, tuna tartare and grits (which were covered with roasted red peppers and balsamic vinegar – please, do not ever attempt this at home – in fact, no one should ever attempt this abomination ever again), among other things.  But I love them.  And I loved the food, all 600 square miles of it.  So, really, what does it matter?  Eat what you want at your wedding, folks.

We had brunch this morning at Stubb’s BBQ on Red River, in downtown Austin.  Their famed gospel brunch was packed tight with squirming Austin families, gawking tourists and nearly everyone who had attended the wedding the night before, most of whom were shaking off the effects of the afterparty with Stubb’s build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.  The gospel music was incredibly loud but the food was good enough to endure the screams and wails coming from the stage.  More grits were in order, since it’s not a Southern brunch without grits.  Grits twice in one weekend makes me a fat, happy little Texan indeed.

Meanwhile, back at the blog, I wanted to call your attention to the fact that some more Houston food blogs have been added to the blogroll to your right.  Houston has always been an underground food town, and I’m constantly pleased when new blogs (sometimes “new” only to me) crop up to cover all the thousands of food facets this city has to offer.  Check out the newbies below:

Chili Bob’s Houston Eats: Chili Bob eats at – as he puts it – “Houston’s great diversity of eateries, with an emphasis on ethnic cuisines and peasant food, as opposed to haute cuisine, and places that are new to me.”  His posts cover a great variety of restaurants that most other bloggers never even venture into (or, if they do, we just don’t hear about it) and are an absorbing read.

Dirty Kitchen Adventures: Also known as @treelight on Twitter, this blog is more personal and occasionally includes divine-sounding recipes, like the recent ginger-vegetable soup entry which made me nearly choke on my own saliva.  Mmm…ginger.

Houston Uncorked: Although not updated very often, this is nevertheless an entertaining and easy-going blog on wine and the state of the wine community in Houston.

The Grub Junkie: On name alone, this food blog has the market cornered. I love this name. So much. Yet despite the name’s promise of things like greasy burgers and Frito pies, the brave blogger has recently embarked upon the Martha’s Vineyard Detox Program.  Follow along if you’re brave or thinking of a detox program yourself (or if you’re just voyeuristic, weirdo).

Houston Wok: Another misleading name. No, this blog isn’t all Houston Chinese food, all the time (although with two Chinatowns and about eleventy billion other Chinese restaurants in town, that wouldn’t be hard).  This relatively new blog does cover a lot of Asian food, though the author isn’t picky about which kind of Asian cuisine he’s eating that day, which is good – and enlightening – for us. But he also covers burger joints and lobster macaroni and cheese.