March 28th - April 3rd, 2021

How it started…

Planning this trip all started several months earlier when my wife and I were watching food programs on YouTube to find new recipes to make at home. One night I stumbled across a video about a Texas BBQ Road Trip! I turned to the wife and asked her if that was something she would be interested in… of course she said YES! Originally, we decided on a different route to take so we could visit with my nephew “Joseph” that was attending college in Lubbock, TX. But he moved back to California before our trip, so we decided to go another route and see the Gulf coast! 

Leaving for Austin Texas…

Our flight left LAX at 8:30 am Sunday March 28th. It was a 2 hour 30 minute flight to Austin Texas, our first stop on a six day tour to find and eat the best BBQ in the state. We landed at 1:38pm (Austin time) 

and immediately started looking on our smart-phones for a BBQ place to try out by the airport. We were both very hungry  from the flight and we’re eager to try some BBQ! We found a food truck called “Rollin Smoke” not far from the airport. Out of a scale of 1-5 stars (5 being best) I would give this small corner venue “★★★★” for the great tasting Brisket sandwich we shared and the best coleslaw we had during our trip! After a quick lunch, we headed over to our hotel (Omni Hotel/South-park) to check in. We stayed on the 10th floor with a great view of the city. It is so flat there! It was very different than  the landscape of Los Angeles. The weather was perfect during our stay in Austin. After we checked into our room, we had a short time to rest before our riverboat sunset tour on Lady Bird Lake. This boat tour took us out on the lake at dusk to see the Bats come out of their habitat under a large bridge downtown Austin. The boat allowed us to bring our own beverages so we brought some Mango White-Claws in a thermos and got a bit buzzed on the cruise! There must have been 100,000 bats flying out from the underside of that bridge. They came out in two separate batches. The first batch flew around the boat and down the lake along the waterfront. The captain of the boat got this brilliant idea to go under the bridge as the second batch of bats flew out. Needless to say, I did get pooped on by the bats as they took flight!

Bats take flight at dusk on Lady Bird Lake during our boat cruise!

Our second day in Austin…

On the second day we decided to go checkout Banger’s Sausage House on Rainey street in downtown Austin for lunch. This place is known for their spicy & bold cuts of sausage! We ordered the Spicy Jalapeño Mustard sausage on a bun with gravy-cheese fries and deep fried dill pickle spears! Those deep-fried pickles were the best I have ever had! We both had an Apple Cider with our meal which had quite a punch to it! The food was great and our server was on top of his game. When it comes to rating this place I give it “★★★★”! Of course

I was quite buzzed during lunch, but I remember it being very delicious.

After lunch we decided to go across town to the capital building. These Texans are quite proud of their history and it shows around the capital building. They have statues, plaques and memorials there, honoring their past history and culture. It was very impressive. The buildings were guarded by police in full tactical gear. Ready for any conflict that may occur. We really enjoy walking around that area…. plus it helped burn off lunch so we could eat dinner!

Finally it was time to to try some serious BBQ! It was our anniversary day and we wanted to celebrate with some amazing grub! So off we went to Terry Blacks BBQ in downtown Austin! I have to say… this was the best brisket, cream-corn and Mac & cheese I think I have ever had! The Pork rib we each had was so tender that the meat just fell off the bone. This place was our favorite BBQ place during our trip! “★★★★★

Austin, Texas reminded me a lot of Portland, Oregon. It is a very liberal city full of hipsters. Although we had a great time and great food (I would say some of the best food on our trip), Austin had that big city feel and along with that comes the problems that big cities have… heavy traffic, no parking, dirty, high-crime, lack of infrastructure and a huge homeless population. With the new influx of people moving here it is putting a strain on the infrastructure which is causing more problems than solutions. After that second day, we were ready to head north… out of town to our next destination - Waco, Texas!