Whenever I visit a city I always love checking out the food scene. I recently visited Austin, TX and was in the East Austin area, so today I’m sharing East Austin Eats. Let me tell you – East Austin is where it’s at if you’re looking for a thriving food scene full of tacos/iced coffee/and bbq. I was in Austin on a business trip meeting Noah Kagan-more on that below.
- El Chilito – I would legit go back to Austin for these breakfast tacos! They had an extensive menu and each taco was more delicious than the next. I stopped here my first morning in Austin, it was 95 degrees outside (like it was seemingly every day) and they had delicious iced coffee. It was the perfect way to start the day. Highly recommend.
- Paperboy – The East Austin location is a food truck (we did not know that and walked there and were surprised, so just a heads up). They had great food – definitely the must get item is their cheddar hashbrowns with carrot habanero sauce.
- Blue Dahlia Bistro – Ok, not gonna lie, I’m not quite sure why this place got such great rave reviews…I would say it’s good breakfast/brunch food but nothing great or special. I got a frittata and it tasted like it was just a frittata that had been microwaved. My friend tried their homemade granola and said it was good, but again nothing super special. This place has great reviews, so maybe we just ordered the wrong thing.
- Cenote – the best chilaquiles I’ve ever had! The food and atmosphere was just perfect for a breafast/brunch cafe. It’s in the part of East Austin that’s still being developed, so I’d say go with a friend if you’re walking there (even my Lyft driver had no idea where it was). The entrance is tucked away-but very cute when you find it!
Tacos & Other Food:
- Quickie Pickie – this place is a grocery store and a restaurant, it was like a place imagined in my dreams. The store was so cute and the food, omg so good! We stopped in because it had started raining and we were going to just grab a quick water and snack. Tacos, iced coffee and a guacamole platter later (all huge portions at super reasonable prices) it ended up being our dinner. Their salsas have some heat, but man are they delicious!
- Licha’s Cantina – Mexico City soul food – all I can say is this is some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had. It was so authentic and delicious. Go here and order the guacamole (comes with pumpkin seeds on it) and the alambre (chimichurri marinated flank steak, bacon, queso asadero, onions & peppers).
- Franklin BBQ – lines around the building and down the street! This place is authentic delicious bbq, just make sure you arrive early or have time to wait!
- Zilker Brewery and Spicy Boys Chicken – a super neat brewery and tap room that has a food truck outside (Spicy Boys Chicken) and the food truck serves Asian inspired fried chicken, wings and sides. You have to get the wings and try all the sauces, its just so damn good…I could have spent hours at this location – the atmosphere of the brewery and outdoor seating area and food was super ‘cool’ – it had a very hipster-Austin vibe
- Prohibition Creamery – if you’re looking for a sweet treat, definitely stop at Prohibition Creamery. It felt like it would be a perfect date night spot or place for hanging out with a friend. Their flavors are awesome and they let you try all the samples you want. Also – the espresso fudge…you cannot leave without trying it. It was so good I feel like I need to recreate it here at home.
Worth a mention from my Austin trip (not in East Austin) is the Blanton Art Museum – it is so gorgeous and has such beautiful exhibits, definitely worth a trip there.
Now, on to the reason I was in Austin in the first place…I won a trip and got to meet Noah Kagan (as I mentioned in a Catching Up With The Kelnhofers). Back in April I entered a small business challenge giveaway Noah Kagan of okdork.com was doing. Noah shares business advice and has a podcast I enjoy – and he started AppSumo (which is a site that is basically Groupon for geeks and business owners-I’ve gotten several amazing tools through them) and Sumo (website tool to automate growth-I use it for my pop ups here on sweetphi.com) – he’s a very smart guy! Anyway, five winners were chosen and I was one of them!
So I won a trip!! I don’t talk a lot about the business side of things, because my business is about sharing recipes and other tips and tricks to help you out (not sharing business advice), but the truth is, I have turned sweetphi.com into a business that I am super proud of.
We (the five winners/small business owners) got to spend the day with Noah at one of his offices (located in East Austin) talking through different parts of our businesses. You never know what to expect when meeting other business owners (or people in general) and you never know if you’re actually going to have any real take aways from retreat type situations, but man-o-man, this meeting? It was different from things I’ve done in the past and it was so beneficial and insightful for moving my business forward.
Just watching Noah work and think was a thing in and of itself. The guy is super smart, but not conceited about it and knows how to make light of himself and other business ‘theory’ type things. He knows when to ‘keep it real’ and break it down or when to congratulate someone on even the small things. Also, watching him fly through typing and computer work in the meeting made me feel like I need to go take some kind of computer class somewhere.
It was fascinating to see him type and truncate complex information at lightening speed!
As we started the meeting, we went over rules/expectations for the day. I’m sharing these because it was so interesting to see not only how someone else runs meetings, but how to set a course for meetings and get everyone on the same page.
- Be real – don’t look at Noah like he’s going to save you
- No rules – don’t let it be too structured
- Be straight – tell the person if something isn’t right or if you’re hurting their feelings
- “Rathole” – if you’re talking to someone and they’re droning on and on about something or they’re zoning out, say “rathole” to just stop the conversation, no explanations needed
- Be respectful – of people and time, don’t hog all the time
- Engage – have someone be the ‘engager’ so if someone is not paying attention you can gently nudge them
- Vulnerability “go all out”
- You’ll get out what you put in
The biggest takeaways and things I’m actively working on:
- Bulletize information
- Simplify things -“how do I play a game I can win?”
- If you do anything for a year, you’ll be successful – consistency consistency consistency!
- What you do with the framework is what makes you successful
- Example I will never forget “you don’t get into a car and wonder where you’re going, you have a pre-determined location in mind.”
- Set specific goals and how you’re going to reach them
I came home and was super:
- excited to see my babies, god did I miss them (it was the first time away from them! I did get to read Ben his bedtime story every night though – thank you facetime)
- thankful and honored for the experience and all that I learned
- invigorated and inspired about my business and the future of sweetphi.com
2 part question for you I’d love to hear from you in the comments below:
- have you ever been to East Austin – any fave “eats”?
- have you ever been to a business meeting that had wonderful and positive outcome?