It's yet another end-of-quarter and I'm starting to wonder where this time is going by so quickly!! It's crazy busy at work and it just leaves me without much time to blog how I would like to. So pardon the tardiness of this post.
On St. Paddy's Day, Hunk and I took the Metro Rail (along with half of Austin) into downtown in order to avoid the hassle of parking on a day when two monster events collided- the final day of SXSW and St. Patrick's Day. I've always had a strange interest in public transportation, of which Austin really isn't known for. But now that there is service on weekends, it might the something that we take advantage of more in the future.
Anywho, we finally arrived downtown and exited the can of sardines, only to find mass chaos on the streets. The people watching was spectacular!! We walked about 8 blocks down to find a friend at The Rattle Inn. It's a somewhat new bar sandwiched in between Star Bar and Ranch 616, and to be honest with you- it just didn't stand out that much. Sure- it has a big patio upstairs, and a place for live music inside. But so do lots of places in that area. We stayed long enough for a drink or two, but then made our way back towards the center of downtown.
Need I remind you that we're still observing Lent, and not eating any meat or dairy (or oil, if possible). So far, our will power has been tremendous. But on this sunny day of celebration, we absolutely broke down. And we couldn't have done it at a better place! We took a slight detour on our way back to the rail station, to a hidden little gem called Easy Tiger. It had just opened up when we started this crazy diet, so we didn't have the chance to go and sample all of their goodness. The thought of waiting another 3 weeks was just too much to bear, so off we went down the steps of temptation, into their wonderful little oasis on Waller Creek.
Easy Tiger is, quite possibly, the most amazing place on earth. It's a bakery, AND a beer garten. And I couldn't believe our luck that day when Hunk found us the most perfect table for two, close enough to the back door that we could hear all the great music playing on their patio. We had already decided to hell with no meat or dairy- that we would enjoy this one indulgence, and then move on. Making decisions regarding the menu was certain torture. We really wanted one of everything. But we first decided on a fresh baked pretzel with beer cheese for starters, and then ordered the New Yorker board to share. We must have look barbarian in the way that we scarfed down every crumb of food in front of us. I swear Hunk was salivating with each bite of corned beef that he took. And I'm pretty sure that I was guarding the container of beer cheese as if my life depended on it. God help the wait staff who tried to pry it from my greasy hands!!
Needless to say, the food was delicious! The small pretzel and beer cheese, at only $4, was a downright bargain. The New Yorker board ($15) contained yet another pretzel, fresh baked bread, and the juiciest slabs of corned beef and pastrami I have ever seen. It also had house made sauerkraut and mustard- perfect for making little sandwiches. And then there was the beer. Definitely one of the best beer menus I've seen in Austin, again at reasonable prices. I think we made it our of there around $40 (not including tip), which is a real steal in my book!
The decor is exceptional, and I cannot wait to go back and give their patio a try. It's one of the first places along Waller Creek as the city attempts to revive that area, and I believe they have set the bar really high! It's a great place to meet up with friends, certainly a fun afternoon/evening date location, and the crowd contained a little bit of everything. Definitely one of my new favorite places in Austin.