Monday, March 31, 2008

Frank and Angie's Pizza on West Avenue near West Sixth in Austin

I went to Frank and Angie's often when they first opened many years ago and I have gone a few times since. I was never crazy about how hard their crust is but it's a personal preference, it never stopped me from eating it. I used to like going there and drinking a beer while I waited for my order. I had young kids then and seized on every opportunity to get out of the house and drink beer. Damned if I don't still feel that same way now even though my kids are grown and long gone from my house. Today I just went for the beer and video and for the first time I really took a good look at the place and everything on the walls. I like it more now than ever and I really would recommend it as the best pizza in the area. They don't have a lot of competition where they are except Mr. Gatti's, but they would surely beat out some others around town that I can think of. The service and friendly staff gave me full artistic reign so I tried to take advantage of it. They, unlike most other venues in the area, have a parking lot that you can probably actually find a spot in. I know they sell much more than pizza, but other than salads and spaghetti once, I haven't tried them. Which is not to say that I never will. Check it out at the corner of West Avenue and Sixth Street right across from The Molotov Lounge.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Joe's Bar and Grill on West Avenue near Sixth Street in Austin

Joe's Bar and Grill is a relative newcomer to this part of town. It is situated near the corner of West Avenue and West Sixth Street in an area that includes Frank and Angie's Pizzeria right next door and Hut's Hamburgers around the corner. They have a huge outdoor deck with lots of seating and inside there is a pool table and a shuffleboard. They even have a wooden Eskimo standing guard by the front door. There are multiple flat screen T.V.'s and Fireman's 4 Ale is available on tap. I don't remember what this place was before it was Joe's Bar and Grill but I'm fairly certain that it wasn't originally built to house a bar because the floor shows signs of where walls used to be. The owner approached me to make sure I didn't have some nefarious reason for taking pictures and he was an amiable guy named Joe, sure enough. As with most of the places in the area there is minimal parking but I had no problem finding an empty meter and I wouldn't hesitate to stop in again when I'm inthe vicinity. They make some really decent pub grub as well and have a full bar for mixed drink aficionados. Check it out but don't tell them Wisegeorge sent you because they won't know who the hell you are talking about.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hut's Hamburgers on West Sixth in Austin Texas

I almost couldn't believe that I had never been in this Austin Institution in my life until this visit. I have driven past the place about a hundred times a year for twenty seven years and thought about stopping in on almost every pass. I finally did because of this blog and now I know what I have been missing. The place is cool. They have pictures of musicians and sports memorabilia all over the walls and the shiniest clean floor I have ever seen. Everyone was chowing down and the bartender seemed a little miffed that all I wanted was a beer. No onion rings? You sure you don't want to see a menu? I said no but in retrospect some onion rings might have been just the ticket. I was really impressed by the size of the place. It is at least three times as large as I had imagined it to be and I can't figure out why I thought it would be tiny. It's funny how your mind can fill itself with false images. I think that maybe I saw a picture taken from a strange angle or something. Anyway, like most of the places on West Sixth Street there is no parking to speak of, at most they have a few slots, but take some quarters and you can park at a meter with no problem most of the time. I think the next time I drive by on an empty stomach I'll check out the grub myself. It looked pretty good.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Ranch - West Sixth at West Street in Austin

This is the newest addition to this end of Sixth Street and I'm sure it won't be the last. They are located on the roof of J. Black's Feel Good Bar across the street from Molotov and Mother Egan's. They are an open air good weather bar by far, but they can roll the doors down on each end if it's twenty degrees and a wind is blowing right through the place. They'll figure that out next fall when the first Norther hits town. Someone standing at the bar asked the bartender if the animal heads were real or stuffed. He said real, I said stuffed and then we both said they were real stuffed heads. PETA would probably have a shit fit but all of these animals died of old age after a very long and fun life on a game preserve, many years ago. If you look close you can see gray around all of their temples. The deck has a huge fireplace that will feel like someone lit a match on a really cold night but some people will crowd around it because once you are drunk enough you don't feel the cold, and because they want to smell like a campfire in the morning. I think this place is a must stop in for a beer when you get to this end of Sixth Street. Maybe number three as long as someone else is driving, and someone else better be driving because there are six or seven other stops on the tour of this section of town. During the warm weather sit outside and enjoy the air above the smog at ground level. Plus it looks cool at night with lights all over the place.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Iron Cactus on Sixth and Trinity in Downtown Austin

The Iron Cactus has been at this corner for a good long while and still maintains an air far superior to most 6th Street beerjoints. They have ample seating on three different levels. Two inside and one inside/outside. The view is amazing if you like watching crowds from a few stories up. They are a Texas Chain Restaurant with two locations in Austin, one in Dallas and one in San Antonio. I'm not sure which one was the first but, like I said, this one has been here a good chunk of time. I've eaten here three times over the years and had a number of beers and margaritas but it has been at least five and maybe ten years since I last graced their doorstep. I'm happy to report that they got along just fine without me and everything was in tip top shape. The bartender told me it was OK to take pictures but that didn't mean I didn't have to explain myself all over again to the manager when he asked if he could help me. I always feel like saying: "Yeah, go get me a beer would you?" But I don't, instead I buy a beer, leave a tip, take some pictures, make some video and move on to the next place. This visit was enjoyable, especially since I left work early in order to do it, and the girl in the picture making fun of the guy did it twice, because I missed it the first time.