Sunday, March 29, 2009

Matt's El Rancho on South Lamar Boulevard in Austin

Matt's has been in business since 1952, a year before I was born. When I first moved to Austin in 1981 I ate at Matt's down on Caesar Chavez in front of where the Four Seasons Hotel is now. A year or two later he built a much larger restaurant on South Lamar Boulevard across the street from where the Sonic Burger now stands. I think they have some of the better true Tex-Mex in Austin and lots of people seem to agree. They have daily Lunch Specials that are currently under six dollars. A couple of House Margaritas, I like them with salt but only for the first one, and you can get away for under $20 including tip. Or, you can drink water and do it for $10. Drink water, in a mexican cantina, yeah sure. I need my frickin' vitamin C man. It's a cool place to get a drink and stand around looking at all of the framed mementos on the walls, or the hallway of garden ornaments, or watching the cooks in the kitchen through a plate glass window. I don't know how the cooks feel about it but I think it is better than the Food Network. The parking lot rivals that of a smaller mall and they are open at 11 a.m everyday but Tuesday. It's weird, Home slice Pizza is closed on Tuesdays too. Must be the slowest day of the week. I like it and their sign is the same one that used to be down on 1st Street, I think.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nutty Brown Cafe and Amphitheater - About Halfway between Austin and Dripping Springs, Texas

While my barhopping pace has slowed to a crawl it hasn't totally ceased. It soon became obvious to me, and anyone following my blog, that my original plan of documenting 365 beer joints in a year was over ambitious, to say the least. Still, once the bug bit I was pretty much hooked and I haven't abandoned my long term goal of eventually reaching that magic number. I just need more time, maybe an additional year or three. Therefore I will no longer manipulate the posting dates to appear consecutive and all future entries will reflect the actual date that I post it, which could get embarrassing. Please accept my apology for any inconvenience that may arise from my slackerness. This is Austin after all. O.k. on with the show. I have been to the Nutty Brown Cafe a total of four times since they opened. It's not that I don't like the music, the venue or the drinks (except for a terrible Bloody Mary that I had one Saturday morning that was made with Clamato Juice) it's just that there are so many good watering holes in the city that it takes a special event to drag my butt half way to Dripping Springs. Every time I drive out to the Nutty Brown I think that I must have passed it somehow. Then five miles later, there it is. Their food is decent and I especially like the ambiance of the huge outdoor seating area. They have plenty of parking, even when it gets crowded, and the place holds lots and lots of people. They have a big old Parrot out there who jabbers constantly and the largest outdoor stage in the area, at least until the Backyard eventually relocates and opens again. It's worth a stop if you are ever headed out 290W or returning from that direction. Just tell them Wisegeorge sent you and they will look at you like you have two heads. Here's the video: