Saturday, December 28, 2013

Austin Eats Food Tour


Since marrying Josh seven and a half years ago we have lived in Kansas City, Las Vegas, Wichita, and now Texas.  The longest stint was in Wichita and I met some great friends there!  I was blessed to find a group of friends who share my love of running, yoga and eating.  One of my most favorite memories from Wichita will forever be an evening about a week before I moved.  My friend Tammie moved to a new house on some land and we spent a great evening making veggie burgers together.  My friend Nicole had recently got certified to teach yoga (yay!) so we were treated to a private yoga session on some beautiful land overlooking water as the sun set.  It was a perfect evening.
I miss these girls lots and was so excited when two of them decided to come visit me in Texas!  We met in Austin and had a fabulous weekend of eating, running and yoga.  Like I said, we know what we like and we were in a prime location for all of the above.  Austin has lots of food, lots of running trails, and lots of yoga.  Jack. Pot.
 
I read about Austin Eats Food Tours online and when I found out Nicole and Tammie were coming to visit I looked into it more.  I was excited to find out they would be visiting during one of the bike tours offered.  We had a very fun afternoon riding bikes around Austin with our group (around 12 of us) and eating delicious food from popular, local eateries.
 
Picking out my bike. Pink, of course was my choice!  These are electric bikes, which are awesome because you can pedal like a normal bike, but you can also push a button and the motor pushes you on your way with no pedaling necessary. 
 
Our first stop was at The Blue Ox BBQ.  Our tour guide was kind enough to bring Tammie (my fellow veggie lover) and I  breakfast tacos to eat from a different place as this stop was the only one that didn't have a vegetarian alternative.  Everyone said the meat was delicious from here and seemed to really enjoy it.  I brought some meat home for Josh when our weekend was over and he agreed the meat was really good.  However, we are spoiled with amazing BBQ in KC and he can't find any BBQ sauce in Texas he likes. 
 
Our next stop was at Rios Brazillian Café.  We were served Chicken Stroganoff and Tammie and I got Mushroom and Spinach Stroganoff.  The highlight for me was the cheese bread that was made from yucca root flour.  Our tour guide shared with us these are packaged and sold at Whole Foods and they are gluten free.  I keep these on hand and pop them in the oven for Josh and I sometimes on spaghetti night.  I will definitely miss this gluten free bread option when we move.
Tammie got a sangria and was kind enough to share a few sips.  Definitely a winner!
 
The third stop on the tour was Hopps and Grain Brewery.  I don't like beer, but I tasted a few and others seemed to enjoy it.  The highlight of this stop was the fact that someone (not in our group) brought their kids and there was a baby crawling on the floor.  I mean, really?!  I don't know, we thought it was strange.
Middle pick on the left side you can see the babies.  Oh, and please notice Nicole's guns in the bottom right pic.  Get it, girl!
 
Next up was cupcakes at Sugar Circus Bakery.  I was excited they had pumpkin and it was delicious!  The excitement of this stop was when I tried a bite of Nicole's and realized there was walnuts in it...which I am allergic to.  So, I got to spit that out in front of everyone while trying not to be dramatic.  This poor older lady was very worried about me.  She followed me on her bike the next two stops to make sure I was okay.  Thankfully, no ingestion of any walnuts, no Epipen stab to the thigh needed, and the food tour was not ruined by yours truly. :)

 
By now, we were getting pretty full!  Knowing our last stop was pizza, I feel the next stop kind of got looked over as we all were really full, but wanting to make sure there was room for pizza.  We went to East Side King at the Grackle food truck.  If any of you watch Top Chef, Paul Qui won it a few years back and he has several East Side King locations in Texas.  I had not been to his food truck, only his brick and mortar location, which is right by the University of Texas.  While my food here was good, I much prefer the menu at the location by UT.  Everyone was served a Pork Katsura Sandwich, while Tammie and I had Eggplant Salad. 

 
The last stop was Detroit style pizza at Via 313.  This was, once again, a food truck.  I had never had Detroit style pizza and it was thin crust and I liked it.  I would definitely go back here again because they have gluten free pizza.  A lady in our group had it and shared a piece with me and it was great!


The three of us on our bikes getting ready to ride back to the bike shop.
 
The day after our food tour we went to a rooftop yoga class.  It was free (score!) because they were promoting an upcoming concert series in the area.  We attended the "rock" stage music and it was actually pretty awesome.  I didn't know any songs as I don't follow the Austin rock bands (shocking, I know) but it was a gorgeous day and beautiful setting.  Oh, and the yoga instructor was pretty easy on the eyes.  We enjoyed all aspects of this class, for sure!


If you are ever in Austin I HIGHLY recommend taking a food tour.  There are walking tours, van tours, and occasionally the bike tours.  I think prices vary, but ours was $70 and we were fed plenty of food to keep us full for lunch and dinner.  Plus, we got to see some "in the know" local places to eat that otherwise we never would have known to visit.  We had a really fun trip together and I'm so grateful the two of them could come spend a long weekend with me!

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