Tag Archives: east austin

Speak Easily: Milonga Room

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The folks behind Buenos Aires Cafe have opened a dark, intimate, and romantic speakeasy just below their east Austin location.

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Dubbed Milonga Room, this rustic (and faaaaancy) cocktail bar provides a secret retreat from the frantic static of the nightlife venues above.

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The menu boasts handcrafted cocktails, focuses heavily on Fernet, and even has a spectacular wine selection. The vintage furniture, obsessive attention to detail, and and serene 1920s vibe make this the ideal date spot. As with any speakeasy, the door is password protected. Be sure to follow Milonga Room on social media for access to their South American Prohibition-era oasis.

How to Spend An Epic Day on E. Cesar Chavez

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You may have visited E. 6th for the numerous restaurants and bars, but have you considered going a few streets down? This is my very walkable guide to having an epic, though possibly intoxicated day on a street near and dear to my heart. Take a bus there, and Uber back. Problem solved! Let’s start…

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Kick things off with a mimosa at Cenote. It’s at the far end of E. 1st, and near IH-35. You’ll grab some mimosas, maybe some snacks, and enjoy the patio. It gets packed though, so be competitive. If someone’s getting up, you better set up camp ASAP. Once you’ve got your morning buzz going (caffeine or booze), pack up and walk to the Blue Cat Cafe. You’ll get to snuggle adoptable buddies, who’ll probably be more interested in sleeping than touching you, and check out about a million cat toys. There’s a vegan food truck attached, so go nuts! You might want to pace yourself though…

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Is it lunch time? IT’S LUNCH TIME! Hike a few yards up, and you’ll be at the world-famous La Barbecue. If you’re not from Austin: go there. If you are from Austin: go there. Just go there. Trust me. You’ll enjoy it, or I’ll eat my hat. (Joke’s on you! I don’t own hats.) (Really though. It’s world famous. Jimmy Kimmel swears by it, and I think that counts for something? Maybe? Either way, it’s up there with Franklin, but with way better lines.) I should probably remind you to pace. yourself. Don’t be in no meat coma. You better keep your calm on that La Barbecue. Order about 1/4th of what you think you want.

Wait! Are you vegetarian, and didn’t eat at the cat cafe?! Fret not, my friend. Skip the flesh, and head to Counter Culture Cafe, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant, up the road. They’re amazing, and they also have beer.

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Walk it off! Now that lunch is over, take a stroll to some of the super cool shops down there. There’s a great South American art importer called Corocoro that’s close by, or you can hoof it all the way down to the Pleasant Valley side and hit up Friends & Neighbors. They’re famous for their teepee in the backyard, but I go for the wine. They also have coffee, vintage clothing, jewelry that I want but can’t afford, and hand-crafted condiments from other cities that actually are awesome. Pricey, but awesome. Tired of spending? See some art at grayDUCK Gallery. Or maybe do spend… I support local artists. Is it happy hour yet?

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If you’re laying a trap for me, just tell me there’s half-off bubbly somewhere. I’ll gladly walk into that cage, and this is true of Juniper. They have half-off sparkling, $7 wagyu skewers, and a few other delectables for their 4-6 p.m. happy hour (keep in mind they’re closed Sun-Mon). Not hungry yet? Stay Gold opens at 3! They’re a bar with an acceptable wine list, that also happens to be attached to a food truck specializing in toast/sandwiches. I’m noticing a food truck theme here… Don’t eat more yet! Okay, are you ready? Is it dinner time? Let’s cheat a little and walk a block away on a side street for Launderette. There’s no happy hour, but I don’t care. It’s delicious small plates with a ton of seafood. If you want to go full seafood though, you can head to Monger’s, a very popular more-than-oysters joint.

Are you stuffed yet?! Still sober?! Drinks Lounge and Craftsman have you covered! Craftsman even has Prosecco on tap! That should do the trick. I suspect that by now, you’ve had the best day ever.

Sagra: I Now Love Italian

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I’ve admittedly had an Italian-aversion in the past. I don’t know if it was the string of low-carb diets, or having less-than-flavorful experiences at other places. Regardless, Sagra has converted me into a true fan of food inspired by the stylish, leather boot-shaped country.

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The salads were fresh, and all of the appetizers were flavorful. We had everything from lightly breaded calamari to polenta with brussels sprouts.

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The pizzas were equally amazing. My favorite was the Calabrese with: olives, spicy salami, and even capers. I’m a nut for anything briny.

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I was with several other bloggers, but greedily stole the slice that had the egg on top of it. (Sorry, guys.)

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Their perfectly spiced risotto was definitely one of the stars of the night. Even though I still try to hold back on the carbohydrates, I let this little beauty take me down for the night diet-wise. Worth it.

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They had things on the menu that I don’t normally associate Italian food with (in my admittedly limited knowledge). I was having succulent  chicken, and even slow-cooked lamb.

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You may not think of Sagra as a craft cocktail bar, but maybe you should. I enjoyed expertly made, and perfectly balanced vieux carres, and more than my fair share of wine. I loved the enormous windows, which allowed just the right amount of light to pour into every space. If you haven’t tried their new space, I highly recommend it. There’s even an all-you-can-eat mussels night!

Food Find: Salty Sow

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Manor Road is quickly becoming a mecca of great restaurants, bars, and patios galore. Amongst these fabulous finds lies Salty Sow, a place I’ve been lucky enough to sample at food festivals in the past. One gloriously boring weekday, we decided to check out OpenTable to nab a spot, and eagerly look forward to a decadent night out.

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When the day came, we couldn’t wait. We popped in early to grab creatively made happy hour cocktails. The happy hour menu ranges from wine to beer, and even onto miniature cocktail flights. Most drink items, and even tacos, are just $5.

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Once it was time for our proper meal, we moved onto mains such as delicious pork shoulder, and salmon rilllete. The rillete was dense, cool, and topped with caviar – utter perfection.

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Next time you want to book a fancy night out, or even do as we did and make it an evening + night out binging on tasty meats and drinks, head over to OpenTable and grab your spot at Salty Sow.

Eating East: Nasha Indian

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Finally! There’s Indian food on the east side! Nasha recently opened it’s very colorful doors, and I’ve already been twice.

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The first time I went, I was a little put off by the harsh lighting inside, but absolutely adored the outdoor patio (warning: acorns will fall on you). On my recent visit, I noticed that the indoor lighting may have been changed for the better. Hurray ambiance!

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Both time I had the Malvani curry, ordered desi hot, and absolutely loved it. It’s exotic, coconut-y, and bursting with flavor.

nasha-indian-austinMy friend grabbed the Millionaire curry, medium hot, and wasn’t quite as impressed, but still ate every single bite. (He can say he’s underwhelmed all he wants, but I saw him lick the plate.)

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The wine and beer are fairly priced, and overall it’s a great spot if you are craving Indian, but simply don’t want to endure the hassle of traveling to north Austin. Did I mention that they made Indian tacos? I’ll just leave you with that.

East Side Find: Jalapeno’s Taco Bar

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I went to Jalapenos Taco Bar expecting not to like it, and boy was I wrong.

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The place was small, but not cramped, and the salsa was delicious.

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I mixed it into everything.

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The ceviche tostada was overloaded with fish, and my boyfriend’s bacon breakfast tacos more than filled him up.

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Their prices were already low, but we had a Restaurant.com coupon, and the check was unbelievably cheap. We essentially had a Mexican Thanksgiving feast for what came out to be around $13. I highly recommend stopping by this place for good, cheap tacos.

Dinner At Justine’s


Justine’s gets a lot of hype, and I don’t want to be the one to say it,
but it’s just that. At least I can say that showing up on a Friday
around 7 we didn’t have to wait for a table. I guess the key is to get there early.


We ordered Prosecco to start. For the price, we were not impressed.


I know nothing about steak, but my partner felt underwhelmed by his.


I chose the special. It was a fish I’d never heard of
from Florida for over 20 bucks. It wasn’t that great.


All in all we felt the opposite of dazzled.
Others say many wonderful things about this place,
but our experience was unfortunately lackluster.

Johnny Cash Almost Got Me Arrested

Looks like someone got into a fight with a soft, smudgy pencil… I’m covered with the stuff.  This is from the night of the last “Go To Public School Pep Rally.”  I vaguely recall East Side Show Room, Barbarella, and vodka being involved.  We decided to walk our bikes home the rest of the way (regardless of the streets being open at a later point).