Get in the Spirit with Holiday Sing-Along, Downtown Stroll

Texas Capitol Christmas Tree

Our Capitol tree in all its glory (Image courtesy of KUTX)

It’s now December and the Christmas season is officially in full swing. The Zilker tree is lit, the beanies and scarves have been pulled from the closet, and yuletide is quickly taking over the city.

What better way to get yourself into the spirit of the season than by attending the Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll this weekend on December 6th?

The event starts at 6 PM on the south steps of the Capitol and will be hosted by the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA), KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR station, and KUTX 98.9, The Austin Music Experience.

Attending won’t break the bank because all activities are free and open to the public, though it is suggested to bring non-perishable food items or cash donations for the Capital Area Food Bank. Over the past three years, donations have generated over 3,500 meals for Central Texans struggling with hunger. [Read more…]

Austin Brewery Tours Highlight City’s Growing Industry

Jesse and Andrew from ATXcursions

Jesse and Andrew of ATXcursions (Credit: ATXcursions)

When I was offered a chance to check out ATXcursions, Austin’s newest craft brewery tour company, I jumped at the opportunity. Austin has one of the fastest growing beer scenes in the nation and quality beer is popping up in every corner, so I figured I was bound to have a good time. I love being right. [Read more…]

Heart of Gold Farm Brings Healthy Food to the Hungry

Heart of Gold Farm Greenhouse

Inside the greenhouse at Heart of Gold Farm in Dale, TX (Credit: Mike Torres)

Living in Austin provides the wonderful opportunity to regularly come across people who put their heart and soul into helping others and the environment.

If you ever find yourself between Austin and Lockhart, you may run into a couple of these folks. Mike and Vanessa Torres run Heart of Gold Farm in Dale, Texas.

Mike and Vanessa grow tons of fresh, organic food for the underprivileged using aquaponic farming methods, which use about 95% less water and 1/3 of the energy conventional farming methods require. Aquaponic farming takes waste produced by fish or other aquatic animals and uses it to provide nutrients to plants being grown hydroponically. [Read more…]

Well Aware Provides Clean Water for the Impoverished

Well Aware Building a Well

Well Aware at work providing clean water for the impoverished Brett Buchanan

Next time you’re chugging a glass of water, consider that there are communities around the world without that ability, and be a little more grateful for that water.

We’re all guilty of it, taking everyday things for granted because they have such a normal presence in our lives. But Austin non-profit Well Aware has been working for eight years now to improve the lives of the impoverished, by bringing them something as basic as fresh, clean water. [Read more…]

Parkside Brings Delectable Sophistication to Dirty Sixth

Parkside Austin Restaurant

Parkside at 301 E Sixth Street

Parkside holds a special place in my heart. Over the last several years, my wife and I have shared anniversaries, birthdays and many other special moments there, and the memories flood back every time I visit.

We’ve often sat in the same booth, overlooking the Sixth Street sidewalk and the passers-by who provide such quality entertainment throughout our meal.

Our repeated visits have proven that Parkside is able to deliver something rare and important: consistency. I’m always satisfied when I leave because the service, food and drinks are always top notch, no matter the day of the week or time. [Read more…]

Cuvee Coffee Finds New Home in East Austin

New Cuvee Coffee Bar in Austin

Cuvee Coffee Bar exterior

Cuvee Coffee has long been in the hearts of Texans and Austinites alike, and visiting their new location in East Austin is an experience you’ll want to have again and again.

The company, founded over a decade and a half ago, has taken their time opening a cafe for customers and fans, and it shows. Everything from the modern, stripped down decor to the individualized ordering process makes it obvious that a lot of thought and hard work were put into opening the operation.

I recently stopped by their new place (2000 E 6th) and was immediately greeted with smiles and genuine warmth, something you won’t find at every coffee shop in Austin.

Having never been there, I asked for a recommendation and was astounded by [Read more…]

You’re All in the Family at Eastside’s School House Pub

School House Pub Bell Tower

Bell tower inside School House Pub

School is back in session, and there’s no better place to get “studious” than School House Pub in East Austin. Located off Manor Road among what seems to be an ever expanding collection of go-to bars and restaurants, School House Pub brings you inside the classroom where food and drinks are always allowed.

The small, but cozy interior is cleverly decorated with schoolbooks, chalkboards and charts galore. Their cocktails are quirkily named (Teacher’s Pet, Intro to Spanish, Extra Credit) and are some of the most reasonably priced in town ($7-9). When you walk in, look up and you’ll be staring at the pub’s flagship school bell hanging from a well-lit tower. [Read more…]

Homegrown White Denim Makes Austin Proud at ACL Taping

Although less than a decade old, Austin band White Denim has managed to sprawl from its homegrown roots in Austin to touch fans of all kinds across the world. The group members’ approach to the psychedelic rock world and extensive touring schedule have helped them spread their name far and wide.

White Denim ACL Taping

White Denim rocks ACL at The Moody Theater (Credit: Scott Newton, courtesy of KLRU-TV)

White Denim began in early 2006 when two local Austin groups, Parque Touch and Peach Train, came together after a show at Beerland to become one. Over the course of time, one member moved to Russia. But the rest stayed behind to eventually form what we know today as the progressive rock quartet. [Read more…]

Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza Is Worth the Wait in Hill Country

Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza

Inside the barn at Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza (Credit: Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza)

Pizza and craft beer – you can’t really have a bad day when those two are involved. Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza serves up some of the best woodfired pies in the Austin area, out in the Hill Country on Ceres Park Ranch right next door to Jester King Brewery.

With plenty of open space, shaded picnic tables and a variety of fresh ingredients to choose from, you won’t regret making the trip out to this place.

Stanley’s environment is farmlike, set in a large, rustic barn surrounded by a generous amount of land, with a few bulls roaming in the distance. The restaurant was actually named after [Read more…]

Radio Coffee and Beer Is Austin’s Newest Hangout

Radio Coffee & Beer

Radio Coffee & Beer at 4204 Manchaca

Though it’s not even a month old, Radio Coffee & Beer has already managed to fit in seamlessly with the Austin community. Located on Manchaca near Ben White in the heart of South Austin, Radio Coffee & Beer brings together two things Austinites are absolutely obsessed with…and then some.

Owner and singer/songwriter Jack Wilson got the idea for the place from the countless bars and coffee shops he experienced while touring. He wanted to bring all the good he experienced in those places together in one spot for the local community to enjoy.

Wilson earned his coffee chips through time spent living and working in the Seattle coffee scene. Through friends and former co-workers, he’s managed to pull Portland’s Stumptown Coffee for everything from espresso beans to their Cold Nitro Brew on tap. [Read more…]