I don’t often find myself in Manchaca. But when I venture that far south, I always come across something awesome. A few weeks ago, on the way home from Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in, I was looking through the car window when something strange caught my eye. “Oh! Wait! Stop! Turn back! What was that? Okay…next time.” I thought I saw a trailer with a bunch of bicycles on the roof. And a couple of vintage cars in the parking lot. And there was a sign for BBQ. I came back a week later to check out this strange place, which turned out to be Slow Pokes Brisket Shack. [Read more…]
South Austin tends to feel like the epicenter of independent coffee shops. We have so many, in fact, that narrowing this list down to 9 places was a challenge! What they all have in common is what makes them so South Austin: a combination of organic, locally-roasted beans, free Wi-Fi, food to nosh on, and dog-friendly areas. Despite their similarities, each of these South Austin coffee shops holds a unique allure and has a legion of devotees. [Read more…]
For seven years, Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in has been a place where families and friends can get together to watch movies under the open sky and relive childhood memories. The world’s first boutique drive-in movie theater has held fundraisers for diverse organizations in Austin and donated to charities, and has been a place for local up-and-coming filmmakers to showcase their talent.
So when Blue Starlite asked for help relocating to a new, permanent home in South Austin, its fans showed love, gratitude and support in return. [Read more…]
I love checking out new restaurants because I like to experience a restaurant in its infancy stage, when it’s still learning to “walk.” It can be rewarding to watch a local restaurant come into its own. I find that younger restaurants are also more likely to take risks and experiment, as they figure out their style and role in the community they serve.
El Burro, located in the Lamar Union, is one of Austin’s infant restaurants I recently checked out. From the owners of VOX Table, El Burro opened its doors in December 2016. When they started serving brunch and lunch, I couldn’t stay away. [Read more…]
One of Austin’s most anticipated restaurant openings of the year, Eberly was unveiled on Oct. 15, 2016 as the newest restaurant addition on South Lamar, serving contemporary American cuisine.
Developed from what was an old print shop into what stands out as one of our city’s most dazzling spaces–a mix of Victorian and midcentury design aesthetics–Eberly aims to preserve the soul of Austin amid a growing population and changing landscape. As stated on their website, “Austin has always been a gathering place for risk takers, creative types and liberated thinkers. We’ve distilled that spirit into one distinctively authentic place.” [Read more…]
“He goes off every hour,” Jurassic Car Wash owner John Borek told me as we watched an animatronic pterodactyl raise its wings while cawing toward the traffic on South Congress. Underneath the dinosaur, a line of customers wash their cars with soap that smells like piña colada. It’s these unique details that make Jurassic Car Wash a successful and quintessential South Austin small business. [Read more…]
Upon entering Crêpe Crazy’s South Austin location, I was transported to a quaint European cafe. My senses were delighted by the scent of freshly-made crêpes, melted cheese and the occasional waft of espresso. The mid-century modern inspired decor boasted sleek lines, a warm color palette of mustard yellow and orange hues, marble white table tops, and spherical copper pendant lighting. At this point I was already smitten…and I hadn’t even ordered yet.
It doesn’t take long to realize there’s something unique about Crêpe Crazy, beyond the sophisticated decor and carefully-curated menu featuring a number of tantalizing options to satisfy cravings of both savory and sweet. As I glanced across the counter into the open kitchen, I noticed the kitchen staff was silent. Their preferred method of communication? Sign language.
“Point And Ye Shall Receive”
Despite my not knowing sign language, ordering was a breeze and the customer service didn’t miss a beat. Above the counter where orders are placed hangs a sign that prominently displays the words, “Point And Ye Shall Receive.” Posted on the counter below is a large menu. I simply had to point to items to make my selection, including any additions or modifications. The staff was welcoming and not once during my visit did I encounter any communication difficulties.
After only one visit, I have officially gone “crêpe crazy” because holy crêpe! These crêpes are really, really good. For my first time, I opted for the traditional Ham + Swiss, while my friend chose the Granny Smith Apple + Brie. A second visit to indulge my sweet tooth is already on my mind. For those with dietary restrictions, you’ll be pleased to know that Crêpe Crazy has a variety of vegetarian options and gluten-free batter is available upon request.
Crepe Crazy: Deaf-owned and Operated Business
Nearly 10 years ago, owners Vladimir and Inna Giterman started selling crêpes out of a food truck in downtown Austin and have since expanded to two brick-and-mortar locations. Their first restaurant opened in May 2014 in Dripping Springs and the second in South Austin in December 2015.
Not only are the owners, chefs and staff of Crêpe Crazy deaf, but so are their electricians and contractors. The Gitermans believe in supporting the local deaf community because they know how challenging it can be for those who are deaf to find jobs. Crêpe Crazy provides the deaf with a work environment free from communication barriers.
Crêpe Crazy may be the only deaf-owned restaurant in Austin, but overall our city is known for being very deaf-friendly. Of the 200 (and counting) deaf-owned businesses in the country, 30 reside in the Austin area (source: KXAN).
660B W. Hwy 290, Dripping Springs and 3103 S. Lamar Blvd. – Website
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For years, the term “St. Elmo” conjured up images of an awful Rob Lowe movie and an amazingly cheesy John Parr song. After checking out St Elmo Brewing Co, I can add rock solid beer to that list. Situated on the same street that bears its name, this South Austin brewery looks to deliver well-crafted, quaffable beer to a neighborhood thirsty for a brand new hangout. [Read more…]
Do you want freshly-made, locally-grown food served with a warm South Austin attitude? Vespaio Ristorante and Enoteca Vespaio bring both–with Italian passion–to the heart of South Congress Avenue.
These culinary cornerstones of the SoCo strip have been setting the standard for Italian food in Austin for decades. The kitchen staff at both restaurants is up and at it early, making pasta, bread, desserts and charcuterie, and prepping all of the daily specials in-house. Much of the food is made using ingredients from the on-site garden, Tecolote Farm in Manor and other local vendors. [Read more…]
G’s Dynamite Deli is quintessential Old South Austin. Tucked away at South 1st Street and Oltorf, G’s unassumingly serves up delicious sandwiches, salads and soups.
Staffed with friendly people, decorated with crayon-colored, sandwich-inspired art and stamped with stickers from neighboring South Austin businesses, G’s is the perfect spot to grab a quick yet satisfying bite for lunch or dinner. [Read more…]