Kelly the Culinarian: Austin Trip: What We Drank

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Austin Trip: What We Drank

Shaker at the Key Bar
Usually, drinks get lumped into my general vacation eating recap, but in Austin, that shall not be the case. The bar scene (alcohol and coffee both) is incredible, from the fast and cheap to the refined and sophisticated. I had some of the fanciest drinks and richest coffees I've ever had the pleasure to encounter, and here's where you can do the same.

Whole Foods
iced coffee
Our first day in the Lone Star State was Independence Day, and we decided we wanted to enjoy a beverage al fresco. We wandered into the Key Bar, which was exactly what was warranted for the holiday and temperature. The outdoor misters were cranking on the patio, and the bar honored its drink specials for the day despite the holiday. I tried hard crush shaker, which is a combination of vodka and lemonade poured over a homemade pomegranate/berry popsicle. I must insist all my drinks come with popsicles from now on. It was delicious and not too sweet at all.

Next up, like any faithful foodie, we made a pilgrimage to the flagship Whole Foods store on Lamar Street. It was amazing - aisle of delicious produce, a wine bar, a stand where they roast your coffee for you, an expansive bakery (with a separate chocolate/candy case), rows of hot bar offerings and every type of organic dried nut, fruit or berry you could ever want in the bulk bins. After wandering around in awe for some time, Tim and I eventually found the coffee bar and bellied up for iced coffee. It was so tasty we came back another day for a second round. I liked that WF offered all different types of milk and sweetener options, too.

When we were in San Antonio, we opted to grab coffee at Sip, a cute little panini and coffee bar downtown. It was super adorable and I can picture spending an afternoon there reading ... in my dreams, of course. In the front is my drink, the mocha freddo, and in the back is Tim's drink, the shakerato. It's Sip's take on Vietnamese coffee. Both were quite excellent, and mine was probably the best drink I had on our trip. Probably because it was made with full fat everything, but I know not to ask what I don't really want to know.

Patika Coffee iced coffee
Tim had his eye of Patika Coffee before we ever left Chicago. It's a food truck that's down the street from our hotel that we had to venture to several times before it was actually open. On the fateful morning that the truck had its windows open, we ventured over for drinks. I had an iced coffee and Tim had an iced mocha. Both were excellent. Kudos, Austin, for having a great coffee scene.

Finally, I found out about Holy Grounds on Yelp. It's a coffee shop specializing in fair trade, locally sourced drinks and food with an eye on gluten-free and vegan options. And it's inside a church. It was the strangest, delightfully funky coffee experience I've ever had. Tim and I both got Vietnamese iced coffee, which was excellent, while we perused the eclectic cafe offerings. Definitely worth a stop if you're in the neighborhood.

Finally, on our trip through Texas Hill Country, we stopped at the aptly named Texas Hills Vineyard. Again, if it wasn't for Yelp, we would have never known this place existed. It was quaint and adorable. Another wine dog was there, judging my wine choices, as Tim and I cycled through a five-sample tasting. It made an impression as Tim ended up stowing three bottles in his luggage for safe keeping. The Orange Moscato was so delicious with chocolate, and how could we not love a wine called Kick Ass Cab? And while we're at it, might as well throw in that Volare sweet red.  Yes, these are all coming home with me.

Read the rest of my Austin adventure recaps


Losing Lindy said...

sounds awesome! I love a good coffee too!

Jaime Burchfield said...

Hi Kelly. I am one of the baristas at Holy Grounds. I just wanted to thank you for mentioning us in your blog. I'm so glad you enjoyed our little shop!

KellytheCulinarian said...

I'm happy to give credit where it's due!