Get comfortable, because today we are headed into downtown Austin, Texas! Austin is the best city in the state, and not just for the usual reasons. You know, live music capitol of the world, great weather, lake and trails for fun outdoor activities… need I go on?
But even though it is so amazing, it takes something extra special to lure me away from home. I’m a homebody, in case you didn’t know. I LOVE being home. But when I heard that the new Austin Public Library Central branch was complete, I decided that it was just the nerd kind of fun that we all needed.
And, I figured it would make a great excuse to visit one of my old favorite restaurants that I haven’t been to in years- Maudie’s, Too. In fact, it’s been so long that even Tim has never been and he’s been here for 6 years.
Everything is so built up along south Lamar, I didn’t recognize where I was until we were just upon the restaurant! If you are visiting town, Maudie’s is a great place for good ole’ Tex-Mex comfort food. This is the kind of deliciousness that Texans dream about when they are out of state.
Side note: One time when I was living in New Jersey, I asked a new friend of mine where to get Mexican food in the area. She thought really hard and…. wait for it…. she said, “Chili’s is in town.” I’m just going to let that sink in for a minute. Yeah. All my fellow Texans are shivering in horror, right?!?
I decided to have migas, which is a breakfast plate that has scrambled eggs, onions, peppers, tomatoes, broken bits of tortilla chips, and QUESO. Yep, queso. So delicious! And what’s a breakfast-for-lunch meal without a few beers, too, right?
If you go, you have to sit out on the patio. You can chill and watch the traffic go by on South Lamar. And because it’s November in Texas, it was perfect patio weather for us at a balmy 80 degrees. You’ll have an audience of pigeons, which actually adds to the charm. Or maybe it was charming because of the beer. Either way, it’s a magical place that you can settle in and absorb some good Austin culture. Every now and then an acorn falls off the tree above the tin roofed patio and gives a satisfying clang and everything feels right with the world.
After filling up, we headed to the library. Their parking garage was at capacity, so we parked at one down a few blocks and walked some pretty landscaped paths. I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures of the boys, of course.
We rounded a corner, and there it was! The new library looking gorgeous and modern and inviting. Tim said that the Seattle Public Library is better. And I suppose to a mechanical engineer, it might be! But this one looks perfect for Austin.
The ground floor level will eventually have a cafe, and since it faces the lake, I’m sure it will be very popular. The library is also home to an art gallery space and it opened featuring the work of Lance Letscher, a local collage artist who works on old books! Here’s a few of my favorites on display:
We enjoyed tromping around all 6 floors of the library and found some really neat work spaces, gardens, patios, and places to explore. If you go, look up when you are in the atrium to the door on the 6th floor. You’ll know which one I’m talking about!
This hands on art is in the children’s patio. I showed Will, and his eyes lit up. He looked at me and I looked at him and in that one glance we both knew without saying anything that that would have been his favorite place in the entire library when he was little. So of course, it’s got a special place in my heart already.
After all of the exploring, we were ready for our last treat of the day. I’ve been hearing about Gordough’s food truck for a long time. It’s practically legend, and I can see why. It’s one of those unique Austin experiences, for sure. It’s casual and unassuming like most of Austin and not to be missed.
They have crazy, gluttonous donut concoctions, like the Elvis and even one called the Flying Pig with a nest of bacon on top and drizzled in maple syrup! These are not regular donuts, so come hungry and ready to indulge. I told the boys we had to stop here “for the blog” ha! I hope you guys enjoy my sacrifice. I’m such a team player.
We got ours to go, but couldn’t resist sitting down at the picnic tables and tasting a few bites before we headed home. They were warm and gooey and delicious. Every bit as amazing as everyone says!
I hope you enjoyed our peek into a classic Austin day! What are your favorite local Austin hot spots? I’d love to hear, and maybe I’ll head that way next! And click follow on the right if you want more Austin features.