How to spend a working weekend in Austin, Texas

September 18, 2017

Austin, Texas is an exceptional city. There’s great food, live music everywhere. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

This past weekend wasn’t one for enjoying the sights though. We had gathered in the Lone Star State to have the opportunity to be in the same room and getting some work done.

All work and no play, though. While having my partner in crime here, I wanted to show off the area at least a little bit.

Since we were mostly working, most of the Texas experience revolved around food. Sure, we could have done some more touristy things, but then our productivity would have taken a hit.

Hard to be knocking out code while you’re touring the capital building, and we only had 48 hours to move fast and break stuff.

Even though we had a limited amount of time, we did get to squeeze in some quintessential Austin fare between hacking sessions.

Here’s a few of things that we were able to cram in (recommendations by Josh, responses by Justin):

The Bar Burger at Hi Hat Public House

Easily one of the best and most consistent burgers I’ve ever enjoyed in my life. Was probably the most stoked to share this experience and it did not disappoint.

I have to say, this was pretty incredible. I was wary of the hype - the best burger, really? It lives up to it. Must try.

Brisket tacos at Valentinas Tex Mex BBQ

Franklin Barbecue is current in the process of being repaired but even if they weren’t, the wait would have cut too much into our work time. Valentina’s tends to have a wait, but it clocks in at minutes instead of hours and to be perfectly honest, I think it’s just as good.

So unassuming, basically a truck in a parking lot. Standing in the front of the line, we were told there were only 2 lbs of brisket left. Got brisket tacos, and my first taste of Topo Chico. Incredible.

Breakfast tacos at Torchy’s Tacos

Everybody has an opinion on what the best tacos are in Texas. With that, I had never been to Torchy’s so it seemed fitting to go somewhere neither of us had ever been!

I heard about Torchy’s in the Uber on the way in. My first experience with migas. Great spot outside to start the morning, with great coffee. Was a nice way to start a day of serious planning and hacking.

The Salt Lick BBQ

We take everybody that comes into town to the Salt Lick, just one of those things you have to do. Can’t really pass up an opportunity to see one of the only indoor BBQ pits in the state. Oh and pretty great BBQ too!

OMG. Salt lick is a COMPOUND. Like, it’s huge. I was blown away by the place, mostly by the size and the indoor pit. Got brisket, ribs and sausage, because I can’t help myself. Must visit IMO.

Late night Whataburger action

If you’ve never been, you have no idea. There’s nothing better than being there that first time somebody unwraps their order and are like “what a burger… oh crap that’s why it’s called that”.

I have to say, I love burgers. And, I’ve got a soft spot for fast food burgers like this. This isn’t a Five Guys burger - it’s like twice the size. At 10pm, after a long day of grinding, this hit the spot perfectly. Oh, and spicy ketchup? Shut. Up.

Breakfast at Casa Garcias

One of my favorite restaurants in Austin and from what I hear, the closest thing you’ll get to authentic Mexican food in Austin. Regardless if you show up for breakfast, lunch or dinner, the food is quality and the tortillas will absolutely blow your mind.

Margaritas at 10am. Are we serious here? Amazing. I even texted my wife while we ate to tell her we need to start doing Mexican for breakfast. As for the food, these were the best tortillas I’ve ever eaten. I’ve since thrown all my crappy grocery tortillas away. Truly remarkable.

It wasn’t a long working weekend but we stayed focused and accomplished the things we had set out to do.

We even found a minute to enjoy the National Beer of Texas!

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