[ATXMIX002] The End Is Another Beginning


Listen To Mixtape002 Now:


Artist: The Halfways – Song: Not All Are To Be Trusted
Show: 12/4/2015 The Parish
Site: http://thehalfways.com/

Artist: Tameca Jones – Song: Hot and Bothered
Show: 12/11/2015 Stubbs
Site: http://tamecajones.com/

Artist: Megafauna – Song: Touch the Lion
Show: 12/5/2015 Cheer Up Charlies
Site: http://www.megafaunamusic.com/

Artist: Big Bill – Song: Weird Walk
Show: 12/11/2015 Swan Dive
Site: http://bigbillband.bandcamp.com/

Artist: Lord Buffalo – Song: Black Mesa
Show: 12/11/2015 The Sidewinder
Site: http://www.lordbuffalo.com/

Artist: Young Tongue – Song: Caveshare
Show: 12/11/2015 Mohawk
Site: http://www.youngtonguemusic.com/

Artist: Löwin – Song: Gonna Run You
Show: 12/5/2015 Cheer Up Charlies
Site: http://www.lowinband.com/

Artist: Kiddoo and the Dude – Song: Brand New
Show: 12/10/2015 Mohawk
Site: http://www.kiddooandthedude.com/

Liquid Brunch: The 15 Best Bloody Marys in Austin


The Bloody Mary is a staple drink. Whether it follows a big night, or starts a bigger day, the spicy brunch cocktail is steeped in tradition. Filled with vegetables and healthy goodness (or so we hope) to get you feeling good, there are a few variations that have brought the Bloody Mary into the spotlight. So, we set out to find the best bars in Austin to order one, whether it’s a make-your-own or made to order.

Rio Rita

If your hangover is too intense to deal with making your own morning savior, Rio Rita is the East Austin bar for you. The only decision you’ll need to make is between regular, jalapeno or habanero vodka. The Bloody mix is salty, with strong tones of tomato and citrus, and the simple celery, okra, olives and peppers round out the flavor well enough to make this one of Austin’s best Bloody Marys.  


This make-your-own at Zax starts you off with a tall glass of ice and a shot of pepper-infused vodka. Then, the highball is your court. Choose between V8, Clamato and tomato juice as your base, then work your way through the generous offering of spices, hot sauces and condiments. And why stop there when you can make-your-own omelet from over a dozen ingredients?

Yellow Jacket Social Club

The word around town is that this East Austin bar serves up some of the best brunch going. An extensive and well-rounded menu gives you plenty of choice and even more flavor. And the ready-made Bloody Mary hits the spot with its shot of beer, spicy kick and towering archipelago of garnish.

Stubb’s BBQ

A brunch destination with an incredible history (including slavery, Korean War veterans and the explosive Austin music scene), Stubb’s serves a make-your-own Bloody Mary not to be missed. Choose from a decadent array of condiments, spices and sauces and experience the famous Gospel Brunch. And maybe hang around all day to catch some more live music.  

The Silo on Seventh

This is an East Austin brunch destination with a difference. Casual, relaxed and catering to the industry crowd (it’s open for Monday brunch), the rooftop restaurant at The Silo On Seventh lets the morning sun soak up some of your sorrow. And the famous Bloody Mary will have you feeling merry in no time.


Sawyer & Co.

This East Austin brunch destination is a retro-modern diner offering South Louisiana cuisine, retro cocktails and old-fashioned hospitality. Sawyer & Co. has a brunch menu to make anyone hungry. But first, a choice must be made: A Bloody Mary made with vodka, gin or tequila?

The Hi Hat Public House

The Hi Hat Public House pairs unique tap beers with American cuisine, making it a perfect local eatery on a Sunday morning. While it’s not a build-your-own, the Bloody Mary here makes the list for ditching the vodka and giving you a healthy dose of sake to kickstart your day. And to keep the flavors in sync, the drink features a healthy serving of garlic, cilantro and spice, making it one of the best in town.  


Regardless of who you woke up next to, Frank‘s Red Headed Stranger is the only company you need for brunch. This Bloody Mary is made with bacon-infused Tito’s vodka, a house-made Bloody mix, a rim of Frank-salt, and a garnish that includes black-pepper bacon, a jalapeno-stuffed olive, a pepperoncini and cheddar cheese. Delicious.

Gourmands Neighborhood Pub

Simple in name but not in nature, head straight to Gourmands if your wake up needs a helping hand. Classic pub fare fills the menu, and the Bloody Marys aren’t lacking. But don’t stop there — make sure you try the sandwiches, famous enough to have their own following.

The Driskill Bar

Famed as the grandfather of the make-your-own movement, The Driskill Bar gives its patrons a Sunday morning worth getting up for. More than 30 different condiments allow a personal touch to the Tito’s handmade vodka. And for those who like it hot, you can forgo the Driskill’s 32-year-old Original mix for the Bloody Revolution varieties, including Ribeye, Smoked Habanero and Pickle Zing.


South Congress Café

You’ll be saved from your morning by South Congress Café‘s tall, elegant and pretty concoction bursting with spice, potency and flavor. After all, there’s a reason The Huffington Post named this one of the best Bloody Marys in America.

The Grackle

The Grackle‘s staff will ask you how you want your Bloody, and they’re open to suggestion. Besides, you’ll be happy to watch when the brunch bartenders get to work.  Spices, flavors, artisan garnish and plenty of passion make these liquid salsas worth getting up for.  

Swift’s Attic

Like everything about Swift’s Attic, the BYO Bloody Mary bar is impressive. Empowered with a glass of vodka, a brunch-goer faces off against two types of Bloody Mary mix, 20-odd types of hot sauce, regular and stuffed olives, pickled okra, carrots, banana peppers, celery, lemon and lime wedges, spices, horseradish, green beans, pearl onions, jalapenos, bacon, and more.

The Park at the Domain

The Park at the Domain is not just a sports bar, although you’d be forgiven for thinking so with its 42 HDTVs. Meticulously tinkered recipes make for delicious cuisine with a modern twist and are accompanied by artisan beers and handcrafted cocktails — including a Bloody Mary your way.  

Star Bar

And finally, the mother of the breakfast cocktails is Star Bar‘s Hail Mary. Not a make-your-own, this jaw-dropping, ergonomically-challenging cocktail starts with a classic Bloody base before being adorned with skewers of food. Garnishes (using that word loosely) include:

  • an all-beef hotdog
  • lil’ smokies
  • hickory-smoked bacon
  • pepper and garlic shrimp
  • onion rings
  • a slider
  • chicken nuggets
  • a deviled egg
  • crab meat
  • pickled okra
  • cherry tomatoes
  • pepperoni
  • pepper jack cheese
  • and a cinnamon roll.

A meal in itself, this drink will see you through to dinner.


images by:
Wokandapix, Unsplash, Dogancan Ozturan

22 New Austin Restaurants Worth Checking Out

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Let’s not limit discovery to just local music — Austin has way too many great eateries to ignore this pillar of the city’s culture.

Of course, good restaurants come and go for a variety of reasons, and keeping up with notable new spots is a full-time job. (Seriously, Austin’s food critics stay busy. We know because we read their reviews dutifully.)

So in the spirit of discovery, we’ve put together a list of 22 new restaurants in town we think are worth checking out.

Our primary selection criteria:
• Doors opened no earlier than January 1, 2014.
• Reboots of old classics and permanent homes for food trailers are fair game.
• Input from critics and patrons (via Yelp! and other such review platforms) were given roughly equal weight.

This is not a ranked list; we wouldn’t feel comfortable calling one restaurant better than another. But for easier browsing, we at least alphabetized the entries.

Let us know if you think we left some place off the list!

Apis Restaurant & Apiary

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Up in Spicewood along the Pedernales River, Apis features a welcoming interior, 20 beehives, and all the delicious honey you could ever want. The whole concept — from the bees to the menu to the decor — represents a lifelong dream of owner Taylor Hall, last seen working as the head chef at Supper Underground.

Blackbird & Henry

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Matthew Odam from the Austin-American Statesman ranked Chef Mark Schmidt’s Blackbird & Henry No. 17 on his list of best restaurants in Austin at the end of 2014. “[Schmidt’s] campus-area restaurant features Texas cuisine like fried quail with creamy white corn grits, and the British influence — and India’s effect on that country — can be tasted across the menu, from cocktails (a Calcuta Ritta with a curry-salted rim) to entrees (a mild curried prawn kedgeree with fried lentils and fluffy couscous) and dessert (a strawberry and cream Eton Mess),” Odam wrote.

Dai Due

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

The beloved butcher shop and supper club on Manor Road opened as a full-on restaurant in 2014, now serving breakfast and lunch. The emphasis as always is local, seasonal ingredients — so much so that the supper and day menus have to be filtered with a calendar.

El Sapo

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

El Sapo took over the Flat Top Burgers spot on Manor Road last summer and picks up where the former burger joint left off. “The real fun starts when you venture out across the menu and try some of their specialty burgers and sandwiches,” writes Full and Content’s Lisa Rawlinson. “The Lamburgesa, with a thick slice of grilled queso panela, cucumber slices and lemon-serrano aioli, is a tasty alternative, and El Pascador will satisfy fans of a good fish sandwich, with its perfectly flakey buttermilk-battered Texas black drum.”

Elizabeth Street Cafe

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

French-Vietnamese colonial fusion cafes are the kind of places where if you find a good one you will stick with it forever. Elizabeth Street Cafe, however, takes it up a notch by somehow combining the charm of the best bistros in Austin and Paris with excellent Vietnamese flavors. Said Austinot’s Erin May, “It is the dedication to carefully constructed, hearty meals that will keep me and so many others coming back.”


22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Upscale Southern food restaurant Fixe definitely wins the award for best family meal in Austin: Just look at that sea of jalapeño cornbread pictured above! Bonus points for the special grits section on the menu and the barrel-aged cocktails.

Fork and Taco

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Fork and Taco is like one big love letter to Austin’s food scene. “The day we moved to Austin it was 70 degrees and sunny…and it was December,” owners Jeff and Susan McCoy write. “Within hours of being here, a taco truck pulled up and three neighbors stopped by to say hello and helped us move in.” To return the favor, they grabbed Chef Casey Fannin, formerly of Uchi, and started making some of the city’s absolute best and most innovative tacos.

G’Raj Mahal

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

After four years of building up a loyal following in a food trailer, Sidney Roberts and her husband, Anthony, found a cozy brick-and-mortar home for G’Raj Mahal on Rainey in 2014. “We have rebuilt and custom-designed an old house into a funky, beautiful space featuring: a large, gorgeous wooden deck in the back patio, a lovely stone front yard, comfortable indoor café seating, and a premium wine and beer bar,” the owners write.


22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

The team from Contigo — Andrew Wiseheart and Ben Edgerton — have opened a new place to much fanfare, and with an emphasis on vegetables. This is your best bet in town for a plate of celery root and black truffles that will blow your mind.

Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile

This family-run restaurant in East Austin sources all of its meat from the family’s ranch in Melvin. Owner Adam Jacoby says that he draws much of his inspiration from growing up in Melvin, where his parents ran a feed store and cafe in addition to raising four children.


22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki opened this East Austin neighborhood cafe (converted from an old laundromat) in February 2015 after months of anticipation. So far, their casual-yet-innovative approach to the cuisine has won people over. “The approachable menu draws from an eclectic mix of influences, accented with flavors such as anchovy, togarashi and scotch bonnet,” CultureMap’s Melody Fury wrote in February.

Licha’s Cantina

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

It’s not easy for a Tex-Mex place to stand out in Austin, but Austin Monthly’s Lynne Margolis and Veronica Meewes argue that Licha’s Cantina, opened in January 2014, does just that. “With hospitality and homestyle food served in an intimate setting, Licha’s truly makes you feel like their casa is your casa,” they write.”

Lucky’s Puccias & Pizzeria

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

The food trailer that serves some of the best, most authentic food from southern Italy opened a brick-and-mortar location on West 5th Street in early February. “Don’t worry,” the owners write, “the trailer location will continue to serve puccias, but if it’s pizza, salad, beer and wine that you want then come visit our new location.”


22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Chef Shane Stark & Roberto San Miguel got together in 2014 and created a restaurant / wholesale seafood market that promises some of the freshest fish and shrimp from the Texas Gulf. The restaurant’s menu is seasonal, and there is also an awesome raw bar featuring oysters, shrimp and crab.

Noble Sandwiches

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

After four years of inspiring pilgrimages up north, Noble Sandwiches opened a central location in spring 2014. Meanwhile, accolades keep rolling in for Noble Sandwiches, including Men’s Journal putting the seared beef tongue sandwich on its list of 50 best sandwiches in America.


22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

The Austin Chronicle’s Virginia B. Wood wrote a sparkling review of Olamaie when it opened in August. Special praise was reserved for the biscuits, which the chefs had tried to keep as a secret, but now they’re mentioned in every review of this place. Oops.

The Peached Tortilla

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

For some people, eating from the The Peached Tortilla’s truck was a borderline religious experience. Now that the team has opened a restaurant on Burnet Road, those folks finally have a proper place of worship.

Salvation Pizza

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Purveyors of the city’s finest New Haven-style pizzas, Salvation opened up a second location on Rainey Street in February.

Sawyer & Co.

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Just downriver from Jacoby’s, this Cajun and Creole diner is doing a lot of things right: $5 happy hour cocktails, legit po’ boys, hurricanes on tap, and astroturf out on the patio.

The Scarlet Rabbit

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

The Scarlet Rabbit opened up in Round Rock summer 2014 to provide a “culinary rabbit hole” for adventurous eaters to venture down. That’s no joke. Check out some of the menu items: quail flatbread, fried oyster nachos, and Texas Bouillabaisse.

St. Philip Pizza Parlor + Bakeshop

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Here is a repeatable model for success: Take the team behind a proven hotspot (Uchi), focus their efforts on making great pizzas and baked goods, then just for the fun of it put s’mores pancakes on the brunch menu.

Taco Flats

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

A reboot of a classic hangout from the ‘70s, Taco Flats earned rave reviews from Thrillist Austin: “True to old-school Austin, their menu runs the gamut from carnitas tortas to hemp seed burgers and ‘hippie tacos’ with grilled Oaxaca cheese, refried black beans, and house pickled escabeche — all on delicate, house-made tortillas, of course.”

Alan / Flickr
Other images courtesy of the restaurants’ web pages or Facebook pages.

Austin Music Tastemakers: 50 to Follow on Twitter

1acllive2andylanger3antonesrecords4ashleycass5austin360music6AustinBloggy7chronevents8musicaustin9austinmusicppl10austintownhall11bvaustin12C3Concerts13CameronAtSX14e4thequeen15CovertCuriosity16CM_Austin17CultureMapATX18cottonaustin19deborific20DeidreGott21do51222DMFreeman23SoundDessert24grahamreynolds25Greg Ackerman26ianmorales27JacobStetson28JamesMinor29jenleduc30joegross31SideOneTrackOne32johnpointer33yelpaustin34KOOPradio35YouGotKOd36LauraATX37hipstercrite38lillianlee39ulovei40Noel Bridges41ovrld42partyends43pwaites44Playback_Austin45SamanthaCPhelps46SaschaStone47theAustinot48theloyaltyfirm49TRIBEZA50thevickeys

Austin’s music scene is obviously vast, and keeping up with the city’s music news, the shows around town, and all the places to score SXSW wristbands is a full-time job.

Let’s make that universe a bit more accessible. Below are 50 people, news outlets and companies that are a key part of the Austin music scene. Throw them all into a Twitter list, and you’ll have the most up-to-date info on what’s going on in Austin. From show announcements to venue closings/openings, these are the people who know things first.
• ACL Live, @acllive
• Andy Langer, @Andylanger
• Antone’s Record Shop, @antonesrecords
• Ashley Cass, @ashleycass
• Austin 360 Music, @austin360music
• Austin Bloggy, @AustinBloggy
• AustinChronEvents, @ChronEvents
• Austin Music Office, @musicaustin
• Austin Music People, @austinmusicppl
• Austin Town Hall, @austintownhall
• BrooklynVegan Austin, @BVAustin
• C3Concerts, @c3concerts
• Cameron @ SX, @CameronAtSX
• Colleen Fischer, @e4thequeen
• Covert Curiosity, @CovertCuriosity
• CreativeMornings/ATX, @CM_Austin
• Culture Map ATX, @CultureMapATX
• David Cotton, @cottonaustin
• Deborah Sengupta Stith, @deborific
• Deidre Gott, @DeidreGott
• Do512, @do512
• Doug Freeman, @DMFreeman
• Gillian Driscoll, @SoundDessert
• Graham Reynolds, @grahamreynolds
• Greg Ackerman, @g_ack
• Ian Morales, @ianmorales
• Jacob Stetson, @JacobStetson
• James Minor, @JamesMinor
• Jennifer Leduc, @jenleduc
• Joe Gross, @joegross
• John Laird, @SideOneTrackOne
• John Pointer, @johnpointer
• Kelly Stocker, @yelpaustin
• KOOP 91.7FM, @koopradio
• Kristin Owen, @YouGotKOd
• Laura V. Johnson, @LauraATX
• Lauren Modery, @Hipstercrite
• Lillian Lee, @lillianleee
• Miguel Angel, @ulovei
• Noel Bridges, @Noel_Bridges
• ovrld music, @ovrld
• Party Ends, @partyends
• Patrick Waites, @pwaites
• playback, @playback_austin
• Samantha Phelps, @samanthacphelps
• Sascha Stone, @saschastone
• the Austinot, @TheAustinot
• The Loyalty Firm, @theloyaltyfirm
• Victoria Alvarez, @thevickeys

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
The Live Music Capital of the World has 250+ official venues, and we thought we should go ahead and invite controversy by identifying and ranking which ones we think are the best.

With the city’s huge diversity of venues, we found it necessary to impose a little objectivity to the selection process. It’s not scientific, per se, but the three-point rubric we came up with did a good job of separating the great venues from the good ones and the good ones from the merely decent. This worked regardless of venue size or what kind of bands the place books.

Here were our three key criteria:

  • Does the venue frequently surprise us with the quality or stature of the artists it books?
  • Is the drink selection noteworthy, and are the drinks priced fairly?
  • Does the venue’s atmosphere make a good show better?

As we found out, this didn’t totally filter out our own biases — you’ll see what I’m talking about below — but it did give us a very solid list of venues.

Below are our picks for the 10 best venues in Austin and why we ranked them in the order that we did. But first, a shoutout to the venues that just missed the cut: Brass House, Cedar Street Courtyard, The Elephant Room, The Saxon Pub and Beerland. Also, keep an eye out for the new Antone’s location on Fifth Street.


10. The Roost

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
It’s clear that the people behind this place are music industry veterans. The pro sound design and the old show poster collection prove it. The Roost is a bit out of the way for many people — it’s in Wells Branch — but that only helps weed out a great crowd night after night.

Why We Put It Here: There are few other places where you can catch some big-name acts such as Michael Martin Murphey in such an intimate setting.


9. Cheer Up Charlies

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Cheer Up Charlies feels as though it distills the best parts of a good festival into a fun evening. Some nights it’s a show; other nights it’s a DJ spinning ‘90s country records, and the crowd is as eclectic as the monthly music lineup.

Why We Put It Here: Vegan-friendly, queer-friendly, everybody-friendly. It takes serious effort to create an inclusive and fun environment such as Cheer Up Charlie’s, but the payoff is great crowds. Those $6 drinks help, too.


8. The White Horse

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Speaking of all-inclusive, The White Horse has built itself into an authentic honky tonk that appeals to a huge swath of people without even a hint of kitsch or irony.

Why We Put It Here: It’s the way The White Horse approaches its own authenticity that’s so noteworthy — there are weekly lessons in two-stepping and zydeco dance to make everyone feel comfortable about getting out on the dance floor. Bonus points for Bomb Tacos.


7. Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Here is another venue where the dancefloor gets crowded in a hurry. The crowds are diverse and always a lot of fun. And if you’re cramped for space, you can always take your beer outside and chill.

Why We Put It Here: Chicken Shit Bingo.


6. Continental Club

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin

Interestingly, our rubric caused one of Austin’s most iconic venues to rise nearly to the top. The Guardian ranked the Continental Club as Austin’s best live-music venue in 2012, and Rolling Stone named it America’s No. 6 live music venue in 2013. Yet despite this notoriety, the place remains a great spot to catch a show.

Why We Put It Here: Overall value and the quality of the bookings make the Continental Club a real contender to this day. Door prices for killer shows are routinely in the $10–12 range, and drinks are still modestly priced.

Bonus points: History’s gotta count for something.


5. Holy Mountain

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
In 2012, Holy Mountain took over the space Beauty Bar occupied, and it seems to be a net gain for the Red River District.

Why We Put It Here: Fast, friendly bar staff; NBA Jam tournaments; and an excellent sound system.


4. Empire Control Room

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Empire Control Room and its two additional spaces, the Garage and the Patio, have created one of the most fun nightlife spots in town. The party nights are great, and the Super Smash Bros. tournaments are a blast, but Empire Control Room shines brightest on show nights.

Why We Put It Here: The atmosphere Empire Control Room has created is turning this place into a go-to spot for many people right now, and it’s the audiences that make show nights special. Watch as this venue grows and develops. Once it is allowed to hit its stride, this place could become legendary.


3. Hotel Vegas

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
“If you want to know the next new sound, band, or vibe to come out of the local rock scene before it gets picked up by the media or bigger clubs,” Chris Apollo Lynn writes at Republic of Austin, “Hotel Vegas and their partner venue, the Volstead, are definitely worth a visit.”

Why We Put It Here: Value. Shows are often just a few bucks (sometimes free), and the quality of the music booked here far exceeds the door prices. Drink prices are also cheap. Even if you show up with just $10 in your pocket, you might very well leave surprised at the great night you had.

Bonus points for this review:
The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  


2. Red7

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Red7 is grimy and hot, and the drink selection is meh. But if you’re looking for craft brews in the first place, you’re at Red7 for the wrong reasons.

Why We Put It Here: Red7 has punk and metal shows that look pretty much the way punk and metal shows did a generation ago. When Mastadon or DRI are coming through, this is where you want to see them play. We’re not going to make one of those “Austin was cooler back when…” arguments, but the authenticity of Red7 is nonetheless refreshing. Bonus points for the outdoor stage, which is always a lot of fun.


1. The Mohawk

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Not yet a decade old, The Mohawk won The Austin Chronicle’s Best Live Music Venue three years in a row (2010–2012) and established itself as an institution.

Why It’s No. 1: The drink selection and prices earn The Mohawk points, as does the overall atmosphere, but there is a bigger-picture consideration that puts it over the top.

The staff here care about what they do. The design projects an aesthetic that somehow complements any genre of music. And the crowd typically brings it. A great venue elevates a show. So, when an Aesop Rock or an Of Montreal — someone with a built-in following — comes through, the performance meshes with all the elements that make America’s best music scene great.

And you can feel the difference.


Images by:
rafoto / Flickr
Venue images courtesy of venue websites or Facebook pages.