Hillside Farmacy, ACL, Trace

HillsideFarmacy, Bangers and Eggs
HillsideFarmacy, Bangers and Eggs

On Friday, we had an afternoon meeting at the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas to talk about ideas for an upcoming event. It was a really pleasant and productive discussion. We came out of the meeting to a very nice Austin early Friday afternoon. We decided to take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Hillside Farmacy, an interesting and unique restaurant built in an actual old pharmacy in East Austin.  The building has tons of charm including vintage wood shelves and a pleasant sidewalk patio, a perfect place to sit on a Friday afternoon, have a few glasses of wine, eat some really great food, and watch the world go by.

The bangers and eggs plate shown above was really nice. I spent quite a bit of time in London in 1984 and 1985 and my memory of “bangers” was that of rather greasy, oily sausages. These were not oily at all, but rather crisp and flavorful. They were accompanied by two poached eggs and a sort of tomato-onion garnish. Wonderful!

Hillside Farmacy, Salumi Plate
Hillside Farmacy, Salumi Plate

The “Salumi Plate” consisted of European sausages and meats. Accompanying the meat was stone-ground mustard and a nice jam as well as a generous portion of baguette slices.

I had a few glasses of a nice Agentine Malbec wine. Tomoko had a glass of Pinot Grigio. We lingered over the wine and food for a good ninety minutes. A pickup truck ran out of gas directly in front of us. Even after the owner poured a gallon of gas into it, it would not start. I got up and helped him push it into a slightly better position. It still did not start. I sat down and drank and ate some more, occasionally discussing theories about what the problem might be with the pickup truck owner. Eventually, he summoned a friend with a newer pickup truck and a rope. A very relaxing end to the afternoon.

From Hillside Farmacy, we continued to the Town Lake YMCA. I jogged a loop around the lake. Tomoko sat in their recently remodeled lobby and read a book.

Austin City Limits, 93.3 KGSR Anniversary Party
Austin City Limits, 93.3 KGSR Anniversary Party

After cleaning up, we drove downtown to the new Austin City Limits facility in the W Hotel. We had won free tickets to the 93.3 KGSR Anniversary Party. This was our first chance to get a look at this new venue. The venue and the party were very well setup. There were guests of all ages. There was plenty of seating as well a large area in front of the stage for people to stand. It looked to me like the crowd was just about evenly split between those who preferred to stand and those who preferred to sit. Even while sitting, we had a great view of the bands. We listened to the performances of Delta Rae and Milo Greene, both great bands!

Overall, it was a fun party/concert. The one deficiency was the drinks. The venue is designed to have multiple bars on every level in order to serve a lot of guests efficiently. The efficiency aspect worked well, unfortunately what they were able to serve was very limited, not very good quality and quite expensive. That is, I don’t expect a music club to compete with a craft cocktail bar. However, other Austin music clubs like Antone’s and the Continental Club can put together a pretty serviceable Martini or Mojito at a reasonable price. The ACL bars had bottles of liquor, but they did not have the ingredients and/or skills to make something like a Marinti or Mojito. About all they seemed to be able to serve was liquor+something-squirted-from-a-hose. And those were pretty expensive.

Dirty Martini and Bluegrass, Trace at the W Hotel
Dirty Martini and Bluegrass, Trace at the W Hotel

Luckily, just downstairs from ACL is Trace, the excellent bar of the W Hotel. I asked for a dirty Martini. It was perfect. Just the right balance of gin, vermouth and olive brine garnished with two very nice olives. Tomoko had a drink called the Bluegrass consisting of Dripping Springs Vodka, blueberry, mint, and lime. While sipping the drinks, we also had one of their sublime desserts. It was a high-end take on a Whoopie Pie with pumpkin mousse and bourbon ice cream. Very nice!

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