ATL –> ATX

Let me just be clear. I love Atlanta and always will, but Austin has stolen my heart. I went to visit my good friend, K, for Labor Day Weekend. Of course, when I booked the flight a few months ago, I neglected to check my calendar, and chose a returning flight for Sunday. Therefore, I actually spent Labor Day in rainy Atlanta, which was a total buzz kill after being in splendidly sunny Austin with friends for the four days prior.

I flew out to Austin on Thursday afternoon, and by the time I got downtown from the airport (the bus was only $1!), found K’s apartment building, and unloaded my luggage, I was long overdue for an iced coffee. First stop: Halycon. This place had air conditioning, so it was already winning in my book. I ordered a regular iced coffee, and it was strong, and cold, and exactly what I needed.

Halcyon Iced Coffee

Caffeination station

After refueling, I met K at her office and from there, we met up with our friend I, who also happened to be visiting from DC. We headed to Polvos for dinner with our friend R. The four of us shared some strong margaritas, yummy Mexican food, and lots of laughs.

I cleaned my plate. No regrets.

I cleaned my plate. No regrets.

On Friday, K had to go into work, so I and I (ha) started off our morning with the breakfast of true champions: breakfast tacos. We went to Torchy’s, which is an Austin staple–and for a good reason. These breakfast tacos are cheap. They are filling. They are delicious. I got just one egg and cheese taco on account of the fact I was still stuffed from the night before. It was so incredibly good. Ugh. I wish I had one right now.

Good Morning! Doesn't this just look like a ray of egg and cheese sunshine?

Good Morning! Doesn’t this just look like a ray of egg and cheese sunshine?

Afterwards, I walked to Jo’s for my morning cup o’ joe.  Jo’s is known for the iced turbo, which is made up of  coffee, espresso, hazelnut, chocolate, and cream, and it tastes like liquid heaven. So, that’s what I got. As you can probably guess by now, calorie counting and general healthy eating rules go out the window when I’m on vacation. In my opinion, one of the best parts of visiting a new city is trying all of the culinary highlights that make that place unique. I can never truly relax and enjoy a vacation if I’m restrictive in what I eat. So anyways, I sucked this thing down so fast, I almost considered ordering another, but then I figured I should save room for lunch, which, by the way, we enjoyed at K’s place of work: the Austin Facebook office. How cool are my friends?

I <3 Iced Turbos

I ❤ Iced Turbos

For when you need to take a minute and chill in a swinging chair at work.

For when you need to take a minute and chill in a swinging chair at work.

Super cool break room with plenty of coffee.

Super cool break room with plenty of coffee.

I and me posing with this awesome Facebook sign.

I and me posing with this awesome Facebook sign.

Ending the office tour by making it Facebook official.

Ending the office tour by making it Facebook official.

After lunch, I and I went to the Texas State Capitol and did a little self-guided tour. I works for the State Department (again, how cool are my friends?), so he probably knew more about what we were looking at than I did, but even with my lack of government knowledge I could still appreciate the aesthetics of the building. Also, it was air conditioned, so that was really nice too.

Lone Star State Capitol looking beautiful

Lone Star State Capitol looking beautiful

view from the top

View from the top

Inside the Capitol

Inside the Capitol

We ended the day with a spinning class, smoothies, and a trip to the flagship Whole Foods Market. The only photo I have is of my much needed recovery smoothie from Daily Juice. Spinning is no joke, y’all.

Berried Alive smoothie to go along with the way I felt after spinning class. Oy.

Berried Alive smoothie. A fitting name for the way I felt after spinning class. Oy.

Saturday, K, I, and I got our breakfast taco on again at Juan in a Million, where I could not finish juan taco (teehee), as it was the size of my face and piled high with egg, cheese, bacon, and potato. Thankfully, we saved room for iced mochas from Cenote on the way home. By this time, I expected to have a mediocre cup of coffee because that’s just the way of the world, but no. This iced mocha exceeded my expectations. It was the perfect balance of espresso and chocolate, which is difficult to come by.

The mocha to top all mochas.

The mocha to top all mochas.

The rest of Saturday was dedicated to a movie outing and BBQ at County Line. I was too ravenous by the time we got to dinner, I didn’t have the patience to take any photos, but let me just tell you that the BBQ in Austin is on point.

Sunday morning, we rounded up the troops and went to get–you guessed it–breakfast tacos. I was a little emotional because these were the last authentic Austin breakfast tacos I would have the pleasure of consuming for the remainder of my visit. We dined at Taco Deli, which, in my opinion, was definitely the best breakfast taco installment.

Last and best BT of the weekend.

Last and best BT of the weekend.

After enjoying every last breakfast taco bite, we ventured to Barton Springs pool, which is fed from a natural spring. This place is the best. The water is freezing, which is amazing to jump into after spending any time at all in the 100 + degree Texas heat. It was the perfect ending to a perfect long weekend.

Barton Springs

Barton Springs

Can I go back yet?

Can I go back yet?

I cannot wait to get back to Austin to see more of the city, hang out with friends, and most of all, eat more breakfast tacos.

Until next time, adios.

I Dream of Cupcake

I haven’t been in D.C. since the first week of June. Up until then, I temporarily called it home, as it was where I attended college for four years. I was ready to get out by the time I graduated, but I will let you in on a little secret: each day I feel myself missing it just a teensy bit more. I miss my friends and the way the city is so pedestrian-friendly. I do not miss the price of living or the constant WMATA repairs and inconveniences. Of course, some of the things I miss the most are related to food. Jumbo Slice for the biggest, best slice of pizza one could ever imagine. Open City for casual, yet hearty brunches and coffee complete with animal crackers on the side. Most of all, I miss Baked & Wired–the outspoken yet laid back bakery and coffee shop perched just up the hill from the Georgetown Waterfront. I was lucky enough to work within walking distance from B&W, which, on the weekends, would have lines of locals and tourists alike snaking out the door and up Thomas Jefferson St.

An Americano because why not get wired and patriotic?

An Americano because why not get wired and patriotic?

Upon entering, there are two options: right for coffee, left for baked goods. My plan of attack is always wired first, baked second. I’m a rebel. This way, I can prepare my coffee sans bag of precious cakecups, bars or cookies that needs to be carefully watched. Once I’ve got my drink in hand, I turn the corner and get in the baked line to choose which sugary treat I will take home; though, rarely do I make it even a few steps up Wisconsin Avenue before devouring everything.

The reason I sometimes wake up drooling.

The reason I sometimes wake up drooling.

I haven’t had one item from Baked & Wired that didn’t lead to me repeating “ohmygodthisissogood” a million times. The most memorable cakecup (yes, they refer to cupcakes as ‘cakecups’) I’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming, however, is the lemon blueberry with lemon cream cheese frosting. There’s something otherworldly about the perfect combination between fluffy cake and rich, smooth frosting. Bite after bite is pure bliss. I dream about this cupcake (okay, ‘cakecup’) not infrequently. I miss D.C. a little, but I miss Baked & Wired a whole lot. The next time I visit, there’s no question where my first and last stops will be.

I’ve yet to find anywhere that even remotely compares to Baked & Wired in Atlanta, so if any of y’all have suggestions, hit a girl up. Until then, I’ll have to settle for baking my own version of the LBC w/ LCCF.

Homemade version of the LBC w/ LCCF Until B&W opens a location in Atlanta...

Homemade version of the LBC w/ LCCF Until B&W opens a location in Atlanta…