Happy Friday! With its energetic dance-pop beats and days of disco flair, ‘It’s Never Over’ by self-describe New York ‘supergroup’ AVAN LAVA is the perfect jam to get your weekend started on a high note. AVAN LAVA turned heads locally over this year’s SXSW, and hopefully they’ll be back to inspire a little murder on the dance floor soon. The group is expected to release a new full-length album sometime in 2013, but until then, enjoy the video below.
Though there have already been several great showcases, SXSW Music officially kicks off today, Wednesday, March 13. Should you have the fortune of an afternoon off, then be sure to make your way to Lambert’s for an afternoon of music. (More SXSW Parties Found Here)
The afternoon’s lineup features a number of must-see acts including six-piece neo soul band Pickwick from Seattle. Pickwick marries Motown with Indie rock a la The Black Keys, which results in a sound that is insanely fresh and unexpected. Festival top pick for sure.
Mentioned here, one of the best ways to greet the morning during SXSW is by attending a morning showcase hosted by KGSR or KUT. KGSR’s four days of music features a line-up that might just be their best ever. Beginning Wednesday, March 13 venture to the W Austin to catch artists such as the Lone Bellow, Wake Owl, Fitz & the Tantrums, Michael Kiwanuka and many more. There is no RSVP, no badge necessary, just a $5 donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation to get a seat to these morning shows. The first 300 guests receive a free breakfast taco. More details can be found here.
Check out a video from one of Wednesday’s featured artists Wake Owl. Official Lineup after the jump!
Equally as delightful as KGSR’s morning show series is KUTX Austin’s similar series of shows taking place at the Four Seasons Austin beginning Wednesday, March 13. KUTX ‘s diverse range of artists includes Frightened Rabbit, Austin’s Wheeler Brothers, and The Relatives. Each morning show is open to the public in exchange for a $10 donation to the Shivers Foundation. Your contribution includes a delicious breakfast taco and beverages.
More details, including parking, can be found here. Full line up after the jump.
Enjoy a song by one of Thursday’s artists (and personal SXSW top pick) Lone Bellow!
Lone Bellow – You Never Need Nobody
WHEN: Wednesday, March 13, through Saturday, March 16, 2013
SXSW is no longer merely about film, music, and interactive these days! Check out some food-centric events happening in the very near future worth checking out. And, of course, don’t forget to find all the latest musical happenings here.
My top pick of the week? The Food Experiments ‘Up in Smoke’ taking place this Sunday, March 10 from 1-4pm at Clive Bar. More details here. More fun after the jump!
SXSW 2013 is just days away from taking over Austin, which of course means parties and events galore. Most events are free with RSVP, but who has time to sift through all those RSVP’s? While this list isn’t complete, it will at least help get you started.
24 Diner – 24 Diner is anything but a traditional greasy spoon. The menu is filled with American comfort staples like chicken and waffles, omelets, and biscuits and gravy, but every ingredient is locally sourced and seasonal and every dish is fresh, both in concept and flavor. The restaurant’s design reflects its concept; it is rooted in 50s Americana but with a modern and forward-thinking attitude. Breakfast standouts include huge frittatas filled with fresh vegetables and cheese and crispy chicken and waffles. Lunch and dinner options are just as fulfilling with delicious options ranging from deviled eggs to burgers to a salad of charred greens. Do yourself a favor and order 24 Diner’s veggie burger. 24 Diner’s veggie patty, served on freshly baked Easy Tiger bread, is hands down one of the best in town. 24 Diner is a great place to eat any time of day and most certainly the best around the clock spot in town.
24 Diner. 601 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78703 (Next to Waterloo Records)
Another top pick for anytime of day is 24-hour coffee shop Bennu Coffee located on Austin’s East Side. With its proximity to UT, downtown, and a number of hospitals, the coffee house attracts quite a crowd, but thankfully there are an ample number of outlets and large, eclectic collection of office chairs. The coffee shop serves plenty of Fair Trade cups of Joe to keep customers bright eyed and bushy tailed no matter the time of day. Bennu Coffee outsources its dining options to some of Austin’s very best local vendors, meaning customers have plenty options to cure those late night cravings. Choices include Taco More tacos, Russell’s Baked Goods, Fricano’s Deli sandwiches, and Hoboken Pie pizza slices. While Bennu’s coffee, snacks, and hours are all great, it’s Bennu’s casual, open atmosphere, created in no small way by the friendly staff and killer soundtrack, that keeps me coming back time and time again.
Bennu Coffee. 2001 E. MLK Blvd, Austin, TX 78702. 512.478.7800.
The Buzz Mill – Nestled by a Walgreens and rundown Dairy Queen on East Riverside, 24-hour joint The Buzz Mill is a very welcome addition to a part of Austin that’s general devoid of local options. The astutely named spot specializes in delivering its buzzes via coffee, craft beer, cider, and booze. The shop is housed in a log cabin, and this woodshed theme spills over to the eclectic décor of its interior. While the inside is on the small side, the backdoor opens up to an expansive outdoor area sprinkled with picnic tables. The Blue Ox BBQ & Pancake trailer serves up BBR three nights a week as well as an all you can eat pancake brunch on Sundays. Otherwise food options include baked goods such as Rockstar Bagels and brisket breakfast tacos in the morning. Future plans for the happening bar include live music.
As a member of the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance, I am joining a team of fellow foodies in creating a City Wide Dining Guide for 2013 detailing the best of the best Austin has to offer. This post is all about the best places for seafood with favorites discovered through personal research (eating). Please let me know what places I left off as this list will continue to evolve and grow as I check out more spots. After some back and forth, I made the executive decision to leave out sushi places. However, for my money, I am going to Uchi, Uchiko or Kome.
Quality Seafood – Value, consistency, and, well, quality, are just a few reasons Quality Seafood is arguably the best seafood restaurant in Austin. Quality Seafood, Austin’s premier seafood market and restaurant, dates back to 1938 and seems only getting better with age. While the decades have marked changes in ownership and location, the heart and soul of Quality Seafood Market has remained unaffected, if not stronger than ever. Despite its consistently high ratings, it is easy to underestimate Quality Seafood after pulling into the parking lot and walking inside. This is a seafood market, after all, complete with bright florescent lights and linoleum floors. Most tables are counter service with the exception of bar seating. However, this laidback atmosphere is all part of the restaurant’s uniqueness.
There are a good number of reasons for Quality Seafood Market storied longevity. Casual in feel and price, the restaurant’s food is on par with fancier establishments, many whom source from the business’ wholesale arm. Take, for example, an order of sea scallops wrapped in Applewood smoked bacon. The scallops are flash fried to perfection, resulting in a finished product that has a crisp caramelized crust outside yet remains tender and juicy on the inside. Other menu specialties include oysters on the half shell, fried seafood baskets, chowders and gumbo, and fish plates. Of course, no review of Quality Seafood is complete without mentioning the special that hooked us in the first place: Taco Tuesdays. For $2 every Tuesday evening, customers get a choice of shrimp, mahi mahi, or catfish served blackened, grilled or fried and topped with one of Quality Seafood’s delicious housemade sauces. A steal at $2, these tacos, stuffed with fresh seafood, are a bargain any day of the week at $4.39 a taco.
Shoal Creek Saloon – Shoal Creek Saloon is Austin’s answer to Louisiana-style dining. Long time favorite Shoal Creek is well known for its Cajun infused menu, creekside outdoor seating, and lively crowd, especially when LSU or the Saints are playing. The kitchen is famous for fried catfish, but the po boys, peel and eat shrimp and nachos are also solid choices. If too many hurricanes and hand grenades have you singing the blues, there is nothing that will cure all that ails you like a bowl of garlic soup. Naturally, Shoal Creek is THE place to go for a spicy pile of mudbugs during crawfish season. Shoal Creek Saloon is one of those tried and true Austin places that is now well on its way to becoming an institution.