austin wrap up.

Our final day in Austin was a sad one, no doubt.

Thankfully, we had the afternoon to wander (slash stuff our faces at least six more times).

We started at the Magnolia Cafe, a quaint little joint towards the end of South Congress (think dirty diner meets tattoo parlor meets your old rocker grandma’s kitchen). The wait wasn’t terrible, despite all of the people standing around. Cheryl ordered a “short stack” of pancakes — one buttermilk, one gingerbread. Nothing short about this stack…two giant pancakes the size of my head. Both were delicious, neither spectacular. I had the Flacos Tacos: eggs, bacon, and avocado in a tortilla. It was also delicious, although nothing tremendous. The best decision I made was to order a side of their housemade chipotle sauce. Good. Lord. It was like a smokey salsa marinara puree. I wasn’t shy about spooning it into my mouth.

Some more shopping took place following breakfast. We stopped back into Leighelena to poke around for more jewelry — no luck this time around. Cheryl wanted to catch one last glimpse of the jewelry in Feathers Boutique — no luck there, either.

We headed to Lamar to experience some of its shops. Initially, we were hoping to rummage through Big Bertha’s Closet (or something like that — another Feathers Boutique type deal). Unfortunately they were closed. Down the street, however, we managed to find two incredible shops.

Moss: if it didn’t say so on the door, you’d have not the slightest idea that this was a consignment shop. Sweaters for $795, bags for $1400. It even smelled like a “new” store. Cheryl, of course, was in heaven. She found a beautiful Chloe bag and I found a pair of Pour la Victoire oxfords. We chatted up the gal working there, who made a great locals recommendation for our final meal in Austin.

Next door to Moss was a strange shop called Howl. It was a beautiful space, filled with incredible, unique pieces of furniture (like a mouse maze coffee table) and the cutest little dog running around. They were setting up for a photo session, so we didn’t stay long, but it was worth poking our heads into.

After we’d worked up even the smallest appetite (we had pretty much eaten our way through Austin at this point), we headed south on Lamar to the CoolHaus truck. It’s a tiny (and I mean TINY) postal truck converted into a traveling ice cream stand (I think there’s one in LA and New York and soon to be Miami, also). They handmake their ice creams and their cookies. You’re SUPPOSED to order an ice cream sandwich. But I was dead serious about getting the strawberry and candied jalapeno ice cream and unless it’s tequila flavored (there wasn’t one…I made sure), what kind of cooking goes with that?? So we ordered our cookies on the side (not that impressive, anyway). But that ice cream — holy goodness. Mine was probably the most unique and tasty I’d ever had (sorry, Full Tilt!). Cheryl had the toffee coffee and that was just as good.

Sadly, we were on the last leg of our trip.

Our final destination was Papi Tino’s (recommended by the Moss gal). It was in what is known as the “eastside,” which we tragically knew nothing about until an hour before! It was a tiny little neighborhood that resembled the Mississippi District in Portland. Likely where all the hipsters congregated. Papi Tino’s was located in a little white, unnamed house. It had a great outdoor front seating area and a stellar vibe from the start. Our waiter (although he turned out to be an idiot), was pleasant. I ordered a margarita (hand squeezed lemon, lime, and orange juice with serrano infused tequila and a red chile salt rim) – I would have been okay to only drink that drink for the rest of my life. I’d never had a margarita steal my heart until this day. To eat we ordered this divine mess of tortilla pieces with chicken and green chiles. I can’t tell you why they were so good, or what made them special, but they were incredible. Absolutely incredible. We also ordered the housemade guacamole that we’d heard so much about, but he failed to bring that to us until the end (we ordered five things, he forgot three of them…one of which was my second margarita — way to go, buddy!). No matter his dumbassness, it was a tremendous way to wrap up this perfect trip.

The final greatness of this trip:

As we’re standing in line to board our flight home, a beautiful gray haired woman walks up behind us. Cheryl leans over to me and whispers, “is that Susan Wheeler???” I look, thinking she’s absolutely correct. Thankfully Cheryl isn’t shy. Sure enough, it’s Susan. She recognized us, too, but wasn’t sure why — it’s always so shocking to see faces out of context. We told her about our chat with the woman at Blackmail, and how we’d just been talking about her. She told us about her buying trip that she was just now returning home from and we swore to exchange lists of great places this coming week.

And just like that, homeward we were bound…

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