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On a cool morning in April, Chef Philip Speer pulls up to Better Half Coffee & Cocktails, his motorcycle rumbling through the post-rush-hour quiet. After ordering a sparkling water, he sits on the patio under filtered sun and begins to talk about the incident in late 2014, and what came after. “I was very ashamed and very embarrassed,” Speer says, his arms and hands, beautifully tattooed, resting on the picnic table between us. “I lost everything…like, literally lost everything that I had.”
We typically associate a silky, thick mane of hair with youth, sexiness and vibrant health. And a trip down most hair-care aisles reveals dozens of products promising to transform your dull tresses into this crown of glory—all in the convenience of your own shower. These bottles of pretty, fragrant conditioning potions even seem a bit magical—tangles and snarls are instantly dissolved! Hair becomes silk-like, lustrous and oh-so-soft!
When I was a little girl in Southern California, I routinely turned up my nose at fresh fruit. Like many kids, I preferred the soft, unidentifiable, brightly colored fruit cubes that came so conveniently out of a can. (I know I wasn’t the only kid partial to that sweet, syrupy fruit from the ’70s, but the irony of walking to school through orange groves in the agricultural capital of the nation, paired with my chosen career as a fruit preserver, is not lost on me.)
Held October 4 at The Allan House, the event gives guests the opportunity to bid on exclusive dining packages with notable Austin chefs. With small bites prepared by the chefs, refreshing libations, an oyster bar hosted by our friends at Fulton Fish Market, as well as a fantastic silent auction, you’ll leave happy even if you don’t place the highest bid (though we’d love it if you did).
We Texans are known for a lot of things, not the least of which is our humility. But if there’s one thing that can get us to puff out our chests and boast a little bit, it’s Texas barbecue. Though we’re primarily known for our smoked brisket, a good Texas barbecue joint will often excel at smoking other delicious cuts. Pork ribs, especially, are a staple, but often they’re the trickiest to get right.
A common brick wrapped in tinfoil sits atop a split chicken in a scalding hot 20-inches-or-so-wide cast-iron skillet. Getting this thing into, or out of, a 500-degree oven seems a daunting task given the heft and heat, but veteran NFL offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse does it deftly, and practically one-handed. This ain’t his first rodeo, and he’s quite literally made a career of using his hands swiftly and strongly in restricted spaces.
Despite what canned concoctions may lead people to believe, humble chicken soup can actually be a work of art. A broth, so goldenly hazy it’d make IPA drinkers jealous, surrounds crispy islands of croutons; carrots pop against this canvas, as do cannellini beans and seemingly sun-kissed zucchini, and a sprinkling of Parmesan and dill brings it all together with additional color, fragrance and texture.
Now is the perfect time of year to get out on the road and explore some great new spots — along with the old favorites, of course — both in and around Austin. When we started planning this issue, we wanted to make a point to shine a light on many of the unique food and beverage businesses popping up just outside of the city limits. As Austin expands and grows, the towns a quick drive down the road are developing right along with us.
Join us on a road trip through Driftwood, our neighbors to the southwest. Most Austinites have already taken the trip to visit the world famous Salt Lick BBQ , either to get your fill of barbecue or to attend a wedding (like mine) at one of their venues. But now, there’s so much more to explore in the area before you get your barbecue fix.
Cheers to getting out and exploring not only Austin, but all of the amazing towns Central Texas has to offer.
You head out for a nice dinner, and the restaurant is busy, so you grab a seat at the bar for a drink while you wait for a table. When the tab comes, you pause — do you tip a percentage of the total or a buck or two per drink? During dinner, the service is great, but the food is just okay — do you tip on the service, the food or the whole experience? You head to the valet and scratch through your wallet for cash. Is $2 enough? That’s all the cash you have. Trying to navigate what to tip and when can be dizzying at best and frustrating at worst.
My small-town Southern upbringing includes many beloved and nostalgic memories — including our Main Street mom-and-pop shops. The owner of the small grocery store we frequented knew our names, went out back to collect eggs upon request and sent my mother a monthly bill for her purchases. Those days of a pay-me-later line of credit are long gone, but it’s comforting to know that warm customer service and attention to local and artisanal product selection — particularly in the craft beer and wine departments — still exist today in the form of neighborhood markets throughout Austin.
Jen Holmer El-Azzi lights up when talking about sourdough. “It’s like maaa-gic,” she says slowly and playfully with a big smile — like a good witch casting a spell.
Honey bees are, no doubt, an essential part of our food system, but we can’t give them all the glory for pollinating our plants. Long before these bees were brought over by European settlers in the 17th century, native bees were keeping the plants of North America pollinated.
Story by Ada Brussard
West of Austin and just east of Fredericksburg, nestled between wineries and hay fields, is a tract of savanna grassland — an ecosystem defined by grasslands dotted with oak trees. Historically, the movement of large ruminant animals and unrestricted wildfires helped architect this fertile region. Today, Katie Forrest and Taylor Collins, owners of Roam Ranch, are helping to restore this region through the practice of regenerative agriculture. At their 700-acre ranch, the bison truly do roam, and the deer certainly play.
After 10 years in politics and four years as a Marine Corps officer with one combat deployment, Mark Phillippe was searching for his next career and life path. An idea started brewing in 2010 while he was fishing with family in his father’s home state of Montana, on the banks of the Blackfoot River. Inspired by his love for craft beer and encouraged by two of his mentors, Tito’s Handmade Vodka founder Tito Beveridge and Deep Eddy Vodka and Sweet Leaf Tea founder Clayton Christopher, Phillippe set his sights on a microbrewery.
It’s becoming increasingly rare to find undeveloped land for lease in Austin, so when Max Elliott found a city-owned plot not yet claimed, he jumped at the chance to use the land in a way that would benefit the surrounding community.
Eating locally produced food does more than satisfy your taste buds — it’s good for the environment, too. Supporting Central Texas farmers and makers is just one of the many ways you can help the City of Austin reach its goal of making our community carbon neutral by 2050.
Take a look at what our staff is enjoying this month.
Spring often takes the cake for Texans’ most beloved gardening season, but autumn is also an ideal time of year to put new plants in the ground. If your yard regularly requires an exasperating amount of water to stay alive, consider switching to a drought-tolerant landscape this fall.