SoCo Adventures

So for those of you in St. Louis, you are probably thinking, why is she writing about SoCo Adventures-she lived in South County for 6 years and never did much adventuring there.  However, I am actually talking about the South Congress area of Austin.  We took a weekend off from exploring while I was in St. Louis for a bachelorette party (yay Ashley!) and a concert involving a little band from Ireland (U2!).  I had a great time, but I definitely missed my boys!  This past weekend, I decided I wanted to visit SoCo- famous for a bridge under which a ton of bats live and being the food truck capital of the city.

For those of you who know my husband, you know that he does not like to get up early.  I, of course, vary depending on the situation, but seldom sleep much past 900.  I wanted to get up early and get a start on our day before it got too hot.  Well, that didn't happen.  We left our place close to 100 pm on our way to South Congress.  It was a 30 minute drive and I smartly armed myself with some Diet Coke.  Sometimes, when I'm hungry or without caffeine too long, I get a little crabby, so I like to be prepared.  We were heading to Gueros, as he had gotten many recommendations from coworkers to try it.  Traffic made our trip a little bit longer than we had expected, but we finally got there.  We drove over the "bat bridge" quickly, as he is not a fan of "flappy things."  We were getting close according to our trusty GPS so it was time to experience the special parking on SoCo.  They recently changed to angled back in parking- I don't think I have to tell you, that I was not the driver for this occasion.  :)  He did a great job and there were several cars that we so poorly parked, that I probably could have done a better job.  We walked down SoCo, nearly missing our destination, which was packed.  There was no place to stand inside and they were guessing on 1.5 plus waiting time.  So we opted for another time for Gueros.  We walked into several other restaurants with similar situations.  I was getting hot, hungry, and crabby fast.  

After walking for a bit, we came across South Congress Cafe, which had been featured by the chef Giada DeLaurentiis on one of her shows.  I am all for trying anything recommended by a chef.  We walked in and they told us it would be a long wait, but it was cooler inside and they had standing room in the bar area.  So, we waited.  The wait wasn't as bad as promised and it felt good to be in the AC.  SoCo Cafe was really cute and eclectic all at the same time.  Most of the wait staff had interesting piercings, tattoos, and trendy clothes, but the setting was a cute cafe, where you may want to brunch.  Giada tried the carrot cake french toast, which sounded great to me, but it was 300 and I didn't really think it was brunch time.  The waitress also mentioned a chocolate chip pancake special, which sounded phenomenal.  It took us a while to decide, meanwhile we sipped on some mojitos, which were very refreshing.  Eventually, I chose the migas ( a great recommendation from my sister and law) and he ordered the pork asada.  Instead of bread on the table, there were mini cornbread muffins, which were the perfect sweetish, carb treat.  My meal came with refried black beans, homemade salsa, a smoked gouda potato pancake, flour tortillas and scrambled eggs with onions and peppers.  The idea was to put everything into the tortillas.  I was very pleased with my meal.  The eggs had a great kick to them, which was even better when combined with salsa.  I like refried beans, but refried black beans are even better.  The smoked gouda potato pancake was delicious too.  I finished my food very full and very content.   The pork asada was very spicy.  We tend to forget that Texas isn't joking when they say something is spicy.  We definitely earned the second round of mojitos and the numerous water refills. Good choice Giada!

After lunch, we decided to walk the shops and look for a birthday gift for a friend.  There were lots of unique stores ranging from gag gifts to antiques.  We found lots of amusing items that would have been perfect for baby sister or another friend, but nothing right for the friend I was thinking about.  As we walked in the hot sun, I could feel myself melting.  I was full, hot, and just not feeling well.  It was probably the only time, I was ready to be done shopping before my husband!  I even turned down ice cream, cupcakes, and sno-cones from the various food trucks.  I WAS DONE!

As we left, I felt like I couldn't get home quick enough.  I was actually sweating, which I never do.  I came home and immediately got a glass of cold water and lost a layer of clothes.  I guess I'm just not used to this Texas heat.  For the record, it was 103 here on Saturday.  Austin is currently in the midst of a major heat wave combined with a long lasting drought.  What a perfect time to move here!  To think, I am actually excited to visit St. Louis this weekend for a little cool off...