The Beginning

Hi!  Welcome to my blog, The New Austonian.  I plan on sharing my adventures as I learn more about the exciting city of Austin.  This first post may be a little overdue and a little bit longer than usual as I am just getting started. I am going to split it into several sections to best organize my thoughts.

We left St. Louis for Austin a little bit later than we had hoped due to some bad storms.  By the time we finally left, I had already been awake for 5 hours and everyone was really sleepy.  We drove through Springfield, Joplin, and Tulsa on our way to Oklahoma City.  On our way we discovered that Oklahoma is not an exciting state to drive through and that toll roads can be a little bit confusing.  Cecil spent the night in a hotel for the first time and he was not really impressed by the experience.  The next day we drove straight from Oklahoma City to Austin.  We were so excited to be in our new city!

We got a quick tour of our new apartment complex and were given a tour of our new apartment.  Its pretty new and really nice.  We love the tall ceilings and spacious closets in both bedrooms.  It seemed really big until our furniture and all 82 boxes of our stuff arrived 2 days later.  We've been unpacking for the past 2 weeks and almost have all the boxes emptied.  Its starting to look more homey and we can't wait to start having guests (as long as you can handle 100+ temperatures each day).  Our apartment has gotten the Cecil seal of approval-he loves staring out the windows and growling at cars and has gotten used to going down 3 flights of stairs to go potty.  If only, we could teach him to climb up the stairs.

This has been one of our favorite parts of Austin.  Our goal is to try as many new places as possible.  Here's what we've tried so far:

Whataburger- We actually ate at an Oklahoma location, but there are several locations all over Austin.  They have some of the best fast food burgers I've ever tasted and decent fries too.  The burgers were really juicy and delicious.  We were excited to see that there was a store right by our new place.

Freebirds- This is a build your own burrito chain.  You choose from several different sizes and tortilla flavors, adding all the ingredients as you go down the line.  I tried the chicken, which was okay, but the next time I tried steak and it was amazing.  I loved the queso and the salsa bar and all the different choices for burritos.

Cheddars- Okay, so we've had this one before in Springfield, but its still excellent.  We went with the spinach artichoke dip, mojitos and chicken tenders. It made me think of college all over again!  Best of all, I can see it from the guest room.

Which Wich- If you know me, you know that I love sandwiches.  This place was so cool!  There were so many basic sandwiches that you could start with and then customize any way you liked.  To order, you grab a bag and then check off all the things you want on your sandwich and then they make it to your specifications.  I went with the club and it was delicious.  We also tried the homemade chips, which were great.  I know that I will be going back to Which Wich again.

Mighty Fine Burger- We visited the Round Rock location during our explorations this weekend and I was impressed with what I found there.  It was very similar to Five Guys with the way you order  and the fact that the menu is very simple-just burgers, hotdogs, fries, and shakes.  The burgers were really yummy after a long day of walking around.  We split fries and were excited to find that they were the crinkle cut variety.

Chuys- Here we got to experience some authentic Tex-Mex food.  We started off with chips, a chunky salsa with a little bit of a kick, and some creamy jalapeno dip.  The jalapeno dip was excellent and started off mild, but got spicier they further down we got.  We also tried the margaritas.  The hubby had a regular lime and I went with the swirl of strawberry and lime.  The margaritas were tasty, but strong.  I ordered the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom burrito.  The boom boom sauce was creamy, cheesy, and spicy-all favorites of mine.  I was very full after finishing here.  The other cool thing about Chuys was the decor-it was very unique and I should have taken pictures while I was here.

Tomunchi Frozen Yogurt- We tried this one early in our time here.  I was not totally impressed with this one.  There were a lot of strange flavors and not very many topping choices.  I was excited to have something cold and creamy, but its not nearly as good as Fro Yo on the Loop in St. Louis.

Freddy's Frozen Custard-This place had a SteakNShake vibe to it.  We only had the custard, which was wonderful.  Having worked in the custard business in the past, I am pretty picky about my custard, but this lived up to my expectations.  It was way better than Ted Drewes!  :)  I got a concrete that was very well mixed and not soupy and his shake was the perfect consistency and quite delicious.  I only wish it were a little bit closer.

Fresh Cup Frozen Yogurt-  We just visited this place tonight.  It was so good.  I tried the s'mores, red velvet, and cake batter yogurts with no toppings.  It all looked so good that I didn't even get any toppings and that was a good call.  The cake batter was smooth and creamy-among the best I've had.  The red velvet was rich and lacked the overly red, artificial coloring and was not bitter at all.  Finally, with the s'mores- it was smooth and creamy, but you could taste the flavors of marshmallow and graham cracker in the mix.  We will definitely be going back to this place.

Austin Pizza- Finally, some good pizza in Austin.  We tried this because I was too lazy to cook after my first trip back to the Lou.  While its no Arcobassos, it was good.  We had the Bacon Pizzaburger with bacon, hamburger, and onions. It was really good and great cold the next day too.  Additionally, we had the garlic cheese bread, which was basically a garlicky cheese pizza with no sauce.  Yum!  I am confident that we will be ordering here again soon.

Pei Wei- Another chain, but I had never been here before.  It is pretty much a faster, smaller portioned PF Changs.  It was perfect for a quick meal before grocery shopping.

Super Target-  All the St. Louis Targets are going to Targets with groceries and let me tell you, its nice.  I love being able to buy everything I need from luggage to dog toys to ice cream all in one store, that is not Walmart.  :)  I plan on saving even more money and apply for the Target card soon.

HEB- This is a big grocery store chain here.  They have a huge selection of foods found in typical grocery stores and many ethnic and local foods as well.  I love the produce section-tons of really fresh fruits and veggies.  The meat here is amazing too- just watch out for things like chicken paws, gross.  I also have found that Texas likes their food to be shaped like the state.  In just this store, I found Texas shaped pretzels, cheese crackers, and colby jack cheese.  

Round Rock Outlets- I loved the outdoor shopping experience.  It was a decent sized outlet mall and we got plenty of exercise and some good shopping, too.  It had mall basics, in addition, to specialty stores, such as Calphalon, a luggage store, and a Texas gift store.  We also walked around the nearby shops at the IKEA plaza, including Specks- a huge liquor store.  Next time, we should probably remember a little bit of sunscreen, as both of us were a bit pink afterwards.  

So that's all I have for the initial posting!  I hope you enjoy learning about my new adventures in Austin and be prepared for more updates as the adventures continue!