Second Bar + Kitchen in Downtown Austin

Second Bar + Kitchen in Downtown Austin

Second Bar + Kitchen is aptly named for it’s Congress Ave @ Second Street location.  But don’t think for a second that the food isn’t first-rate (wakka wakka!).

On a whim, I ventured over to Second a couple of Sundays ago (after a morning coffee at the Austonian’s Caffe Medici) and was pleasantly surprised by the food and the atmosphere of the restaurant. I was seated on the second story, which was a small, covered balcony with simple tables and faux grass carpeting: [Read more…]

W Hotel Glass Falls

W Hotel Glass Falls

The Statesman reported that glass panels fell from the W Hotel residences on Friday.

Amber was at La Condesa when she heard the crash, and snapped this pic that shows where the culprit glass panes fell from.  Crazy!

Urban Outfitters Shacking Up At The W Austin Hotel

Urban Outfitters Shacking Up At The W Austin Hotel

The 2nd Street shopping district is likely to get a jolt from patrons still paying off college loans with a new Urban Outfitters clothing store.

As evident by the colorful graffiti, the faux-thrift store (call it ironic?) retailer has plans to move into the ground floor of The W Austin Hotel, which opened in December 2010.

I shop exclusively at Kohl’s, but allegedly Urban Outfitters’ new spot is a big deal because their only other Austin location is not so far away on Guadalupe Street, up near the University of Texas main campus. Perhaps they are targeting the PBS Austin City Limits crowd from shows taped there?

Jokes aside, this is a vindication that downtown Austin is becoming a destination and not in the way of “urban pioneers” loading up on Gatorade and PB&J to venture out of suburbia, like they do in Ohio.

For a number of reasons, Urban Outfitters joins the ranks of business interests investing in downtown Austin.

Cole Broadhead, a principal at Retail Solutions, said the folks at Urban Outfitters “do their homework.”

“Those deals take a long time,” he said. “They do a ton of research.”

Cinco De Mayo Party Worth Checking Out

Cinco De Mayo Party Worth Checking Out

If you haven’t made your Cinco De Mayo plans yet – I would check out this event at La Condesa / Malverde in Downtown Austin’s 2nd Street District.  It’s a hip spot with a killer vibe, and I always enjoy myself when I’m there. And there’s no cover, so there’s that….

Malverde has long been one of my fave places to go when I’m feeling a bit hip and want to enjoy a swanky view.  There’s always good music, good people, and good drinks.  The same goes for the restaurant below, La Condesa.  The interior finish out of the place is a reason to go to the restaurant in and of itself, IMO.

The event begins at 5pm (appropriately) at La Condesa.  There promises to be lots of yummy food and drink to enjoy.  Don’t siesta on this fiesta!

Flyer after the jump: [Read more…]

Downtown Austin’s W Hotel Trace MENU & La Condesa New Lunch Menu Items

Downtown Austin’s W Hotel Trace MENU & La Condesa New Lunch Menu Items

The W's Restaurant "Trace"

Just a week or so ago, The W Austin Hotel in downtown Austin held it’s grand opening.  Boy, that place is nice.  Jude and I visited the lounge areas and had dinner at Trace (link to Yelp reviews) on our visit.  The decor is swank, and the menu is trendy.  The dinner menu is separated into five categories: foraged, farmed, crafted, hunted, or shared, and the hotel restaurant has even hired an official forager, Valerie Broussard, to select local produce for the plates.

A little pricey for some plates and a little small on the portion sizes (which, honestly – is to be expected, this is a *fancy* hotel restaurant, after all), but delicious overall.  I had the Winter’s Garden salad, the Pumpkin Agnolotti, a basket of fries (from the bar menu – which I don’t have), and a glass of Merlot, all wonderful – the cost was about $35 + tip.  Here are the menus – breakfast, lunch, and dinner (they apparently change fairly frequently, maybe seasonally?,  – but this should give an idea on food type and price range) To enlarge each image, click once on the image to get to the image page, then click the image again.  More after the jump.

[Read more…]