It’ll be here before you know it, folks: The Austin, Texas, edition of Acquia Engage. As you’re making travel plans, circling must-attend event sessions, and researching the best barbecue joints in town, consider adding the following “relatively-close-to-the-event-venue” options to your personal agenda.
If and when you reach your barbecue limit and you must swap to another food group, head on over to Gus’s Fried Chicken for hot, spicy fried chicken that is crispy yet still juicy.
Just a few blocks down from the Fairmont Austin on the corner of San Jacinto Boulevard and East Second Street, don’t let the long line dissuade you — the wait is worth it. Do a few jumping jacks while you’re out there to work off some of that brisket belly.
Not only is Gus’s mouth-watering fried chicken served on genuine styrofoam plates atop black and white vinyl checkered tablecloths (just the way your southern Aunt Judy would do it at her house) but the selection of southern sides from which you can choose — fried okra, mac and cheese, collard greens, sweet baked beans and more — are so darn finger-licking good you won’t give a hoot what they’re doing to your arteries or your waistline.
All of that fried chicken, combined with all of the learning and networking at Acquia Engage is bound to work up a thirst. And while it’s no secret that Austin has a more than a few places to where one can partake of an adult beverage or three, what is secret is the code you’ll need to gain entrance to the Floppy Disk Repair Co., located at 119 E. Fifth St.
If you’re able to get in (seriously, you will need to get the code from someone or they will really leave you standing outside) you’ll be treated to the, ahem, “eclectic” decor, creative drinks — including several that are themed after sugary kids’ cereals and purportedly taste amazingly like the real thing — and your choice of bar stools or indoor swings.
If you’re looking for a little more straightforward evening out, the Elephant Room’s basement club welcomes you to sit and enjoy some of the best live jazz in Austin in a unpretentious, no-frills environment.
If you’ve had dinner and you’re looking for a place to go with a reasonable cover charge where you can grab drinks while enjoying amazing live music and a completely chill vibe, consider a quick 12-minute walk from the Fairmont over to the Elephant Room.
Want to take in some “culture” while you’re in town? While it isn’t exactly the Smithsonian, a trip to Austin’s Museum of the Weird may be the enough to check the box. Chock full of “curios and oddities,” the Museum of the Weird is billed as America’s Strangest Attraction featuring shrunken heads, freaks of nature, the Fiji Mermaid and more.
Open daily from 10 a.m. tol midnight, my personal recommendation is to visit prior to your Sixth Street bar crawl, but you do you. Located at 412 E. Sixth Street.