Note: This is the second part of our getaway for parents to Austin, TX. If you’d like to start from the beginning, check out this post.
If you read the first installment you know we had some very good barbeque and checked out The Broke Spoke. In part two, we’ll show you where we stayed (the fantastic Hotel San Jose). Plus, a look at some more restaurants, and can’t miss tourist spots.
Hotel San Jose – A Cool Place to Stay
There is a line of hedges along South Congress with Hotel San Jose’s sign embedded in it. But, it’s more than that, it’s the dividing line between the hum of the traffic on Congress and the cool, casual vibe of a boutique hotel beyond.
Entering the registration area/desk is the start of your journey into the nearly hidden world of San Jose. We were cheerfully and warmly greeted by Sarah who quickly dispatched us with keys and directions to our room #22, The Petite Suite.
Transitioning from registration to the patio then, we were off to our room down a gravel path. All of the rooms along this row are fenced off with private patios. Once the gate is closed you have arrived.
Pictures of the Petite Suite
After settling into our room at the Hotel San Jose we asked at the front desk about something to eat. Sarah was super helpful and recommended a few places. We decided on Torchy’s Tacos just up Congress from the San Jose.
From here on out, I’ll break out our experiences into Food, Nightlife and Can’t Miss Touristy Spots
Food: Torchy’s Tacos, Texas Chili Parlor, Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden, Home Slice Pizza
Approaching Torchy’s from Hotel San Jose you are met with this fairly massive facade. From the front it looks like a 60’s interpretation of a Roman arcade. But, we weren’t here for architecture, it was the tacos and other food inside we were after.
Texas Chili Parlor
Touring the Capitol can work up an appetite and a stop and the Texas Chili Parlor is like stepping back in time.
Chili was tasty and loaded with what you’d expect (meat.. brisket I think). A Shiner Bock to wash it down seemed right. I skipped the jalapenos.
We were not happy with the attitude of the person manning the cash register but, he seemed to fit in with the vibe of the place.
Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden
Home Slice Pizza
A stop at Home Slice while in Austin, is mandatory. This pizza is top notch, the staff were pleasant and added to the experience. The patio is a welcome retreat from the buzz of Congress St.
The pizza was to die for. Seriously, we’ve eaten pizza at hundreds of pizzerias and Home Slice is one of the best. If you like New York style pizza this is a can’t miss. Everything about this pizza is perfect. The crust is light with a bit of chew and is a perfect base for most any topping. Our margherita pizza was a great combination of generous amounts of fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic and cheese. The slices were consumed with nearly orgasmic delight.
Nightlife: Dueling Pianos & Antone’s Blues Bar
Austin is brimming with nightlife most any night of the week and there are great venues all over the city. If you are comfortable with visiting the more touristy places your homebase will likely become 6th Street with it’s many bars and eatries. Our stop on 6th Street included Pete’s Piano Bar.
Our friends, long time Austin citizens, were generous tour guides. They show us the many spots in and around Austin.
Pete’s Piano Bar
It seems like nearly every city has a dueling piano bar and Austin is no exception. We had a great time and the place was rockin.
Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar
We’d never been to a piano bar and were impressed to see that the musicians were all well versed in all of the instruments in addition to being vocalists. They worked the crowd hard and we responded!
Those venturing beyond the more tourist like 6th Street are reward with places like Antone’s Blues Club.
Antone’s Nightclub “Home of the Blues”
This landmark blues establishment recently found a new home at 305 E 5th Street in Austin. And it’s cranking out the Blues consistently.
Carolyn Wonderland was fantastic as were her special guests Marcia Ball & Shelley King. The trio put on a fantastic set at Antone’s and even treated us to an encore. Carolyn’s vocals are reminiscent of Janis Joplin with the accompanying guitar skills of Stevie Ray Vaughn. On this night Carolyn broke out the lap steel guitar as well. Carolyn is a force to be reckoned with, simply amazing!
Can’t Miss Spots: The Capitol, Hope Outdoor Gallery, Austin City Limits
Hope Outdoor Gallery
Austin City Limits
There was no show, but we just had to stop by and take a picture!