A Getaway for Parents: Austin (Part 2)


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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

The sign for the Hotel San Jose on South Congress
The sign for the Hotel San Jose on South Congress

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.


View from registration at Hotel San Jose
View out the window from registration at Hotel San Jose.

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.

paths to rooms at the Hotel San Jose
Paths to rooms at the Hotel San Jose

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.

A view out the front door of Room 22 the Petite Suite
A view out the front door of Room 22 the Petite Suite looking out on the private patio.

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

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Food: Torchy’s Tacos, Texas Chili Parlor, Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden, Home Slice Pizza

Torchy’s Tacos

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.

TORCHY'S Tacos 1822 S. Congress Ave. Austin TX 78704
Torchy’s Tacos 1822 S. Congress Ave. Austin. Some call this the new flagship Torchy’s.
Torchys queso
Torchy’s queso. Behold the awesome queso. Do not miss this queso, it is divine.
Torchys chicken fajita taco
Torchy’s chicken fajita taco was my Wife’s choice.
Torchys beef fajita taco
I chose Torchy’s beef fajita taco, couldn’t wait to take a bite.
Torchy's Tacos Damn Good sign
Torchy’s Tacos is damn good.

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.

Texas Chili Parlor sign Austin, TX
Texas Chili Parlor sign Austin, TX

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.

Texas Chili Parlor chili and a Shiner Bock
Texas Chili Parlor chili and a Shiner Bock

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

Easy Tiger sign Austin,TX
Easy Tiger sign Austin,TX
Easy Tiger pretzel
Easy Tiger pretzel, yum.

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.

Home Slice Pizza patio
Home Slice Pizza patio
Home Slice Pizza menu
Home Slice Pizza menu
Home Slice pizza salad
Home Slice salad and bread, yum bread.
Home Slice pizza
Home Slice pizza

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.

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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 BarPete’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!

Pete's Dueling Piano Bar
Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar
A couple of lifelong friends at Pete's Dueling Piano bar.
My Wife (right) with one of her lifelong friends at Pete’s Dueling Piano bar.

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.

Antone's
Antone’s
Antone's - Carolyn Wonderland performs.
Antone’s – Carolyn Wonderland Band with Special Guests Marcia Ball & Shelley King.

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

The Capitol

The Capitol, Austin, TX
The Capitol, Austin, TX

Hope Outdoor Gallery

Hope Outdoor Gallery Art Sign
Hope Outdoor Gallery Art Sign
Hope Outdoor Gallery Art
Hope Outdoor Gallery Art

Austin City Limits

There was no show, but we just had to stop by and take a picture!


Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits

We loved our stay in Austin and can’t wait to go back!

Rob Ainbinder

Rob is an SEO and Marketing strategist, creator, writer, entrepreneur, blogger, Dad and husband. He is also the author of “Mastering Google Keep”. In his spare time, Rob enjoys completing home improvement projects, crafting barbeque and cheering on the New England Patriots. Rob lives with his family (Wife, our teenage daughter, and dog Lilly) in Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem area of North Carolina.

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