Tuesday, March 25, 2014

As I Said a Few Days Ago…

If you want to feel old, come to Austin—especially during the South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival. The streets (and bars) are filled with under-thirties most of whom sport multiple tats, multiple piercings, and multiple hair colors.

We made no definite lunch plans for our day of wandering. We would just find something nearby when the mood struck. But as we wandered down 6th Street, I couldn’t help but peek into the various bars and restaurants, virtually all of which were full of the young and hip.

Despite their best attempts, we resisted the 6th Street versions of mid-way barkers who would try to entice you into their establishment with the promise of “the coldest beer in Austin.” These guys reminded me of the gentlemen who would pop out of every other store front on the Ocean City, Maryland boardwalk wanting to sell you either a time-share or gold jewelry.

Our wanderings took us past Chupacabra Cantina, and I noticed that the restaurant wasn’t overly busy and that the diners looked—well, they looked normal. Let’s eat there.
Why the owners named the place Chupacabra is a mystery.
Why name a restaurant for a mythical animal whose name is derived from the Spanish “chupar ‘to suck’ and cabra ‘goat’ (literally, ‘goat sucker’) and is a legendary cryptid rumored to inhabit parts of the Americas, with the first sightings reported in Puerto Rico. The name comes from the animal's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats” (wikipedia.org). Yuck!!
We were presented with a very short menu that offered two appetizers (chips and salsa and nachos—if I remember correctly), a burrito, and four varieties of tacos. I later discovered that this was not the regular menu, so am assuming that the cantina was operating under the KISS philosophy during SXSW.
Since neither of us wanted burritos or nachos, that left the two taco plates as our only choices. And we could choose from ground beef, pulled pork, chicken, or veggie. After batting my eyes in my most seductive fashion, I persuaded our server to let us mix and match our orders and Chuck ordered one ground beef and one chicken,
while I ordered one chicken and one pulled pork. And both of our plates came with refried beans and rice.
The tacos came on warm soft corn tortillas and the both the pork and chicken were moist and juicy and came topped with some chopped pineapple in the fashion of Mexican al pastor. The beans were pretty tasteless and the rice was dry as if it had been made ahead and had been sitting on a heated surface.
I guess I’ll give our lunch 2.5 Addies. Perhaps you need to have two of the Texas Tornados (made, according to one recipe, with vodka, whiskey, rum, tequila, and cola).

To review the role of Adler and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

We headed back to the Metrorail Station for the return trip to Leander. On the way, we thought about 6th Street. It could easily have been the center of a section of the city called "Old Town Austin" and filled with cowboy-related souvenir shops with a staged bank robbery and.... Well, you get the idea.
Instead, its historic buildings' exteriors have been preserved and restored, and inside these buildings are examples of present-day businesses. And all these one-, two-, and three-story structures co-exist comfortably with buildings that arrived decades after the majestic backbone of the city.
And as is almost always the case, we are drawn to the older structures with their elaborate architectural details rather than the sleek modern structures.

Our walk took us past the sculpture entitled: "Vibrancy" by Craig Hein.

While walking was our preferred method of moving from Chupacabra to the Metrorail station, we passed a number of other options.
The row of cars2go were part of the program of unique transportation: "just take it, drive it, park it. Simple and straightforward. You open the car with the member card you receive after signing up. You go from A to B, park your car2go again and that's that."

This Airstream combined transportation with a business. Tiff's Treats was giving away samples of the business's cupcakes.
Numerous pedicabs along 6th Street reflected the popularity of this option. The Dome model was an example of "the better mousetrap" axiom--protection in rainy weather.
Just before our train pulled out of the station carrying another mode of transportation, and
a Fare Enforcement officer made a quick check for tickets.
I'm not sure what the Code Compliance personnel were checking on, but "we'll have to leave it there."

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