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  • brandenfugate

Road Notes: Day 128


We live a very unconventional life and it is easy to forget to adult every now and then. When internet is unreliable and you aren’t on a normal schedule, deadlines can easily escape. This morning was dedicated to taxes and organizing our lives a little bit. Not fun, but a bit of a stress off our shoulders.

In the spirit of a diverse Austin experience, we went to Broken Spoke. This place was advertised as “the last of the true Texas dance halls” and has been around since 1964. My friend from university (Theresa) and her boyfriend (Jason) live in Austin and were going to meet us there for dance lessons, a little western two-stepping, and a live band. Branden and I got there early for a steak dinner and some chill live music. The singer (Ben) was great. He did a lot of classic country (I was digging all the Marty Robbins). He had a fantastic voice for it too. Today was my mom’s birthday. I asked Ben if he could just wish her happy birthday for me to send her a video. By golly, when his set was done, he sat down at our table and sang for her. Happy Birthday mama. You are very loved.

Theresa and Jason arrived. When I looked on the Broken Spoke website, it didn’t say anything about the cost for dance lessons. I assumed it was free. That was my mistake. Thinking that we could just do the dance lessons, then skip the live band afterwards to explore some other places, we decided to stay. But no. If you got the dance lessons, you had to pay for entrance to the dance hall/band afterwards. So this now was going to be an all night affair. And not a cheap one either. We debated staying, but there were so many people (tourists) there. Bye.

Jason suggested the Sahara Lounge. This was by far my favorite bar we went to in Austin. Inside felt a bit like a skate rink from the 70s meets grandma’s basement with an African twist. It was incredible. We were the first to arrive (at 9pm) but it filled up quickly after. It was ladies night, so Theresa and I got a free shot (!) and headed outside to sit by the fire. When we went back in for another round, the DJ was playing great funk, soul, and disco music, the dance floor was packed out and the place was hopping.

Overall, I felt that the cocktails we had in Austin (although we didn't have many) were just ok. This is definitely a beer town. I have to admit, the Sahara Lounge (albeit a dive) was at least serving interesting and inspired cocktails, which we didn’t get in some other more reputable places in Austin. The ‘daily punch’ was damn good. They had a house-made African spice rum and an hibiscus-infused sotol cocktail. They were totally quaffable, interesting, no-fuss drinks in an atmosphere that was actually fun. Go there.

Next we went to King Bee mezcal bar for a change of pace. Their mezcal selection was quite impressive. Although I do like mezcal as a component of drinks, I have yet to develop a discerning palate for the drink on its own. Its something I should work on, I know. But not tonight. Tonight was about being fun. And what is more fun than a frozen drink? I got the frozen bees knees and “stung it” with a shot of Ancho Reyes. After the thick, syrupy daiquiri of New Orleans, this was a nice change of pace. A frozen drink done well. Branden got the Negroni. This was no ordinary negroni. It was gin on ice with a heaping scoop of Campari and vermouth jam, which you proceed to mix together. Great in theory, but the consistency of the jam was more jell-o than jelly. It needed some tweaking, but has potential.

Hanging out with Theresa and Jason was amazing. Both are such interesting and well traveled people. They have really taken the time to get to know Austin, and showed us some great places. It was good to catch up with her. After we parted ways, we got food (of course). There was a BBQ food truck nearby called Rib Majesty. We grabbed some ribs, thinking nothing of it, and -BAM- we got punched in the face with goodness. They were the best ribs we had in Texas. With full, happy bellies, we returned to the park and truly food coma crashed.

Road Notes are timed entries—written in thirty minutes or less at the end of each day. Considerations are made for spelling/legibility but not for grammar. Deal with it.


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