The Edge of Texas 2017 Lineup Announced

2017 marks the first annual Texas Monthly The Edge of Texas. Based off the May 2017 issue, this event is what I like to think of as a all-Texas SXSW in the middle of the Autumn season up in Dallas, TX.

The Edge of Texas will be held on November 10th and 11th, with each day holding a different theme. Friday, November 10 will be “Party on the Edge” at the Fashion Industry Gallery. Think great food, great music and great art as you and your fellow Texans celebrate everything art, fashion, and food.

Saturday is split into two themes. The day events (10 AM-4PM) is “Storytelling on the Edge”. Your favorite Texas Monthly writers and editors will be interviewing various speakers, allowing their stories to come alive from the pages of the mag. Topics vary from medicine to ISIS to movies to magicians to murder! The night portion begins at 7 PM with live cooking and a “futuristic campfire”. The night is finished off with musical performances by Shinyribs, a local Austinite band (“I Got Your Medicine“) and Sarah Jaffe, who is from Denton (“Clementine“, “Bad Baby“).

To see ticket information, the full lineup and the schedule, check out www.edge.texasmonthly.com.

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#HurricaneHarvey

Please send your thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey. It made landfall about an hour ago on the Texas Gulf and has no intention of going away anytime soon. Buildings have collapsed and trees have been knocked down.

Also, help the local shelters! Major influxes of animals are coming in. Please help out and foster! Austinites, Austin Pets Alive! can use your help, hint hint cough cough.

Fellow Texans: follow your local news channels for live updates.

Everyone else: #hurricaneharvey will give you a load of updates, live Tweets, etc.

 

The Oasis on Lake Travis

I have to admit it: I’m a sad example of a Hispanic girl. I can’t salsa dance to save my life. XD

Lucky for me (and you fellow Austinites/tourists/dancers), there is a place where free salsa exists (both the food kind and dance kind!).

The Oasis is a great place to gather friends and family for an evening of fun. Eleven years ago, the Oasis was a restaurant that was falling apart. Now, it’s a paradise with its renovated restaurant, two other restaurants (one of them being Gumbo’s which used to operate in Bee Cave), cafes, boutiques and an arcade. Oh, and some killer views of Lake Travis.



Every Sunday, from 7-10 PM, the Starlight Terrace holds Latin night where the band plays a mix of Latin-genre music, including salsa, merengue, and Tejano (think OG Selena). From 8:30-9 (today lasted til 9:15 since there was a large crowd), a pair of dance instructors host dance lessons. Piece of advice: can we do the lessons first thirty minutes so I can practice my dance skills? Just saying.


The food is pretty good and the drinks are better. Their most popular plate is the bean and cheese nachos, which actually comes with more than just beans, cheese and tortilla chips. In terms of drinks, they are best known for their margaritas. If you aren’t into food coma nachos, they’ve got burgers and tacos. Worried about calories? Don’t be. You’ll lose it with all the dancing. XD

This is a great family friendly event as well as an adults only event. Or if you have to bring the kids along but planned adults only, you can send the kids to check out the candy store or play in the arcade.


The best thing about this place is watching the sun set over Lake Travis. It’s romantic and fascinating and, if you are a nerd like me, question everything about astronomy and the science that brings such beauty to one’s life.


So maybe you’ll catch me dancing here again and hopefully not as a complete two left feet dancer. 

The Oasis on Lake Travis is located on 6550 Comanche Trail, Austin, TX 78732. You can also check out their website here.

Argentina Bakery – Irving, TX

Every Memorial Day weekend, my family and I try take a mini road trip. We’ve done New Orleans once, Houston various times, and Fredericksburg once. This time around, the family and I went to Dallas. A family friend is in from California and my little sister’s best friend is staying with us before she goes back to Korea for the summer.

The first time when we went to Dallas, about 8 years ago, we coincidently found a bakery called Argentina Bakery. It had delicious pastries and a nice atmosphere. After that, we could never find it. Until now!

The place is just liked we remembered: cozy, small and the bright colors of the pastries popped against the dark wood.

My plate is the bottom one, a cannoli and an alfajore. First, a review on the alfajore. An alfajore was is an Argentine Oreo cookie. Two shortbread cookies are glued together with Majo Blano, a carmelized condensed milk. You can cover it with powdered sugar like a think blanket of snow, or roll the border with coconut. It wasn’t that great, which is unfortunate (Le sigh). The majo blanco is supposed to be soft and gooey goodness. This cookie’s majo blanco was stiff. The cookie could have used a few more minutes in the oven also. 2/5


My guess is the cookie was not fresh.  I took a bite of the cannoli which instea of cannoli cream, it was filled with majo blanco. The majo blanco in the cannoli was the soft warm gooey goodness that is loved by all pastry lovers. The shell gave a nice flakiness. The proportion to of shell to majo blanco was nice (no hollow air). The ends had dark chocolate which countered the sweetness of the majo blanco. 5/5

My sister and her friend got tiramisu mini cakes, which were the size of a CD and the height of my Anna Karenina book (on its face). I, sadly, couldn’t get a picture because they devoured it in a hot second. I did manage to sneak a spoonful. That was goooooooood stuff. If you are a coffee lover, you’re in luck. The tiramisu had a punch full of coffee. It was creamy and fluffy. They didn’t use lady fingers but cake and mousse. 4/5

Overall, it was pretty good and nice to finally find the place that we thought was lost so long ago.

Want to try it for yourself? Check out Argentina Bakery in IRL at 3401 Airport Fwy # 112, Irving, TX 75062 and online at http://www.argentinabakery.com.

Friendships Age Too

Dear Alysha,

I am in my early 20s and you are SO RIGHT! I graduated a year before my friends. When we were all in college, it was pretty easy to navigate the lag times between classes to grab a coffee and have girl talk (or guy talk if you count the dudes). Then I get my first big-girl job and it’s the robotic tendency of the 8-5 life. No more 2 PM coffee breaks and even a single thought of sticking around downtown during rush hour makes me cringe. Now that we are all on the same playing field of finding/working in the big people’s world, things will be easier to manage. 😀 Love the post and love the truth you put into it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bug my friends about making a road trip xD

Sincerely,

A new fan of your blog.

*****P.S. Alysha: you have a category called “Life as a Texan”. Where in the Lone Star State are you at?

Alysha Kaye

Everyone always talks about romantic relationships and how difficult they are–the compromising, the settling, how hard it is to be single, how hard it is to be married, blah blah blah.

No one ever really spends too much time gabbing about how difficult friendships can be. Friendships are supposed to be easy, right? Comfortable, lasting longer than any romantic relationship you’ve ever had. I guess that used to be true.

Somewhere around Real Adult Life (not Fake Adult Life), you realize how tough friendships can actually be. Hangouts no longer consist of last minute happy hours that turn into long, carb-filled dinners that turn into late-night pillow talk and accidental sleepovers. Hangouts now have to be planned weeks in advance. Alcohol and carbs are out because someone is on an insane diet. Late nights and accidental sleepovers are out because someone has to wake up early for work or get…

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Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ Joints

It’s here! After months of patiently waiting, the list is finally here! Texas Monthly, the National Magazine of Texas, unveiled it’s “Top 50 BBQ Joints” today as part of the release of their June 2017 issue, aka The BBQ Issue. Theories have been swimming around Texas BBQ joints as well as around the office since forever. For those of you who are Franklin fanatics, you are in for a treat.

(Read the full article at http://www.texasmonthly.com/food/the-list-the-top-50-barbecue-joints-in-texas/)

But wait. There’s more! Yes BBQ lovers and connoisseurs there is indeed more!

Local ATX favorite YETI partnered up with Texas Monthly to create the beautifully designed wormhole of everything Texas BBQ related: the YETI BBQ Passport. This includes short notes from Texas Monthly staff members, including BBQ Editor Daniel Vaughn and everyone’s favorite Texan, the Texanist (aka David Courtney). There’s wonderfully created map and challenges brought to you by YETI to complete for your chance to win YETI prizes (coolers and mugs and hats oh my!). You can grab a passport by buying the June 2017 TM issue at your local bookstore or grocery store, visiting one of the Top 50 BBQ joints on the list, or, for any of you Austinites, at the YETI Flagship store in Austin.

(Don’t have access to a print copy of the mag or passport? Click here to get your own passport: http://features.texasmonthly.com/sponsored/bbqpassport/)

Also, don’t forget to check out the stories in this month’s issue. There’s an inspiring personal essay from John Nova Lomax about his son joining the US Army (“The Green Machines”), an interesting story on Dallas Police Chief Brown during the moments of the Dallas shooting (“The Empathy of David Brown” by Michael J. Mooney), and a story on a hippie Catholic Church in Southeast Austin. Yes, you read that right, hippie Catholic Church. I’m talking a priest who has a hubby, women being ordained and the awesome feeling of being truly all-inclusive (“Critical Mass” by Robyn Ross).

If you need me, I’ll be in my car driving all the way Lexington, Texas for some amazing ass BBQ (hint hint cough cough :D).

Share and comment below your experiences with these BBQ Joints and don’t forget to follow Texas Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Slake Cafe – ATX

Working in Downtown Austin has many perks, including easy access to some pretty cool lunch spots. Yesterday, my coworker and I decided to venture the two blocks to Slake Cafe for lunch.

Before trying any place, it is always best to check their menu. Common sense I know, but just saying. When we found out they had delicious sounding tacos (brisket tacos anyone?), we had to try it (we’re going through a major BBQ phase and tacos are always a must).

Slake Cafe is a basement cafe as you had to walk some steps down to get to the counter. It’s decor is modern and colorful. They have a bakery case with baked goods including giant cookies, cupcakes and doughnuts. Their daily specials are displayed on the back wall. They serve Austin Roasting Coffee, FYI for anyone who is a fan. 

I was in the straight-up mindset of tacos. Then I saw the board. “Mac of the Day: Brisket Mac.” :O

The world caved in. The indecision and doubt flooded my mind. Do I go with the taco or the Mac? Decisions decisions. I asked the cashier for recommendations. I was stuck between the Pollo Boracho taco- a grilled chicken taco with corn slaw, melted Gouda, avocado and red pepper on a corn tortilla – and the Brisket Mac – mac’n’cheese with brisket, green onion, collars greens, tomato sauce and cheese. The cashier wasn’t much help as she had trouble deciding too. She mentioned the Mac came as a side so I made the ultimate decision: I got both.

Do you want the good news or the bad news? Let’s go with the bad news: the taco was not at all impressive. The chicken was bland. It was also hard and took wayyyy too long to chew. There was no cheese. It was a decent sized taco but it was not worth paying $5.95 plus tax. I can make a better taco at home for free. 4/10


Now the glorious news: Brisket Mac was the holy grail of mac’n’cheese. It’s fighting with lobster mac’n’cheese for my top Mac. The side was the perfect size for me because it filled me up. The pasta was cooked to perfection. The brisket was shredded but the flavor it provided made little cherubs sing “Ode to Joy” in my ears. The creaminess of the dish! Not a single dry spot. The side came with two mini loaves of bread and I dipped that stuff and ate it as if it were chips & salsa. My coworker had a bite and she said she was going to call Slake every day until they have that dish again. The only thing I would change about the dish is the size. I wish I got the bowl instead of the side. I was in a damn good happy food coma for the rest of the afternoon. 10/10

Agree? Disagree? Have any Slake recommendations? Comment below!

Slake is located at 120 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701, past the Intercontinental Hotel.

Ty Richards: Zillion (2017)

The benefit of working in the ATX is that the office giveaway pile includes CDs. I casually looked through the CD basket and found a brand-new, still wrapped, copy of Ty Richards’ debut album, Zillion. Ty Richards, if you don’t know, is a local ATX artist. His music is based on psychedelic rock with hints of pop and dance beats. According to a note he wrote on his site, Richards is all about bringing back the institution of the album. Richards, in his opinion, find albums the “best way to be immersed in music”. True dat Richards.

“Spaceman”, the first song of the journey, is a fun one. You feel like you’re in a disco club with martians who are dressed like 1980s Madonna playing that classic psychedelic rhythms. Considering I’ve only heard one song from Richards, I didn’t know what to expect. This was something I did not expect at all. And I like it like that. It’s sorta confusing but you get over it within the first five seconds because you find yourself dancing along.

Lyric-wise I recommend “She Can Count the Days”. Simple storyline: girl is getting back on her feet. It’s a pretty good “cheer up” song and has a very Beck-esque vibe.

Go to California / Kill them with kindness / Go kick down your giants / And never come back

True advice from a stranger. The song just wants you to get in a car and drive down the hills and shout to the world. The world spins, but in a fascinating, kaleidoscope way. All those goals you thought were lost are suddenly renewed. Hence, this post on this blog. 🙂

You can grab Ty Richards’ album at his site, http://www.music.tyrichards.com. You can also follow him on Twitter, @tyrichardsmusic. I expect great things from you Richards. The journey has only just began for your.

Che Inka: Argentinan & Peruvian Cuisine (H-town)

The fam decided to take a weekend adventure to H-town. One of our favorite places to get some savory plates is Che Inka in the Rice Military district. 

I’m still fighting through the food coma, so bear with me ladies and gents.

A favorite plate among the fam is the lomo saltado. We make it at home, but Che Inka’s version is elevated, adding a wine blend and using filet mignon rather than stir fry. Filet mignon is mixed with onions and tomatoes and decorated with herbs. The plate is served with basmati rice and french fries. 

Lomo saltado. Excuse the color shift. We were dining outside with the dog.

Not into wine blends or filet mignon? Try their seafood. They have various plates, including varieties of ceviches, rice mixed with shrimp, seafood salads and seafood soups. We will go for the jalea mixto, which is a decent sized plate of fried seafood mixed with onions and diced tomatoes, served with yucca, and garnished with crispy sweet potato strips. The plate originally comes with muscles. Since we are not muscle fans, we always ask they don’t include those [they’ll usually give you more fish ;)]. The seafood is fresh and it takes about two people to finish the whole thing.

It’s a fried fish frenzy!
They do have a brunch menu if you’re brunch people. I have not tried their brunch items yet, but you can view their menu here.

Their desserts. Oh my their desserts! You have to try the lucuma mousse. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a picture because there are some foods that are too good to photograph. Lucuma is a fruit native to Peru. It’s not overly sweet, which is nice if you’re controlling your sugar intake. The mousse is served in a martini-like glass and garnished with a mint leaf. It’s fluffy. It’s creamy. It does not fall below elegant. It’s amazing.

The food coma is really kicking in so if you’re in the Houston area, check the place out. The staff is super friendly. The atmosphere is modern, upscale yet casual. They do have a kids menu for the little ones. Been there before? How did you like it? Comment below!
Che Inka is located at:

5535 Memorial Dr g, Houston, TX 77007

Leon Bridges

The second Leon Bridges sings you are immediately transported to the streets of New Orleans. You’re gazing at the voodoo shops and cafes of the French Quarter. You’re dancing with the jazz groups on the streets in the middle of a spring day at Jackson Square. You’re pulling off 1960s hairdo’s and wearing 1960s get-ups. Funny thing about this though: he ain’t from NOLA. He’s from Fort Worth, Texas (though the 1960s outfits are right on point).
His album, Coming Home, came out in 2015. I remember first listening to his single “Coming Home” on KGSR. Never looked back after. His voice is a lovely throwback to the times of lore.

My favorite from this album would be “Lisa Sawyer“, a beautiful song about Bridges’ mother, who, according to the lyrics, grew up in NOLA. That explains a lot! The lyrics tell the his mother’s story in a simplistic yet elegant way. She sounds like a lovely woman.

For songs outside his album, try listening to “Katchi“, a retro collab between Nick Waterhouse and Leon Bridges. It’s fun. It’s sexy. It’s retro. Btdubs, katchi is an old school terms Bridges’ family uses for “nice massage”.

Photo from consequenceofsound.net

I hope to see this young man live someday. He’s definitely someone who will be around for a long time.