Saturday was a great day. We started out for a walk mid morning. Stopped at the Driskill Hotel. This is where LBJ had a suite that he watched every one of his elections from (he never lost an election!) and then came down to the ballroom to celebrate. This hotel was built in 1885 and is one of the greatest examples of the old time western architecture across Austin (there are many more). We had a margarita at the bar to celebrate.
As we left the hotel, Karen spotted a hat store, called Hatbox across the street. If you know me, you know that this is my kind of place. I found a hat, Karen found a hat, then she found a hat for me, then when we went to pay, I found another hat. Shipped two and wore two straws out the door. Karen asked me what I was going to do now, when we went to Allen's on Sunday. I said we'd deal with that then. ;-)
We did a leisurely stroll to Lambert's, reputed to be on of the best BarBQ spots in town. And it was. BTW-When I had dinner with Tim McClure and others on Wednesday night, Tim encouraged that we try the Mac and Cheese all over town. Don't tell my Dr.
Lambert's is like a lot of places which serves Mac and Cheese as a side, so I could at least try it, right? I had the Achiote and Lime Rubbed Natural Chicken with Mac and Cheese and jicama and carrot slaw as sides. Karen did a Caeser salad with chicken. First time ever that the chicken was rubbed BarbQ. We started with a rock shrimp tomato soup. All great.
Our friend Tom Finerty of YourGardenShow, the social gardening site, is up for a community site award at SXSW. He had an exhibit at Whole Foods. Not just any Whole Foods, but the Mother Ship. This place is Texas sized! The beer aisle is in a giant cooler with automatic doors at both ends. You gotta love a walk through refrigerated beer aisle. And this place makes Marina Safeway on a Wednesday night (pick up night) look like amateur night. Lots of fine looking people. And the selection at this store is mind blowing. In all aspects.
Across the street is Waterloo Records and I always believe in supporting record stores, an endangered species. Lana McGilvray of Datran told us that she and her husband DJ Stout would be there to visit with their friend Darden Smith who was debuting his new book. Darden is another giant in Texas music and he played some selections from his recent album, Marathon. The book is unique, it is wonderfully designed and art directed by DJ Stout of Pentagram, a top rate and famous Designer (Texas Monthly, etc.) and contains wonderful photographs by Kate Breakey. It's kind of unique in music marketing in the world of downloads. With downloads, we don't get the album art and the lyrics any more. So Darden produced a book that filled that void. We also were to hear Darden last night. More about that below.
Went back to Whole Foods as we just had to buy something there. We have a kitchen in our suite at the Omni, so be bought breakfast stuff and some beer (had to celebrate the beer aisle/cooler) and some wine.
Headed back to the Omni, then out to a party for Tagged.com where Lana and DJ were also attending. Lana has been instrumental in guiding a number of us through the food and night life aspects of Dallas.
On the campus at University of Texas, there is a small venue, well under 100 seats with a bar called the Cactus Cafe. Not a bad seat in the house and very intimate.$15 tickets. I can't remember when I paid so little for a first rate artist. Darden Smith did two sets, featuring Marathon in the first set and some of his older music in the second. Michael Ramos (keyboards, harmonies and accordion), Roscoe Beck (bass) and JJ Johnson (drums, percussion and harmonies) provided a very high level band experience. Wonderful introduction to this artist. We'll see him again when he tours the bay area. Recommended.
Any day with live music is one of the special days.