Looking for a good holiday gift idea? There is current a special offer with Austin Eats Food Tours until December 8th, offing buy 2 get 1 free on gift cards. The guided bike tour covers a selection of downtown Austin restaurants and food trucks sampling some of the city's hidden culinary gems. For more information, take a look at these features on Austin Eats in USA Today and Forbes from earlier this summer, or head over to their FAQ page.
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A few weeks back I made a blog post referencing an article in Condé Nast Traveler which rated the newly opened Hotel Ella as one of the top luxury hotels in Austin (along with the Four Seasons, The Driskill and Hotel Saint Cecilia). I worked for the Four Seasons and in the luxury hotel business for 10 years before real estate and since I’m always recommending hotels to my relocating clients I thought I should give Hotel Ella a try.
From the outside, Hotel Ella is striking. Formerly a mansion from late 19th century, the renovated hotel maintains all of its traditional charm. Check-in was a little bumpy as they couldn’t find my reservation right away - the staff seemed very new and flustered, but eventually they found me in the system and brought me to…
Lockhart's most famous family, the Schmidts, have arrived in Bee Cave, Texas! The Schmidt Family Barbecue opened its doors in the Hill Country Galleria on October 28th to a line of anxious customers. The Schmidts famously had a family dispute during the 1990's which resulted in two competing barbecues in Lockhart: Smitty's and Kreuz Market, which are consistently ranked among the best barbeque in Texas. The family has since reconciled which has manifested itself in this joint venture. Be sure to check it out, but you might want to try it during off hours for the first few months because lines extending outside have been spotted during lunch and dinner time.
Zagat recently posted a list of Austin's 10 best food celebrities:
Paul Qui:Top Chef winner and owner of East Side King and Qui
Todd Duplechan: Chef at Lenoir
Bridget Dunlap: Owner of Lustre Pearl and Mettle
C.K. Chin: General Manager at Swift’s Attic, Kenichi and Paggi House
Jason Stevens: Bartender at Bar Congress, East Side Show Room and Tigress
Ben Runkle: Co-owner of Salt and Time Butcher Shop and Salumeria
Jesse Griffiths: Chef at Dai Due
Drew Curren: Chef at 24 Diner, Easy Tiger and Arro
Philip Speer: Pastry Chef at Uchi and Uchiko
When it comes to tacos around Austin, I consider myself somewhat of an authority. I will drive WAY out of my way to fulfill an unanticipated taco craving. In my mind, it comes down to two places: Taco Deli and Torchy's, but given the choice Taco Deli reigns supreme. Sure, Torchy's tacos are brimming with goodness, but there is a sense they are trying too hard and use far too many ingredients to achieve "gourmet" status. Taco Deli on the other hand uses maybe 3 or 4 ingredients, each done to perfection, a simplicity that lets you enjoy everything without distraction.
So it is with great anticipation and excitement that I make you aware that Taco Deli is expanding to two new locations, 7301 Burnet Road (Near Crestview), and at 701 S. Capital of Texas…
First built in the 1800's by Dr. Wooten and his wife, Ella, the mansion was entered into the National Registry of Historic Places in 1975. In 1983 it became the Chemical Dependency Treatment Center of Austin. Then in 2003, the structure was renovated to become the Mansion at Judge's Hill and finally went through its most recent transformation into Hotel Ella in 2012. The hotel is also home to one of Austin's…