Weekend with DJ!

Hello hello! I hope you are all having a great week. I had a wonderful weekend with my older sis in town! I can’t wait to share all about it! For now, I’m zooming back a couple weekends to another favorite of the summer when DJ visited me 😊

He flew to town for a couple days the weekend of June 25th. Can you believe it had been over a month since we had seen each other?! At this point we only have a couple weeks to go until no more long stretches apart.

First up on our weekend agenda was breakfast on June 26th at Magnolia Cafe.

As we pulled into our parking spot, we were greeted by this bird mural. When my sister was here, she remarked how fun all the murals were around the city- it really is fun to spot new ones all the time!

I’ve passed Magnolia Cafe more times than I could count! I always get a kick out of their “Sorry We’re Open” sign and knew it’d be a place we’d have to stop in eventually.

I would describe it as a no-frills, solid, reliable breakfast spot (although I believe they have dinner too). The staff was exceptionally friendly and we savored our time out on the back patio.

Even the menu continues on with the apologetic, tongue-in-cheek flare. 🥞

Typically we don’t prefer very fluffy pancakes, but these chocolate chip ones were really good and loaded with chocolate!

We limited our coffee intake at breakfast knowing we were going to try a new coffee shop after breakfast. I’ve heard many people talk about Cosmic, but I didn’t realize how close it was to us, just tucked away on a side road off South Congress.

They have a very expansive menu with some unique options like a lavender matcha latte, or if you’re feeling wild, a nitro espresso cocktail. We grabbed a couple iced coffees and enjoyed the morning sitting in their massive courtyard.

One thing we did not cross off the bucket list in Austin was Franklin BBQ (I know, shameful!). They went to carry out only during the last year, and we kept waiting for it to reopen, but it has not yet. We tried to put in an order for carry out while sitting there at Cosmic- but they were all sold out; procrastination was not our friend here. As the caffeine kicked in, we became more determined to find a way to get our hands on the world’s best BBQ.  Where there is a will and all that, right? We ended up calling Franklin’s to see if there was any chance there was more available than listed online, and they explained we could actually order a whole brisket online and have it delivered chilled to our home through Goldbelly. Also, side note- the staff was so friendly and really did what they could to help us out. We watched a Youtube video of someone who did this to see if it would still be good/worth it even shipped- and he said it was 99% as good as the real thing in person! So we are going to do it- probably have people over, make some veggie dishes and sides- and serve it up as a fun transitional meal from TX to OH as soon as we get off the waitlist!
Anyway, Cosmic is THE perfect place to relax with some coffee on a Saturday morning. And there is plenty of seating… which is a huge plus around here!

They also have several food trucks on site too.

After enjoying our iced coffees, we went back to our apartment. I worked out for about an hour and then got ready for the day.

We had an early dinner reservation at 5:30 on South Congress, so in the afternoon we killed time walking and shopping the tourist trap. We hopped store to store, and it was such a blast. There are gems on that road! Our first stop was Neighborhood Goods– I would love to shop here for gifts for holidays.

Many of the store fronts are beautifully decorated, vying for the next passerby’s attention.

One of my favorite stops was Big Top Candy Shop. I love a vintage candy/soda shop like that.

And of course, we stopped in all the different boot shops! 

Oh, and cannot forget South Congress Books!!
We did have a little (now funny) mishap. It was super hot that day, and I had lathered myself in sunscreen. At some point, my ✨ glisten ✨ turned into straight sweat and the sunscreen ran straight into my right eye. It was annoyingly painful and would not stop watering! I knew my makeup on that eye did not stand a chance, so I ran into a restaurant bathroom to rinse it off. I probably should have taken the other eye makeup off too- because they were hilariously incongruent. But at least my eye wasn’t on fire anymore. We didn’t have time to walk back to the apartment, so I resorted to just keeping my sunglasses on in all the shops. DJ said he didn’t see a big difference between my eyes, and we debated if it was worse wearing my sunglasses indoors or having uneven makeup, ha!

Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. We walked to Central Standard to sit out on their patio.

They are known for their cocktails. I don’t typically order cocktails since the ones I’ve tried have been so sweet, but the waitress recommended the ‘Face Your Fears’ cocktail with mezcal, tequila, aperol, chareu, grapefruit and lemon- so refreshing and not too sweet with a nice smoky flavor! Highly recommend. 

We ordered some delicious oysters. They tasted particularly good given how hot it was outside.

Right before getting the rest of our food, we noticed a wedding was happening right next to us. We watched nearly the whole thing, keeping our conversation at a minimum and a whisper, mesmerized by the ceremony. They had the cutest little pup in the bridal party too. I was getting emotional as the bride walked down the aisle, and I don’t even know the people!!

Back to the food- I ordered a falafel burger which I was obsessssedddd with.

DJ ordered their roasted half chicken- he said it was good but maybe wouldn’t order it again.

After dinner, we walked back to the apartment to give our feet a break and unpack our shopping finds.

Here is a candle we picked up! I also couldn’t resist trying the sour bears from Neighborhood Goods (yum!) & DJ tried the cashews. I really could do some damage in there- I love all the unique finds.

We went on a lovely sunset walk along Ladybird Lake where we had another debate. Right around the time the bats took off, we saw a small swarm of flying creatures above us darting here and there. We had a passionate conversation about whether they were birds or bats. I thought they were bats, and DJ thought the former. Finally some random stranger came near us and said loud enough for us to hear, “those are birds” 🤣. Okay, Deej, you win this one.

Next, we went up to the rooftop for our favorite view of the city! We were saying it was eerily quiet for a Saturday night in Austin. We hypothesized that everyone was just taking the weekend easy with July 4th being the next. But hopefully they didn’t know something we weren’t privy to!

The next morning before dropping DJ off at the airport, we quickly stopped into Gourdough’s Donuts food truck for breakfast. This is another Austin classic.

We sipped on a couple iced coffees while waiting for our order to be called.

These donuts blew away every expectation. We could not believe how good these were. We ordered the Funky Monkey with caramelized bananas, the Mother Clucker with fried chicken over a savory donut (DJ’s favorite & I tried a bite and even liked it- it’s a must order if you like chicken), and the naughty and nice cinnamon donut with honey (the simplest of them all, but very tasty!).

And that wraps up our amazing, amazing weekend together. I was deeply sad the rest of the day after he left and thankful I had clinical the next day to reset and distract my mind.

I’d love to know:

  • If someone visits your city, what is the *must* visit restaurant?

42 thoughts on “Weekend with DJ!

  1. Why oh why did we not go to Gourdough’s? Goodness those donuts look amazing. I can not wait to have you here in Ohio but must admit I will miss these fabulous Austin photos and food reviews of all those delightful places down there. What I am hoping is that you will start going to places right here in NE Ohio we have never discovered. Love reading this and enjoy your last few weeks down there. love, your Ohio mom

    1. I knowww! We said how much you would love them when we were there. Wish I could ship you some! We can’t wait to explore OH restaurants too- I found a food blogger from there, so I already have some ideas!! Thanks for reading 🙂 <3

  2. You captured interesting art in the wall murals. Well done. I so loved the store with all the pink flowers in the front. That WOULD draw me in for sure.

    Those pancakes though! Donna

    1. Thank you so much, Donna!! We did end up going into that store- the inside was just like the entrance but an entire store!!

  3. It sounds like you had a nice weekend with DJ & OMG that pancake looks so fluffy & yummy & so the falafel burger!
    Also I NEED to try the funky monkey donut!

    1. Hi, Karalee!! How are you?!? It was a wonderful weekend for sure- very grateful we were able to make it work 🙂 The funky monkey was insanely good- I get why those donuts are famous! Hope you are having a great week!

      1. I’m doing good! Just have been really busy lately. I’m excited to go on vacation in a week!
        I need to go back to Austin one day & I hope you’re having a good weekend!

      2. Ohhhh at this point you are probably on your way or already on vacation!! Have the best time!!!

    1. I MISS YOU!! This summer is going by soooo fast. Are you back from Colorado!? My time is so distorted, I don’t even remember when you were going!!

  4. This post was SO fun and full of beautiful pics, per usual. Loved it!! It makes me really wnat to live up our weekends a bit more and explore our area. But in the meantime, I always feel as though I get to travel via your blog; and it’s just so much fun. 🙂
    Those donuts though!!! I could go for one of those right about now. Ha, ha, ha!!! They look as though they were fantastic.
    Oh man, sunscreen in your eye is NO joke! This has never happened to us previously, but – on our last vacation – every single one of us had this happen. Ha, ha! Maybe 90 degree temps will do that? Nate and I were both washing our eyes out at one point, and Brady legit cried because it stung so bad when it happened to him. I totally did the wearing-sunglasses-at-all-times move as well. Ha, ha, ha!!
    And hmmmm, so as to your question about a must-try restaurant in my city…. I live in the sticks. HA!!! We got our first Dunkin Donuts a few years ago, and it was a pretty big deal. We used to have THE most amazing, Greek pizza place; but sadly the owners retired. A new restaurant actually just opened up about half a mile from my house, and it looks really quaint and cute. I’m excited to try it! But that is THE only restaurant in my town, so hopefully it’s good and worth eating at!! 🙂

    1. Aw thanks so much, Nicole!! Can always count on your comments to brighten my day!! I love that you are team sunglasses all times/inside when that happens! I totally understand why Brady cried- it is reallllly painful! No fun that it happened to your whole fam!!

      I hope you love that new restaurant!! I can’t wait to hear about it! 🙂

  5. I NEED the Face Your Fears drink and the cinnamon donut (my favorite!!!) and the donut with the bananas.

    That BBQ must be really something considering what you have to go through to get any of it!

    Glad you and DJ got to spend some time together.

    1. Hi, Jinjer!!! Ohh if you like Cinnamon donuts, you would LOVE this one. Wish I could just ship it to ya ! Hope you are having a good weekend so far, thanks for reading 🙂

  6. I thought the first menu for pancakes was funny until I saw the menu for the food vendor truck – very clever. I liked all the shopping places you showed us – looks very awesome there. Those cowboy boots – wow! I’d have to think on what food place to recommend … not in my city, as it’s too small – I guess I’d say Detroit would have the best selection of spots to dine, maybe for a casual setting just for you and DJ, Pizzapapalis as you love your 313 Detroit-Style Pizza! Glad you two got to see each other … soon it will be all the time in Ohio. 🙂

    1. Hahah, right?! The quirky restaurant gimmicks around here are certainly entertaining.

      With the boots, I kinda feel like- “Did you really live in TX if you don’t have a pair of cowboy boots?”… but we have yet to invest in them! They are soo much more expensive than I realized (hundreds of dollars!), and I’m not sure we would wear them often- but at least we window shopped, lol!!

      I remember you mentioning Pizzapapalis!!! That is going to be our stop if we are ever in the Detroit area. Sounds sooo good!

      Have a great weekend, Linda!!

      1. My boss is into the fancy, expensive (and often gaudy) cowboy boots and used to wear them around the office after we went out on our own as we had no dress code, so he often wore jeans. He ordered them from a bootmaker who made them from scratch. Pricey with a capital “P” – I’ll send you a link in a separate post in case it goes to your SPAM filter. I don’t think he bought alligator, but he had ostrich leather and some other types. And then he started buying belts and wallets from the guy as well. Window shopping always works for me – I like how the shops were set up. Yep, the Pizzapapalis was like the Detroit-style pizza you mentioned a couple of times in blog post. 🙂

      2. Oh wow he takes his boots very seriously! I just checked out the link and when I say my jaw dropped at those prices……. (!!!) At least he gets good wear out of them at that price ticket!

      3. You know I’d be afraid to wear them in bad weather … he wears them in rain, snow … I gasped the first time I saw him walk in the office with slush on the top and heels. I’m glad we’re not that indulgent!

      4. Oh my gosh!! I’d be afraid to wear them at all, especially in bad weather!!

  7. That pancake has my name all over it! I’m so glad you and DJ had a fabulous day together!
    Am I reading correctly… is Ohio in the near future?
    I spent 34 years in Cleveland and my boys are there. I’m only 2 hours away in Pennsylvania during the summer.
    Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

    1. Hi, Nancy!!! YES! We are moving back to NEO !! We are originally from a suburb outside of Akron. Where in Cleveland were you? I grew up in Parma and moved to Richfield later on. Small world!!

      1. Ahh I know Strongville well!!! My brother lives there! This is just too cool to me- if you are ever in Cleveland area or passing through, I’d love to meet for coffee or lunch or something!

  8. Oh my goodness I cannot believe you went that long without seeing each other! I hope that is ending soon!
    I’m glad you guys got to spend some time together though. I’m sure you guys were waiting for that.
    And this was such a lovely weekend together. I love places that have outdoor seating. Something about having a meal, or coffee outside just hits differently 😄
    I’m so glad I get to start reading your blog again. I have been away for far too long.

    1. ROSSY!!! Hii! I totalllly agree having a meal outside feels like a totally different experience. So fun! Aww thank you tons for stopping in- really good to see your name pop up- I miss our chats. I see you have some recent posts – can’t wait to check them out 🙂

  9. Fabulous weekend, wining & dining with a loved one. Thank you for sharing all that delish food and scenic sights. It looks like folks are still pretty cautious about being out and about – I imagine Austin on a weekend pre-Covid would be thronging with crowds everywhere!

    Eeeks! to the sunscreen in the eye. I feel for you. The last couple of times I put sunscreen on before a run, it ran into my right eye as well, so I know how you must have felt …. but sun health is sooooo important so going without really isn’t an option!????!

    Moving day soon …. hope the packing goes well!

    1. Thank you for reading, Ju Lyn!! We have been so surprised how quiet some of the weekends have been here too. I bet a lot of people were hesitant to plan trips in advance with the uncertainty too.

      Ohhh I am so with ya. Sun protection > everything! It’s really quite a dilemma!

      Thanks so much! I take off for the road trip next week- it’s just wild how quickly this snuck up on me, but I’m sooo excited to be back with DJ! 😄

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